While the sales process is nearly as old as humanity, sales methodologies have changed considerably in recent years, largely thanks to the Internet. Door-to-door sales have gone the way of the Dodo, and direct mail is about to follow it. (Who advertises through the mail today except those too-desperate-to-be real mortgage refinance scam artists and will-try-anything credit card companies?)
The Internet, of course, has been leading the charge for 21st century technology, along with the mobile device. While one would imagine that the Internet would be too wide and general a tool to be much use, the peculiar truth is that the opposite is true, according to a recent blog post by Sam Elliott of g2m solutions.
“As businesses have realized the irony that they can deliver a far more personal buyer’s journey online than they can through other methods, even face to face, they have started to crowd the Internet with offers and ideas,” wrote Elliott. “Placing yourself where your buyers are is only a small part of online strategy now. Getting heard through the incessant white noise of all your competitors and even non-competitors’ marketing sometimes seems impossible.”
While the goal, ultimately, is worth it: the personalized selling you can engage in via Internet and mobile methods is too valuable to not pursue every Internet and social media strategy in your power, it’s important to remember that other older methods are still tried-and-true, even if the days of the Fuller Brush man and direct mail are gone. Elliott recommends that any methods used today should be able to cut through the clutter and noise of other marketers, and this will require a great deal of thought and analysis.
“The idea is to streamline your marketing messaging,” he wrote. “You should sand and plane off any excess that doesn’t work. Tactics and content that are ineffective and aren’t providing leads or sales are a waste of your time and resources.”
So what better method is left, after your Internet and social media methods, than telemarketing? While cold telephone calling may have gone the way of door-to-door and direct mail, targeted telemarketing with the use of complementary technologies is still an extremely viable way to engage in business-to-business marketing. According to a recent UK-based study, business-to-business telemarketing was identified by business managers as one of the least annoying forms of advertising, with only four percent of respondents identifying it as annoying. The trick, of course, is to engage in it effectively by ensuring lists are fresh, the optimal calling times are chosen and the message is compelling. Furthermore, the method should be optimized by automated dialing technology.
Predictive dialer solutions such as OPC Marketing’s Spitfire Enterprise Predictive dialer can help sales teams dial faster, thanks to automated dialing technology, make more contacts and ensure sales people are sharing the appropriate information at the right time. The company’s Quick Connect feature allows sales people and agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line, a great option for B2B purposes, especially when sales personnel need to be on the phone line through the entire call.
Just because outbound calling is an old method, this doesn’t mean it’s an ineffective one. With some preplanning and the right technology, it can be one of the most effective methods in your sales arsenal.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson