Delivering an effective sales presentation is not rocket science



by George Pastidis



I just left a meeting at the bank I am a customer of. They had asked for an appointment for presenting a house loan product. Not that me and my wife were interested in any, but they have always been so polite and supportive that there was no way to refuse giving them some of our time.
Although I cared less about the product itself, I was observing and analyzing carefully how the bank officer was presenting. Too much talking, features dropping and little interaction. Neither exciting, nor convincing. One could argue that if you are really interested in a house loan, you care less about the presentation style. But then sales people limit themselves in selling to people that are either desperate for what they got or they don’t bother to browse around.
It is pretty much the same case in the other industries. Sales reps in pharma tend to bomb doctors with tons of features that link with clinical studies that their companies have financed. Sales engineers that work in the IT and telecom sector can hardly stop mumbling benefits in their special own jargon and value added services that persuade nobody for other value than upselling.
If we accept that sales presentations do not matter, is like getting self-commoditized. We got to believe that we can impact sales. We got to work on our sales presentations, focusing on the following key points:
Present to our audience’s challenges – Avoid product centered presentations and deliver customer centered presentations addressing our audience’s specific challenges. The more these challenges are confirmed with our audience before and not assumed only, the more concrete our case is. The million dollar question then is “are we really ready to deliver a sales presentation or we need some time to meet up with our customer and prepare for?”.
Keep it short and crisp – How long we can keep the attention and interest of the other party? There is plenty of surveys concerning the human average attention span. That varies from 5 to 20 min, depending on the age, conditions and the kind of task and mental focus. But we can all agree and say out loud “not for long”! We better then keep it short, start with a catchy value statement that gives our audience a good reason for engaging in and focus on the most critical areas of the presentation.
Interactive wins – Interactive wins but it is a “double-edged sword”. We can prepare well, deliver an impeccable monologue and head to home. This is playing safe on a blind date. Alternatively, we can encourage our audience to cut in and ask questions and clarifications during the course of our presentation and give us their feedback in the very end, pursuing their “green light”. This is less safe. This one first takes skills to manage with time and second, we might extract the wrong answers and the “green light” can turn “red”. But at least, we know where we stand and we have our chance to tweak things around, making the sale more possible to happen. Moreover, this interactive dimension gives the other party the impression that “we work it out together”. Customers would love it.

Delivering an effective sales presentation is not rocket science. It does need preparation, skills and lots of common sense though.

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Buyers Now Buy Differently – Learn How to Conquer the Disruption! 🎯

Extract from blog contribution by Bruce Rasmussen from Carpe Diem Consulting.


See Original blog here

As buyers continue to change how they buy, sales people need to keep evolving.
But how – and why?

In short – the salesperson of the future will be the one that adapts his/her selling processes to match the new way in which buyers buy.

There’s lots of disrupting influences in the B2B marketplace at the moment – the move to the cloud, social media, globalisation etc. These issues are disrupting commerce – but the accompanying change in how buyers buy in particular is disrupting and making irrelevant the “old ways of selling”. 

The 6 key things salespeople must do to succeed in a buyer disrupted world:
1. Deploy a sales process that matches the new buyer’s journey
On average, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally and online searches are executives’ first course of action as they start their buying journeys – just like everyone else! (according to SiriusDecision research):

When buyers do reach out offline, they reach out to many providers – but there is only one winner and everyone else has wasted their time.

Per the following 2 points – we need to engage earlier to generate more new leads, reduce competition, improve deal margins and increase sales velocity:

2. Disrupt customers to shatter their status quo
Understanding this new buyer’s journey is the key to early engagement: research says that the “Relationship Builder” is actually the POOREST performing sales profile. Instead the “Challenger™” offers up insights that challenge customers’ businesses and offer them a better way of doing things.
Buyers want to be educated – they want to hear about the insights we can provide into their businesses based on the work we do across all of our customers.

Now THAT’s disruptive – by showing the customer they need to “unlearn” part of how they run their business, we’ve given birth to a new buying journey – and we’re Johnny/Jenny on the spot to walk with them on that buying journey.

The following diagram outlines this “new buyer’s journey” – and positions “sales triggers” as the disruptive forces we can muster to “challenge” our customers – to shatter their status quo:

3. Leverage social media
Certainly we need to disrupt customers to “shatter their status quo”, thus starting them on a new buying journey. We also need to use social media to LISTEN to hear when someone ELSE has shattered the buyer’s status quo, starting a new buyer’s journey.
“Sales Triggers” are the events that happen to buyers to shatter their status quo. The early engaging, “disruptive” sales person CAUSES the sales trigger to happen – the Social Seller listens online to HEAR when the Sales Trigger has occurred.
Here’s an example of someone who’s just had their status quo shattered – and who is expressing this online via Twitter – this could easily be the Sales Trigger that starts them on a new buyer journey:

Research says that 78% of B2B sales people that use social media OUTPERFORM those that don’t so social selling is something that can no longer be ignored. Furthermore, new LinkedIn research shows that 70% of salespeople have adopted social selling, yet 90% of the “top performers” are extensively integrating “social” into their sales workflows.

4. Innovate to reduce the cost of sale
Given the move to customers paying for everything as a service on a monthly basis, we have to dramatically reduce the cost of sale. We need more leads and less salespeople.
Innovation here is important – for example a popular offering from my firm involves teaching field based technical and consulting resources to spot and report back on opportunities. This has immediate payback in terms of leads and customer satisfaction – and removes the risk of mis-hiring a sales person, an exercise we estimate costs nearly $200,000.
5. Align Sales and Marketing
The old days of Marketing generating leads and throwing them over the fence to Sales are dead – Sales and Marketing have to work together all along the buyer’s journey.


As an example – for each stage of the buyer’s journey there is specific content that Marketing can generate – which Sales can then execute on:


When the customer is CALM – Marketing can generate a “disruptive insight”, which Sales can deliver to the customer, ideally shattering their status quo.
When the customer is SEARCHING AROUND the PROBLEM – Marketing will ensure websites, LinkedIn profiles etc are optimised with EARLY ENGAGEMENT CONTENT to ensure the buyer lands on the right (i.e. our) site. This content is NOT information about solutions and the selling company – but MORE aligned with what a buyer will type into a search engine when they realise they have a problem (e.g. “The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Computer Network Keeps Crashing”).
IDC reports that sales teams use only 25% of what Marketing comes up with – so this change is well overdue. Traditionally Marketing produces “late engagement” content – the content needs to change to match each phase of the buyer’s journey.
6. Create a seamless and educational sales process
We just discussed how the right content at the right time assists educate the buyer – and this is all very well for achieving the initial sale – but how do we keep customers? What do we need to do to ensure customer loyalty – particularly in this era of (for example) “software as a service”, where customers can change providers instantly, with minimal switching costs?

More CEB research shows that – unlike branding, customer service, value for money etc – it is the SALES EXPERIENCE that provides over 50% of the contribution to customer loyalty. The sales person needs to offer unique insights, and help the buyer navigate alternatives, avoiding land mines along the way. HOW we sell is now more important than WHAT we sell – particularly when it comes to customer loyalty.
Understanding the new buyer’s journey, and mapping our sales and marketing processes to reflect this, is the key to unlocking sales and marketing success in the 21st Century.
What do you think – are there other key tips to add to the list? Let us know your thoughts by COMMENTING NOW!

Your Goal: Get Your Prospect to Think 🎯


By John Barrows

Our job in sales has changed drastically in recent years. It used to be our job to educate the client on our solution: what it is, what it does, and how it can help them solve their problem. It’s not about that any more. The internet changed all of that. Our job is now about getting the client to think.

I know that sounds pretty basic but let me explain. With the amount of change that is happening in the world right now, if you’re not thinking about how to evolve your business or career there’s a strong possibility you’ll be obsolete, replaced, or disrupted sooner than you want. Between the global political uncertainty, the impact of climate change, and the lightning-fast advancements in technology, change is inevitable. There is not one industry or job that isn’t at risk.
The challenge is that most people are resistant to change and therefore not prepared for it. The number one competitor to every single sales rep on the planet is status quo. Most clients would rather stay with what they know rather than take a risk on something they don’t unless there is significant and obvious pain. The problem for us in sales is that when the client realizes they’re in pain, 50 different solutions are a Google search away. So, unless the client is in pain and we time it perfectly, we end up reacting and playing catch-up throughout a sales process lead by the client. Reacting isn’t good for either party as it is almost always less efficient and costs more.
With that, I firmly believe our job as sales professionals is to get our clients and prospects to at least consider how they can be ready for change and to evolve. This is relevant at every stage of the sales process. In the beginning stage (prospecting), it’s about planting a seed and helping it grow. If you’ve seen the movie Inception you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, go watch it. This is why social selling (when done right) is so valuable and important. At the middle stage of the sales process (meeting) it’s about asking the right questions to get them to think differently and about aligning with not only their current priorities but also industry trends. At the later stages (negotiation and closing) it’s about getting them to think about the consequences of status quo.
It’s amazing to me how many sales reps still go through the motions and don’t even think themselves, forget about getting the client to think. They blast out template e-mails, make generic phone calls, press play on demos, respond to RFPs, generate template proposals, and so on. My job as a trainer is to transfer knowledge as best I can. I see another large part of my job is to get sales reps to think. If just one of you thinks a little differently and evolves after reading this post I feel like I have done my job. You are my clients. Go focus on doing the same for your clients.
#Makeithappen
P.S. Follow me on SnapChat where I’ll answer any question you have ‘johnmbarrows’
Written by John Barrows

Sales trainer to the world’s leading tech companies

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10 Common Phrases in Viral Headlines 🎯



By Sophia Skinbjerg

Click here to read source blog

Ever wondered what is the secret sauce that makes some content go viral while other content is simply left behind to be forever lost on page 4 of Google? You’re not alone – finding out the secret ingredients that make a viral headline is a constant challenge for marketers the world over.

What does it mean to go viral?
Before we start looking at what viral headlines have in common, I think it’s important we try to get a sense of what it means to even go viral in the first place.
Surprisingly, I found it quite difficult to even find consistent definitions on views, shares or even stretches of time that qualify a piece a content as viral. And that’s probably because the definition itself keeps morphing and a regular basis. If you ask anyone what it means to be viral, most would say millions or billions of people would need to have seen a single piece of content. But in the last decade only a few videos have even come close to a billion views. That was until Gangnam Style was released.

In a period of just 160 days, Psy’s mega hit became the first ever YouTube video to reach 1 billion views (toppling Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’). And this was recently beaten by Adele’s ‘Hello’ which accumulated over a billion views in just 87 days.
These examples are only just two instances where definitions, as we know them, have been changed forever and will one day (presumably in the near future) be changed again.
Related: 5 easy ways to increase viewer engagement on YouTube
Elements (not numbers) maketh headlines
So taking into consideration that there is no singular numerical definition of viral, we need to take a look at the different elements of a headline that make it viral. Buzz sumo have a fantastic breakdown on what it takes to make a viral headline which I recommend you read if you want to start making your own viral headlines. But as super quick summary, here are the 8 elements listed by Buzzsumo;
Structure

Content format

Content type

Topic

Superlative or emotional words

Trigrams

Have a clear promise

Tailor promotional content for each social network

The research from Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo examined the headlines of 1 million random articles from top publishers posted on social networks. By looking at the most common three-word phrases in the top shared pieces on social media, the researchers were able to pinpoint what headlines performed the best across both Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at the findings below:
viral headlines

Source: buzzsumo.com
What does this mean?
It’s interesting to see the difference in the most viral headlines on Facebook and Twitter because many would have predicted the data to be the same across the two social media sites. Around half of the viral headlines on Facebook turned out to be content that were list-based or ‘listicles’. Compare this to Twitter which saw the most viral headlines composed of phrases resembling more long-form content. For example, “the science of” or “the art of”.
Related: Millennials and B2B marketing
Superlatives can make or break a headline
The researchers also took a look at the performance of individual superlative words in the headlines of top publishers. Words like ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ and ‘sensational’ are all examples of superlatives.
For the most common superlatives, Buzzsumo examined 10,000 articles that included one in the headline and determined average number of social shares across different social networks. 

Take a look at the top 4 below:
viral headlines


Source: buzzsumo.com

“Amazing” is the superlative that appears in the most popular article headlines on both Facebook and Twitter whereas “successful” is the word that appears most on viral LinkedIn posts. Even just this snippet of data shows what content is preferred by different audiences on different social networks.
Use these findings in your email strategy
Although these findings have been limited to social media, there are still applications for your own email strategy. The top three-word phrases on both Facebook and Twitter have enjoyed insanely high engagement rates so incorporating them into your own linked email content could certainly prove beneficial. As well, try using some of the top 4 superlatives in linked email content and see if your click-through rates enjoy a boost.
Want more? Come and read more posts just like this one over on the Ungapped blog. 

The Shrinking ROI of Cold Calling🎯

 By Toby Marshall


Click to read  Toby’s amazing blog contribution here: 

The Shrinking ROI of Cold Calling

 502 Likes • 63 Comments

Or Read extract below:

Why it’s Happening and What to do about it

[Update as of June 5th: The huge response to this post (and its precursor post: http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-telemarketing-cold-calls-longer-work-toby-marshall?trk=mp-reader-card) prompted us to analyse all the responses. The findings are revealing and are now included on the last page, including some very insightful quotes.]

What was once considered a ‘necessary evil’ by most BDMs, Sales Managers and organisations, is rapidly becoming an ‘unnecessary evil’.
And below is the research proof.
We are, of course, talking about cold calling. Ten years ago it generally delivered a positive ROI for most organisations who did it well; but, for a long time now, we have seen its effectiveness and relevance decline. From talking to customers, to other business leaders, and to sales people across all industries over the past five years, the feeling is that the cold calling ‘pestilence’ is thankfully waning.
So we decided to quantify it a little more.
In March and April this year, Lead Creation ran research on the effectiveness of cold calling, asking over 100 senior professionals working in sales management and sales training.
We asked several questions on the impact of cold calling – the questions and responses are below, together with our analysis….
Question 1: On a scale of 1 to 5, do you think there has been an increase or decrease in the effectiveness of cold calling in the past five years? (1 = greatly increased, 5 = greatly reduced)

Key Finding:

Not one respondent said that the 

effectiveness of cold calling had increased in the past five years.
Over 80% said that the effectiveness had 

reduced, with the 

majority saying that it had ‘greatly reduced’. In fact the average score on the scale was 4.4.
Question 2: What are the positives and negatives of cold calling?
The positives
Some respondents felt that there were some clear positives to cold calling:
“I think it creates awareness of a service/product.”

National Sales Trainer
However, even when trying to name the positives, some respondents had to 

venture beyond strict cold calling to ‘warm conversations’ to find any:
“People like referral traffic and warm handovers. If you can invoke the name of someone they know (esp. in B2B calls) you are more likely to reach second base.”

Marketing & Membership Manager

 
“There are no positives to cold calling.”

The negatives
There were no such difficulties in finding the negatives, with one respondent being very forthright with his opposition:
“There are no positives to cold calling. As a recipient, I hate it. The callers are always rude and pushy and they are selling something I don’t want. If I need a product or service, I will find it! I would ban it if I could.“

Joel Lentin, Head of Marketing, Holding Redlich 
Over half of respondents directly or indirectly referred to damage to the brand caused by people not wanting to be sold to:
“Cold calling focuses on the product/service rather than what the person on the other side feels – there is a lack of empathy which can create the wrong perception of the brand and perhaps damages it in the long term.”

National Sales Trainer
“It is a waste of time, ruins lots of good prospects that could be handled better… learn how to network and get referrals.”

Business Development Director
With 12.5% of respondents, the invasion of privacy was another key negative of cold calling:
“Known sales tactic – people are far less tolerant – perceived as rudeness – invasion of privacy with contact details – rude staff can leave a bad taste – no personalisation – no relationship – therefore low potential for repeat business.”

Director of Marketing and Advertising
Question 3: What are the two main personal attributes that make a good cold caller?

Question 4: If you had to train a cold caller on only two skills, what would they be?

How can you compensate for the decline in cold calling ROI?
The responses to the first two questions are of particular interest here.
Without question, the widespread perception is that the effectiveness of cold calling has faded considerably in the past five years; and, while the list of positives gets shorter, the list of negatives seems to grow.
This is largely because people are now more aware that better alternatives exist, with much better ROIs.
This trend is only going to accelerate as we become more adept at using online resources. Today, does any B2B organisation not research extensively long before making a purchase or switching suppliers?
Our survey findings are backed up by some other notable research on cold 

calling:
90% of C-suite executive say they never 

respond to cold calls or email blasts, 

according to Harvard Business Review.

Cold calling costs at least 60% more 

per lead than other methods, like 

social selling, according to The State 

of Inbound Marketing by HubSpot well 

over a year ago.

8 attempts are required to reach a 

prospect with a cold call on average

today, compared with 3.7 in 2007, 

according to TeleNet and Ovation Sales 

Cold calling has always been considered difficult, and most salespeople loathe it; this means that they are generally not very good at it.
However, the issue is NOT simply that effective cold calling requires better 

recruitment and training.
There is a perception out there that telemarketing done well can still be a very effective sales tool. But, as outlined in questions 3 and 4, the very skills 

necessary for high quality cold calling are exactly those that could be better directed to converting warm leads into sales.
Such skills are scarce and very valuable to any organisation, and they should be applied where they are most effective. The talents of well-trained cold callers are essentially wasted on calling that is totally cold.
Even the most ardent fans admit it’s less effective than it used to be.
The real ROI comes from having skilled sales people talk face to face or on the phone with targeted prospects who have already shown interest. These leads are generated from well-managed, highly 

targeted Social Media campaigns that build relationships and replace the increasingly questionable need to cold call.
Yet many organisations continue to persist with outdated methods. They have failed to adapt to the recent changes that have occurred in sales and marketing and in spite of the declining ROI expected from it. In the last five years US$22 billion was spent on telemarketing globally, so not a small amount!
There is clearly a large vested interest for sales and marketing organisations who run call centre operations. These appear to be the only people who still consider cold calling to be effective – as evidenced in the recent article Why Telemarketing and Cold Calls No Longer Work. It 

details four main reasons why cold calling is no longer viable:
Even the most ardent fans admit it’s 

less effective than it used to be.

It positions you in a negative light in 

B2B sales.

It won’t find what we all want: qualified leads.

Salespeople typically hate it – and are 

therefore not very good at it (the 

opposite of “Love what you do and 

success will follow”!).

The article attracted some comments from people disagreeing that cold calling was poor value for money. Most of these were from those with a vested interest in the business.
A typical comment was:
“Cold calling is an art form. To be good it requires hard work, intellect, charisma and a thick skin among other attributes. It’s not as effective as it used to be because it’s been around longer than it used to be, and emerging technologies offer other routes to contact people.”
“Cold calling is one of the best means of generating growth for any company, but only if it’s done the right way.”
However, comments from those on the receiving end of cold calls overwhelmingly agreed with the premise of this article:
“I get telemarketed to death. It’s got to the point all private number calls are ignored and sent to voicemail and if they call from a registered number their number goes into the automatic ignore list so I don’t know if they call back again or not.”
The fact is that a well-managed and targeted Social Media Marketing strategy produces results. Results that increasingly leave cold calling trailing and highlights the wide array of negatives associated with cold calling that simply don’t exist with Social Media.
Organisations investing large chunks of their budget in cold calling can expect far greater ROI by formulating a smart inbound marketing strategy. One that incorporates social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc as their primary lead generators.
Such a strategy engages contacts and builds relationships before any selling is done… then the skilled sales people come in and convert the leads into revenue.
Furthermore, the budget involved for SMEs to deliver warm leads via this methodology is a LOT lower than the salary of a talented cold caller.
We’ll be happy to share our targeted social media marketing strategies and tools developed over the last eight years with you. We’ll start the conversation and get your prospects talking back to you.
June 5th: What are the insights from responses so far?

Firstly let’s summarise the original Goals of our research to put these 89 responses into context:
To move beyond the anecdotal, where so many companies were saying Cold Callng (“CC”) no longer worked as well for them.

To demonstrate there was a better way: To use Social Media to create engagement and raise awareness first. So it becomes Warm Calling.

To highlight what really matters: relative ROI. Obviously CC delivers some results, but at what cost to the alternatives?

To find out why so many people still believe CC is essential, despite the growing evidence against it.

And yes, I do have a vendetta against CC. Why? Cold callers are eating my company’s lunch as they are seen as a viable alternative to real marketing. They are chewing up scarce marketing budgets in so many companies and delivering rubbish results.
So why do so many persist with CC? The 89 responses were very revealing …
  That SMEs believe they can’t afford other types of marketing

That their options for B2B lead gen are still only advertising, SEO, sponsorships or trade shows. These are all expensive and are dominated by the big players.
SMEs do have other options: you now own the media and you can publish and distribute. Do it well and you’ll get an audience of thousands, and then you can selectively connect with them. Then take it to another level as we do with our clients and ourselves …
Conduct research on LinkedIn groups and also by direct messaging your most valuable Connections. And do it in an area that is topical, and of course leads to what you sell (and you are reading a case study of how to do this!).
 A key part of the problem: The definition of Cold Calling
“It’s funny how the cold-calling debate has become all about semantics…If you call someone who does not know you and is not expecting your call it is a cold call.” Jordan Lindenbaum.
Which was our understanding when we started this research: Cold is cold. However, many define it more narrowly, particularly those who espouse ‘R&D Calling’ …
John La Mel defines it well: “Such calls build your knowledge of the prospect and their organisation” so you can take it to the next stage.
However, our research shows that most calls are not R&D, and the callers have zero interest in who they are calling. They are just playing the numbers game, particularly the poor sods from India.
Then we had Tyler Vance and others: “CC is not dead – selling on a cold call is dead. Making cold calls is about generating enough curiosity to elicit a second conversation.”
Costas Perkas broadened it further: You are referring to companies that employ telemarketers and apart from a written “pitch” they offer nothing else. CC nowadays involves social media engagement, web based research, a value prop, a great and relevant hook, intelligent questioning, trial closing etc.
Which lead to a great rebuttal…
Jason Culligan: “Once you mix emails and social selling into the process before calling it ceases to be a ‘cold’ call. CC in its absolute purest form is finding a business that has never heard of you before, identifying key decision makers and then picking up the phone to start a conversation. It is my experience that simply calling people who have never solicited a conversation without any previous ‘warming’ of that lead is the quickest way to waste what could be good leads. It’s critical now to warm an account first with outbound marketing before the initial call.”
 “‘Social’ doesn’t work in my business”
Interesting that we had 2 thoughtful and completely opposed views on which services ‘Social’ does work well with …
MariAnne Vanell says CC applies to high value Enterprise sales with their long lead times. While ‘Social’ applies to “more transactional deals, <10K, who can have an inbound model that is fast-paced and surfaces opportunities.”
Jordan however says CC is best “if your product offering requires a very fast sales cycle. For example, I offer unsecured Loans/Working Capital to Small Businesses who either can’t go to their bank or simply don’t have the time. Their need is immediate. Making an informed, well thought out and articulated call to quickly explain the benefits is effective.”
Our view, no surprises, is that it applies to any business that sells B2B. Though of course the tactics will vary significantly from selling a million dollar IT solution to a small business server.
 Other Reasons offered for persisting
“‘Social’ will never replace calling”: Agree, it only replaces the beginning of the sales cycle when it loads lots into your funnel. To get clients, you then need to call.
“CC is better than being connected on LI”: Of course – by itself a connection or a thousand connections does zilch. Messaging prospects with valuable content does.
“Multi-nationals need CC to feed the sales teams in each country”: Why? Leads can be generated in any country in the world, even Afghanistan!
“Unique, ultra niche and very new services get hidden because of all the marketing clutter so CC is needed”: No, it’s not. Direct messaging on Social is perfect for the unique as you need to educate them first.
 And a few great comments and one real head scratcher!
Love this response from Patricia E. Shrimpton: “Written posts are a form of CC. A comment, or like, is a call back.” And if a comment is a call back, you could say a connect request is a response to that and a sign that we might be doing business soon?
One asked me: “If you have only made two or three cold calls, then are you qualified to say it’s dead?” Guess I don’t need to know how to use a slide rule to know a calculator is better!
However this one from MariAnne Vanell got us scratching our heads: “Our experience is the inbound traffic gives us a read on who is reading what content for sure, but we generally skip the scoring effort and just call them.”
Surely that defeats most of the benefits of using a Hubspot in the first place? And does her funnel need more in it?
 The Future as seen by the anti CCers
Many of course believe CC remains the future – not surprising they are very vocal as we want to eat their lunch! Here are the responders who see a different future:
Kevin “Bo” Hamlett: CC is as effective today as a 1980s used car salesman would be today.
Russel Godden: “Some of the voices around this subject reminded me of when somebody criticised Henry Ford saying “You don’t need to build a motor car, what people need is faster horses”. The same is happening in the area of sales by phone. The change may be up-rooting and stressful but far less than the stress of a very low ROI and being overtaken by competitors.”
Bryan Marlink: “The real ROI comes from having skilled sales people talk face to face or on the phone with targeted prospects who have already shown interest. These leads are generated from well-managed, highly targeted Social Media campaigns that build relationships and replace the increasingly questionable need to cold call”.
Marc Roth As someone who has made an enormous amount of cold calls over 20+ years people don’t like receiving them. What they want is information. From that information a conversation ensues and then a face to face and a potential new relationship.
 New Research needed
Shekhar Prince “There is another article that needs to be written about the critical success factors of CC amongst other competing or evolving methods and trends. How technology, information / insight platforms and experience can be leveraged effectively by an open minded and dynamic cold caller.”
We are working on it!
Cheers, Toby
Toby leads a team of young, international B2B marketers at Lead Creation. http://www.leadcreation.com.au
Written by
Toby Marshall

Toby Marshall

Getting your Prospects talking back | Clear strategies for B2B Marketing, powerful case studies and guaranteed results.

63 comments

Comment

3d

Tyler Vance

Sales Development at VorsightBP

Cold calling is not dead – selling on a cold call is dead. Making cold calls is about generating enough curiosity to elicit a second conversation. It’s critical for sales people now to perform background research on the prospect, company or industry to create a hypothesis before reaching out. Yes this may take a little bit more time – but putting in this extra effort will h… See more

LikeReply511

2d

Bob Webb

Account Representative / Ironwood a RR…

you nailed it Tyler!

LikeReply

3d

Kevin O’Neill

Square One Medical

The effectiveness of cold calling still exists. What is harder to come by is the skill set of doing it correctly which in today’s instant gratification world requires patience, persistence, voice inflection, product knowledge, trust, and creativity. And of course knowing how to qualify. It works.

LikeReply182

2d

Jordan Lindenbaum

Financing for Small Business Owners|…

It’s funny how the cold-calling debate gas become all about semantics…”Warm Calling, Cold Calling…” If you call someone who does not know you and is not expecting your call it is a cold call. I do agree it is a much better idea to be strategic; connect on LinkedIn, learn a bit about the company, see if you have any common contacts in your professional or personal networ… See more

LikeReply1

3d

Toby Marshall

Getting your Prospects talking back | Clear…

That is my point Kevin O’Neill. That it is hard to find the skills, and they are expensive. And better used in warm calling once the target knows a little about the value you bring.

LikeReply3

3d

MariAnne Vanella

Founder | CEO, Sales Development | Tele-Based Lead Gen…

I completely disagree with the ideas presented here about cold calling. People do take calls, they don’t take BAD calls. The problem is many companies go with the lowest budget number and end up with very low-level, technically-challenged people as a first experience they give prospects. To have that as the initial experience prospects get with a company has always been a t… See more

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Marc Roth

Founder at Energy Network, LLC

Toby MarshallToby is right. As someone who has made an enormous amount of cold calls over 20+ years people don’t like receiving them. The reality is that if you believe that people and companies will reap any significant ROI you’re ignoring what people want. What they want is information. From that information a conversation ensues. If the potential new relationship with… See more

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MariAnne Vanella

Founder | CEO, Sales Development | Tele-Based…

Our experience is the inbound traffic gives us a read on who is reading what content for sure, but we generally skip the scoring effort and just call them. It all has to do with the industry as well, more transactional deals, <10K as an example, can have an inbound model that is fast-paced and surfaces opportunities. We use an automation platform, and it gives us plenty of… See more

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Keith Johnson

Vice President of Sales at Surrogen

That’s a bunch of hog wash. Reason why people think cold calling is not working anymore is because they suck at it.

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Toby Marshall

Getting your Prospects talking back | Clear…

Love the expression hog wash Keith Johnson. But not sure you’ve read the article because I largely agree with your comment! They do suck. And the skills to do it well are rare.

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Taylor Copie

Uniting leaders with massive potential to change IT…

Toby, Love your article, and I appreciate the time and effort you put into this. Having the ultimate patience and persistence (politely) is all you need to have a successful cold-call turn into the beginning of a relationship (not a sale). Asking questions, before giving answers is the magic trick. Anyone who says different is simply saying they don’t have the mental ca… See more

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Jason Culligan

Int. Business Development | Learner Focused…

All valid points Taylor, although once you mix emails and social selling into the process before calling it ceases to be a ‘cold’ call in my eyes. Cold calling in it’s absolute purest form is finding a business that has never heard of you before, identifying key decision makers and then picking up the phone to start a conversation. It is my experience that simply calling… See more

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Tom T. Parrish

President at Parrish Security Group

Toby Marshall if you have only made two or three cold calls, then are you qualified to say it is dead? Seems to me you lack any real personal experience to make such a claim.

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