New technology seems to be changing everything in business — including, of course, how most companies approach lead generation and sales. Between big data, artificial intelligence, increasingly-sophisticated web advertising and the ever-expanding reach of social media, there are now more means than ever of interacting with prospects who meet your ideal customer profile.
With the emergence of all of these new possibilities for passive lead generation, it is becoming less obvious how cold calling fits into the picture. For B2B companies, the days of trawling through the White Pages or doing hours of painstaking research to identify potential customers are over. Indeed, some artificial intelligence and Data Analytics tools have become so sophisticated that you can learn almost everything you need to know about a potential customer simply by letting the system do its work.
But if you think that means you’ll never have to use the telephone ever again, it might be time to take a closer look. Even in 2019, almost all aspects of marketing incorporate the telephone in some way.
Whether you use it to further qualify leads or follow up with prospects on an email correspondence or webinar, the phone is a crucial mode of communication.
Here are three great reasons why the most savvy marketing and sales teams still use the phone:
To further qualify sales leads — without speaking directly to them, how will you ever know which prospects are actually interested and which may have engaged with your content by mistake? How will you know who is merely curious, and who has the actual authority to purchase? In most cases, a one-on-one conversation is necessary if you’re going to be sure.
To gather crucial information about their market — even in an age of analytics and sophisticated data collection, there’s only so much you can learn without talking to someone. In addition to identifying their pain points or interest level, a chatty prospect could tell you about a new decision making process, proposed local laws or market regulations, or the timing of an upcoming RFP or bid process. This could give you a leg up on your competition—who never thought to dial.
To build trust with prospects — imagine that you’ve been tasked with making a major purchasing decision on an expensive product. Would you feel comfortable working with a vendor who seems hesitant to communicate directly on the phone? The human connection can go a long way towards building the trust that’s needed to actually close sales.
These are some of the best, but there are many other reasons why the most sophisticated marketing and sales teams all use overall strategies that incorporate the telephone. In fact, many of the top sales departments have teams of employees who specialize in inbound or outbound calls. Some manage these teams in-house, and others partner with an outside firm that specializes in this type of outreach, such as VSA.
It can be particularly frustrating when, in spite of utilizing the latest technology, your sales team still isn’t hitting its goals. If this is the case, it’s worth thinking carefully about where the telephone fits into your overall strategy. It could be that your sales team is using all of the newer tools properly, but are falling short in how they approach an older one.
Ultimately, nothing can match the value of a person-to-person conversation. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pick up the phone!