Is the phone still useful in today’s digital marketing world?
Is your B2B sales model safe from extinction?
Or at the very least, safe from a complete overhaul of how you do business?
A report, released by Forrester Research Inc., analyzed the effects of e-commerce and online ordering on the future of traditional B2B sales rep positions. According to the report, “business-to-business commerce will never be the same.”
Order takers are to be among the hardest hit. “Order takers are the ones in trouble,” the report says. “It all comes down to value in the ordering process—whether sales reps add value or not.”
Other research has shown that the biggest factor, for how a company decides on a B2B purchase, is the sales person or account executive, other factors being equal.
So, do your sales reps add value, or are they simply order takers?
You Need to Add Value
You need to add value somehow, to your products/services, and to your company, in order to grow in today’s B2B world, and in many cases, to even survive.
You can add value even if you sell commodity products. You can add value by offering a number of different products to your clients, and keep adding to that product list.
You also add value if you have to design and test products, make protypes, etc. This means clients come to you as their main supplier.
However, the best way, to add value, is through your B2B sales and marketing team. Your sales people need to talk to, and at least occasionally, meet with your prospects and clients. This is a more effective way to show your clients that you are a value-added company.
You need to build an active business relationship with your clients, especially your larger and strategic clients. You cannot do that with digital marketing alone.
Yet many B2B sales people would rather only use social media, or other forms of digital marketing, like email or chat, rather than pick up the phone, and call even their current clients, never mind prospects. This will not build the business relationships you need to be successful.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There certainly is a major place for digital marketing, social media, and other forms of technology, in selling and marketing in today’s B2B world. But, they should not be the only selling and marketing tools you use.
Digital Marketing is not the universal tool that reaches everyone.
From an article posted in Forbes, in September 2018, 61% of Fortune 500 CEO’s have no presence on Social Media, and less than 12% are active on more than one social media platform.
Also, various research has shown that the average executive, in 2019, receives/sends over 100 emails per day. And many times these emails are opened/sent by an executive assistant, instead of the executive.
Likewise, do you really know if your email list is actually reading your marketing emails? Open and click through rates are still in the low single digits.
So how do you contact the people making the decisions on your products?
The obvious answer is by phone.
B2B Phone Programs
If your sales and marketing team is too busy, or is quite new and inexperienced, then a good idea is to get a business-to-business call center to generate leads and set appointments for them.
A telephone conversation will get a more accurate picture of your prospect’s concerns, initiatives, priorities, plans, timelines, and budgets, at a depth not possible with any other medium, including digital marketing.
A phone call will get more information from your customers than clicking Yes or No in an online survey, or by rating your service by the number of smiley faces ☺
When it comes to B2B cold calling, you will hear statements like, uninvited, interrupting, unnecessary nuisance, etc. But these statements are more reflective of telemarketing, not cold calling in the B2B environment, especially when performed by an experienced business-to-business call center.
It is important that you understand the difference between cold calling for B2B lead generation and appointment setting and telemarketing.
Telemarketing is done for consumer (B2C) companies, and they want you to buy right away.
A Business-to-Business call center’s goal is to develop relationships.
Cold calling gets a bad reputation, because 99% of the time, it is not done properly.
Don’t you find it interesting now, that even most dating websites have you call someone and talk to them, before you get together. And on this call, you’re not going to ask the other person to get married, you’re just trying to see if there is any connection, and if so, move to the next step, which is a face-to-face meeting.
Well, cold call appointment setting is basically the same thing, except it is used to set up an appointment for your B2B sales people to call, and/or meet with that person, not to sell them anything at this point.
C-Suite, SVPs, and VPs do pick up the phone
If you’re going to call, then the best person to call is the senior decision maker. But if you ask people their thoughts on that, the most common response is ‘good luck with that, they are too busy, and you will just get stuck in answerphone hell.’
However, that isn’t usually the real experience.
We talk to senior people all day long, and these executives are often very open to having a brief conversation.
Cold Calling Does Work.
If you advertise, why not try a business-to-business call center as an alternative; or, as an add on to your digital marketing process? We will get to many of the people that aren’t active on social media and are not opening or receiving your emails.
And if your current sales force is too busy managing their current clients, and doesn’t have the time for prospecting, a B2B appointment setting service could be your answer.
We even help companies with renewals for their products/services, as well as help them reactivate old clients, along with other services.
Get more qualified appointments, faster.
Give us a call, or send us an email, (yep, we use digital marketing too) and we will get back to you ASAP, to discuss your needs.
There is no charge for this, and most companies learn a lot, just by talking to us.
Thanks. We look forward to serving you.
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