Cold Calling Lists is a Waste of Time

An Account-focused Approach

Cold calling a purchased list of contacts should no longer be the focus of your sales strategy. Yet it’s amazing how often I get asked, “Isn’t there a list I can buy?” Reps calling cold lists with a canned pitch will have very low rates of success.  Even if you pair that with mass email blasts, you’ll find your bounce rates are high and low quality lists can even get you dropped from your email service provider.  Instead, use an account-focused approach. Determine what are the companies you want to target and combine inbound lead generation with outbound account focused sales outreach across several communication channels.

For more, read, Hubspot’s recent post Is Inside Sales Just Telemarketing?

Make it Personal for Today’s Buyer

Personalization is important to today’s buyer. They aren’t going to respond to a pre-scripted, canned pitch on either email or phone. Today’s buyer wants a message that tells them you understand them and where they are in the organization. They won’t respond to a generic cold call or a hard pitch. Your buyer has already done their homework. Now they are looking for a trusted rep who will help them along the way. Today’s inside sales or business development rep should be skilled at writing so they can craft email, posts, and have conversations that appropriately adapt your messaging and personalize  it for your buyer’s specific needs.

In their recent book, The Collaborative Sale (Wiley), Keith Eades and Timothy Sullivan call this a Micro-Marketer role because these skills sets are typically part of the marketing world.  In fact, this modern role is what I call a hybrid one, bridging sales and marketing, leveraging skills sets from both worlds.  That’s why if you take classically trained telemarketers and put them in the new hybrid role, they won’t have the breadth of skills needed.

Connecting through New Channels

Today’s buyer is doing their research on LinkedIn, Twitter and similar social channels so your sales reps should be on those, listening, learning, and engaging.  Often your prospects are leaving digital breadcrumbs that reveal their needs.  Social Selling is one of the new skill sets needed for today’s inside sales role. Tony Hughes says this well in his Pulse post The Business Case for Social Selling – Why You Need To Get On Board

If you want to learn more about this new role, what’s different about it, and how to develop this new role in your company, please contact me directly.  You can also follow me on Twitter @KathleenGlass, join our San Diego AA-ISP LinkedIn Group and attend one of our events to learn about best practices and share insights with inside sales leaders.