A friend of mine, who works for the German, accountancy software company SAP, laughed at me, when I asked him if he cold called.
At the time, he was the Account Manager for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and he said "If I call reception and ask to be put through to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the reception desk will just laugh me off the phone".
I'm sure he's right.
We don't cold call here at DLA Ignite, (we don't need to). Sales Leader after sales Leader come to us and say that it just doesn't work anymore. The same with email marketing, Hubspot data, shows that email marketing has a 98% failure rate. With the results of analogue demand generation methods falling through the floor, what are businesses going to do to make up the pipeline? Better still, how are we going to create those $1 million deals?
One of the problems with cold calling is that they are .... cold. Whereas with social selling, conversations always start warm. I read this week on LinkedIn that you can buy software to make your cold callers make more cold calls. Sounds straight out of 1980!
It reminded me of the Egyptian ships that had slaves as rowers and if you wanted the ship to go faster, you just whipped the slaves more. Of course we don't do this anymore, because the technology has moved on. I'm talking about cold calling as well as using slaves to propel ships.
If we are to sell $1 million deals we need to sell high and we need to convert more of those calls right?
Our research shows that social selling allows you to sell higher (than cold calling), it allows you to get more high level conversations (than cold calling) and it allows you to convert more of those calls (than cold calling). Why on earth would you still be cold calling if there are sales methodologies that are more efficient and effective? Bizarre, isn't it?
Let's think about a business will make a decision for $1 million
1. First, the buyer(s) will want to build relationships with people they know like and trust. You won't build trust by calling people up or from email, you will do it on social.
Buyers will be checking us out on social and we need to make sure our passive social presence (so our Linkedin profile) and our active social presence (what we are posting and engaging). As a seller we need to make sure we have a "buyer centric profile" a profile that is not a copy of the website, that tells people how great your company and products are. Nobody cares. Your profile needs to make sure people can see you are a human being.
2. Second, Gartner say that there are 10 people involved in a sales today, we are transforming a supply chain software company, they reckon that there is 100 people involved in a sale. In a company that is going to spend $ million on your stuff, how many people do you know? How many of them have you built a relationship with? How many have you had a conversation with?
Now calling people up and emailing people, means you will start from a relationship position of annoying them. And is cold calling and emailing really the weapon of choice for a salesperson that will ask for $ million? No, of course not.
Critical for closing $ million is that you are seen as a business partner and not some "chicken shit" salesperson. You will have read the companies annual accounts, you will be reading all the periodicals about that vertical market. But as a salesperson you will also be creating your own content.
This content you will be sharing offering insight, advice, guidance, you will educate.
Hopefully, just like this article.
Tell your audience something they don't know.
In my first book "social selling - techniques to influence buyers and changemakers" (available on Amazon world wide) I talk about this person called the change maker. And site Google research.
I only mention this as Microsoft Azure sales team who regularly do $ million deals plus. They look for the changemaker in businesses and then offer up to them content, why? because they know that good content* (note I'm saying good content) will be shared and distributed internally in their prospects.
This is your influence, being shared within your prospects.
* please no corporate content, nobody is interested in that. And nobody reads white papers.
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