Is Cold Calling an Outdated Sales Method?

Ask yourself the following question: would you rather spend the day making 100 cold calls, or spend the day with existing customers to earn referrals?

Sales today has experienced a fundamental shift in philosophy. No longer is sales transactional (cold calling), simply focused on one sale at a time. Instead, sales has become more about relationship building; getting to know your customer.

According to a Nielsen poll, less than 10% of consumers trust cold calls. Conversely, 90% of consumers trust their peers. So why are you spending the bulk of your time cold calling when you should be focusing on your current customer base? These clients are a great place to obtain referrals, referrals that are more effective than cold calls at bringing in new business.

Cold calling was an effective tool before the advent of the Internet. Before, people needed you to call them to tell them about your product. Now they can get all of this information off the web. Today’s customer is more knowledgeable than ever before. This is why the sales process had to evolve.

Customers know what they want. They have done all their research online. They don’t need you to give them a sales pitch about your product or service, because they already know everything they need to know about your product or service. What they need from you is an understanding. How will you and your company benefit them, and their company? Your potential client doesn’t need to be sold on your product; they need to be sold on you.

So what are you waiting for? Get out their and start building those meaningful relationships!

If you have any questions, contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the concerns of sales team turn-over, lack of sales expertise and payroll.

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How the Sales Process Has Changed

Selling in a down economy is not only difficult it is scary. When the economy tanked and companies came to the realization that they would be unable to increase revenue they began to look for ways to save money. The best way to do this was to cut spending.

To make things even worse for the 2011 salesperson trying to make a living, the Internet has completely changed the game. Consumers are more educated now than ever before. They can research your company – your successes and failures – your competition, and your product. The consumer now has all the power, making the salesperson, in the traditional sense, almost obsolete.

Before, companies needed salespeople to get information, speeds, feeds, features, functions, performance specifications, colors and delivery dates. Now all that information is just a few clicks away.

So it’s adapt or die.

Well, it might not be as dire as that, but if the 2011 salesperson fails to adapt to the educated consumers of today’s market, they will struggle to survive in the business world. So what are your options?

First of all, you must accept that you, the salesperson, are not in charge. Companies know what they want. They know what you are offering. So a lot of the time the first interaction the 2011 salesperson has with a client is a negotiation.

The negotiation is now, in many cases, the first step in the sales process.

Today’s salesperson needs to be less educated on the product they are selling and more educated on the client. It’s about understanding how your customers buy. What are their buying preferences? What are their buying tendencies? What are the alternatives they may have other than you?

You must understand how the buyer buys and adapt your sales process accordingly.

The key to being successful in this environment is to have a highly trained sales staff at your disposal, leaving you with two options: hire a dedicated sales team or outsource your sales to a professional business development firm.

This is where a company like Springboard comes in.

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple; while you focus on delivery we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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Sources:

Sales Cycle SearchCRM.com

The 7 Stages of the Sales Cycle About.com

Selling in a Recession: The Best Sales Strategy HeavyHitterWisdom.com

Has the Complex Sales Process Changed? Are You Kidding? ExpertAccess.CinCom.com

Cold Calling: Outdated, Ineffective, and Pointless

In today’s modern world, why are so many businesses relying on such an outdated sales method? Cold calling is a thing of the past.

The problem with cold calling is that it is not an effective use of time. If any other aspect of your business had a success rate of less than 10%, would you continue with it, or would you pull the plug? Of course you wouldn’t invest time and money in something so unproductive; you want your business to run as efficiently as possible. So why are you still relying on cold calling?

The goal of the average sales person making cold calls is to call 100-125 people a day with the hopes of generating 8-10 interested parties. That’s right, 8-10 people out of 125. Cold calling is a numbers game with no real winner.

There has got to be a better way.

The truth is that cold calling is outdated. With the help of the Internet, Social Media, television, talk radio, and magazines, consumers are now more educated than ever before. Consumers want real information, not a sales pitch. This is why cold calling does not work. If someone needs a certain product or service, they can search for it, research it, and purchase it without ever leaving their couch.

Consumers no longer need cold calls, so why are businesses still relying on cold calls?

You should have potential clients coming to you, whether it be by word of mouth, lead generation, advertising, or referrals. Today’s business world is built upon relationships and trust.

So instead of focusing your efforts on complete strangers, build a rapport with your current clients. One referral from a satisfied consumer is more valuable than 100 cold calls. Based on a Nielsen poll, 90% of consumers trust peers and less than 10% trust an unknown source.

This is one reason social media has become increasingly popular as a sales tool. It helps build relationships. Sales people can have more relevant intelligence on prospects and become great resources to their customers by using social media. Now companies have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place, like never before.

There has been a fundamental shift in the way business works. So maybe it is time for you to embrace the future of sales and finally shift your tactics away from ineffective cold calling.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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Sources:

Is Cold Calling A Thing of the Past? SalesHQ.Monster.com

Why Cold Calling is the Bottom of the Barrel Blog.InsideView.com

How Social Media Can Help Relationship Building

Communication has gone through several important evolutionary steps since the dawn of time. From oral tradition, to the written language, the invention of the telephone, the Internet and email, the cell phone, texting, and finally Social Media.

Wait, Really?  Social Media? Well, yes.

Like the falling of the Berlin Wall, Social Media has knocked down the barrier – or as one writer put it, the “brand wall” – between companies and consumers. People can now connect with businesses and brands like never before.

While the Internet has almost made human contact obsolete in terms of relationship building, it has also revolutionized the process as well – taking communication to new heights.

One reason companies have embraced Social Media is the price tag. Before, organizations looking to market their products and services had to spend vast amounts of money on newspaper and magazine ads, commercials and billboards. And the worst part was that it was almost impossible to track the success of those advertising platforms.

Social Media offers companies a cheap alternative to traditional marketing with almost instant feedback and tracking. How many fans does your business have on Facebook? How many of them “liked” your last post? You can actually see potential consumers/clients interacting with the unique content on your Social Media profiles.

Social Media has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for businesses. And a happy offshoot of this cheaper way to advertise is increased exposure to consumers and clients. Now companies have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place. They can tweet with people and offer advice when they are in need of assistance.

This new communication platform – Social Media – allows companies and consumers to build relationships that were never possible before. The Internet, which once made corporations more faceless than ever before, is now bringing “human” interaction back to standard business practices.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

 

Sources:

1) Unique Content: The Key to Online Relationship Building, Social Media and SEO SocialMediaToday.com

2) Relationship Building – 6 Tips For Working in Social Media SEMClubHouse.com

3) The Money’s in The Relationship FreelanceCopyWritersBlog.com

4) Social Media: The Relationship (r)Evolution SocialMediaToday.com