Since 2007, the
has dramatically shifted power from sellers to buyers. Today’s buyers resist interacting with salespeople until they are good and ready.
So, why do we take our expensive salespeople and insist they must be good at "cold-calling" when the buyer doesn't want anything to do with this? Don't get me wrong. A salesperson needs to be able to communicate in an effective and compelling manner over the phone. The purpose, however, of the communication should not be getting the sale today, but finding potential customers.
Cold calling is an exercise in futility and the least efficient way to find potential customers. I'm absolutely amazed at how many pundits and sales consultants recommend this as a viable approach to sustainable demand creation.
I'm not saying it doesn't work, but who would buy a product with the following traits:
- Doesn't work 90.9% of the time ( Harvard Business Review )
- Costs at least 60% more per lead ( HubSpot, The State of Inbound Marketing )
Has a rate of less than 2% of phone calls resulting in a meeting (
These are horrible statistics for people whose salaries typically cost a company more than $60,000 per year.
Stop using your salespeople to find potential customers, and start making investments that will help create demand for your sales team and your company.
Regardless of your executive title, you must realize that the rapid rise of the social web has changed buyers’ expectations. The fact is they do not want to deal with salespeople until they are 70% down the path of the buying process.
Here are several practical ways to enable your the salesforce to create demand and eliminate the need to cold call:
- Eliminate the lowest performers on your sales team and repurpose those resources at the early stages of the sales process to create demand for your company.
- Invest in inbound marketing software , such as HubSpot, and build remarkable content that attracts buyers to your website.
- Develop a strategic TED -like conference for your industry and feature your best and brightest staff and salespeople in a non-informercial way.
- Invest in tools like Visible Gains to build educational video marketing apps that are not like infomercials.
- Invest in making your top salespeople sought after speakers regarding industry issues. Investments might include enrolling them in the national speakers association training courses, or hiring someone to market your top salespeople as speakers.
- Write a series of must-have industry guides your top salespeople can give away.
Invest in crowd-sourced lists with detailed meta-data to target your marketing efforts on the phone and the web. One of my favorite list companies is
What other ways have you succesfully created demand for your sales team? What's stopping you from being successful at demand creation?
Photo by: markhillary