One of the most used terms in the sales and marketing world over the last 7 years has been Inbound Marketing. More companies have been putting less emphasis on traditional marketing and sales strategies like print, email marketing and cold calling to focus on things like social media and blogging.
Whether or not this has been the most effective strategy really depends on the industry and/or the company. It’s totally understandable why companies started pumping so much energy into inbound marketing. The cost to print is expensive, people don’t watch commercials because of DVR and many have given up traditional television all together for Netflix. Combine that with the fact that everyone has a cell phone, which makes it harder for telemarketers, you can see why inbound marketing makes sense.
So the new strategy has been to earn people’s trust through content production. Large and small companies started blogging their butts off and spending more time on social media. Companies were starting to offer really competitive salaries for people that could grow their Twitter and Facebook accounts and call centers became less popular.
This seemed to be the new blueprint for success whether we liked it or not, but some companies decided to take a more diverse approach. They didn’t totally give up on traditional strategies like cold calling, instead they implemented a little of everything. These companies are the ones that seem to be winning today.
Some salesmen will tell you that cold calling never went anywhere and I agree. The people that stayed the course, even when everyone seemed to be jumping ship, understood that nothing can replace human interaction.
That’s right, even in 2017 and during the rise of the millennials, cold calling still has a place, but so does blogging and social media. To be most effective, business owners have to find the perfect balance of inbound and outbound marketing.
Let’s face it, social media is here to stay and it is a perfect way to build brand recognition, but it goes without saying that it doesn’t have nearly the impact of actually talking to a person. But knowing that people’s attention spans are shorter than they were in years past, telemarketers are going to have to be sharper.
Succeeding in the cold calling game is going to take a little more effort in 2017. No longer can companies rely on outsourcing their calls and allowing people that don’t totally understand their product or service to pitch it to potential clients. Callers need to be ready to answer difficult questions and combat rejections effectively. This may require more training and/or more skilled salespeople for the job.
As for the blogging and social media aspect, this can be used as a tool for the people making cold calls. They can refer prospects to their websites or social media accounts so they can do a little research for themselves. For many companies the cold call may not result in an immediate sale but it will move them further down the sales funnel in route to a sale.
What are your thoughts on cold calling? Are you using it in your business? Share your feedback in the comments section below.