Halloween Edition: The Phantom Threat to Your Sales, Protecting Cold Calling from Extinction in a New Digital Age

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The fear of the impending digital and technological takeover is on everyone’s mind. While AI chatbots and AI technology continue to prove their undeniable importance throughout all aspects of business, it is hard to see how a digital revolution will be able to surpass human connection and the human touch of a people-first sales tactic.

Avoid ghosting – the importance of human interaction

While companies continue to adapt and implement tech and digital media to their sales practices, it is important they do not lose the tried and true method of human contact. Today’s buyers love the ease and convenience of a quick sales process whether it be online or through a chatbot, but that does not mean that sending a quick personalized text message or a quick phone call won’t provide the added trust to help push a sale over the line.

While strictly using cold calls to start a relationship with a prospect may risk intruding on their lives, sending a quick text or email prior to starting a phone conversation may not only help respect boundaries and start relationships, but also allows the salesperson to better understand the needs and wants of the prospect. There is an inherent feeling of value, legitimacy and trust gained when speaking to a live salesperson versus working only through digital channels.

Don’t be scared! Why you shouldn’t fear rejection

Rejection is a daily occurrence in the life of a salesperson but on average, rest assured, sales professionals are hitting their targets. According to Pipedrive’s annual State of Sales and Marketing: The Economy Review 2022/23, the vast majority of survey respondents (86%) reached their regular sales quota regularly, usually or always, while 60% reached their personal annual sales target last year. It can be intimidating to cold call but it is generally an inevitable part of sales, so best face the fear head on! We can help make it less spooky…Pipedrive recommends salespeople prepare in advance by having a list of prompts, follow-up questions, solutions, and more information to share which will help with any potential leads in the future.

Providing this information and questions in a call or text format will strengthen the relationship with prospects even if they reject the sales pitch. It shows an intent to connect and engage to find a commonality, whether that be with the current sale or sales in the future.

The tricks and treats of best practice sales. Practicing an integrated sales approach

While some consumers may prefer a digital-first sales approach, many still long for the personal touch that a phone call gives. According to McKinsey & Company’s Next in Personalization 2021 Report, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. By adapting a hybrid sales approach, B2B organizations are able to adapt to each and every sales scenario to provide the best form of contact.

Regardless of which medium is used to create the relationship, tried-and-true sales tactics and best practices should always be followed:

  1. Short, personalized messages (text, email, voicemail) to help set you apart from the competition and overload of automated messages filling inboxes.
  2. Providing value and relevance from the beginning is key to not add to the constant noise that prospects receive on a daily basis.
  3. Addressing concerns over the phone or messaging to provide trust and a sense of comfort. Personalized explanations may provide the extra boost that push a sale forward.
  4. Regular check-ins and messaging to make sure things are going smoothly help strengthen relationships.

The tasty witches brew to future-proof your sales tactics

Sales managers and leads can all see that the sales landscape is continuously changing, and simply ignoring the new digital wave of tactics may lead to a sales force that is struggling to grow. Pipedrive’s State of Sales and Marketing Report 2022/23 (mentioned above) found that most companies still grew, but not as many as in the year before. Although the majority (63%) of respondents claimed that the companies they work for grew more, the percentage of year-on-year growth has decreased from 71% last year. Smaller companies were especially affected, with a clear correlation between company size and employee success.

Staying versatile and continuously integrating hybrid sales tactics work to not only give prospects a better experience, but also give the sales person a much better understanding of needs and wants to help close the sale.

An integrated approach with digital efficiency and personal outreach will provide B2B organizations with all of the necessary tools to help expand revenue and close more deals in an ever-expanding sales landscape. By continuing to use cold calling and personalized contact as well as digital media such as email/social/digital marketing, and a full stack CRM platform, sales teams have all of the tools necessary to continue to grow revenue and provide a sales model that benefits all prospects, ultimately ending up in more sales.

Sean Evers
Sean Evers, Vice President of Sales & Partner at Pipedrive, brings nearly two decades of sales experience to Pipedrive working at companies, including Funding Circle UK where he served as Head of Global Sales, Fluidly and Sage where he was Vice President of Sales, and Pitney Bowes and Spicerhaart as Director of Sales Operations respectively. At Pipedrive, he is responsible for developing sales plans and strategies, organizing and maintaining sales operations, and leading sales teams.

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