Based on all the advertisements for eHarmony, Match.com and other dating services, it seems like people only meet socially in the ether of the web. Can the same be said for us professionally?
I’m a big fan of technology to increase sales. CRM, marketing automation software, email marketing platforms and social tools that focus on the business world (LinkedIn for sure, Twitter more and more) have certainly aided in the cause of sales pipeline development.
And people keep telling me that cold calling is dead, which may be true, but is automation really going to deliver a robust sales funnel? If emails, texting, social blurbs, white paper downloads and continued electronic nurturing are going to deliver all the sales leads, why employ inside sales or sales development reps at all? This machine vs. man prophesy conjures up the old John Henry and the steam shovel analogy.
As previously stated, automation is great, but for me, nothing really becomes a deal until we have a meaningful conversation. I’m very skeptical of the notion that marketing automation and lead nurturing will promote a deal to the sales forecast. But I do concede that the process and tools for sales lead management have changed. So how do we get a real conversation engaged, does persistence really matter? Consider the following graphic regarding sales persistence (a most dreadful inverted bell curve):
We all know this, painful to see, but most sales reps are not persistent, even though the evidence clearly shows multiple touch points are required to convert a suspect to a prospect, or a lead to a sale. One of the primary responsibilities of a sales leader should be the monitoring, management and enhancement of sales persistence to insure the strength of the pipeline. We know this too, what gets measured, gets done. So how do we measure sales prospecting persistence? What if your sales organization had the ability to determine connect and conversion rates with target decision makers? Or measure the effectiveness of your messaging and value proposition? Understand when (by time of day and day of week) and number of touches, that measured persistence will insure the highest possibility of conversation success? And if you could review and manage this data in real time, and increase your number of meaningful conversations by 50, 100 or 300%, how would this impact your pipeline and forecast?
My friends at Salesvue can help. You see, they have taught John Henry how to drive the steam shovel.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]