If you’re a sales director you don’t need me to tell you that telemarketing is not gaining the results it once did. Research undertaken by Harvard Business Review identifies only 10% of senior business decision makers as being ‘open to cold calls from prospective suppliers’. This research is further supported by the B2B marketing benchmark group Sherpa Marketing who state that less than 0.5% of cold email approaches are ever responded too. So what’s happening? Is the message wrong or are people just fed up with being sold to?
Marketing think tank OVUM suggest that buyer are in more control of their buying cycle than ever before. The idea of being able to influence a senior decision maker has changed. Their research points out that key budget holders are 10x more likely to seek purchasing advise from peers. Little wonder then that social media is starting to place such an important role in influencing the B2B buying cycle.
Before we talk about the benefits of Social media and it power to sell let’s take a look at the telemarketing pattern and why it’s just not as effective as before.
TPS and call display enable me to manage my time more efficiently.
The telephone preference service enables organisations to opt out of receiving unsolicited calls. Of course this is a good thing, my sister in law is an HR manager for a local logistics firm. Last week she received over 20 calls from agents requesting a meeting. If each call takes 5 mins (to be polite) that’s the best part of 2 hours gone. She now uses her phones caller display; if it’s not from a recognised number it get sent to voice mail. How many telemarketers can associate with this?
Higher call volumes = less ROI
This culture of ‘phone avoidance’ creates a need to put in more ‘call backs’ until the unwitting recipient finally picks up. This all comes at a cost or time, which makes ROI for telemarketing less and less. The net result is that there’s less cash available for the individual undertaking the outbound calling, resulting in high churn rates of staff and increased on-boarding and training costs. The net result of this is unmotivated and uneducated callers who spend more time on jobserve.com that they do making the calls.
It’s not all bad
Telemarketing still has a place. People always prefer to talk to an individual before committing to a meeting and that is something email and social media cannot yet overcome.
Social media selling
By now you’ll be away of the network building & research benefits of LinkedIn. If you’ve tasked you’re sales team to research accounts, chances are they’ve gone straight to LinkedIn. Clearly the social media platform has further benefits that reaching out to recruiters for your next role. But can can you use LinkedIn and other social media platform to supplement the lack of performance from telemarketing alone?