From Cold Calling to Social Calling

There are two aspects about cold calling that make it an imperfect demand creation technique. 1. The cold caller hates to do it. 2. The prospect hates to receive it.

As someone that has put in his fair share of time interrupting busy executives with my solicitations, I can confess that this most unnatural of interruptions never really did live up its billing.  The problem is fundamental, cold calling is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.  We have to find the right person, in the right company, at the right time, who happens to be at their desk and willing to take an unsolicited call.

From a salesperson’s perspective, we are told that every NO leads to a YES and that selling is a contact sport – so make your dials! However, Einstein once famously told us that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Eventually, the lack of success that cold calling produces leaves what would otherwise be a highly compensated member of your company surfing the Internet.  From a sales person’s perspective – waiting for a lead is just as productive as trying to produce one.

What if we could turn that paradigm around? What if we could provide sales people with the right person, at the right company, at the right time who is looking to buy? Triggering Event and Social Monitoring are demand creation tactics that provide business intelligence to sales people alerting them of buying events.  It can be as simple as a potential buyer announcing a need for a solution you sell on LinkedIn, a press release on Facebook announcing an corporate initiative your product can help facilitate, or a prospect exclaiming their dissatisfaction for your competition on Twitter.

Social Media is a viable median for lead sourcing. A recent report from the Social Media Examiner finds, “58% of marketers who have been using social media for more than 3 years report it has helped them improve sales. More than half who spend 11 or more hours per week find the same results and over 65% of those who spend 30+ hours earn new business through their efforts. Small business owners with 2 or more employees were more likely to see improved sales from social media (51.5%). “

“By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 61% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. A significant 65% of small business owners were more likely than others to generate leads, compared to the 58% average for all marketers.”

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