1. Prospects don’t want to talk on the telephone.
SLMA: Of course they want to talk to someone, or why would they inquire? They don’t want to talk to someone who isn’t willing to listen to them.
2. It’s not worth calling someone again if they haven’t responded to a previous call and email.
SLMA: Prospects are not on your schedule, but their schedule. It may take 3-5 touches to reach them.
3. Nobody listens to voicemail.
SLMA: Beg to differ. Voicemails are listened to; obvious sales pitches aren’t.
4. Customers will find us when they need us.
SLMA: How arrogant can you get? It must have been an engineer who said this. Only in very small marketplaces do sellers know all of the buyers and even then, this attitude is unwise.
5. In-house sales development reps become our future salespeople.
SLMA: One in ten can make the grade; the rest stay in development and not sales. Why oh why place your precious new inquirers in the hands of the “sales newbies” who know so little? By the time they learn something about sales and about your products, they will have blown a hundred opportunities.
6. My in-house team documents every phone call.
SLMA: What planet are you living on? Your rule is probably to document every call, but it doesn’t happen in the real world.
7. Managing a sales lead development team is the same as managing a sales team.
SLMA: Sales lead development is a TOTALLY different animal. Sales lead development needs constant attention because the rejection is so high. Lead development team members need to be happy with talking to 1 in 20.
8. Outsourcing doesn’t work; we always get better results in-house.
SLMA: Outsourcing works because their activities are scrutinized. Every hour is documented, and expectations are much higher than with inside reps.
9. Integrated marketing? We only need to execute one marketing initiative at a time to build our business.
SLMA: This ill-advised thought flies in the face of integrated marketing plans that insist that messages be ‘integrated’ and harmonious across all campaigns and initiatives.
10. Customer intelligence: We already know everything about our clients’ needs and thoughts.
SLMA: Again the arrogance is astonishing here. This usually comes from the company president or the engineering department, neither of which have much customer contact.
11. Buyer’s journey: Sales doesn’t have to get involved until late in the game, and certainly not in early scoring.
SLMA: By all means - - have new prospects talk to the least trained people in your sales organization hoping (not a strategy) to hand them off eventually to the most trained.
12. BANT qualification doesn’t help.
SLMA: Every sales rep wants to know if there is a budget, if the buyer has authority to buy, if there is a genuine need (not a student, competitor or prisoner), and the time frame for delivery. Without BANT, you know very little.
13. Yesterday’s reports don’t affect tomorrow’s results.
SLMA: Yesterday’s reports guide tomorrow’s decisions. If the report says lead follow-up is only 15%, the report drives the decision for mandatory follow-up going forward.
14. Marketing automation diminishes the need for staffing and human intervention.
SLMA: Marketing automation is an efficiency multiplier, not a replacement for the need for someone to ultimately speak to a prospect.
15. Prospects will self-qualify; all a company needs to do to nurture prospects is send email drip campaigns with content. (Or restated, to profile and qualify prospects all a company needs to do is track digital content and score.)
SLMA: Prospects have one universal trait, they lie. They don’t feel obligated to tell the truth, especially to a database. Only human intervention can elicit the truth.
16. All b2b buying is done online now and minimal human (sales rep) interaction is needed.
SLMA: Certainly a lot of b2b buying is done on line, but products with optional, technically challenging features, and big ticket items with variable pricing models, need human interaction to complete the sale.
Want to talk to Debra da Costa? 916.974.6969 x2002 www.directmarketingpartners.com