Working all my business life in the area of document technology I have been a wanderer between the Office World (MFP, Printers) and the ECM area. So I have been exposed to both worlds and cultures: the Office equipment world dominated by a direct sales approach (wouldn’t call it hard selling, but it is close to it) and a more consultative, solution selling approach in the ECM space. Where in the past ECM sales reps always had a big challenge to do cold calling (only few companies really enforced it) it was daily routine for the office sales reps.
Lately a customer from the MFP world approached me to help to ramp up their ECM business in Germany. They have a master reseller that shared with me their (typical) telemarketing ratios: within 4 month their (small) telemarketing team did over 3000 calls, ending up with 1400 qualified calls (not bad), identified a potential of over 300 companies (from the SMB market space, also not bad) and ended up in less than 50 appointments from which they derive (or will derive) ca. 25 deals.
The Managing Director, although swearing on and used to Cold Calling, mentioned to me “to increase the business, we have to focus on where the projects are”.
But how can you do this with Cold Calling? This is impossible!
Here is where an inbound marketing strategy comes into play. Focussing on a “to the point” value proposition for specific customer segments, identifying the decision makers, defining the buyer personas and the customer journey, inbound marketing can help to build up and maintain a pipeline of qualified prospects to sell to.
But you have to start somewhere and if you don’t have the right references and content for this journey, or not the Opt-In for Email-Marketing, Cold Calling isn’t a bad idea to build up a first momentum, go for some quick wins (they are always out there) and learn from there to build your digital marketing assets and campaigns. But leaving out one or the other will either prolong your ramp up phase or you will stick in the telephone limbo forever.
Join the DocVille Summit on May 10 in Brussels to learn more