So, it is everywhere. You can’t read anything today about sales without reading about what you should be doing with social media, how you need to jump into the sales 2.0 world and, whatever you do, stop cold calling. But, is this right for your business and sales efforts?
Like all opportunities that have passed before sales managers in the past, these new mediums and tools must be put to the test for each unique business. It was not so long ago that we were told that telemarketing would kill direct mail. Experts tried hard to convince us that e-mail would replace cold calling and now we are told by some that social media and sales 2.0 will replace everything. My mailbox is still full of mail, I receive plenty of cold calls and there seems to be no let up in the amount of e-mails I receive. Why? Because these sales and marketing efforts still work for many businesses and provide the best ROI. Without question some businesses are uniquely positioned to win with social connectivity while others will find a combination of the new and the old to win the day. For others, they will remain old school and do just fine. The key is to find out what is right for your business by this tried and true principle: test and learn.
Our company VanillaSoft has moved into social media through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even this blog. With that being said, at this point, we are not stopping the marketing and sales activities that have driven our growth over the last five years. We are supplementing those efforts with social media to connect to our customers and prospects that choose social media as a method to remain informed and feel connected. We are deploying and testing new sales 2.0 tools that allow us to do more in-depth research on a prospect prior to a call to engage. But, once again, we are not stopping the efforts that drive our success and replacing them with untested methods.
Without question, there are new and exciting tools, trends and platforms that need to be examined, tested and, if a fit, incorporated into a successful marketing and sales mix. From my cheap seat, stating that one is dead and one is here to stay carries too much risk. That statement is probably correct, but I am not willing to place a bet on the winner at this point. In an upcoming post, I will take a look at how to find balance between the new and the old.