On Monday I wrote about a webinar I sat in on in December, and the comparisons between CRM and Sales 2.0. I also mentioned that today I would write about another area of discussion that related to Sales 2.0. This one a bit more to the heart, and was sparked by a comment from the ever observant and straight forward Daniel Waldschmidt of The DEW View.
Dan observed that 5 conversations with real prospects, real people, is much more important and valuable in sales than 100 followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networks. (At times you do have to wonder about the social aspect of it all.) As usual Dan hit right on the head. In fact of you visit The DEW View and read a piece Dan published on December 29th called “Who Convinced us to Trade MORE for MERRIER?” you can see his take on the issue.
At the end of the day you need to deal directly with people, and that means direct interaction not indirect association. While e-mail campaigns, social media and networks are a good way to start the process it can not be confused for a connection with a potential buyer; and is certainly not a replacement for real contact with clients. Most sale people know this, but it is easy to be mesmerized by the inferred possibilities.
The challenge is to make sure that these elements are kept in context, context of time and pay-off. Those who follow this blog will have read about Renbor’s Touch – Contact – Engage approach to lead generation and cultivation. The easiest and most fun par of this is the touch. The most profitable is Engage. So when it comes to allocating time, it goes in reverse order, Engage – Contact – Touch.
Having your Twitter address in your TV ad is great, but it doesn’t bring more traffic to your store, it may get them to occasionally visit your “landing page”, but this is not the stuff sales relationships are made of. Please don’t get me wrong, Renbor makes full use of all the available tools, but we see it for what it is.
The risk for a lot of sales people and some organizations is they confuse an e-mail blast with prospecting. I am often told by reps that they are reluctant to make prospecting calls because prospect “get so many calls from so many sales reps already.” I guess theirs must be the only e-mail the prospect receives, only blog post they read, only Twitter they follow, or maybe not.
So the key question is what happens after the faceless Touch? How do you follow up and convert that Touch to a Contact, and the Contact to an Engaged buyer. And by the way, that Contact, your probably going to have to make the call, cause they usually won’t.
What’s in Your Pipeline?