It’s unfortunate that in this modern age of content marketing and inbound marketing tactics many B2B companies continue to rely on cold calls – often pestering people who have never expressed any desire to hear from their companies (or their competitors, for that matter) – to try to make their sales numbers.
A lead is commonly defined as a prospect who has been shown to have the interest, authority and budget to purchase a particular type of product or service. Although the names on B2B contact lists culled from third-party data sources are commonly referred to as leads, the reality of the situation is that these people may have never demonstrated any interest whatsoever in the product or service at hand.
The sales reps may have no idea whether these contacts would now or at any time in the future be even remotely interested in purchasing what they’re pitching, or whether, for that matter, they’re even the decision makers or authorized to make a purchase decision. Of course, that lack of critical knowledge won’t stop a sales rep whose job is on the line from picking up the phone and dialing for dollars.
Let’s face it: Cold calling is an increasingly ineffective and even (as the research findings above suggest) self-destructive way to drum up new business. It is intrusive, disruptive and disrespectful to the people on the receiving end. It’s like a pesky mosquito, unwelcome and annoying. As a day-to-day approach to demand generation, it belongs in the dustbin of history.
Make 2015 the year that your company fully harnesses the power of content marketing and inbound marketing tactics to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads. Identify decision makers who explicitly state that they are currently in the market to purchase the type of product or service your company offers. Understand their level of authority and timeframe for making the purchase decision. And ensure that these truly qualified leads not only expect to hear from your sales reps but will actually welcome the opportunity to talk with them when the phone rings.