Hello Sales, the Cold Call Just Got Warmer!

An off-the-record conversation between Cold Caller (CC) and Inbound Marketer (IM) at a typical SMB struggling to integrate traditional outbound marketing practices with newer inbound marketing techniques:

CC:

IM, buddy, you must surely be aware that “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated!”

IM:

CC, I hear ya, I know it’s a jungle out there, but we haven’t seen you around lately… or even heard from you at recent B2B events, so people just figured…

CC:

… that I went under! C’mon man, I just hung up my phone for a while. I have been going through a rough patch… think of it as a bad connection, several bad connections, actually!

(CC suddenly switches into rap mode)

Y’know, I been tongue-tied and all – so I be chillin’; just don’t know what to say no more, don’t make me no villain. Am losin’ my edge, but I be back I pledge…

IM:

STOP! I can help you, CC, but please drop the street talk…

CC:

… oh really! And, why would you want to help me, hotshot?

IM:

Because, some of the corner office folks still need convincing that IM is saving us time and money. So I’d like to use you and integrate your cheap, excuse me, rather inexpensive methods to show ’em how?

CC:

I am listening, go on…

IM:

CC, I am afraid that your upfront role will have to go. Trust me, you will still be able to talk to folks, but in a secondary or follow-up role. It’s going to be a win-win for the both of us – B2B prospects are going to love the new IM-CC tag team!

CC:

So what more needs to change beyond my lead-off hitter role?

IM:

Actually, you need to scale back on the intrusive probing. It’s… how should I put this delicately, it’s kinda, sorta…

CC:

Kinda, sorta what? Say it, already!

IM:

Alright, I am just going to come out and say it – no one is buying your warmed-over persona – frankly, you actually come across as freakishly COLD!

CC:

Ouch! That’s cold, man! But you don’t get it, IM – that’s my gig… I am a Cold Caller, hello!

IM:

Well, that’s going to need to change. We are going to have to heat you up for real. Make you warmer, more informed and hence more likeable, and a better listener, too! This is going to be fun, so are you in?

CC:

It sounds like I don’t have much of a choice – besides I am a team player, so go ahead, IM – make me hot, baby!

IM:

The first thing you are going to have to do is stop blindly calling folks – everyone and his brother in the yellow pages or whatever – people hate that! They screen your calls, CC, and leaving them messages is no big deal, either. How many of these guys return your calls, CC?

CC:

Not many, in fact, hardly any; it’s been getting worse. Back in the day…

IM:

CC, stop – those days are gone, forever! We are going to need to adapt to the new paradigm.

CC:

What’s that?

IM:

It’s called Integrated Demand Generation Marketing and it combines what you do best on the outbound side with what I do best on the inbound side–the difference is I get to deal with likely prospects first because in this new paradigm they are coming to me. Have you seen “Field of Dreams,” CC? “If you build it, they will come.” A lot of smart people out there have built this new paradigm, which we have incorporated in our business processes here – and all sorts of folks are coming to check us out. IM needs to make sure how many of these visitors are legit – separate the wheat from the chaff. Capiche?

CC:

But how do my prospects come to you, first? We always went after them – it’s called prospecting for crying out loud – that’s been the sales mantra since the dawn of selling!

IM:

Yes, CC, but the rules have changed – Web 2.0, social media and what IM does have transformed the selling landscape – when people want to buy they come looking for you. In fact, even when people are not yet ready to buy, they still come and sniff around on our web properties; they comment on a blog, they download a whitepaper, or whatever. The point is they engage with us in a meaningful way and leave behind a digital footprint that we store, analyze, manage and nurture – this is the new paradigm! So you no longer have to keep punching digits and leave messages all day – that is so yesterday!

CC:

Tell me more, so when do I come in to the picture. You know I love to talk, you can’t shut me up forever. That will kill me, man – have you seen “Death of a Salesman?”

IM:

CC, stop – that’s the wrong analogy – I bet you haven’t actually seen that wonderful play. Anyway, don’t go all soppy on me, now. This new way is going to help you close more deals faster and you are going to make a lot of money!

CC:

Oh, wow! Really! Now, we are talking my language…

IM:

Well, CC. You are going to need to educate yourself on this new paradigm; otherwise this is going to be a rather long conversation. I recently posted a few blogs, namely, “Seven Highly Effective Ways to Shorten a Long B2B Sales Cycle,” “Top 10 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Drive Outbound Marketing” and “Integrated Marketing Value Chain” that explain this new paradigm in a short and succinct manner. Let’s circle back after you have read them.

(After reading The Marketing Id blogs, CC continues where he had left off with IM)
CC:

Wow! That was pretty awesome, man! I totally get it, – IM is going to do the qualification work upfront and make sure that CC gets real leads to call into? You are going to sanitize these leads, nurture actual prospects, feed them with optimal information that they seek, and then hand them over to me nice and warm, right? I then start pushing them through the funnel – initiate a warm hand-off call and proceed to cajole, charm and guide them towards making a buy decision.

IM:

You got it brother, CC! No more cold calling – these prospects will want to hear from you by the time IM is done with them – just do your sales thing from here on out, convert them into opportunities and bring them to the finish line.

CC:

But what’s in it for you, IM? Are you going to start taking some of my commissions?

IM:

That’s a conversation for another day, CC – going forward, we both need to focus on closing some deals and show folks that this new Integrated Demand Generation Marketing paradigm not only works but also saves us time and money!

Advertisements

About Jack Nargundkar

High-tech marketing is always a constant compromise between logical left-brain analytics and creative right-brain activities. Jack has been living this struggle his entire working career, which he began as a software geek after graduating with a BSEE degree from Bombay University. To hone his marketing skills, Jack went on to pursue an MBA degree from Columbia Business School in New York City. Jack has since gained wide-ranging marketing experience from working at start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the global IT, Defense & Space, and Telecommunications industries. In the past few years, Jack has focused on developing integrated marketing strategies and plans that incorporate a judicious mix of inbound and outbound marketing techniques. In addition to being a self-published author, Jack has been recognized for outstanding analytical and communications skills, authoring technical articles (self and ghosted) in numerous trade publications and editorial opinions in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.