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The Sales Review

Tactics and strategies to align with the modern buyer

Why Hitting The Phones Doesn't Work

Posted by Jason Whyte on Sep 7, 2016 9:39:59 AM

time-spent-on-social-better-than-time-on-the-phone-1.jpgIf I think back to my recent past in software sales, many of those organizations are still doing things, for the most part, the old-fashioned way. Upper management doesn’t believe time spent on social is actually better than time spent on the phone.

Importance of Inbound and Outbound SDRs

Part of the problem is the roles within the sales teams. Software sales organizations have SDRs, but in my experience not many have a clear inbound to outbound split. They have SDRs that do both:

  • Inbound’s role is usually to follow up with contacts who filled out forms within their website.

  • Outbound’s role is usually to follow up on the old inbound stuff, including territory and field sales.

Outbound’s role is generally ineffective with the old-school way of territory and field sales. They’re listening to their SDR managers who tell them, hit the phones, hit the phones, hit the phones.

What ends up happening is they have quotas for 40, 50, 60 calls a day. And what we’ve found is that this is non-productive, mundane activity.

Unfortunately, that’s still the main metric many SDR’s are measured against — how many calls they make in a day.  

The Crux of The Problem

Many contacts I’ve spoken with who question the value of social say, if my guys aren’t on the phone all day, how are we going to book meetings? That kind of attitude is the crux of the problem — the mentality of they need to be on the phone, otherwise they’re not being productive.

These business development managers, directors, and SDR managers don’t realize the value of social selling, socially surrounding, social listening and sphere of influence. A recent study by CSO Insights confirms that world-class social sellers are two years ahead of average salespeople when it comes to identifying decision makers and new business opportunities.

Despite the data, these managers and directors don’t see the value in social selling techniques. It’s an ignorance thing.

The Risks Of Not Embracing Social

We’ve all heard the stat that 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier.

Clearly, we all know the customer has changed — so why hasn’t your sales team?

The risks of not changing your selling patterns to adapt to the modern customer are clear in pipeline and revenue loss:

In my experience, not embracing these new techniques also affects employee morale, attrition of inside sales teams and employee churn. I see this first hand for many organizations. No one performs well and they loose headcount in this space.

Trust me: If guys aren’t able to book appointments and they aren’t making commission, they want to go somewhere where they can do that.

If companies aren’t proving a proper SDR role or stop investing in it, it impacts everyone from field sales to upper management. No one is getting new clients to help the top of the funnel.

This is the upside to social: when done right, it allows SDRs to become visible to their ideal customers by sharing insights and widening their sphere of influence. One SDR on my team booked a meeting with a Fortune 50 company using strictly social selling.

The bottom line is if you’re not social selling, you’re probably missing out on making money and hitting your monthly quota. Again and again, the market is hearing that working the phones is not as effective as modern sales techniques. If you’re a manager or executive who still questions the value of this modern sales process, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a deeper look into the value of social.

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Jason Whyte

About the Author

Jason consults with companies, helping them navigate the world of social selling while advocating for alignment of sales, enablement and marketing teams – the holy grail of digital integration and revenue acceleration.

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