Cold calling can be pushy, aggressive, unwelcome – and not to mention dated. But most importantly, it just doesn’t work that well anymore. In fact, the majority of cold calls end up putting most customers off making a purchase, with just 1% of cold calls actually resulting in meetings. Assuming a 0.3% booking rate and a 20% win rate, it could actually take up to 6,264 cold calls to make just four sales. And considering that 90% of B2B decision makers don’t even bother to respond to cold calls anymore, it makes sense that marketers are finding new ways to reach out to prospects. It’s not that cold calling is completely dead, as many are claiming. It’s just that there are now better ways to reach out to potential prospects and get better quality sales-ready leads.
Buyer’s have changed
Today’s buyers have changed – and as a result, our sales and marketing strategies need to change too. Inbound marketing isn’t just about trying to make a sale. Instead, it has four key stages – Attract, Convert, Close and Delight – that focus on building and nurturing relationships with customers over time rather than contacting them in a pushy or aggressive manner. Here are three important ways you can use inbound to make less cold calls…
Attract the right people with targeted content
The internet has completely changed consumer purchasing behaviour. Once upon a time, salespeople used to tell customers what they wanted and why. However, in today’s world customers now go online to research and compare products before they make a purchase, relying on genuine customer reviews rather than potentially biased salespeople to make a decision.
In fact, an impressive 67% of consumers read online reviews in order to help them make a purchase decision and only 29% of people actually want to talk to a salesperson to find out about a product, with 62% preferring to turn to search engines. And that’s not all. Today’s consumers want convenience and speed, with most expecting fast-track delivery, click and collect services and loyalty programmes as standard.
So how can you use the growth of the internet to your advantage? By embracing inbound marketing and creating a content and social media strategy, you can create and share relevant and fully optimised content that appeals to your audience – so you can start to build up a loyal customer base in a much more effective way than just calling up and hassling potential new customers.
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You don’t want to attract any old website visitor, though. You want people who will turn into leads and eventually long-term customers and promoters – and that’s where your inbound marketing strategy comes into its own. By taking the time to develop buyer personas, understand who your ideal customers are and what they want, you can start attracting them to your website by sharing tailored, targeted content in the right places.
Align your sales and marketing teams
As the way people buy is changing, the relationship between sales and marketing is changing too. Marketing now plays an equal role to sales in bringing new customers onboard, and as a result the marketing team has a huge influence on the sales pipeline. In today’s world the sales funnel is no longer intrusive – instead, it’s about creating a more beneficial experience and strong relationship with the customer, which ultimately results in higher conversion rates.
38% of sales representatives say it’s getting harder to evoke a response from prospects – especially since consumer behaviour has shifted the balance of power in the buyer’s journey. Think about it: cold calling is all about contacting new customers who haven’t yet shown any interest or even bought anything from your company – but as customers are becoming more informed, sales and marketing need to work together to reach out to potential customers when they are in research mode and ready to start their journey.
And how do you understand your prospects’ behaviour so you can identify when they are ready to buy? By nurturing relationships with your prospects throughout all stages of the buying cycle and using inbound marketing to provide informative and helpful content that informs and educates them wherever they are on their journey.
By using CRM systems to send targeted emails with helpful information and tracking your web visitors behaviour, you can tailor your marketing and tweak your content to suit the exact stage each of your leads is at. As a result, you can understand when the time is right and make sure your leads are ready to talk by the time sales get on the phone to them.
Continue to delight your customers
We already mentioned above that the way people buy is changing. 35% of salespeople say it’s getting harder to close deals – so sales strategies have to change. But it’s no longer enough to just attract new customers to your website – you also need to maintain the right customers too.
After the deal has been done, your relationship with your customer is only just beginning. Inbound marketing is all about continuing to delight your customers no matter where they are in the sales cycle until they eventually become enthusiastic champions and loyal brand advocates. You should even continue to keep in touch with prospects even if there decided not to purchase This helps you do more beyond your initial follow-up and ensures that you stay in the prospect’s mind until they are ready to buy.
Marketing automation tools such as surveys, monitoring and reporting allow you to automate the process of regular customer contact – so you can support your customer service and delight your customers. And because happy customers will eventually become promoters of your business, over time this can help you to gain even more leads to pass on to your sales team.
In conclusion, thanks to inbound marketing, marketers and salespeople have more ways than ever before to make sure that leads are ‘warmed up’ before contacting them, eliminating the need for cold calls. If you’d like to find out more about how inbound marketing can help you grow your business, contact Angelfish Marketing today.