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by David Houston David Houston on June 7, 2016

Why Does Inbound Sales Prospecting Beat Cold Calling?

Win more appointments and improve your call-to-connect rate with inbound sales prospecting. 

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Do you have sales people on your team who refuse to believe inbound sales prospecting is better than cold calling? Inbound sales prospecting involves more proactive research, strategy and outreach than some folks are used to. Many sales people are still in "smiling and dialing" mode, working from a generic lead list where quantity is more important than quality. 

There’s no denying that inbound sales prospecting is the best possible way to reach decision-makers, close deals, and foster lasting customer/brand relationships.

Here’s why inbound sales prospecting beats cold calling every time:

Targeting

To begin with, inbound sales prospecting takes audience targeting to an unprecedented level. With this strategy, sales teams are encouraged to work very closely with marketing to build out buyer persona profiles and refine the criteria they use to zero in on best-fit prospects. Targeting is also a continuous effort. Through tracking and analyzing campaigns, sales and marketing teams are constantly working to learn as much about their ideal customers as possible. The information they dig up in the process gets fed back into the marketing strategy, and this cycle helps to improve overall lead overall quality.

Why does this beat cold calling? 

Instead of working from a general list of companies that may or may not be a good fit, this strategy has sales people proactively build their own targeted list, then go after it with confidence.  

Qualifying

Once the pipeline is filled with highly qualified leads, inbound sales people move on to phase two of their prospecting strategy — lead evaluations. The bottom line is this: some prospects just aren’t worth your time or effort. And those who are deserve the most. To identify your most promising prospects, you need to use all the tools in your prospecting toolbox to further qualify them. Lead evaluations will give you an understanding of:

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What’s challenging or troubling your lead

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Why they are in search of a solution

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How much they’re willing to spend on a solution

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Who the decision maker is

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What steps they’ve taken to resolve their pain point

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What steps lead them to your website or marketing collateral

Why does this beat cold calling?

Only 2% of cold calls actually result in an appointment, but it could take a sales rep hours to make enough calls to fill his or her appointment slots. The qualifying step of inbound sales prospecting ensures that sales people--whose time is incredibly valuable to the company--are focusing their effort on the most qualified prospects.  

Purpose

With a deepened level of understanding, your sales people can make their first call with true intent. This saves the customer time having to explain themselves and opens the door for more pointed discussions that will get your sales people to a close faster. Plus, when they have a reason to call, it’s easier to present with confidence and add value to the communication.

 Why does this beat cold calling?

If there’s one thing your customers despise today it’s a generic, scripted conversation with a sales representative. Because inbound sales prospecting involves so much research and information gathering, your reps are able to have highly personable conversations with prospects that revolve around specific needs. Not only does this help shorten the sales cycle, but it also creates a more pleasant experience for both the customer and the sales rep.

 

What it All Boils Down to…

For too long, sales representatives have been viewed in a negative light. Customers think they will use whatever means available to close a deal — including lying or embellishing product or service details to make them sound better than they really are.

Inbound sales prospecting is your team’s chance to change the way customers see your sales organization. It’s a humanistic, consultative approach to selling that genuinely focuses on fitting the right solution with each customer. The goal isn’t to close a deal (although it’s certainly welcomed.  It’s to develop a trusted relationship with customers and inspire brand advocacy.

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David Houston

Written by David Houston

David’s 30 years of marketing experience bring valuable insight into every aspect of a company’s marketing approach. He naturally sees the bigger picture and has a strategic approach to marketing that is laser-focused on measurably growing his clients’ businesses.

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