11 months ago I quit cold calling. Here's what happened:
How did I convert from the old way of selling, to the modern way of selling?
I come from a long background in sales and I’ve been selling for the last 30 years.
I started out as a sales rep, selling vacuum cleaners directly after High School. After that I moved on to telesales, and after that I worked for different kinds of media companies for several years.
As I got more experienced I moved up the ladder. I got promoted to team manager, sales manager, and eventually even country/manager.
I got the chance to sit in several boards and act as an advisor to several great companies.
My main expertise has always been in sales. Therefore I have always made sure that any team I ever worked with had sales as their primary focus.
This often meant giving the whole company a more sales focused approach, which meant including everyone from development, and marketing to sales.
The way we generated leads wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today, we used to do it by hunting down our prospects and then cold calling them.
It worked back then, because everything was a numbers game. If you needed to sell more, all you had to do was make more phone calls.
The success of the sales reps depended on how good they were at selling over the phone.
We could increase the turnover in almost any company simply by hiring more sales reps that booked as many meetings as possible.
"It was a numbers game"
The quality of the meetings varied, of course. But, since it was a numbers game... more meetings usually meant more offers, and more offers meant more sales.
Cold calling wasn’t our only strategy though. We also engaged in PR, events and seminars. We shared our knowledge and expertise to the market, but we did it in a much smaller way than we do today.
We also engaged in other marketing activities. The only problem was that we missed a lot of possibilities due to the fact that marketing and sales were two separate units, and a collaboration between the two almost always meant trouble.
The sales team continuously complained that they never got any leads. Meanwhile, the marketing team put the blame on the sales guys, telling them to follow up with the leads they already got!
That was a long time ago, but still to this day I see companies acting the same way.
The modern way of selling
Today I’m 45 years and I haven’t cold called anyone since I started working at Triggerbee in september, 2015. I have completely switched to the “modern way of selling”, which in short is when we create compelling information for our target market and let them come to us.
But, the question is:
Here’s a few reasons to why the switch is worth it:
Consumers are in control and will search for information and find suppliers themselves
Mobile phones let you select what calls to answer and most people only answer those callers that they recognize. Cold calling doesn't work.
People are busier than ever and want information immediately
Nobody likes cold calling anyway
The biggest challenge
So, how do I use the modern way of selling - or as some may call it; inbound marketing?
The biggest change for me is that we use our website as a tool rather than just a static property. Our biggest goal - and challenge - is now to drive as much qualified traffic as possible to it.
We get that traffic by advertising on Google and social media, we’re writing blog posts like this one and we give away free information. But, we pair this approach with traditional ones, like sponsoring events and trying to get as many people as possible to talk about our product.
No matter how effective your inbound marketing is, word of mouth is still unrivaled when it comes to impact.
We try to get as many visitors as possible to sign up for our newsletter and webinars. We attract them to give away their contact information in exchange for valuable content, such as lessons, best practices, videos, webinars and case studies.
Sometimes we even ask them upon arrival on our website to book an appointment for a demo.
Our website also acts as customer support, and we want to show them that we’re available for a chat by using a chat module.
To sum it all up, this is not really anything new for most people. But for those of you that haven’t implemented this yet, it could be literally game changing.
The possibilities to reach your target audience with the modern way of selling is bigger than ever.
Six months ago I posted my first blog post ever.
I was terrified because this was way outside my comfort zone.
It felt as if I was sharing my innermost thoughts with the whole world, and that people would probably laugh at me.
The blog post I wrote had nothing to do with my personal life however, it was about my own Sales Stack that I use, and also about our own solution - Triggerbee.
I’m used to get at least some feedback on most things I do, but this time… crickets. Complete silence.
It made me nervous and I felt uncomfortable talking about the post I wrote.
In hindsight, I had nothing to be scared of that time. But in the moment, it felt as if I put my professional opinion and authority on the line.
People called me, e-mailed me and wanted to meet with me. I managed to close a several deals as a result.
Today, 6 months later, I still meet new people who mention that they read my blog post, and they thank me for the advice. ( And it wasn't even that good:))
As a side note, that was a blog post written in swedish. But now I’m challenging myself to write a post in english.
Am I nervous?
Yes, of course.
But, I like to try new things, and this is the first time I reach out to this big of an audience.
I hope you found this interesting and that you’d like to know more about how our sales stack including our own Marketing and Sales Automation software Triggerbee, increased our own sales with +300% in the last 9 months. Although we use a bunch of different awesome software that are stacked together the licensing cost is also incredible low.
If you want to know more, please read the next part where my colleague Olof describes our sales stack and how we work with it and what the monthly cost is.