How important is traditional sales prospecting in today’s digital age?

There’s no denying that the digital age has changed the way businesses connect with their buyers. In the past, facetoface sales or cold calling were the only way to reach prospects and talk them through the benefits of your products. Social selling and content marketing have changed the customer journey; buyers are far more empowered with product knowledge ahead of purchase and for low value purchases, most don’t feel compelled to speak to a salesperson at all. But does traditional sales prospecting still have a place? The short answer is yes, and here’s why.  

Never underestimate the power of a conversation 

A personal human connection is ultimately what chatbots are trying to replicate – in 2020 nothing comes close to a real conversation. If you want to build trust and rapport with a prospect, a friendly and open approach can go a long way. The more insight you gain into the specific challenges, the more personal and tailored your sales approach can be in a face-to-face meeting.  

Digital isn’t always scalable and more suited to a transactional sale 

Calling someone to extoll the virtues of a power bank or a lipstick is wildly different from talking to them about an integrated marketing or sales campaign. The fact is people don’t buy high value programmes of work online. Your website is vital to a first impression, and you need to ensure you have engaging, relevant content available, but to get under the skin of a project your prospective customer needs to be able to ask you detailed questions, beyond a comprehensive online FAQ. Research suggests that the earliest part of the buying process works most effectively, with 71% saying they want to hear from salespeople when they are looking for ideas to drive strong business results (Resourceful Selling).

Don’t limit your customer base

The people, who would benefit most from your services, might not even know you exist. If you’re relying on prospects who find you online and engage with your content to reach you via a web lead, then you’re ruling out a potentially lucrative market of businesses with money to spend, a relevant challenge that your product or proposition can solve who are ready to buy. There is strong evidence that the C-Suite buys differently; with 57% of C-level buyers prefer salespeople to call them above anything else (RAIN Group).

Traditional sales prospecting can work brilliantly with complementary technologies

This isn’t old school vs. new tech; all methods have their place. In fact leveraging powerful systems to enhance your data and effectively map your customer journey will make your sales campaigns much more viable. Using social selling and content marketing along with targeted calling campaigns will align and strengthen your approach, your brand and make it easier to deliver relevant follow-up materials during promising calls.  

Check out our video where Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing and Richard Forrest, MD of Forrest Marketing Group, discuss the role of traditional prospecting in a digital age.  

At Air Marketing, we work with clients to create a tailored, blend of services that will deliver the best conversion rates in their desired market. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business grow or show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success. Get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038. Or hear more from our existing customers here. 

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