Lately, there’s been a surge of advertising saying that traditional selling is dead, that prospecting is dead.
I have two words for that: fake news.
But, I get it…there’s a multitude of reasons to believe prospecting is dead. At least, that’s what customer relation management (CRM) companies, or marketing automation companies, will have you believe because they want you to think that you don’t have to prospect anymore.
Even though social media avenues like LinkedIn make connections with C-level executives and decision-makers much more possible, every salesperson in the universe is using it, thereby making it difficult to stand out. Also, office staff has little time on hand, meaning that you only have a window of about seven seconds to get past the gatekeepers. Many salespeople end up as just another name in a missed call log or forever lost in a collection of junk emails.
Prospecting isn’t dead, but it’s certainly not easy.
Despite the plethora of information with which we feel inundated each day. In chapter three of my book, we found that 82 percent of sales reps feel challenged by the amount of data and time it takes to research a prospect just to make the initial cold call. What’s more, did you know that poor quality data is costing your sales team at least 30 percent of revenues? Clean, accurate data is the difference for professionals seeking to streamline and clarify the front end of the sales cycle. Our studies show that sales reps are spending at least 32 percent of their time searching for missing data, then manually entering it into their CRM. Quality data is all about working smarter, reserving your resources, and accelerating your team’s sales cycle. According to Salesforce.com, about 70 percent of CRM data “goes bad,” or becomes obsolete, annually.
Bad data is bad for business. But no data, by not prospecting, is worse.
You can gather quite a bit of information through LinkedIn, Google, your company’s CRM…but ultimately success comes from actually engaging with a prospect and gathering “data” from attempting to speak with individuals of interest.
Nothing will replace, or provide greater success than actually connecting with a sales prospect.
Prospecting is definitely not dead.
Learn more about how to effectively start that conversation by checking out Lance Tyson’s new book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.