Why Sales People shouldn’t Prospect

I have long been a believer that cold-calling is an outdated approach still clung to by dinosaurs from the Glenn Garry Glenn Ross days.  I am speaking from experience as I have done it all.  I sold door to door when I was 17 & 18, I was selling before PC's were at every desk, and I was also selling as "ASP" (Application Service Provider) became SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and now cloud (yes, dreamy I know).  Times have changed.  There was a time when I got my leads form the phone book and the news paper.  I actually had to go into the newspaper to find leads, cut them out, glue them onto a piece of paper that I would turn into my manager, and this would be my prospecting list for the week.  I would then have to go out and not cold call but cold drop-in to businesses and collect business cards to prove I was working and not golfing.  There are so many flaws there that is another post by itself.

Times have changed people.  The BUYER owns the sales process now and NOT the seller.  This is why inbound marketing is a focus of many of the fastest growing companies.  The best example I can give is the car buying experience.  Think about it ... when you go to buy a car now you likely know what car you want, what color you want, what options you want, what warranty you want, how much the dealer paid, how much others have paid, taken a virtual test drive, and more .....  BEFORE YOU EVER WALK ON TO A LOT AND A SALES REP EVEN KNOWS YOU ARE A BUYER.  Other buying decisions are the same - whether B2C or B2B.  Think of the last time you bought something, whether software or my own person recent purchase - a kegerator.  I got on my laptop and started pounding on Google.

You now need to fill the top of the funnel by ensuring that you can be found by the people who are looking for what you sell, and then ensuring you have the right content when they find you.

Learn how to adapt or go the way of the dinosaur.

One of my favorite bloggers (and a VC) recently put out this interview.  Check it out.