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TeleWebSales: A Methodology Discussion with Anneke Seley (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Oct 8th 2007

SM: Let’s talk about a term I have coined, which is TeleWebSales. It is a combination of the telephone and the web, which is what you are doing and have been promoting for a while now. Let’s talk about some of the best practices of the TeleWebSales process. I’ll start by asking you about list targeting and organization mapping. Regardless, if it is a small company or a large company, there is an identification of who is the right person to target a sales campaign to. Talk about that particular discipline. What are the best practices?

AS: You have hit on the most important point, which is having a really clear definition of whom you are trying to connect with. Sometimes that is not obvious, especially if it is a new company, a new product, or a new initiative. I will come back to this point again and again – it is extremely important to test and measure your target.

You should also test and measure your list vendor, or whatever your source of target contacts may be. It is not always obvious what the right sweet spot is in terms of marketing lists.

Once you start to connect with people, then you start to see trends. You start to understand the market better, and that gets fed into the next list. Through an improvement process, you try to really understand where your best prospects and sales are coming from.

SM: Do you use or recommend terminology articulated by the solution selling methodology, such as the economic buyer, technical decision maker, coach, champion … [Ref: Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets
by Michael T. Bosworth; if you haven’t read it, please do.

AS: That is a very common and popular sales methodology.

SM: One of the things I often see is people have not figured out who in the organization is the technical buyer and who is the economic buyer. The first area to address, for me, is to do the trial and error to figure out who those terminologies map to in terms of the organizations I am marketing to. In fact, I make this a part of the positioning exercise.

AS: That is absolutely correct, and we also help them determine if those positions are held by multiple people or if they are held by the same person. It is also important to know if they are enterprise accounts or if they are small businesses. Sometimes you do not have the complex sale in a smaller account, it becomes more of a transaction with just one person.

SM: Sometimes. SME also varies widely, right?

AS: Exactly, and many companies have very different definitions of what small means.

SM: If small is under 25 people that is relatively easier.

AS: Which of course takes us back to the list question we talked about earlier. You need to figure out the appropriate list based on the targets. Do you need a list of the public company CFOs? Mid-sized company Marketing Managers?

SM: What do you think are the best practices in cold calling and cold emailing? What are the nuggets you have picked up in your career?

AS: Hopefully, there are marketing programs ongoing which help you avoid as much cold calling as possible. That means delegating and leveraging the activities that bring prospects to you, which allows them to self qualify. If there is cold calling and cold emailing, it might be to test a new list, or because you are very focused on a particular account or a set of accounts and there is not a list available. We really try to minimize complete cold calling. Nowadays, with social networking products, you might see connections you have to someone in an organization. The more you can leverage the sales person’s time, the better it is for profitability of selling.

SM: So always try to get a referral into someone as opposed to a complete cold-call or cold-email.

AS: That is definitely a best practice.

SM: So to summarize, in terms of cold calling / cold emailing, it helps to get introduced via email, referred by someone (LinkedIn is okay), and follow-up with a phone call / voice mail. [The VITO book gets into a lot of detail of how to get a meeting with a top executive, although it is pre-email generation. The logic, however, translates.]

I have heard some people say, calling first and leaving a voice mail (don’t try to get people live right away) to say that you will be sending an email with some information is an effective sequence. That prepares people to expect your email. It cuts out the inefficiencies of dialing constantly to get someone live on the line.

[to be continued]

[Part 4]
[Part 3]
[Part 2]
[Part 1]

This segment is part 5 in the series : TeleWebSales: A Methodology Discussion with Anneke Seley
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