Today, the biggest mistake that marketers can make is sticking too closely to a single channel as their means of communicating with prospects. Surprisingly, this applies to any method that’s been used in the history of marketing: from classical telemarketing to email and social media.
Proponents cite only the advantages but underneath, there are plenty of flaws to go around. Cold calling has long suffered a bad rep. Email open rates are in decline. Social media marketers struggle with loose metrics and unclear user profiles.
However, it’s not much of a crazy idea to switch them around. It’s also not about either telemarketing or digital communications taking a back seat when it comes to qualifying prospects. Each one has its place in terms of both getting customers interested and setting up an appointment.
For example, this article from BtoB illustrates companies that found phone calls after digital messages were more effective in setting the appointments. Phone calls that fail at the first try can get support with a follow-up email. Calling up a prospect can clarify things when their LinkedIn profile details are far different from when you looked up the same person on Facebook.
They key to this is knowing when to switch. Below are some signs that will indicate this. These are applicable whether you’re using just two or even all three of the aforementioned channels.
- The conversation is too long/short: Conversations that are too short or too long both indicate prospects that are not moving through the process. Switching keeps the conversation from getting stale and gives prospect a sense that they are taking steps to a decision.
- You want to confirm a prospect’s identity: Okay, the prospect seems interested. They claim they have the budget. They’ve read enough material from you to say you are what they were looking for. Now if only they will actually tell you who they are. When a prospect still feels too anonymous to be true, make a few calls and find other places online to look them up.
- They’re more than just interested: There are probably far too many buying signals that indicate a prospect is ready to go to the next step. What they all have in common though is that every question they ask is something better off answered in the appointment itself. Review with your salespeople on what they would like to tackle so that you’ll recognize it right away when a prospect is raring to meet them.
It’s pointless to keep feuding over which singular channel is better than the other. They share the same goal so why not bring them closer together towards that goal?