There is no doubt that inbound marketing can achieve many things and generate leads with little physical effort. There’s also no doubt that inbound marketing will continue to evolve and adapt to new online paradigms. Yet, it’s also true that the payoff of digital marketing matches the hype less and less. It often feels like the marketers keep moving the goal posts just to show value where little may exist.
Sure, digital marketing can reach audiences in ways that other marketing simply can’t. But the leads don’t just roll in without effort, and each qualified lead you get through digital marketing seems to cost more each year. To top it off, what you focused on last year suddenly becomes no longer worth the effort, and it seems like it’s always time to try a new strategy.
As it turns out, there’s one tried-and-true B2B marketing and sales strategy that seems more relevant today than ever—outbound sales calling. That’s because sales calls fill in many important gaps that digital marketing simply cannot fill. Beyond the human touch and making genuine connections, outbound calling can discover and deliver real-time market intelligence that’s more actionable than market intelligence gained any other way. Here are five categories of market intelligence insights that will deliver more value with a dedicated outbound sales calling strategy.
- The best ways to segment qualified leads.
When a potential lead shows interest online, you usually still don’t know the size of their company or how they are spending their money. They could be doing $2K in business with you but $100K with a competitor. You will gain much more actionable market intelligence by learning why they are showing interest, whether they use a competitor’s product, or what the real constraints on their purchasing behavior are.
- How your competitors are behaving.
Things happen fast in the real world. If a competitor’s price structure changes, you need to strike while the iron is hot. Or what if your prospects current supplier changed account managers and there is a personality conflict? You can only stay up to speed on timely market intelligence with a direct line to customers.
- How market shifts are affecting demand.
Market shifts can be caused by regional differences, recalls, or competitor’s inventories running low. The person you are calling may want to share what they know even if these things are not critical to their day-to-day activities. This opens the door to taking business that you otherwise thought was dead.
- Which marketing messages will resonate.
Different customer segments will have different primary pain points. How do you know these without asking customers directly? How can you learn all the different ways you can ease pain points for customers? I can assure you that this detailed intelligence won’t show up on typical online surveys or gated landing pages.
- Who is the decision-maker at the company.
Finding the right person at a target company to talk to is often the biggest hurdle for sales staff. There might be a “gatekeeper” blocking your way, or the person you’re contacting has no incentive to help you. In addition, people are changing job titles and job responsibilities all the time, so reconfirm frequently that you have the right person.
Many companies today are not spending their sales and marketing budget wisely. They spend a lot on inbound digital marketing when some of that money would deliver better ROI in good old-fashioned phone work. Time spent on the phone builds brand awareness whether it’s an in-depth conversation or a friendly voicemail.
And when real conversations happen, salespeople can form genuine connections that are just not available in the digital world. Most of all, outbound sales calling provides exceptional value because it delivers the most current market intelligence available—intelligence you can act on today.
Chris Dohl is CEO of The Alias Group, an integrated sales and marketing agency located in Newark, DE. Alias is process-driven, delivering a proven sales and marketing model that has spurred business growth in a wide range of industries. The company scales up businesses with great efficiency by promoting a collaborative philosophy of “No one grows alone.”
Before The Alias Group, Chris was a Manufacturing Leader in the Electronic and Industrial divisions at W.L. Gore & Associates. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Operations Management from the University of Delaware.
Chris’s passion is his family, and he enjoys running his daughter and two sons to a variety of sporting events. On the rare breaks from business and family time, Chris enjoys golfing at his home course, Hartefeld National, and playing poker with his buddies.