We've been talking in the office about a good 'first topic', whether that be 'which social media platforms should companies be leveraging' or 'what makes an effective telemarketing approach' , 'the omniscient customer experience', all of which are great talking points and we'll no doubt come back to these as we go along. However, as a first foray into 'blogging' I thought we'd think about selling and sales techniques such as telemarketing, and more to the point how sales should start fighting back!
Let me just clarify, we're sales and marketing specialists so at the risk of upsetting our creative and digital department. I'm by no means de-valuing the role of marketing. The use of social media marketing, marketing automation software, 'ATL' and 'BTL' communications can all be used to build brand awareness and drive sales. But closing a sale - inbound marketing alone will not take you over the finish line. You need strong selling techniques and great sales people - confident, customer focused staff such as sales reps and telemarketing agents.
We're in the telemarketing business and we operate predominantly in the B2B market space. This means picking up the telephone, politely introducing who we are and what we do, and exploring how our product or service can resolve their problem and create value for the customer; making their life easier etc. Marketing automation, market research, data analysis guides us, and tailored communication warms them, but it is ultimately human interaction that fosters successful relationships.
Having a great product or solution is just the starting point - taking that product to market requires strategic thinking and technique but very few products then sell themselves. Maybe those that are popular (the iPhone, loom bands?!), low-value (loom bands?!!), or things that people must have (loom bands?!!!). It's probably fair to say that for more transactional sales the internet-savvy consumer will largely have the upper hand, and this is where the reliance on marketers sees a steep shift in their favour.
However even then, as consumers move through the increasing number of channels we've created, the helpful, engaging, knowledgeable telemarketing or sales assistant can once again come into their own when we finally realize that we like someone to help us to make a decision. And it is upon their ability to help that buyer choose, that a company's success then relies.
In business a good salesperson will always remain a precious commodity.