As my title implies, I believe that most business-to-business sales forces today utilize prospecting strategies and tactics that are just insane. If you believe in the traditional definition of insanity as doing something repeatedly in hopes of a different outcome, then you must agree that most sales forces are prospecting repeatedly in hopes of a better outcome.
The sad fact is that the buying process has changed monumentally since the prospecting process was first documented. I have a copy of an 1873 sales-training manual, which was written for the NCR Corporation sales force. That manual describes prospecting in exactly the same way that most business-to-business sales forces practice prospecting today, here in the 21st century.
I challenge you to find any business activity that has progressed so little since the 1800s! Also, I challenge you to find any business activity that's more important than finding and qualifying new prospects to grow your top and bottom line. Obviously, continuing to do what most business-to-business sales forces are doing meets the classic definition of insanity.
As a result of utilizing outdated tactics and strategies, the typical business-to-business sales force does not achieve an adequate volume of first meetings; first meetings being meetings calendared between decision-makers/influencers and a seller, with calendared being the operative word. If it's not calendared, you're hoping for a first meeting. If it is calendared, the prospect has learned enough about your business to feel comfortable in committing a brief amount of their day to meeting with you (by phone and/or face to face).
The current business environment has made reaching decision-makers so challenging that most sales forces just hope that they will bump into someone who's interested in buying. As a matter of fact, I think what is typically referred to as prospecting should be renamed searching; specifically, searching for someone who's interested in buying.
Join me for a 20-minute presentation, wherein I will describe the solution to this problem; it is called e-telemarketing. Click this link to register for one of my upcoming presentations. You'll learn that e-telemarketing produces a one-two punch that will knock out your prospecting challenges. Again, click this link to register for my webinar entitled Stop the Prospecting Insanity.
SOURCE: Gil Cargill, Sales Acceleration Coach, Cargill Consulting Group