Chairs are Dead—and Other B2B Marketing Hogwash

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Oct 24, 2017 8:45:58 AM

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In 2015, I wrote this blog for Sales & Marketing Magazine: Dead is Dead (in Sales & Marketing). It seemed like, suddenly, a lot of things were dying: cold calling was dead; telephone prospecting was dead; outbound marketing was dead … many said that even marketing was dead.

Maybe I was just sensitive. I mean, I grew up at a time when Paul McCartney was supposedly dead (he, thankfully, lives on). Poetry was dead. The theater was dead. Today I can’t pick up a newspaper without being told that my privacy is dead. That one I am starting to believe.

Earlier today I was talking to my wife about the B2B marketplace. I casually said what we do, which is outbound business development for B2B companies, is not old fashioned, it is timeless. Then we started to think about other things that are timeless (skipping past the oldest profession) and I said, “chairs are dead.” That caused her to laugh because it seems so ridiculous to declare chairs are dead (they too, are timeless)—yet it did not seem at all ridiculous when the Zeitgeist declared cold calling and outbound marketing were dead.

Without chairs, what are you going to sit on?

Without the phone, how are you going to sell?

Even Inbound Proponents Understand the Importance of Outbound

Note this quote from Marketo.

“Inbound, Outbound? They both sound pretty good, right? So, which is the ultimate approach?

“You’ve got it—it’s a healthy combination of both.

“Why? Inbound drives organic engagement and attracts leads, while outbound helps you target specific prospects more accurately.

“These approaches work well in both B2B and consumer marketing, covering the entire length of the lead funnel and the customer journey, respectively.”

How about this quote from one of my favorite authors/speakers, Mike Weinberg (from his book New Sales. Simplified) who also gets the importance of outbound to sales:

“Many in what’s called the Sales 2.0 movement harshly declare that proactive targeting and prospecting for new business is dead. These so-called experts proclaim that cold-calling is ineffective and pursuing prospects that aren’t coming to you is a waste of time. These false pronouncements are having a severe negative impact on sales performance.”

What is More Social than the Phone?

Read this from Dave Kurlan, CEO of Objective Management Group:

“Today, I would like to be the first to introduce you to the sales tool of the future. A direct line of communication to any prospect in the world.

“You may have seen this tool before, but you may have to use it in a way that is different from how it was intended. Today, most people use these devices to send text messages, tweets, emails and upload photos and videos.  But if you poke around enough, you will find that manufacturers actually included a nicely hidden feature that allows you to punch in about 10 digits and you can actually speak—LIVE—to anyone—anywhere—on demand. It is SO COOL! And the device will remember those numbers so that you don't have to punch them all in again. Amazing.”

As long as there’s a need to sell there’s a need for the phone. To complement inbound marketing efforts, and to forge important personal connections and human relationships, there’s nothing better for business than a real conversation.

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Topics: Cold Calling

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