Have you noticed how many things are dead these days? Cold calling is dead. Outbound marketing is dead. Many say that even marketing as a whole is dead.
I grew up during a time when it seemed like a lot of things were dead:
Paul was dead. (The rumor in 1969 was that if you played “Revolution 9” from the White album backwards, you heard the band in an apparent reference to Paul say, “turn me on, dead man.”) Thankfully, Sir Paul is still very much alive.
Soon after, poetry was dead. Followed by chivalry. Yikes, is Batman dead? I don’t think so.
Here are a few more things that are, according to some, dead: design, privacy, advertising, fur, Hollywood, Bitcoin, craft beer, punk (well, maybe), Google Glass, 3D and the American Dream.
I recently stumbled across the term Zeitgeist—which is defined as the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time. I wrote another blog about this concept that you can find in Top Sales World’s magazine here. The main point of the article is that the best writers read their audience, and the times, to write content that resonates with that audience—meaning that the content is not necessarily proven, it’s simply what the audience wants to hear.
Do sales reps like to cold call? No. Would the message, “cold calling is dead,” resonate with them? You bet.
So, I believe that anytime anyone writes or talks about something being dead, you should consider that the author is using an extreme statement to attract its audiences’ attention, and please them.
Here are a few things in sales and marketing that are not dead. And there is still time in 2015 to get them right if you inspect your processes and find that these critical keys are missing:
- Shared (between marketing and sales) definition of a lead. As amazingly simple as this is, agreement in this area is rarely the case in most companies. Hence, marketing defaults to number of leads and cost per lead and sales ignores them for the most part.
- Step in the process called “sales-accepted lead.” Sales must proactively accept or reject leads and provide a reason why any lead is rejected. (“I called them twice and they did not call back so they must not be interested” is NOT a valid reason.)
- A judicial branch. This function (often the CEO’s) is to inspect leads that are rejected (did they or did they not meet the lead criteria); leads that are ignored (not rejected but not worked); and leads that are accepted but don’t move in the funnel—to assure accountability.
Unless you fix these three areas, there’s a good chance that critically important things in your organization might actually be dead: your leads, your pipeline, and your revenue potential. It’s up to you to keep them alive, and well.
This post was originally published on the PointClear blog.