Why B2B Phone Calls Are Popular in 2017
By Jeff Kalter
B2B companies are increasingly selling from remote locations over the phone. Perhaps a decade ago, most people would not have predicted this turn of events. After all, that’s when marketing leaders eagerly sought out the new promise of inbound marketing to produce leads and revenues.
For many years, we’ve seen arguments favoring inbound over outbound marketing. Marketers are now starting to realize, however, that they may have swung the balance too far in one direction. There’s no reason to choose between inbound and outbound tactics. Today’s effective marketing is “all-bound.” That’s because there’s synergy between inbound marketing and outreach in the form of emails, social selling and phone calls.
It’s not only the marketing departments that are reallocating their dollars to reach out directly to prospects and customers. The sales organization is also on board. Companies are hiring fewer field sales representatives. Instead, they’re investing in inside reps who nurture leads and close business using the phone, email and social outreach. In fact, according to an MIT Lead Management Study, there are 15 inside sales reps for each field rep.
The phone calls are not the scripted calls of yesteryear or like those that interrupt you at dinnertime at home. These inside sales people have conversations to help solve customer problems. They discuss technology, software and other complex B2B products. It’s not a numbers game. It’s a strategic process that often requires multiple touches to several members of a buying team prior to closing a sale.
The momentum is moving toward inside sales because:
- It Costs Less
Bottom line improvements always guide business decisions. And it’s not surprising that inside sales costs less than outside sales. After all, cost reductions come from eliminating travel, increasing efficiency and the ability to hire inside reps at lower salaries than field reps. The net result, according to Josiane Feigon, author of Smart Sales Manager, is that the average B2B field sales call costs $215-$400 while and inside sales call typically runs between $25 and $75.
- Customers Don’t Want to See You
The idea that customers might not want the in-person sales treatment goes against traditional thinking. However, a study of 12,500 buyers by SBI proved this to be true. They discovered that 75 percent of the time buyers prefer not to meet face to face. This reality has even led to many field salespeople spending a lot of their time on the phone rather than up close and personal with customers.
- Phone Calls Enable Instant Response
Inbound leads are hottest at the moment you receive them. By responding to them within five minutes, you can increase your marketing qualified leads by 2000%. Even when a rep is sitting by a phone in front of a computer, achieving such a fast response rate is difficult. But to do so in person is physically impossible. Despite the challenge, inside sales people with the right processes and technology can attain almost instant response and the associated increase in qualified leads.
- Inside Sales Reps Have Easy Access to Technology
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