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Guest Post by Andre Oentoro In this digital era and highly competitive market space, businesses leave no stone unturned when it comes to attracting customers’ attention and engaging them. From the trendy social media campaigns to long-term explainer video campaigns, businesses have invested in sales tools that can boost their online presence, generate more high-quality leads, and skyrocket their conversion rates. That being said, there is one traditional, old-school sales tool that still works just fine and effective today — especially for B2B business: cold calling. Cold calling might get a bad rap because we've all received cold calls that made us cringe or even felt intrusive. But, just like any other marketing tactic, cold calling can be a powerful strategy if done well. Not convinced yet? Here are some reasons why cold calling is still effective for B2B business and remains an important ingredient in sales despite all the more advanced digital marketing strategies out there. Why do you need to call your prospects? The cold call is not dead. In fact, it can be an incredible addition to your sales strategy mix. Here's why: Creates human-to-human interactions Thousands of new content pieces are uploaded to the internet every second. Most of them are so impersonal. But, when you call your prospects, you have an opportunity to create a more personal and meaningful interaction with them right off the bat. This interaction plays an important role in generating prospects' trust and building a loyal customer base. And in the noisy digital world out there, prospects only interact with a brand that can understand them and offer value. Provides a low-cost and quick marketing strategy Another reason why cold calling is still effective for most B2B businesses is that it can help you quickly connect with prospects without spending too much time and money. This makes cold calling still look appealing for B2B that are on a tight budget. You don’t have to wait days or even a week to get your sales email to be replied to (if it doesn’t end up in the trash folder!). With cold calling, you can get a direct answer from your prospects whether they are actually interested in your product or service or not. Conveys your message clearly Without the benefit of voice tone, you run a higher risk of misinterpreting the meaning of communications. That’s why text-based content such as emails or articles can be easily misinterpreted and misunderstood. Cold calls help you to convey your message directly and clearly. You can explain your brand’s core value seamlessly and straightforwardly. Your prospects can understand and retain the message you deliver, helping them to make an informed decision faster. Increases prospects’ interactivity Other sales tools like emails, blog posts, videos, and even forms provide one-way information, where prospects have to sit back and absorb the information they are served. They might have questions and don't want to wait hours or days just to get the answer. A cold call offers you a two-way dialog. In this case, it makes it much easier for your prospects to be actively engaged with your messages since they have more flexibility to ask specific questions and get the answer they need immediately. Tailors messages for each prospect Salespeople know that personalization is key in communicating with prospects. It makes them feel valued and extra special. In this situation, there's no one-size-fits-all sales message as every prospect has different needs and preferences. But, if you do cold calling, you will understand what tone of voice and language you should use depending on the prospect you're talking to. By listening to their response and the way they talk, you will also gain more insight into their style and how they can process your message. How do you do it right? You can achieve all the benefits of cold calls mentioned above only if you do it correctly. On the other hand, if implemented poorly, cold calling will not only hurt your company's reputation but also can be a huge energy drain for your sales team. Here's a quick checklist on how you can do the cold calling right: Understand who you're calling. Always spend your time understanding who you're going to talk to. It will help you understand their hot buttons and build a better relationship. Create a script. This will help you remember the core messages you need to deliver, making your call straightforward and to the point. Introduce who you are. You're a complete stranger to them. To let you keep talking, they need to know who you are in the first place. Offer value first and avoid any fluff. Nobody wants to be sold to. So go straight to the point. Make sure you offer the prospects your product value. Try to explain how it will help solve their problems. Remember, your prospects are busy. Deliver consistent messages. It will help your messages stay structured and well delivered, avoiding any confusion. This way, you can achieve your goals seamlessly. Get cold calling to work for you They say no sales rep makes cold calls anymore because nobody likes receiving them. However, the truth is that many sales reps still do it wrong. Done correctly, cold calls give the opportunity to open up the conversation straight away with questioning and gain insight into what is truly important to the prospect. Cold calling can prove itself as a tried and true method of seller-generated lead generation. In other words, it remains a powerful sales tool that can be used to continuously add new prospects to your pipeline of selling opportunities. Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
As the proverb goes: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Success in digital marketing is all about planning your strategy. Without a plan, how will you reach your goal? "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if you need insight into your marketing strategy," says Derrick Rehn an SEO Specialist at Integritive. He continues, "Anyone can write a blog post, share a picture on Facebook, or create website content. But is that website content written with keyword searches in mind? Have you considered how you will funnel users on your website to making a purchase or submitting a form?" If the answer is "no," or "what is that?" your website could probably use a little strategy. When you have finished reading this article, you should have a broader perspective on how hiring a digital marketing firm can help hone your sense of direction, develop a plan, and partner with you to carry it out until you have the desired results. Find a clear sense of direction Jessica Herbine, SEO Manager at Trinity Insight explains, "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if . . . you don't have the capacity to carry out — or even dream up! — the plans that will grow your business." She adds, "The majority of our eCommerce partners are well-versed in a particular marketing channel or niche, but do not have the in-house resources needed to further expand their online presence and test new platforms and trends." Handling your own marketing without coordinated, strategic plans can lead to inconsistency. Herbine says, "If you or your team are frequently putting out fires and jumping from project to project, a digital marketing agency can offer a clear plan and sense of direction." Incite competitor jealousy "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if . . . you want to be found online and beat your competition in sales," says Robin Rucinsky, Media Director and President of Thrive Advertising. Even when your end goal is put this plainly, your business goal still needs a plan. According to Rucinsky, "Your digital advertising plan, when executed properly, should make all of your competitors fearful and jealous at the same time. They'll feel it when your digital marketing plans are done right, and when they start copying you, which I promise you they'll try, you'll know you've knocked it out of the park! I've seen this over and over again! You don't do your own business taxes, why would you do your own digital marketing if that's not your area of expertise?" Coordinate your brand efforts "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if you are having problems scaling your initiatives — both vertically and horizontally, advises Rich Anand, Founder and COO of Evolvez Agency. "It is easy for companies to adopt a few channels (like Instagram, Facebook, etc.), but creating cross-marketing flows where all outlets work in sync takes time and effort." If your content planning, social media strategies, and other customer outreach like marketing automation, email marketing, and text campaigns aren’t aligned with each other, you may benefit from an agency’s ability to help develop a plan that incorporates production and distribution into the most cohesive plan. Anand adds, "Plus, you have to ensure that your digital activations are also coordinating with any offline activations that may be taking place. It is usually best if one entity can house both digital and off-line activations to ensure that 1) it gets done, and 2) the messaging is synchronous." You want to present a planned, professional interaction with your customers. Overcome short-term thinking Lisa Barone, Chief Marketing Officer at Overit suggests that "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if . . . you have a mouth full of Thanksgiving Day turkey before you think about Cyber Monday." If this sounds like you, or your company, you are not alone. "When you are laser-focused on your day-to-day, you become a friend to short-term thinking," says Barone. "You prep Monday’s email campaign on Saturday night and forget about those big holiday marketing campaigns until your customers are already decking the halls." If you are in a situation where you are so busy with the day-to-day, you would benefit greatly from a digital marketing agency’s ability to develop a game plan, looking forward. As Barone says, "Partnering with a creative agency gives you the benefit of long-term strategy." She adds, "Tapping an agency allows your business to think three, six or twelve months in advance. It ensures all efforts are moving in a unified direction, that nothing is falling through the cracks, and that the many facets of an integrated marketing campaign are talking to one another. It makes the brand look smarter." Gain a strategic partner What’s holding you back from establishing a clear sense of direction for your company or brand?Sometimes, it is a lack of resources at your disposal, like time, in-house staff, or knowledge. Quentin Aisbett, Founder of Pocket Insights says, "You might need to hire a digital marketing agency if . . . you don't have the resources to develop and execute a digital strategy to build your brand, attract and engage your audience, nurture your visitors until they become customers, and finally empower your audience to advocate on your behalf." Although this series of events seems hard to contemplate for people less-versed in the online marketing world, this is #goals. "I highlight the resources for a digital strategy," says Aisbett, "because this is often what is lacking when things go wrong or things just don't go. Even for companies that have a full-time digital marketing person, it's incredibly difficult for them to find the time to concentrate on the strategy when they have so many day-to-day tactics to manage." Digital marketing agencies not only consult with your business to make battle plans and clear the path ahead, but they can then take up the reins or partner with your in-house team. "When you have partners who act as an extension of your team," says Herbine, "you can rely on channel experts to do the heavy lifting and take the work off of your plate to achieve bigger and better goals. Sometimes, a little extra man or woman power is what's needed to take your business to the next level." As a strategic partner, Aisbett explains, "A digital marketing agency can bring all this to you as well as access to more intimate knowledge of the varying channels such as search, email, social, content, and the list goes on." With all of these channels covered and plans coordinated, you will have a better idea of both the big picture and day-to-day needs and goals of your marketing efforts. Strategy. So, what are you waiting for? Check out our digital marketing agency reviews or read more reasons to hire an internet marketing agency from our blog.