I recently highlighted the stark reality that hardly anyone picks up the phone anymore.
Email outreach has doubled in the past 2 years, yet the responsiveness has decreased by 37% (source HubSpot).
The more saturated a market the less effective it becomes.
So if the phone is undersaturated then why wouldn’t more salespeople capitalise on it?
Perhaps they dread the phone and can’t think of anything worse.
They’d much rather hit ‘go’ on a sequence or ‘send’ on a tailored email destined to be lost in cyber space.
I think it most likely comes down to the following issues:
- Levels of confidence
- Interpersonal skills
- Genuine curiosity
- Hard sales skills
- An awareness that the phone really does works…if done well!
B2B sales leaders should encourage their teams to become better at using the phone.
Train them. Coach them. Have calling blasts with no distractions.
Let your salespeople feel the adrenaline of pure human communication & having to think on their feet.
Stick with it, and give everyone a chance to upskill themselves, to grow in confidence and to earn more.
Real human communication will always be relevant. According to research trust can be built in 7 seconds with a human voice.
It’s also important to point out that phone communication should not be at the expense of other methods. Some people will always prefer LinkedIn or receiving well written emails.
However, the phone is the only way to improve your interpersonal skills and get instant feedback so you can improve.
To Leon McCowan's point on last week's podcast with Chris Dawson and Susie Mathieson (This Week In Sales) will phone communication come back and a lot of the tech fall away...as was the case with things like 3D TV’s?
But I do think tech will have its place. It can already facilitate more conversations with prospects, so it may well play a bigger part in supporting quicker access to phone communication.
In a world of hybrid working using the phone helps us all feel more connected.
It's also a lot more fun than spending 20 minutes writing the 'perfect' email, to be either ignored or met with a response of ‘unsubscribe’.
You can have a bit of a laugh with the phone, get to know new people, grow as a person and become good at handling unpredictable situations and different personality types.
And what is life without human interaction and connection anyway? We all just morph into some form of AI portal.
During a previous job I was part of a team who switched to email as opposed to cold calling.
The sales floor became deadly silent with just the collective clicking of mouses breaking the monotony. Tumbleweed blew across the sales floor.
I think a small part of everyone died. No life, no buzz, no camaraderie, no exchanges of funny calls or interactions.
Just a floor of human portals clicking their way towards a slow death.