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Perfect your cold calling

Today with unlimited access to internet and advanced technology, cold calling isn’t as stressful as it used to be. And acing it is not so difficult at all. A lot of information is available to salespeople these days through social media and other sources.
This exercise also helps to determine fundamentally whether something will happen at all or not.
More than all the stages in the selling process, the stage of cold calling aids the sales person to interpret, to define and to command the situation – just like the conductor of an orchestra. The sales person can easily determine the interpretation, direction and cooperation between the customer and herself/himself.
This – rather than merely delivering a script to a list of contacts – is the sales person’s role and opportunity at the cold call stage.

When you dig deeper, you’ll be able to answer the question as to who is best positioned to view and respond to the overall system? It is definitely not the CEO, not the managers, not the technical project managers. The person best positioned to see and adapt to the whole system is the cold caller. Only that sales person has the breadth and depth and an apt view of their own organization as well as a view into the prospective customer’s organization. Merely understanding this helps immensely to adopt an empowered and strategic approach to cold calling

 

And with the help of a few pointers, a salesperson can ace sales like a pro.

1. Don’t forget to do your homework
Market research and analysis is an important aspect that needs to be always kept in mind to identify common pain points of your targeted prospects. Know about the company or individuals you are going to call in advance.

2. Keep the script ready but use improvisation too
If you’re anxious about accidental blunders or nervous tics, prepare a sales call script which has solutions to questions that customers are likely to ask. But don’t come across as a parrot. Be ready to improvise in the midst too.

3. Introduce yourself well
First impressions still matter! Your first words in the first minute or so will set the tone of the conversation. As a result, you need to prepare a stellar introduction that can entice your prospects and keep them invested in what you have to say.

4. Hone your talking style
Sales calls can be just as intimidating as face-to-face meetings. If you’re edgy before a call, practice a few times. Record yourself while rehearsing your pitch during cold calling to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

5. Don’t shy from asking for more
Get into the frame of mind where you ask your customers what they want. Ask them about their requirements, the problems their business faces and the kind of solutions they are looking for.
Cold calling is a skill and much like any other skill, it needs practice and perseverance. So, practice, work a bit harder and ace your cold calling skills!

Buddha’s teachings for developing business strategies

When one talks of the Buddha and/or even Buddhism, one can hardly relate it to sales and marketing strategies. Well, it’s time to do that now. Open the door of your heart to Buddhist marketing and tap into the wisdom of Buddhism/ Buddhist philosophy. You can easily apply them to sales and marketing strategies with key marketing lessons and modern-day corporate social responsibility relevance.

 

When the Buddha speaks that there is need to let go and maintain some form of balance too, it lends itself to modern day businesses too.

The Buddha said the reverence of the six directions is to fulfill the duties toward six communities which are encountered by people in their daily life. The six directions and their respective communities according to Buddha are:

1. East direction: Mother and father
2. South direction: Teacher
3. West direction: Wife and children
4. North direction: Friends
5. Upward direction: Brahmin (enlightened one)
6. Downward direction: Workers

Buddha has put the worker in the downward direction. Downward is the place where we stand and is the base for all activity. So, Buddha has given higher importance to them.

It’s a known fact that motivation, encouragement and appreciation in the sales function work as well as monetary gains. If the employer realizes this and gives due credit to the workers and encourages them for the work performed, she/he can notice a considerable difference in the employer’s outlook and performance. And then there is no stopping the sales graph from skyrocketing!

The Buddha’s tenet for modern day sales strategies – Part II

Closing a sale takes time

 

Every time I pick up the phone and call or come up with a Sales campaign, it takes anywhere few days to few weeks to at least see some measurable results. And it takes weeks and months to optimize to a point where I can get a cost per lead/ conversion cost. People see the results not the point where is actually started the process. It’s like weight loss infomercial. You don’t see the people going to gyms, you just see the before and after result in one second split image.

Buddha had simply stated the fact that it takes drop by drop to fill the jug.

People don’t see the countless hours of endless emails, non-stop calls, fine-tuning, testing, media creation, and all that hard stuff no one wants to do.
So stop focusing on these “I need results NOW” and focus on the little things that eventually accumulate to a big thing. All good things come to those who wait and have the patience to see the real outcome. Don’t be in a hurry, wait and watch for yourself how patience can help you achieve a lot more in business.

The Buddha said be Attached while you are detached
You only lose what you cling to – Buddha

If you are one or have had the opportunity to meet a new entrepreneur or marketer, you will not escape the feeling that they’re often in “LOVE” with their ideas. They put in their heart and soul and get into a complete vacuum to bring this idea alive even if the idea is not validated or it’s a product that no one needs or wants.

What happens is anybody’s guess. The business goes kaput.

The entrepreneurs so in love with their ideas and invention were stuck on the idea of the event and not the process. In such a scenario they lose hope as well as motivation.

Instead, why not lay emphasis and focus on bettering yourself and becoming a better marketer? Throw your ideas around and test them to see if people are willing to pay for them, instead of using all that time and money to make something you THINK people want?

But the most important part is to DETACH yourself from what happens and not get attached to the idea in the first place.

If the idea fails, move on quickly. Don’t dwell in it. Pick up pointers and learn from what happened and try again. There is no dearth of good ideas out there. Pull yourself up and do it again.

A Small Team Can Make It BIG

One of the most significant learnings I picked up while working for a number of startups and running a few of my own is that a startup is extremely different from a large company. In a startup, you’re at it to identify and determine your selling point as well as your proposition and create an unparalleled rapport with your first key customers. This has been even mentioned and talked about in Eric Ries’ ‘The Lean Startup’.

To make it easier for startups to build a team, it would help to take a look at some of the pointers I picked up on the way:

Dream big but start really small
A tight team offers a lot of advantages. They bond faster and communicate much better. With fewer people on board who are supposed to be the corridors of power, the chances of doing experiments also rise. Accountability is also high because the number of people you can pass the blame on it are far less! And who doesn’t remember the ‘two-pizza’ quote. So start small if you wish to make it big.

Make sure everyone can do everything
A small team doesn’t mean limited skills. A lean team has no option but to be cross-functional. It’s the skill sets and diversity of all the team members that can add another dimension to the working atmosphere. A siloes approach will not work with a small team so everyone will have to contribute and pull up their socks at all times. Ask for volunteers if you think the numbers don’t add up.

Articulate assumptions with care
A lean team can only benefit from spending some extra time detailing the assumptions and experiments regarding the business to prove or disprove them. The idea of applying science to a startup is intuitive. But actually doing it takes some real practice, and perseverance. We at Sellosphere have definitely learned it the hard way! We highly recommend looking for examples to compare against your work.

Make your team smart
Invest in team trainings, focus on professional development at each level. Go for some really robust programs for your people and make sure they act as team members and not individuals. It is imperative that employees know and understand the importance of being effective contributors in making a successful team. They need to realize that a team’s collective intelligence can work wonders.

Always observe
It is a no brainer that being in a startup is a learning opportunity. You’re testing waters and charting new territory with a few more people by your side. Once you stop considering yourself as a frontier observing new territory that you don’t fully understand and will take time to conquer, you’ll stop learning. This could hinder your growth and is most definitely a hand brake on your progress that you need to carefully avoid.

Debunking the myths of B2B marketing

When we, as an agency meet clients, we are more often than not met with questions that are cringe-worthy. When clients want to dig deeper and want to know, “Which of these designs has skyrocketed our competitor’s sales?”, we want to say that along with the design, there definitely was a strategy in place coupled with content as well as creative.

So, we decided to give it a shot and come up myths around B2B marketing and try to solve them in laymen terms for everyone out there.

We at Sellosphere design, create, curate tonnes of campaigns, lead generation programs, and creative assets each month, and we can humbly say that our sphere is that of a fair amount of expertise and domain knowledge. And even though each and every one of those deliverables is culled out from actionable data and deep insights. We believe or definitely would love to believe that our work is customized for each one of clients. It’s not a cookie-cutter solution that we are making available to our partners. We look at our client’s objective, do a proper research of our target audience, and only then do we offer solutions

 

It would be sort of utopic to think that agencies like ours have a bag full of ideas, and our task is simplified to just picking and selecting one or a few more ideas from the bag to suit the client’s needs. Another point that needs to be noted is that best practices, even those that have a proven track record, are not in the least an absolute case.
There is nothing in the world including marketing that works 100% of the time. For every accepted norm and guideline in B2B marketing, there is at least one outlier, one organization, one campaign that has gone against the tide and done well anyway.
Another aspect and an important one is that consumer behaviour is never the same. It is constantly changing. Technology evolves and transforms its surrounding. What worked half a decade ago might or might not work in today’s day and age.
As marketers, we need to evolve and change with the time too. If we just decide to go with the flow and do what has already been done, we might not reach a great height any time soon. We need to take lessons from history, not necessarily replicate them all the time. We need to take risks. We need to think out of the box. And we need to become that one organization that everyone looks up to and wants to copy!

Some pointers you can consider as you climb up the B2B ladder.
Embrace transparency
Investing more in social media
Make an emotional connect with the partner
There is definitely room for silly creativity on B2B marketing
B2B marketing is not too different from B2C marketing