I recently sat down with Ken Murray - President & CEO VanillaSoft to discuss his views on social networking, prospecting and making more sales. His company sells a solution which helps companies manage leads more effectively by providing an autodialer, next best call logic and a real-time dashboard The company's CRM system provides inline document management, call scripting and a preview and progressive dialer. The latter provides greater productivity increases but decreases how much the agent knows about the client before making the call.
Ken Murray - President & CEO VanillaSoft discusses how sales and marketing has evolved from outside sales to inside sales and more recently social media-based selling/lead generation
Other features include call recording but what was more interesting to me were comments Murray made about social media. He cautioned companies to be careful how much time they spend trolling social media sites before making "cold" calls. Because as he said, "Knowing more about people you don't sell to is not a good use of human capital."
Another interesting point from the discussion is the fact that buyers are shopping companies in stealth mode and companies are getting shopped and don't even know it. The challenge for them is being able to effectively engage customers at the bottom of the funnel which is now where you get contacted. In the good old days you were contacted at the top. Ken shared an experience with me that when he was in the call center business at an earlier time in his career, the company he worked for hired 5 PHDs to determine who on a list should be called to sell home equity loans to. He decided it made more sense to call them all as you just don't know who will buy until you try them all. He was right - and this knowledge and experience is something we can all learn from - it makes sense to carefully manage the balance between agent customer knowledge and closed sales as closely as possible.