By: Jeff Seeley
B2B inside sales representatives are always looking for great leads, but they may sometimes go astray in their pursuit of results. In one recent example, Bob London, president of B2B marketing agency London, Ink, recounted an experience with a B2B organization that left him frustrated.
In a facetious apology published by the Washington Business Journal, London explained that he had downloaded a whitepaper from an unidentified firm in his industry due to personal interest in the topic, and this resulted in him being identified as a lead. After he obtained the document, he said he received multiple phone calls, emails and calendar invitations for demos from inside sales representatives, even though London had indicated during the download process that he was not interested in purchasing the enterprise’s software at that time. He didn’t respond to the inquiries.
London remarked in an accompanying video that he felt it is an outdated practice for organizations to determine a person is a lead simply as a result of them downloading a whitepaper. Many B2B businesspeople read these materials as a way to enrich their knowledge about their fields, rather than due to an interest in a particular firm’s products or services.
Overall, it seemed that the incorrigible approach used by the unnamed B2B service provider’s inside sales staff was what really left London with a bad taste in his mouth. While a couple of inquiries may have been acceptable, the aggressive pursuit based on only one piece of information ultimately led to what could have been bad publicity had London not chosen to allow the business to remain anonymous. He stated that the way the organization in question is using its marketing technologies to identify and contact leads is “doing more harm than good.”
Somewhere in the middle
Inside sales experts have a challenging task in front of them, and that’s walking the fine line between being overly aggressive in their efforts to acquire more customers and backing off too quickly. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing for employees to ask someone like London whether, after reading a whitepaper or performing some other action, he or she developed a different opinion about buying a product or service. But there are limits to what professionals are willing to endure when it comes to contact from inside sales associates.
For this reason, it is essential for these representatives to receive inside sales training. With the help of the right program, individuals can develop better communication skills, which may allow them to more easily identify where the line between dutiful and annoying persistence lies. The better inside sales professionals navigate these waters, the more sales they’ll close and the fewer bridges they’ll unwittingly burn.