Even though I've been in the telesales business for over 20 years (I ran a telesales team back in 1989 for an IT services company), I'm always interested in reading books on the subject. You never know, you just might pick up a real gem of an idea.Posted by: David Regler @
Anyway, I was looking Art Sobczak's Telesales Blog and saw a recommended book that's not in my library called Successful Sales Managers Guide to Telephone Sales.
Cool, I thought, let's have a look at this one. But, then, something stopped me dead in my tracks - it was published in 1999!
Now, in some ways, 1999 isn't that long ago. But in the world of telesales it's an eternity.
In a way, the title of the book gives it away - "Telephone Sales".
I was chatting the other day to one of our associates who worked in one of the first telemarketing companies back in the 80's. We were talking about how the game has changed so much in that time.
For a start, there was no voicemail. Not to mention the fact that people were actually happy to chat with you :-) No email. No web.
Today, at some levels within an organisation, you can call all day and not reach anyone. And that's exactly why the tactics that worked in the 80's, and even back in 1999, just don't cut it anymore.
Back in 1999 I was a regional sales manager for a company selling IT solutions for manufacturing (the fact we were selling to manufacturing dates the story for a start!) In those days, you would ask a prospect, "do you have an email address?".
The game has changed.
The description "Telephone Sales" just isn't accurate any more.
Telephone, voicemail and email are all daily tools. Today, we set up as many appointments by email as we do by phone. Social networking sites like LinkedIn and web based research tools have become critical in positioning your approach. Web demos have become the norm for software telesales.
But in a few years time we may be saying... that's so 2009!