According to TACK's Buyers Survey 2010, "Email now dominates as an acceptable channel for salespeople to make contact to arrange a first appointment with 84% saying email is acceptable, followed by a telephone call and then by letter."Posted by: David Regler @
The 2010 survey reports on the views of buyers from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs within manufacturing, retail, B2B, financial services and business services sectors across Europe, Asia and the US.
Remember that this survey looks at buyer's "preferences", which doesn't necessarily mean "effectiveness" of the channel to generate appointments.
This seems to run counter-intuitive to B2B marketing's perception of email for new business prospecting. With the increase in SPAM you'd expect email to be declining as a channel.
Again, let's not confuse effectiveness with buyer's preference.
It may well be that buyers prefer an approach via email since it's easier to reject or ignore than having something breathing down the phone at you.
Also, we shouldn't confuse a hand-crafted email specific to a person with bulk B2B email.
The latter is certainly viewed as SPAM and has increasing low pull rates for new customer acquisition. The former, we find, can be very effective at securing appointments without ever speaking with the prospect.
From a trend perspective it looks like, as well as email, telephone is marginally up on previous surveys, as is snail mail (we are seeing a lot of prospects requesting info by post, and generally direct mail is having a resurgence in B2B circles).
Fax is down (shock news!) and amazingly face-to-face cold calling is up.
Finally, LinkedIn has made an appearance as a preferred channel. Let's see how long it takes before that gets wrecked.
Judging but the amount of consultants selling "Sales 2.0: get sales leads through LinkedIn" as the new magic bullet, I'd say not long.