It's a guaranteed cold shoulder for salespeople who don't lift their game when cold calling.
Understanding comes before a sale, says Vic Whiteley, Intellworks vice president Asia Pacific operations, who believes IT salespeople can improve their sales strategies in the cold-calling phase.
How can you sell anything unless you understand there is a need to buy, he queries. "IT salespeople must learn to gather more information before starting to present ‘one size fits all’ solutions,” Whitely said.
“Spend more time gathering information and understanding how a prospective client does business, rather than trying to sell solutions right from the beginning.”
Lotterywest IT director Don Wharton agrees that vendors should give up on cold calling, adding they would “be doing themselves a favour”.
“I don’t think it’s effective because I need to be in the right mindset to take the time to listen and their timing has to be spot on. I have to be looking at a particular area to take a real interest,” Wharton said.
Waterways Authority IT manager Steve Potter thinks vendors should abandon the practice.
“I don’t think it’s effective at all, often salespeople ring we already have something similar. It just doesn’t spark anything with me,” Potter said. “If I want to purchase a product I’ll go out and find it myself. I tend to give cold calling the cold shoulder.”
Intellworks is pitching a strategy program that leverages ‘live cold calling’ to help IT vendors, resellers and consultants better identify and research their prospects and boost selling opportunities during the initial canvassing and appointment-setting stage.
The key to effective cold calling, Whiteley said, is to gather information and find the right person to talk to.
“There’s so many different types of buyers in organizations now, it’s no longer a case of simply selling to the IT manager. So how do you find out who it is in the organization you need to speak to, and what information processes do you have to go through to find that person?” Whiteley said.
“Going for the top person is not necessarily the best strategy. In many cases the CIO might not be the best person to talk to.”
The company has recently launched its operations in the Asia-Pacific region, but has been operating in the US for the past seven years.