David Thompson, CEO of Genius.com wrote a succinct article in this week’s DM News titled, “Technology’s sales upside: The death of the cold call.” He makes a great point that with new web tools, which he calls “Sales 2.0,” enable sales people to “reach out to the right people, at the right time, with the right message.”
Sales 2.0 fits neatly into the concept of Network Centric Marketing, or what The Marketing Consigliere has already blurted ad nauseum in this blog as “C4ISR Marketing.” But is the cold call dead? In some respects, Network-Centric Marketing tools not only may spell the death of cold calling, but also the death of the salesman (no pun intended). Self-provisioning tools with contextually generated suggestions à la Amazon.com have been around since the Web and Sales 1.0 era, and they didn’t have sales people then…
Who needs salespeople at all for a commodity sale? For the quick, price-sensitive transaction, no one.
Maybe you can argue that the cold call is dead, and in some arenas farming with these new tools will be the preferred sales tactic; but you will never convince me that this is the death of hunting and rainmaking. For complex sales, intangible sales, multi-buyer sales, custom product sales, there will be need for salespeople, cold calling, and other types of Network-Centric Marketing tools, many of which have been blogged about here and will be blogged about in the future.