Born and raised in New York City, Jeff Kalter graduated with a Bachelor of Science from New York Institute of Technology. Jeff began his professional career at Bruce Supply Corporation, a leading industrial supplies distributor in the United States. Thereafter, Jeff co-founded Central Foundries Inc., a global importer and manufacturer of cast iron and copper products.
In the late 90s Jeff moved his family to Munich, Germany, where he gained experience in the consumer market acting as Advertising Designer for companies such as ESCADA and Altmarkt Gallery.
Jeff was then recruited by a leading outsourced customer acquisition company responsible for global clients, including TOSHIBA, Cisco Systems and 3Com. His responsibilities included developing, implementing and driving customer acquisition programs with proven revenue of over 100 million USD.
In 2003 Jeff co-founded 3D2B in Rome, Italy. Today, Jeff is the CEO of 3D2B and resides between Rome and New York City.
Over the last couple of decades, the language of marketing has evolved. Today, the buzzwords include Big Data, artificial intelligence, marketing automation, content marketing, social media marketing, account-based marketing, influencer marketing and more. The thread that runs between these marketing methods is technology. While it enables them all, it does not tell the whole story.
Technology can make us more efficient, precise in our targeting and personalized in our B2B marketing outreach. It cannot, however, do the whole job. That’s because B2B products, services and solutions tend to be complicated and expensive. To educate buyers and to build the trust required to make a substantial investment, you need good, old-fashioned human interaction that is central to a couple of traditional marketing tactics.
While tried and true, these tactics have changed with the times. Let’s look at how these traditional techniques, now wrapped in new technology, have become more powerful than ever.
If you’re in the fast-paced world of sales and marketing, you likely aspire to stay one step ahead of the competition. It’s not easy to do because you must keep up with constantly changing sales and marketing trends. Here are three trends worth mastering in 2018.
In the past few decades, automation has diminished many avenues of employment. Secretaries, better known today as personal assistants (PA’s), once were omnipresent in offices, but are now few and far between. Many more workers used to line the floors of factories. Retail salespeople are fast becoming an endangered species. After all, who needs a salesperson to help them buy a mobile phone when they’ve already done their research and read the reviews online?
Gradually, technology and automation are taking over large spheres of our lives and the economy. And given that machines often offer increased efficiency and accuracy over humans, that’s not surprising.
"When your timing is off, so is your stride. When your cadence is off, you’re in deep trouble as a hurdler.” – Rod Millburn
In all likelihood, you’re not a hurdler. However, if you’re in sales and marketing, you know you have to overcome a lot of obstacles to land a deal. And cadence is as important for conquering sales hurdles as it is for leaping over a series of high jumps. Get it wrong, and you could fall flat on your face with little to show for your efforts.
So what is a sales cadence?
A sales cadence is a well-defined process that business development reps use when following up on leads. It’s not simply the number of times a sales person should reach out; it also includes the timing of the outreach and the format — usually a mix of phone calls, emails and interactions via social media. Because what reps do naturally and what they should do to be successful are usually two different animals, a delineated sales cadence is necessary.
So how do you know if your sales cadence is off kilter? According to The Sales Cadence Report 2017, there are several signs that it’s out of whack.
According to a study by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, the top inside sales challenge is training and development. As a result, almost half (45.7%) are increasing their internal training programs.
Training, however, can be a daunting task. After all, inside sales training should be at least as thorough as training for field reps and probably more so. That’s because inside salespeople need the same skills and expertise as road warriors, plus they have additional challenges because they are not face-to-face with the customer.
For example, it’s harder to establish rapport with someone when you are not sitting across the desk from them and cannot make eye contact. Likewise, it may be more challenging to understand the lay of the land within a corporation. After all, the rep can’t see whether they are talking with someone in a cubicle or corner office.
Here are some key skills and areas you need to train your inside sales people on so they can do their jobs with the ease and confidence that leads to sales success.
“Our research shows that inside sales roles are growing 15X faster than outside sales.” — Mary Shea of Forrester Research.
If you’re managing B2B sales, you’re likely either expanding your in-house sales team or seeking to grow it by outsourcing some or all of the function. Much of the tremendous growth spurt of the inside sales function is due to technology which has enabled reps to be productive without the cost of face-to-face meetings. So, whether you’re using internal or external resources, understanding the technologies that provide the foundation for success is essential.
As a telemarketing company that serves B2B organizations, we know the ins and outs of technology. After all, our success depends on it. So to save you some time when assembling your technology stack, here’s an inside look at what works for us.
The field sales person used to be a lone ranger. He operated beyond the walls of the corporation, with his own schedule and tactics. Yes, he’d call in once in a while for help from customer service and marketing, but his efforts were not part of a finely orchestrated sales strategy.
Today the tides have turned. Technology has enabled inside sales people to be more efficient and successful in working with prospects and customers. CRM keeps the sales process organized, the Internet provides ready access to research, emails and social media aid in communication and online meetings can often achieve as much as the face-to-face alternative.
At the same time, field sales people earn 12-18% more than inside sales people. Plus, there are associated costs of travel and downtime while en route to the next client. Therefore, it’s not surprising that inside sales is growing at an average rate of 7.5% a year while outside sales is barely holding its own with an average increase of 0.5% a year.
That, of course, brings up the question of how to integrate inside sales with field sales to get the best of both worlds. After all, despite all the efficiencies of an inside sales team, there is still something incredibly powerful about face-to-face meetings.
Here are some insights to help you maximize sales results:
The more you can personalize your communications with B2B prospects, the greater your competitive advantage. Because of this, marketers and salespeople are scrambling to learn more about their prospects than ever before, including everything from firmographics to insights on individual personalities.
To communicate in a way that’s relevant, you need to dig deep to understand:
But how can you do the research efficiently and effectively?
Do you simply tally up your wins and losses, then look to see whether the trends are going in the right direction? If so, you’re like many other companies. Some will go a little further and ask the sales reps why the sale was lost. Most likely they’ll tell you it was the price or some other failing of your offering.
Those companies, however, that take a systematic approach to win/loss analyses gain a wealth of information. Ultimately, it enables them to improve their relationship with prospects and customers as well as the products, services or solutions that they sell.
Win/loss analysis is the systematic process of interviewing new clients and prospects who fell by the wayside to find out why they chose one path or the other. And that’s precisely the information you need to make steps toward ensuring the right prospects choose the path to becoming one of your customers.
So here’s what you can learn.
B2B companies are increasingly selling from remote locations over the phone. Perhaps a decade ago, most people would not have predicted this turn of events. After all, that’s when marketing leaders eagerly sought out the new promise of inbound marketing to produce leads and revenues.
For many years, we’ve seen arguments favoring inbound over outbound marketing. Marketers are now starting to realize, however, that they may have swung the balance too far in one direction. There’s no reason to choose between inbound and outbound tactics. Today’s effective marketing is “all-bound.” That’s because there’s synergy between inbound marketing and outreach in the form of emails, social selling and phone calls.