Disputing the Demise of Classic Sales Strategies

It has become very popular for commentators in the sales and marketing world to declare things as being "dead." While it might be fashionable for industry trendsetters to depict tried-and-true sales tactics or techniques as antiquated, there is not an onslaught of new sales techniques flooding the marketplace. The world of sales, unlike the technology sector, doesn't move at lightning speed. With this in mind, you should be wary of the hype that everything you have learned over the past years is no longer in style.

Even with all of the excitement and media attention devoted to social media marketing, sponsored content, native advertising, and whatever other new technologies or trends come along, we should maintain a healthy skepticism toward "death of marketing" stories. As Mark Twain once said, "The report of my death was an exaggeration" (though Twain is commonly misquoted). The same can be said for the following sales techniques.

Cold Calling

It's become fashionable to declare that cold calling as a sales tactic is dead. Many salespeople use tools such as LinkedIn and other forms of social media to network their way into a sales conversation. Nothing wrong here...but is social media really going to sustain your complete pipeline development? Are you really going to generate all the appointments you need from this single source? I haven't met one salesperson who has so successfully cracked the code on social prospecting that he or she can effectively walk away from cold calling and still maintain a healthy pipeline. To drop cold calling from your list of prospecting tools is just unnecessary, especially when you still have a shortage of good qualified leads...and, yes, everybody needs more leads.

Your salespeople might welcome the news of the demise of cold calling, because most of them hate to do it, but totally abandoning cold calls is a mistake that could cost you a lot of sales.

Look at the broader picture of how you can make cold calling more effective. Most sales reps have never had formal training on how to cold call. They learned how to do it by watching and listening to their bosses and colleagues...who learned how to do it by watching their bosses and colleagues. The same mistakes have been passed from generation to generation. If cold calling is dead, it's only because sales teams everywhere are killing it through a lack of best practices, education, and commonsense techniques.

Solution Selling

Some sales consultants and industry commentators have been saying that "solution selling is dead" and that buyers have gotten increasingly sophisticated when it comes to finding and identifying their own solutions, leaving salespeople in the position of price-quoters and order-takers. Let's try to separate the hype from reality.

Yes, buyers can search and find a lot of information on solutions from the Web, but these prospects are already in the market. If you really are a student of solution selling, you know that calling it dead (for this reason) is to not understand the basic tenets of 

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