By Frank Visgatis, President & Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
When you combine the availability of information via the Internet, blogs, discussion groups, LinkedIn, etc., over the last several years and couple it with the much touted “research” that has supposedly documented that 60% of the buying cycle is now completed prior to a salesperson being contacted and you get the perfect formula for “inbounditis.”
Inbounditis is the disease that causes salespeople to abandon proactive prospecting activities and simply spend their time responding to inbound inquiries.
While it’s always nice (and easy) to talk to people who want to talk to you, I would suggest that it is not always the best use of your time. Typically the person reaching out is a mid-to-low level individual who has either been tasked with simply gathering information or, in many cases, undertaken an “evaluation” with no authorization by senior management and, therefore, no real funding secured internally.
Think about trying this approach: The next time you get a web inquiry or an email from an alleged “prospect,” look at the name of the company, go online and identify three or four senior executives from that company and then proactively prospect to them rather than simply responding to the initial request for information. If there is a real evaluation underway, the executives will likely be aware of it. You may very well get delegated back to that person who initially reached out to you, but at least you will have established some visibility with the real decision makers.