Believe it or not, despite the fact that are 7,737 billion active accounts in the world’s ten most popular social networks, phone calls are still is the best sales channel.
Facebook, Whatsapp, WeChat, Instagram, and Twitter -amongst others- gathers the equivalent of 5.7 times the population of China (1,370 billion people), and 36% of sales representatives worldwide say that making a phone call is the most effective way to connect with prospects, according to the Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report 2016, recently published.This comprehensive annual study about the Inbound Marketing industry - especially about Inbounders and salespeople- shows that these phone calls have nothing to do with those old cold-as-ice calls that do nothing other than interrupt people that never asked for your product or service. Instead, these statistics show that consumers still like personal contact, and they use the digital and mobile world as a complement of their buying experience.
That’s very good news for Inbounders, because Inbound Marketing is about “transforming how we do businesses to be more helpful, more human, more empathetic,” Hubspot’s founder Brian Halligan states. “It focuses -he adds- on the whole process of turning a stranger into a delighted customer. Inbound is about matching the way you market and sell with the way people actually want to shop and buy”.
With this in mind, we can see that the combination of different communication channels is a mix that vary from one continent to another, it changes according the role that people have inside a company, or the nature of every social network. Clearly, it is a mix that is constantly evolving, so it’s an issue that marketers should be permanently monitoring. But for now, let’s see what’s going on nowadays.
Effective Channels To Communicate With Prospects
As a first step, marketing and Inbound professionals prefer to connect with each other by email (55%), face to face (45%), and by phone (43%). At a second level, they would rather use social media (38%), video conferencing (37%), and messenger apps like Whatsapp or WeChat (24%).
According to the State of Inbound, senior people tend to prefer channels that involve some kind of physical contact, such as face to face conversations or phone calls. On the contrary, professionals at junior levels are more likely to use digital channels, as a clear example of the close relationship between millennials and technology.
Now, when we go inside the sales department, professionals of this area agree that the most effective channels to connect with a prospect are phone calls and emails, far higher than social media.
This doesn’t mean a decreasing usage of social media at all. In fact, there isn’t a clear difference between the usage of Facebook and LinkedIn, in terms of professional or personal reasons. The Hubspot report says that “traditionally, Facebook is known as a personal network while LinkedIn is aimed at professional networking. When asked, 73% of respondents use Facebook for professional reasons, and 56% used LinkedIn for personal reasons.”
“Emerging social networks -the study adds- like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are still mostly seen as personal channels. That’s likely because very few business have figured out how to successfully brand and represent themselves on these networks.”