An inside sales rep with the task of cold calling the CEO or high ranking executive of a fairly large organization over the phone would have a daunting experience even connecting. Getting past the gatekeepers and assistants is just part of the battle. Even if one is lucky enough to connect, it's not always easy to strike up a rapport as executives are more likely to be predisposed 'not to entertain a cold call'. Now think about this...have you ever approached a high-level executive or noted professional using a Linkedin message or sending a Twitter direct message/tweet?
Whoaa a reply! That was easy! We haven't put this through a formal research so I can't state this as a fact but from my experience, it's a lot easier to connect with a CEO or executive using Twitter, Linkedin or commenting on his/her blog. Somehow, just as much as we dislike being interrupted by a phone call at the office, we love receiving a direct message on Linkedin, a comment posted to our blog or a tweet from one of our Twitter followers. I'm sure when phones were still new, executives were happy to answer calls but times have changed and more often than not, they aren't always excited about incoming phone calls. It was the same with emails and once spam came into being, open rates declined and connecting through email also became challenging.
Communication channels are evolving and even executives are shouting out "connect with me on Linkedin" or "follow me on Twitter". So how does this effect marketing and CRM data? For starters, other than having a company phone number, contact phone number/extension, postal & email address, Linkedin profile, Twitter URL, blog URL and others are likely to become standard contact data fields for leads. Imagine going through your Salesforce data, clicking a contact and seeing a feed of the leads most recent updates on Twitter. Imagine cold calling a CEO and saying "We haven't spoken before but we've exchanged thoughts through comments on your blog". It helps connect on another level which is a lot easier than pure cold calling. It's effective, it's relevant to our times and it works! If these contact details can make it to visiting cards, don't be surprised to find them as a standard requirement in CRMs and marketing databases soon. Would this make you re-think how your marketing data looks?