I knew it was going to be an awkwardImage sales call the moment the sheepish voice on the line said “hello.”

He caught me at my desk just after 9 AM this morning and seemed surprised to actually be speaking with a live human being.  Here’s a recap of the 45 second chat:

Him:  My name is SALES PERSON and I noticed you were on the list to attend InTTensity’s social media summit, yet did not make it.

Me:  Yes, I wasn’t there.

Him:  What is your interest in social media?

Me:  I run a social media marketing consultancy.

Him: Oh…OK…can I send you videos from the event?

Me:  Sure.

Him:  Um…my phone number is 1-888-66-CARAH if you have any questions.

Me:  OK

Him:  Um…goodbye.

Companies invest significant time and money to create demand and identify leads.  They game up sleek and sophisticated lead generation events, Webinars and online promotions, Email marketing, advertisements, public relations campaigns and social media programs.

Then, they turbo-charge and seek to scale these efforts through the use of innovative sales force and marketing automation software packages.

So…why are inside sales teams populated by low-cost, inexperienced and under-trained reps?

Personal interaction with customers, prospects and partners is the most influential part of the sales cycle.  It’s where relationships are formed and cemented, or, when it comes to most inside sales outreach, slashed and burned.

Do you want to juice up the effectiveness of your company’s sales programs?  Here’s an easy-to-follow suggestion:  shift 10 percent of your marketing spend to better train the reps who work the phones.