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Did you see the below picture pop up on your LinkedIn feed? You have a senior sales leader telling sales reps to step up and use the phone instead of spamming him with what we all know are automated emails. I didn’t say it, he did. Mr. Broudy caused quite a stir with his post, but is it true? Should sales reps really use that ugly thing we call the phone?

Multiple times a day I receive automated emails from sales reps. You know the kind you send when you’re a marketer via Marketo? The email says my name and then goes into some sort of templated email as shown below. It’s effective for the sales rep but is it effective for a prospect?

Tony J Hughes calls this email happy movement we’re all experiencing, the rise of the silent sales floor and he says it’s killing business. Come on Tony, aren’t you being a little dramatic? Is it really killing business?

Tony may have a point. Something appears to not be working. I was looking at quota attainment numbers from my friend Barry Trailer and it appears we’re not getting better, we’re getting worse. In 2102, quota attainment was at 63%. In 2013 it dropped to 58.2% and now in 2016, that number is at 57.1%. Could sales rep’s love of email and fascination with automated email schedulers have contributed to this downward spiral?

Last week our friend at SnackNationKevin Dorsey, posted a blasphemous sales experiment. He didn’t have his reps email. I know, I know, it makes me sick he would even think to do such a thing. I bet his team all quit and the results were terrible. Sadly, that’s not the case. Kevin reported that the experiment was successful (see the results below).

How can this be? How is it possible that the phone is actually working?

If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately and you haven’t seen Chris Beall’s daily posts you’re missing out. Sure, it’s annoying that he posts his team’s daily phone stats but you can’t help but look at them, right? Have you seen the results his team is achieving by following Mr. Broudy’s advice to pick up the phone? It’s solid and the results are immediate rather than nurturing prospects with emails for weeks and weeks. I’m waiting for one of these email companies to post their daily stats on emails and see how they compare. Come on guys, what are you scared of?

InsideSales Labs recently completed a study where we looked at sales cadences across nearly 9,000 companies. We wanted to see what sales reps were really doing with leads. Are reps calling or emailing more? The winner was email by a landslide. Half (49.3%) of all cadence audits, never received a phone call—just emails and 57% of all activities were emails.

There you have it. Steven was right, reps are flooding inboxes as emails are being utilized a lot more than phone calls. Why do sales reps email 34% more often than placing a call? I believe many sales reps have bought into the idea that emails are more effective. The question is, are they? According to Steven Broudy, Kevin Dorsey, and Chris Beall, the phone still works just fine. Should reps become email marketers? I don’t think so. Should reps become cold-callers? I’d argue against that as well. The path to success is somewhere in the middle. As they say, moderation in all things.

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This article was originally posted on LinkedIn

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