The phone is still the most powerful tool in sales. Voice is one of the only mediums that allows for inflection. (You can tell tone through text or email - even with emoticons).
In this webinar, Telephony: Most powerful yet misunderstood sales tool, Leads360 spoke about that sales is going through a revolution. Because of the voicemail, the web, mobility, texts, IM/chat, email and social media, how do you communicate with your prospects any more? Moreover, how fast do you respond? It's all about Internet Time now. Quick response in the medium of choice of the prospective customer.
Email - my primary communications medium - is actually just too one dimensional for most sales conversations. I need to pick up the phone more.
"Focus on the live conversations at hand, rather than parallel conversations on the Blackberry screen," from HBR.
We are highly connected and informed but disconnected, misinformed and actually lack communication skills. Intelligent conversation will win.
Being helpful, responsive, able to educate, and easy to contact / buy from are the factors for future success.