Calling right or Calling often
Here’s a question. In lead generation via phone, is simply making calls more important than the quality of those calls? We all know there is no correct answer to this question, but I’d love to start a dialogue about it. Does B2B cold calling to find qualified leads work just because we do it? Is it due only to chance and the sheer repetitive nature of making targeted phone calls that we will eventually reach a qualified, interested prospect?
Or, does it work (as I’m sure we all want to believe) because everything is well-planned and well-executed, callers are trained and the results carefully tracked?
My firm is an outsourced boutique B2B lead generation and appointment setting firm. We’ve been doing this for 14 years. I write a blog about how to do cold calling “right”, covering topics like how to carefully choose a list, train callers, overcome roadblocks, and so on. However, I have an nagging feeling that I don’t 100% don’t know the answer to this question.
There is so much about lead generation and appointment setting that is due to luck or chance. Sometimes we start a really challenging program and set an on-site appointment within the first week, but then don’t get another opportunity for 2 or more weeks. Why did that happen? It probably wasn’t “how we did it”, because the same process repeated for 2 more weeks didn’t yield the same results. This is a case of our success being more or less due to random chance; we just happened to call the right person at the right time.
I believe that outbound calls work to generate business. I recommended to virtually every B2B company (with a few exceptions) to start at ongoing calling program, no matter how small or imperfect. What’s the saying—“eighty percent of success is showing up”?
For our clients, of course, we want to do more than just show up. And to maximize results and realize the best return on their financial investment, having all the right pieces in place is important. (I have personally seen our results dramatically improve just by changing the list we are calling.) Even if all that our hard work achieves is a boost in the success rate of a program, I think it’s worth it.
Still, there’s something humbling about thinking that a certain portion of success we achieve for a client is really a factor of the number of calls we make, that after a certain point, no matter how carefully we craft our cold calling programs the results may not get markedly better. So, what do you all think—what’s more important, the quality of the calls themselves, or the fact that we’re calling at all?