Cold Calling or Cold Emailing?
Since the dawn of the digital age, there has been this assumption that, eventually, digital will wipe out all other mediums, making them obsolete. After all, digital is faster and cheaper. Plus, it comes with a truck load of juicy data that can be organized into insightful tools like graphs and charts which, in turn, help to make prospecting and lead generation tactics smarter and better targeted. However, recently, there has been a pendulum swing back to the ‘old way’ of doing things because, with all of digital’s flashy speed and dynamic data, it can never replace the power of human connection.
When it comes to the question of cold calling vs. cold emailing, there are some who fall strongly and squarely in one camp vs. the other. While the arguments for both can be complex and nuanced, in a nutshell they go something like this:
Those in favor of cold calling vouch for the control you have over the conversation – the ability to know first-hand how the prospect is receiving the information so you can use your intuition, along with your preparation, to influence the outcome in the moment. Also, as stated, there is the power of human connection and it cannot be matched. Alternatively, with cold emailing, which most people consider spam, the odds are the email will never even be opened! And, if it is, it might not be read in its entirety. And, unlike cold calling, once you send it you lose all control of it. There is nothing you can do or say to help influence the reader as they are reading it, in real time.
On the other hand, those in favor of cold emailing tout its speed and ability to reach thousands in mere moments, along with the age-old argument that since people innately don’t like cold callers, they will never buy from one or listen long enough to buy from one. And, of course, there is the data – who opened and when, what they clicked on, if anything, etc. etc. This data then helps the ensuing email campaigns become smarter and more targeted, eventually leading to a sale or appointment, whichever is the goal.
Since we are a cold calling center, you’d think we’d fall into the cold calling camp, but the truth is we land on neither side and on both at the same time. After all, why deny the power of one for the other? Why not, instead, harness the power of both lead generation techniques to increase the success of your telemarketing campaign? The smartest and most successful organizations, we have found, do just that.
There are strategies and best practices for both methods – and they differ quite a bit. It’s important that you use experts for each prospecting medium and not one jack of all trades for both. However, the specifics are too long and detailed to go into here, so let’s just briefly delve into how the two lead generation techniques can augment each other’s success. The key is to use the data. (Yes, cold calling has data. It’s called notes. Ancient though they are, the notes a cold caller takes during the call can provide a lot of very useful information.)
To illustrate the point, we’ll use a hypothetical example. Let’s say Company X is targeting medium to large businesses for their new inventory software. They gather a list of companies and their decision makers and begin an email campaign. At the same time, they hire a B2B call center to call the leads on the list to help qualify the records and set up appointments with the decision makers. Using the data from the emails, along with the data from the notes of the callers, each record on the list becomes more and more intelligent. Sometimes the appointments are set up through the email blasts after the decision maker signs up for a webinar that is offered inside of it. Sometimes the appointments are set up through the cold caller who manages to get the decision maker on the phone. Sometimes it’s the combination of both that really clinches the deal. For instance, the decision maker clicks on a white paper offer in the email blast that speaks to a specific inventory issue. The cold caller who calls the next day is aware of the click and uses that information during the call to secure an appointment with the decision maker. Or, the reverse could happen. The cold caller gets the decision maker (or someone on his staff) to open up about an issue they are having, but they are unable to get him or her to commit to an appointment. Then, a targeted email is sent to the prospect with a subject line that speaks to that specific problem. Inside is an offer for a free webinar that addresses that problem, run by a sales rep for Company X. The decision maker signs up for the webinar, at the end of which he agrees to an in-person appointment.
The bottom line is, buyers decide on their own time and in their own fashion how they will make a purchase and why. A smart seller uses every tool in his arsenal to help increase the odds that he will be in the right place, at the right time, in the right way for each and every prospect. Cold calling and cold emailing TOGETHER is the way to go.