A good cold calling campaign is always ROI-positive — but usually realizing that ROI is a long game. Most inside sales programs involve complex products with long sales cycles: sometimes of over a year. While such programs generate leads that are highly valuable, chances are that the company’s financial goals will have changed significantly by the time they are converted into sales.
These companies are able to make that investment now and wait until later to see the returns; they usually design their inside sales programs as part of a longer-term strategy for growing their market share.
But what if you need to generate some revenue immediately? Are there ways to use cold calling to do this successfully?
The answer is yes — but only in specific situations. Here are some examples of campaign types that can produce an immediate return on investment:
Making back-to-base calls to regular purchasers of your product. Some companies — such as those that sell machine parts, medical supplies, or industrial equipment — have faithful customers who order from them on a consistent, recurring basis. When these customers stop purchasing, sometimes all it takes is a quick phone call to get them back on board. Furthermore, since these customers already trust your company, they are more likely to be willing to fill out an order form or make a payment on the spot.
Notifying current customers about upgrades or renewals. In the software and technology industries — amongst others — products are updated fairly frequently, and many satisfied customers won’t even know about the option to upgrade to the newest version unless someone reaches out to them personally. If they already love your product, chances are they’ll upgrade as soon as they know that they’re able to! When that happens, your program will start generating revenue immediately.
Reminding prospects to register for events. If your company sees a lot of revenue from enrollments or event registration fees, chances are a lot of prospects are already planning to attend your next even but haven’t yet paid up. A simple reminder call — especially if the sign up date is fast approaching — will encourage many of them to square away so that their spot at the event is locked in. If you have a list of people who plan to attend or who attended previous events, calling on it can be particularly effective.
Following up on invoices or accounts payable. VSA has had several clients who do business by sending out invoices or cost estimates to potential customers who have either expressed interest in their services or who have received services but have not yet paid. It’s always a good idea to follow up to see if the customer is ready to accept the quote or pay their bill, but this is a time-consuming process that some companies can’t handle in-house. If that’s the case for you, outsourcing to a call center can be the ideal option — you’ll get a quick return on your investment!
If you need your campaign to pay off immediately — consider whether you could design a program similar to one of the ones above. If so, you’ll enjoy all of the other benefits of a prospecting campaign — such as learning about your market, identifying decision makers, and refining your messaging — while also seeing a quick and positive cash flow. But if not — be patient! Your leads are sure to pay off in time.