Is Cold Calling Dead?
People often ask whether B2B cold calling is still effective and whether it has become obsolete.
We say with all certitude:
Telephone lead generation remains an incredibly effective prospecting tool. It combines the critically important personal touch with the ability to target decision makers you would not normally reach.
At the same time, changes in technology, workloads, competition, and business practices have definitely changed the cold calling climate.
How Cold Calling Has Changed
Shorter Industry Life Cycles
Industries are maturing at a rapid pace. Take two simple examples. In the past, business development representatives in fields such as web development and search engine optimization could easily set appointments.
Today that’s not the case.
As industries quickly move along the life-cycle curve, the competitive field becomes more crowded and it’s much harder to differentiate one company from another over the phone. The same applies to industries in the healthcare space, including EHR software and billing/coding services.
If you are in a new industry—one that isn’t filled with competitors—take advantage of cold calling to capture market share early on.
Getting Past the Gatekeeper
Today your calls will likely go to voicemail or to a phone system that requires you to know your contact’s extension. You might not even be able to talk to a live person, much less a personal secretary!
The best option is to invest in a high-quality list that provides decision makers with the exact titles you’re looking for and their direct dial numbers.
But sometimes such lists don’t exist. When caught in an automated voice response maze, try pressing different numbers to reach a live human. The sales and human resources departments are often good places to start.
Voicemail isn’t always bad, either. A creative message to an interested decision maker can produce return calls.
But most of all, in today’s environment, persistence is the answer. Just keep calling.
Email is an integral part of the telephone lead gen process. Be sure you integrate emails into your cold calling campaigns.
Email is the main way many decision makers communicate. Use a high-end list service that provides email addresses, or design your phone campaign to generate email addresses, and then communicate using both phone and email. It’s critical that you make contact with decision makers’ preferred method of communication—and often this method is email.
Targeting Your Audience
Your prospect list predicts 60-70 percent of your success. With today’s technology, you can cost-effectively target your market by purchasing industry-specific lists by size, revenue, geography, and so much more.
We can’t overstate the value of starting with a strong and focused list.
CRM systems allow you to analyze data previously stored in spreadsheets. You can measure the speed of your calls, your list productivity, and caller effectiveness, and also see common objections that need to be addressed.
Analyze your results and use your learnings to enhance your cold calling programs. There are many CRM systems with good analytics. Your competitors are using them, and they will help fine-tune your performance.
Grab Attention Quickly
Everyone is overworked and doing multiple jobs. More than ever, your prospects’ minds are focused on other priorities.
A good business development representative grabs the decision maker’s attention quickly and offers them something they want and need.
Today we’re all fearful of scams. You will need to establish credibility, especially if your company isn’t well known or your product/service is costly.
Start building credibility with the words you use, references to other firms you have helped, and your firm’s credentials. Also, make sure you have a document you can email with proof points.
Sending too much information was once frowned upon. Today it’s a wise request you’ll hear from decision makers who don’t want to waste time with an unscrupulous supplier.
Should I Invest in Cold Calling?
Telephone lead generation is a viable prospecting tool sales people and marketers use every day. Adjusting to the rapidly changing environment will allow you to effectively use this tool to build your pipeline and generate client growth and profits.
Interested in starting a telephone lead gen campaign but unsure where to start? Reach out and schedule a call with our team.