No, Cold Calling is Not Dead: 5 Common B2B Phone Myths Debunked
It is not uncommon these days to stumble upon business blogs boldly declaring that cold calling is dead as a lead-generation technique. However, you will find far more outlets arguing that cold calling is not only very much alive, but still one of the most effective means of B2B communication.
The data supports the latter claim. According to recent statistics compiled by financesonline.com, organizations that believe cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42 percent less growth than those who believe otherwise. And as of 2019, 55 percent of high-growth companies still utilized cold calling as one of the main strategies for growing their pipeline.
No wonder, then, that one of the prevailing messages at last month’s OutBound sales conference in Atlanta was that the phone remains critical for lead generation. Multi-channel approaches work, but cold calling is still a vital tool for communicating with prospects– no matter how many click-bait blog headlines declare otherwise.
Here are five myths about cold calling and the reasons they aren’t valid:
1. People hate to receive cold calls.
While this is certainly true in some cases, most business people appreciate the opportunity to directly learn something of potential value to their company—especially if the caller’s offering fits a specific need. A recent study indicated that 57 percent of C-level executives prefer being contacted by phone over other forms of communication.
The phone allows for immediate, human-to-human contact, giving both caller and prospect a chance to ask questions and gain information about the other. It might even make prospects feel special, since you took the time to call them.
2. The more calls you make, the better the results.
Lead generation isn’t about making the most calls, although that obviously helps. It’s about making the right calls. You can make hundreds of calls a day, but if you don’t have the appropriate prospect list, you’re not going to get very far.
That’s why it’s so important to properly target your potential buyers before you start making calls. Factors such as size, revenue, and geography are essential for qualifying candidates. At VSA, list-building is one of the most important steps in our onboarding process with clients—we have the technology, experience, and know-how to ensure our callers will only be reaching out to the right companies and the right contacts, specific to your campaign.
3. Only ultra-aggressive callers are successful.
Actually, an overly extroverted personality can be a detriment to a productive call. It’s important to be confident, yes, but that doesn’t mean pushy. The idea is to talk to prospects, not at them.
Forbes reported on an analysis of 35 studies, involving 4,000 salespeople, that determined there is almost no correlation between extroversion and sales success. A separate study among software salespeople revealed that extremely extroverted and extremely introverted people delivered equally poor results, while those whose personalities fell somewhere in the middle performed the best.
4. Gatekeepers are your foes.
While modern technology makes it somewhat easier to circumvent gatekeepers and reach decision makers directly, there will still be times when you must get past assistants before you can talk to your prospect. But rather than think of them as obstacles to achieving your goal, think of them as allies who can help you achieve your goal.
If you treat them with the proper respect and immediately establish a cordial relationship, they’re much more likely to connect you, or positively remember you the next time you call. Their job is to make their boss’s life easier; if you can briefly convince them of the value of your call, they will make sure the boss gets the message.
5. Most cold calls are a waste of time.
Sure, you’d love every call to end with setting an appointment, but that’s not realistic. Studies have shown that the average number of contact attempts for a positive outcome with a lead is 5.7.
Fortunately, even calls that don’t achieve the desired result can be productive. Think of it as building a relationship. Maybe you made a positive impression on the gatekeeper. Maybe the prospect liked what you had to say but needed to consult with a colleague before committing further. Maybe you caught the prospect at a bad time but piqued their interest for the future. Ideally, every call gets you one step closer toward achieving your goal.
Disparaging cold calling may be trendy in some circles, but it’s not smart business practice. Here at VSA, we know that telephone lead generation remains an incredibly effective prospecting tool. It allows you to target the right decision makers, while providing a personal touch absent from many modern methods of communication.
Interested in creating a telephone lead gen campaign but unsure where to start? Reach out and schedule a conversation with our team. We’re always happy to take the call.