Do cold calling work? The question is asked multiple times which isn't really a surprise. Cold calling is one of those sales techniques that seems easy to tackle on the surface (pick up a phone and call), but it takes a lot of effort to produce results.
And even then, the regular rejection involved can be unpleasant. Evolving communication methods can make phone calls seem old-fashioned, if not completely backwards. But, simply put, it would be totally wrong to say that cold calling is dead.
Cold calling is still a great way to seize the initiative and create sales leads. There are just a few things to remember when doing this: stay in control, know your purpose, and know your audience.
With that in mind, you'll find that cold calling can be an effective—indeed, essential—part of your sales funnel. Let's delve into the discussion on the topic "Is cold calling dead?" understand its impact on sales.
- Cold calling refers to calls made to a person your business hasn't previously interacted with, but that doesn't mean finding common ground with potential customers isn't important.
- Most buyers are open to cold calling, especially early in the solution-finding process. Phone calls continue to be an important part of people's preferred methods of communication.
- Three things to keep in mind when cold calling: Create your phone number lists carefully, script and refine it, and incorporate it into a broader omnichannel approach.
What does cold calling mean?
Before discussing the question "Are cold calling dead?" Also, let's discuss cold calling first.
A cold call is a call made to a person with whom your company has not previously interacted. While the term may have implied "visiting" someone face-to-face, it is now widely understood to refer to phone calls.
Although cold calling recipients are not existing contacts, that doesn't mean they were randomly chosen or that you don't need to know anything about them. Given the prevalence and effectiveness of spam filters today, it's important to choose your cold calling prospects carefully.
A point of connection, whether it's mutual contacts, common interests, or geographic proximity, can greatly increase your chances of success. (Or at least they can minimize their chances of being flagged as spam.) But more on that later.
By now, you're probably wondering if cold calling is worth all that effort and possible discouragement to get started.
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How effective is cold calling? A look at the data
Few cold calls will result in a sale. Compared to other approaches, in fact, the success rate of typical business cold calls can seem quite dismal.
Still, Rain Group data shows that82% of buyers are receptive to cold callingofvirtual sales assistants; however, few of those calls will result in a sale. This is because most of these leads don't buy until three or more leads. These sales still go back to cold calling, but of course they involve hot calling and probably communication through other channels as well.
This brings us to the second notable statistic: the vast majority ofB2B buyers prefer to interact using a variety of methods, including calls.(McKinsey). These include:
- Traditional methods (in person, direct mail, etc.)
- Remote (including phone and video calls, as well as email)
- virtual self-service
Both studies; however, he noted that human interaction such as through a phone call was more important and preferable the earlier the recipient was in the purchase process.
It's also worth noting that cold calling is generally considered more viable among B2B sales funnels rather than B2C ones.
Of course, the general statistics may not apply directly to your business. You will need to study your niche to understand which methods to employ and when. While it takes some extra effort, it can build goodwill among your users — McKinsey discoveredonly about 1 in 10 shoppers were asked about their preferences.
Cold calling best practices to get it working
Perhaps the answer to the question, "Are cold calling dead?" lies in the effectiveness of his strategy on him. To get the most out of your cold calls, it's important to prepare well for them. Here are some steps you should take to maximize the results of your B2B cold calling efforts:
Get phone numbers the right way
A big hurdle is figuring out how to get cold calling numbers in the first place.
It can be tempting to buy lists of phone numbers or get them secondhand, but calling the wrong people is a good way to waste time and potentially get flagged as a spam call.
It's much better to find phone numbers through reputable sources like B2B databases or public directories. You could even delegate the task of compiling a list to a freelancer or outside agency.
Here are some good sources to examine:
Anyone who lists their number on social media is likely to be receptive to calls made at the right time with the right approach. Remember to look for people who are in a position to decide on a business, or at least influence decision makers to consider your business. This includes managers and directors, senior executives or owners of SMEs.
In addition to social media, consider searching for resumes or portfolios online as well.
References from colleagues or clients are a great way to gather numbers. While not as quick as other methods, having a common point of contact gives any potential call a much stronger opening.
You can use a referral program, social media, or a newsletter to more effectively solicit numbers from a wide audience.
B2B databases automate the process of finding publicly available information, saving you time while you're at it. (It also means they're not as intrusive as 'bought' lists from other companies.) These databases are often bundled with database management and prospecting tools, making them worthwhile investments.
Have a cold calling script ready
There are a few reasons why you should have a cold calling script ready.
First, Facilitates things. Cold calling is a numbers game – your team will be getting a lot of calls. A cold calling script or template that you can create saves time and energy.
Second, helps you analyze and improve your sales call process. By deliberately changing and retaining certain elements of your script, you can narrow down what works and what doesn't.
Finally, can help make sure you get the most important information in the first few seconds. This is vital for cold calling, as even a slight delay can result in the loss of a potential customer.
What makes a good cold calling script?
It should include a good introduction: give your name, the name of your company and why you are calling. Where you go from there may depend on the type of prospects you are reaching.
If you don't have a lot of information about your potential customers, it's reasonable to start with your services. Choose a specific outlet to open. This selling point should be consistent with what you know about the specific segment or vertical that the recipient belongs to.
You'll get more miles by showing you know your business and by focusing on how it's relevant to solving the problems they're likely to face.
On the other hand, if you have more details to go on, you can develop your connection with that prospect. This is especially true for referrals. Recommending a mutual hookup could buy you vital seconds or a more forgiving attitude.
Finally, remember that the vast majority of cold calls will not result in a deal at that point. Make sure your script is designed to facilitate the next touch point, rather than pin everything on a sale or bankruptcy.
Use it in conjunction with other sales methods
Cold calling is great for generating leads you might not otherwise have and for taking the initiative to broaden your reach. But it is still, as many have noted, more intrusive than many alternatives, and also highly subject to circumstances beyond your control.
If you rely entirely on cold calling, your lists may be depleted early (which can lead to new lists of dubious quality) and your SDRs depleted due to bounce. (This is a natural human response.)
You may find that it produces unreliable peaks and valleys, again, because so much of your success depends on external factors. Instead, here are a few things to consider:
- Dedicate a little time to it each day or week.
Most businesses find that people are more receptive to cold calling on certain days or times. If you've identified your sweet spot, focus on that and minimize cold calling at other times.
- Let your lists set the pace
Cold calling is best done when you have a reasonably promising pool of prospects. If you find yourself without a reputable list of numbers, there's no need to bother. Spend some time browsing a new list and resume calls when you're ready.
- Consider cold calling services
A cold call is an easily repeatable process that lends itself to outsourcing or delegation. Part-time freelancers or third-party cold calling services can handle the initial contact, creating later opportunities for your internal representatives to focus.
- Use automated cold call systems
While they won't do it all for you, prospecting software, progressive markers, and similar tools can streamline the process, saving SDRs time and energy.
So does cold calling really work?
Recent data shows that cold calling is still a viable method of collecting leads and making sales. That being said, your current niche is part of a broader omnichannel approach.
It is important to be deliberate about cold calling and thorough in researching its feasibility. Depending on your industry or niche, it may be best to simply invest in cold calling alternatives to handle the remote channel parts of your sales process.
The proliferation of work-on-demand and automation tools makes cold calling quite accessible. You can easily outsource B2B or B2C cold calling services, minimizing the resources spent on them.
Is cold calling still effective? Generally speaking, yes. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. But to make it work for your business, you'll need to figure out what works for you, and remember, some dropped calls are part of the process.
Add magic to your cold calling success rate
There will always be a debate on the topic "Are cold calling dead?" and it's up to you how to make it work. That being said, you can get third-party cold calling services to simplify the process at a low cost.
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