Cold calling is one of those uncomfortable marketing techniques that every salesperson has probably experienced at some point. And honestly? Most don’t enjoy it.
Cold calling has a low success rate, and you’re likely not excellent at it. Only about 348 people will call you back for every 1000 people you call. And often it just feels kind of tacky!
In the age of digital marketing, do you really need cold calling?
Is Cold Calling Lazy?
With all of the information available to you about your prospective B2B customer, the first time you contact them doesn’t have to be a cold interaction.
No matter how you get your lead list, it’s easy to gather information about your targets that could lead to a better phone call.
While cold calls usually rely on scripts, researching your contacts ahead of time can provide valuable information to develop rapport, so it’s responsible to do your homework first.
You can collect information from the following sources:
- Their LinkedIn profile (or any social media profile)
- Form fills on your website (if you use content as currency to get more leads)
- Your website's marketing software (lead intelligence, like what a contact has downloaded or pages they have visited)
- The prospect’s company website
- Business Wire or similar news sites, or use Google Alerts to notify you when something is published about a prospect or their company
Do you buy lead lists? Why not call companies that have already visited your website instead? If you have in-depth marketing analytics on your website, you should be able to get a list of companies you want to call on in a short amount of time, even if they don’t fill out forms on your website. You can screen those companies to make sure they’d be a good fit before you call, helping to make your sales reps more productive.
Using your website to build your outreach list is a good idea, too, because you can get more information on someone that you might be able to otherwise.
If you see that someone from one of your target companies visited your website three times last week and looked at specific product pages, you might use that data to structure your sales conversation or even find the right person at the company.
Would having this knowledge and information up front help make that first conversation more productive so you can quickly establish relevance and trust?
What Should You Do With “Warm Calling?”
Your inbound marketing program will produce leads for your business, but what should you do with people that download informational guides?
Many companies don’t call people to fill out forms to download information from your website, thinking that calling these are a waste of time. While not all of them are ready to buy your product or service, they are familiar with your company because they have downloaded information. Your top of the funnel website leads are warm prospects that are more receptive to a phone call than cold leads.
If people fill out forms on your website to download things, you may want to consider incorporating warm calling in the sales process. You should be calling all of your leads, and using information you gather from their form fills, LinkedIn profile and website visit information, you have what it takes to have a good first call.
Warm calling allows you to take that list of customers who have contacted you by email, form fill on your website, or social media to further the conversation in an a more customized way. It’s more helpful to your prospect because you’re not talking to a complete stranger. You’re developing a relationship your prospect started -- one who’s interacted with your company already.
If you’re going to be aggressive in your inbound sales program, why not give this a try?
Do you still use cold calling in your business? How can you evolve your approach into being “warmer?”