We hear “cold calling is dead” all the time, but from the rate of sales calls we all receive each month, it doesn’t seem to have popped its cloggs just yet.
Admittedly, cold calling does feel somewhat old fashioned in today’s digital world, but 41.2 percent of salespeople still say that their phone is their most important tool.
However, many smaller and medium sized businesses do not have dedicated sales teams. Keeping your sales funnel full of quality leads can be like a full time job in itself - one that you don’t have the necessary time or resources for. That’s why it’s crucial to be efficient with your sales strategy, find out what works best for your business, and focus on quality over quantity.
To help decide if cold calling is worth your while, ask yourself these five questions before picking up the phone…
1. Is cold calling right for my business?
Cold calling isn’t right for everyone.
It depends on the nature of your business, who your customers are, and even the personality and culture of your brand. You don’t want to turn promising leads off by surprising them with an off-brand cold call.
Are you selling B2B or B2C? Are you a product based or service based business? Where do your ideal customers tend to make buying decisions?
Cold calling is time consuming and could potentially misrepresent your brand, so ask yourself all the relevant questions before you dive in.
2. Is this a good quality lead?
Research by Sales Insights Lab found that a minimum of 80% of a business’s prospects aren’t a good fit for what they sell. Trying to reach these people via the phone is just going to waste everybody’s time.
We stand by the age old saying of quality over quantity, and believe for busy small businesses, it’s key to consider the quality of leads before you spend any time on the phone.
You can be as complex or as simple as you like with this. Some businesses prefer to employ complicated lead scoring models, but you may find it’s enough to simply compare each lead to your ideal client personas…
3. How do they match up with my ideal customer personas?
This is a huge factor in determining whether a lead is good quality.
You should be very familiar with who your target audience is, but it can be very useful to dig deeper and create personas for your ideal customers.
Where do they spend time online? Where do they like to be sold to (such as on social media or over the phone)? Are they the kind of person that will respond well to cold calling?
Having well-defined personas will help you to assess how promising a lead is quickly, especially if every member of your team is on the same page.
4. Does this really have to be a cold call?
Cold calling feels off in today’s world because there’s no excuse for it. The internet and all the information it makes available to us has made “warm calling” much easier.
Cold calling implies ringing a lead without knowing anything about them - it feels like a gamble. But if you’re targeting a business for example, it only takes a few minutes to look them up online, find out the names of their team members, their culture, and maybe even recent wins they’ve had that you can refer to on the call.
You can make your warm calls even toastier by following leads you believe to be promising on social media and interacting with them for a few weeks before you make the call. Get on their radar and be genuine, and your “cold” calls will inevitably get warmer.
5. Is there another, more effective option?
Going back to our first point - cold calling isn’t for everyone.
There may be a more effective lead generation option for you, whether that’s social media ads, email marketing, lead magnets, in person networking, or a combination of several methods.
Personally, we are big fans of face-to-face networking, and have found it to be most effective for us. Like cold calling, it’s also not for everyone, but we encourage you to give it a go as soon as restrictions allow.
So, are you still going to make the call, or have you decided that an alternative method will be more effective?
If you do think call calling is right for your business, our advice would be to take the necessary steps to warm up your calls and focus on quality leads. There’s no excuse for ice cold calls in today’s world!
We hope these tips have been helpful, and we’d love to hear your experience with cold calling - get in touch on social media.