Is cold calling still an effective method for B2B sales?


And here’s why.

Due to a busy lifestyle, business people often block calls and switch over to non-voice communication channels. However, the calls should not be abandoned just yet. In fact, cold calling has become more effective than ever owing to an open access to information about almost every prospect and impressive functionality of sales automation call software. The trick is to adapt to the changing environment and perceive the technological progress as a great advantage rather than a serious threat.

Cold calls vs emails

There is a common misconception that email marketing campaigns are more effective than cold calls. A call is more personal than email, which is its benefit and drawback at the same time. The challenge that agents usually face while making cold calls is that they must be able to clarify the customer’s needs without looking too importunate. Emails also have their drawbacks. On the one hand, there is a high probability that the customer will miss them, but on the other hand, they are a lot less intrusive. Therefore, calling can be a much bigger interference compared with sending an email, but if all the preliminary work is done right, it is possible to make each call as personalized as possible.

A conversation on the phone has plenty of advantages over email correspondence. Sales agents manage to cover more aspects through a live conversation than via email. Email campaigns presume that the prospect opens your letter from a bunch of similar ones, reads what it has to say, follows the suggested links to learn more about the product or service, and then replies to the company saying that he is interested. In reality, the prospect may not even see the letter in his mailbox. An effective cold calling campaign can potentially generate 5-10 times higher response rates compared to an email campaign.

It’s not working because you’re doing it wrong

Before giving up on cold calling, ask yourself this:

Do you research your prospects before making a call?

If cold calling doesn’t work for your business, there is a chance that you are not doing it right. B2B sales agent cannot just open a database and blindly dial the numbers from the list, even if this is the list of companies within your target market. To make a cold B2B call a bit warmer, you need to prepare for every conversation and think in advance what steps you should take to get to the potential customer.

Total access to essential information about the prospect is the advantage that was unavailable for cold calling in the past. When making a sales call, there’s no excuse for an agent to be unprepared.

An opening line like “I’m calling to see if you’d be interested…” sounds like a complete waste of time. This is the complete opposite to efficiency given that in a few mouse clicks, the salesperson can know exactly what the company needs.

There is a big difference between calling a company to ask if they are interested in your product/service or reaching out to them knowing that you can give them serious value. This might be the reason why you don’t profit from cold calls.

The information that every agent could use includes:

- mission, vision, plans, and goals of the company;

- mission, vision, plans, and goals of their competitors;

- typical issues faced by the companies within a target market;

- the latest advancements in target industry, etc.

Knowledge is empowering, and a well-informed sales agent is much more likely to hit the spot than the agent who is not sure who he is talking to.

Overall, it is not quite true that cold calling has disappeared from B2B sales. Cold calling will be a part of sales for as long as there are telephones. It is a cost-effective and highly productive marketing instrument provided that the agents prepare for every conversation.

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