Three unpopular facts about cold calling

Three unpopular facts about cold calling

Yes, there’s a renaissance of Cold Calling in the B2B space and the conversion rate (call attempts to qualified meetings) is acceptable if done by a professional, but there is also something negative about Cold Calling what most Business Development Managers try to ignore.

1. Cold Calling leaves a bad reputation

When you look at the qualified meetings generated by Cold Calling everything looks fine. You can generate meetings with Cold Calling with around 2% conversion. But what about the other 98%? You interrupted them in their work with an unexpected cold call, got them definitely „in the wrong situation“ (meeting room, video call, home office, concentrated) and wanted to grab their attention.  That approach makes a lot of people very angry – especially in the German business culture. Much more angry than an email ever will. There is a much higher change that they will remember the caller and their company.

With Cold Calling you get some meetings but you also leave a lot of burnt earth. As a consequence you cannot re-activate these targets for a long time.

2. Cold Calling is a Seniors-only job

Let’s assume you have a high ticket offer and your targets are mainly C-level, VPs, Directors and „Head of…“. If you want to Cold Call them, you have to use your most senior salespeople – or even better your technical co-founder. They need to be working the phones. Why? Because only they have the skills to:

  1. Build rapport
  2. Handle objections
  3. Tell a compelling story

Problem: they usually have better things to do and even if they don’t, for sure they don’t want to Cold Call.

3. Cold Calling is not for Outsourcing

Because there’s no senior person in your company willing to do Cold Calling, you think you can outsource the ugly work to a telemarketing agency. Wrong! You can but you shouldn’t.

Lack of skills, labor costs, people churn and the fact that external staff can never articulate your product and story as good as you, makes Cold Calling for them even more difficult and leaves even more burnt earth. Your problem, not theirs – they get paid for meetings and for literally burning-through-the-list.

An unsuccessful telemarketing campaign does not just get you zero meetings, it also does not get you quality market feedback. It only destroys your brand reputation in the market.

But why then can you outsource Email Prospecting?

Email is not just another channel. It works totally different.

While Cold Calling is a real time play (the caller has to build rapport and adjust the right tone directly in the call AND has to handle objections immediately), with Email Prospecting you have all the time to set up and create the initial sales message, the overall context, your call-to-actions and also enough time to prepare good answers to their very individual questions and objections. You can template the fundamentals of your emails and therefore you can even outsource email prospecting to an agency because it depends far less on the sender. Cold Calling totally depends on the caller.

People are tethered to their email system anyway. Most people are tethered to their phones too, but people will read an email from a random person on their phones while a call from a random person isn’t answered in most cases.

Is Email Prospecting scalable? Absolutely! A sales development rep (SDR) can send templated emails in the name of one, two or even three different sales executives.

Isn’t Email Prospecting leaving a bad reputation as well? Not as much as Cold Calling! A bad email you just delete and don’t engage with the sender. You forget about it in seconds and you are still receptive to a better email from even the same person in 6 to 9 months.

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Back in the days when I (Martin Weiss) was dong Cold Calling as account executive for the DACH markets, I tried several times to recruit people to make the calls for me. I could always outperform their 40 hours in less than 8 hours even when I was willing to spend real money for talent. In the early years of BizXpand we also did Cold Calling for our customers but we finally stopped Cold Calling completely 10 years ago for the same reasons I mentioned above.

 

When was the last time you answered a Cold Call and agreed to a meeting with a Sales Executive?

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