There are a lot of different articles and arguments all over the Internet (especially some true BS on LinkedIn) about cold calling vs. cold emailing and effectiveness rates. We can make this pretty simple, actually.
What the stats say on cold calling vs. cold emailing
Look, to be honest you can find a study to prove almost anything these days — for example, this article cites one study where the cold call success rate was 0.3%. The BizXpand crew has been doing sales for years (decades!) and never seen, or personally experienced, numbers that low. (The sample size on the study in question was a little over 6,200 calls.) In that situation, the best bet is that people were quite literally doing it wrong.
Similarly, this guy doing startup sales had a 29% effectiveness rate with cold emailing, but another company sent 1,000 cold emails and, after the bounces, only 12 of 700 executives replied.
Last summer, Hubspot’s blog called cold calling “dead” (a popular refrain), but you need to remember context. Hubspot is predominantly a digital CRM with email marketing baked into it. So they have an interest in people thinking that the cold call is dead.
The real deal on cold calling vs. cold emailing
We can make this one pretty simple.
Cold calling is still the most effective cold acquisition method. This is true for a lot of reasons, but there’s one psychological reason that people gloss over. Guys running companies — decision-makers, stakeholders — are, on average, between 52 and 56 right now. As they came up in the business world, it was all about the phone. They’ve adopted to email, sure, but a lot of them are still very comfortable with the phone — and actually might miss how much digital has replaced it.
But the problem with cold calling as you scale a team is that it’s very hard to train people in. It takes a lot of time to create an effective cold caller. They need inherent talent, they need to rehearse 100s of times on different scripts, and they need product expertise. It’s not an immediate ROI investment.
Cold emailing is. You can play around with a copywriter, some templates, and tools in sales automation suites — or LinkedIn targeting programs, of which there are hundreds — and have a pretty effective, scaled cold emailing strategy/approach in a week or two.
Bottom line on cold vs. cold
If your team is not experienced with cold calling or you need to quickly scale the sales side, start by looking into cold emailing.
If your team is more experienced with cold calling and has a solid grasp of product and product-market fit, put more effort into cold calling.
If you aren’t sure which is better or you just want to see results now now now, get in touch with us. We’ll assess and then let you know which approach makes sense (or a mix!) and how we can help in both cold emailing and cold calling. Take a look at our Lead Generation Essentials.