Is cold calling dead?
At least some companies would like to believe so. With low conversion rates and bad rap, many businesses don’t consider cold calling effective anymore.
But here’s the kicker: dialing up a list of leads day in and day out won’t get the best results.
The problem isn’t so much with the concept of cold calling as it is with the approach to making these calls. Cold calling can still work wonders for businesses and ramp up their lead generation efforts when used methodically within the B2B sales funnel.
This article will walk you through eight crucial steps to integrate cold calling into your sales funnel and win more deals. But first, let’s see why you shouldn’t give up on cold calling just yet.
Cold calling can optimize your sales funnel and maximize its ROI when done right. 82% of buyers accept meetings with sales reps who reach out proactively, proving the importance of consistent and systematic cold calling in the sales process.
Besides ramping up your conversion rate, cold calling can help your sales staff in many ways. Let’s look at these five cold calling benefits to see what you stand to gain.
Ask any sales rep, and they’ll say keeping track of every lead to avoid any lost leads is among their top challenges. But they can use cold calls to re-engage lost leads and sign a deal with these customers instead.
Let’s say you’ve found new leads from different channels, like your business website, directories, lead generation software, etc. First, segment these leads in your CRM database and regularly update their deal status based on your interactions.
As soon as a lead turns cold or goes inactive, you can give them a call to touch base about your last conversation and give them a reminder about the deal on the table.
Chatting with a lead over the phone to discuss their needs and challenges can offer more clarity on your ideal customer profile. You’ll discover different kinds of buyers in your pipeline and have a clearer understanding of your ICP’s traits.
What’s more, talking to these ideal customers can reveal their biggest pain points and objections — helping you prepare an airtight sales pitch. Use cold calls to build a deeper understanding of your target buyers to hone your skills and close more deals constantly.
One of the biggest benefits of cold calling is the direct access you enjoy to your prospects. Instead of passive communication via sales emails or messages, cold calls create direct human interaction between you and a potential customer. This builds a personal connection you can nurture in the later stages of the sales funnel.
Besides, talking to a lead directly on call also reveals their personality. You can use this information to nurture the lead in the future.
So many of your target buyers’ email inboxes are flooded with messages from 20 different brands or sales reps. This inevitably leads to email fatigue, dropping the open and response rates for your pitch emails.
Instead of sending emails in vain, cold calling allows you to reach a bigger volume of leads and build a personal connection with them. It gives you a better chance to access your leads, strike up a conversation, and convince them to hear you out.
With a business phone system like Novocall, cold calling can cross all borders and limits. You can dial up people from across the world whenever you want, from wherever you like effortlessly.
Another massive advantage of calling prospects is the ability to reach a global audience at scale. You can centralize your cold calling processes using a cloud-based calling tool or even outsource some part of it to freelancers and agencies across the world.
This gives you better chances of expanding your target audience to multiple regions beyond the domestic market. It also helps in scaling your cold calling operations instantly.
If you’re doing things the old way — calling people from a list of leads and reading out a script, you might be doing it wrong.
Traditional cold calling practices hardly work in today’s fast-paced sales world, if ever. To truly get the desired results and scale your sales numbers, you need a new approach for integrating cold calls within your sales funnel.
Here’s our 8-step guide to getting the best out of cold calling by adding it to your funnel.
First things first, make a database of qualified leads to dial through cold calls. Use strategic prospecting and lead generation tactics to search the right markets and find your ideal prospects. You can:
This step is about laying the base for the next stages in your sales funnel. Don’t forget to proactively add and qualify leads to expand your list of potential customers.
Most sales reps drop the ball by randomly calling a stranger and trying to sell to them. A better way to approach cold calls is knowing the key details about a prospect to engage them better over the call.
So, once you’ve shortlisted the prospects for your cold calls, get more context for every lead. Check their LinkedIn headlines and profiles to get more information about their role, interests, and needs. You can also use cold calling at this pre-sales stage to find more information about your prospects — any missing links or specific details that will help you sell better.
Add these details to your database to create a solid blueprint for your call, make your sales pitch more relatable for every prospect, and leave a great first impression.
Relying on leads from a single channel means you’re leaving money at the table. Customers don’t just hang out on a single channel. Companies, on average, have 16 touchpoints per lead before closing a deal with them.
So, add more channels to the mix and diversify your approach to build your lead database. Remember that this can directly increase the number of deals closed because the bigger your database, the more responses you’d get, and the more sales you can win.
A multi-channel outreach strategy covers various touchpoints, like:
Regularly produce new content on various channels and especially on social media and collect inbound and outbound leads from these channels to strengthen your database of prospects.
Once you’ve built a strong database, the next step is segmenting these leads. This is crucial to have a more personalized conversation with these prospects.
Business calling solutions like Novocall allow you to automate a part of this cold calling process. Connect the tool with your website, landing pages, forms, and other touchpoints to collect leads. Whenever a user performs an action — like clicking on the given CTA on the landing page, Novocall will automatically set up a call as the next step.
You only get a few seconds to get your prospect’s attention over a cold call, deliver your pitch, and make an impact. One of the most effective ways to make every call count is by segmenting leads into different stages of the buyer journey, like:
Focus on creating a constructive conversation with these prospects. Monitor their actions to understand their level of interest in your business and segment them into these categories for a more targeted pitch.
For example, if a prospect downloaded an ebook or clicked on an exit popup on your website, they’re in the solution-aware stage and still learning about your brand. If they requested a quote or sales proposal, they’re in the product-aware stage and eager to get more information.
With this information with you, focus the conversation on the reasons behind these actions and explore their interest in your brand instead of making a generic pitch.
After you’ve ticked off the first four steps, it’s time to make a move and call the leads. Follow your blueprint for the call, but feel free to tweak it depending on the prospect’s responses.
Here are a few cold calling tips to make life easy for you:
Remember: you can’t close the deal in the first call itself. So, keep it crisp and ask relevant questions to intrigue your prospects into taking the conversation forward.
Sales aren’t only about creating first impressions. Sometimes, prospects might show a keen interest in your business at first — only to go radio silent after a few days and ghost you without a definite reason. That’s why you need to consciously nurture every lead to gradually nudge them toward a buying decision and seal the deal.
So, follow up with them after you’ve successfully called a cold lead to define the next steps.
Whether you want to stay on the radar of a lead you recently connected with or want to revive a warm lead gone cold, regular follow-ups can effectively engage these leads and create a way forward.
Take follow-ups over calls, emails, or social media channels to move the needle for a potential sale. Keep in mind the rule of thumb for follow-ups: don’t be intrusive or offensive to your prospects. Maintain good boundaries and make a strong case for yourself with the right points to make following up worth their time.
Tracking and analyzing your reps’ cold calling performance is a surefire way to set your team up for success. Tracking calls shows every rep’s strong suits and reveals their weaknesses. Use this information to share constructive feedback and improve their skills.
Besides, call tracking can help accurately attribute your lead generation campaigns. It identifies which channels are generating more leads over the others. Add this data to your CRM for a more comprehensive analysis of your lead generation efforts and double down on what’s working.
Your cold calling efforts don’t end with closing the deal. The next step is collecting client feedback to maximize their satisfaction.
Call your clients to learn more about their post-purchase experience and jot down their points of frustration. Alternatively, use email marketing to keep them engaged throughout their time with your company. Establish a strong rapport with your customers to show them you genuinely care about their experience with your company.
More importantly, create a closed feedback loop by acting on their suggestions and resolving their challenges to win their loyalty in the long run.
Cold calling is constantly evolving into a more meaningful and effective sales technique. You can either stick to the old ways and fall behind or adapt to the dynamic methods and take an edge over your competition.
With this start-to-finish guide, you can easily integrate cold calling into your sales funnel for both inbound and outbound leads.
It’ll equip your sales staff to prepare a weatherproof groundwork for their cold calling efforts and close more deals with a strong pitch, regular follow-ups, and perfect after-sales service.
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