The ‘cold call’ as we know it dates back as far as the 1800s — so it’s safe to say it has been around for a while! It was one of the most effective lead generation strategies out there for a long time. According to HubSpot, back in 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a potential customer. Now, it can take up to 8 attempts. This reflects not only the advancing technologies available, but also the increase in millennial decision makers who are often less than happy to receive a phone call. Other modern sales approaches — from social selling to content marketing — have taken the sales world by storm. While we argue the cold call is not dead — and there is definitely a place for it within your strategy — it may just need an update.
The decline of cold calling
As more and more customer data became readily available and technological capabilities advanced, the need for making a phone call rapidly decreased. And so, attitudes towards making and receiving calls changed. One millennial worker interviewed by The Wall Street Journal puts the generation’s dislike of phone calls down to manners, stating: “Calling someone without emailing first can make it seem as though you’re prioritizing your needs over theirs”. And, a Bank My Cell study discovered that 75% of us avoid incoming calls for fear they’ll be time-consuming. As the internet rose in popularity, and its uses became vaster, a new approach to lead generation was on the horizon. Online lead generation took center stage and continues to be the most popular lead gen approach today.
Lead generation through email marketing gained popularity — according to HubSpot, 73% of them prefer business communications to take place via email. Lead generation through content marketing evolved off the back of this, with B2B buyers using content for research, reassurance and relationship building. CMI found that 91% of B2B marketers use it to reach their customers, and according to Demand Generation Report, almost half of buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a salesperson. This makes perfect sense, when we discover that millennials spend around 25 hours per week online, according to Wired. LinkedIn launched back in 2002 and now has more than 500 million members. According to Neil Patell, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. With 13% coming from Twitter, and 7% from Facebook, ‘social selling’ became the next evolution in B2B lead generation and still proves effective, popular and successful today.
Why your lead generation strategy can still benefit from cold calling
While it should no longer be your go-to approach, there is still very much a place for the cold call in your lead generation process. Here are just some of the benefits it offers.
● Instant communication
It may be difficult to get an answer, but once you do, the communication is instant. Having a conversation with a key decision maker is your end goal — so if you can get there fast, you’re winning! The downside, however, is just how easy it is to get cut-off. Decision makers are busy, and if they’re not familiar with your brand, they may be keen to get off the phone fast. That’s why nurturing leads with content and brand awareness first can truly work in your favor.
● Simple to implement
Content marketing, social media strategy and software implementation all require budget, time and resources. A cold call usually consists of an existing sales script and acquiring quality data. That’s not to say it’s easy — there is a true art to conducting the ultimate sales call! But if you have limitations, the cold call is an option for you.
● Feedback, fast
Two-way conversation has its perks — sometimes even just a quick chat can reveal pain points and business requirements. Develop customer relationships, enhance customer experience, and position yourself as an expert by providing advice, knowledge and expert opinion.
● Boomers still see value in a phone call
While millennials tend to steer clear of phone calls altogether, baby boomers are often happy to be contacted by telephone. This is where your research comes into play — a boomer decision maker may be thrilled to hear from you over the phone, compared to alternative communications.
Cold calling techniques
The problem with cold calling isn’t necessarily in the execution. A salesperson could be doing everything right — but if the person at the end of the call is simply not interested, then no amount of selling is going to work. That’s why it’s important to fuel your sales funnel with high-quality, sales qualified leads. Your marketing team focuses so much of their effort on generating sales leads — but if they’re not the right people, then it can be a colossal waste of time! According to Zoom Info, 62% of organizations rely on prospect data that is 20-40% incomplete or inaccurate. High-quality sales rely on high-quality data and genuine interest. Consider creating a buyer persona and developing a set of criteria each lead needs to qualify as sales ready. Curate quality data, nurture your leads and embrace marketing software to take it all up a notch. Catching ready-to-buy leads at just the right time is the goal — and that’s exactly where lead generation technologies like Lead Forensics come in.
Lead Forensics is a revolutionary lead generation software that can take the way you generate, manage, and nurture leads to the next level. It works by tracking your B2B website and revealing anonymous website traffic. This way, you discover who has visited your site but not made an inquiry. Thanks to a global leading IP address database, you’ll have access to the contact details of key decision makers within the business, and your marketers and salespeople will be able to strike while the iron is hot. Reach the right person, in the right place, at exactly the right time. Discover hot leads and maximize your website with the power of business lead generation software. Request a demonstration today!