We are in 2019 and techniques of doing sales and marketing has changed and now it’s all about Real-time data, Automation, ABM (Still hanging on there) and the latest Customer Data platform. If you ask any expert today, they would say that cold calling as a strategy…. is dead. But, the real truth is many successful businesses rely on cold calling to driving engagement. Whether they're Fortune 500 companies or high-growth startups, they all have sales executives dialing numbers day in and out so that they can connect with prospects and reduce engagement cycle.
Today, cold calling has transformed as second level of the sales process ... so cold calling is not dead but changed. Today the conversation starts with a cold email backed up with a cold call.
The secrets to cold calling success:
- Success starts with research: A self-research on each prospect. A pre –call ritual before you plan to make a reach out. Analyze your B2B data to identify your buyer personas and what all intelligence are they providing which will enable you for better engagements. A good data partner can provide additional insights on what your best customers look like and what they need. An extra effort made with personalization will open up to better conversation.Social Media based Research - You may also want to search social media platforms for recent company information and PR news about the company. Check LinkedIn blog posts shared content on their feed and comments made on other post or blogs. This gives you deep understanding and learn more about them and be able to focus more on their issues at hand.
- The goal is not a sale: The objective should not be closing a sale as a part of cold calling being a step before actual sales engagement; it should be building trust and creating confidence that you are a partner to them in their buying process. It’s simple no one will give their money if they don’t trust you. Most successful salespeople will tell that secret to real sales is fundamentally is not about closing rather it is all about establishing relationship.Goal for your conversation of cold call is an introduction even your agenda is booking a meeting for demo or face to face meeting or getting them to enroll for a free trial. The underline statement is it’s not the time to try to close a deal.
- Use a direct dial phone number: Now the most critical part of cold calling is getting the attention of the decision maker and it’s more effective if you happen to talk directly to the decision maker. To make it more effective it requires three basic approach like - you target the right buyer, be tactical in your approach and have a tailored messaging for them.Let’s talk more about tactical approach which means connecting directly with decision makers. A research suggests that if you call directly then the chances of getting to connected to C level people increases to 140% Hence the more you connect gatekeepers it is always going to be a major challenge reaching to your target audiences, C level or decision makers. Receptionists, secretaries and other office staff won’t pass you along to a decision maker without good reason.A study from TOPO found that an average time to dial is 80 seconds for a switchboard vs. 45 seconds to dial direct. Hence this works out to be very simple – having direct dial phone numbers save the average seller 15 minutes per hour. Direct dial phone number leads to a much higher connect rate and increases the success of cold calling.Many organizations make their sales teams to research and find direct dials. We all know what a big waste of time that is for your sales folks. Hiring a data partner will definitely play a key role here. Your data partner should be able to provide maximum direct numbers and not just board line numbers. Also sure that numbers shared are validated and updated on regular intervals. I am leaving you on a thought to do analysis of your data partners wherein they just not provide you all relevant information but do share Direct Dials.
- Persistence: The average sales executive makes only two attempts to follow up with a prospect as per report published by Sirius Decision. One more research suggests that only 6 percent of calls lead to conversation so perseverance and persistence definitely make the key attributes. As part of cold calling process you have to make more dials to connect with your prospects. To be persistent means you manage the flow of information wherein you use alternating combination of calls and emails, making sure you always send personalize message via emails and also voicemails have a flow of information. There is always a chance you won’t get a response to your calls and emails so wait for at least next 48 hours for your next reach out.