Cold calling—the task that every salesperson fears and the process that every business owner strives to perfect. While cold calling may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. Developing a well-thought-out cold calling strategy can help you and your sales team measure the opportunity for business growth and maximize your ROI. To have a successful cold calling strategy, a streamlined process must be in place. Throughout this blog, we’ll highlight the following topics:
When starting a cold calling program, every prospect is a cold lead because the salesperson hasn’t contacted them before. After the first call to a prospective business, the cold lead becomes a warm lead. Once a prospect shows interest in a business’s product or service, the warm lead becomes a hot lead because there is an opportunity to close a business deal.
There are a wide variety of approaches to B2B lead generation. Some businesses like to take a direct approach to their lead generation, such as outbound sales. On the other hand, some companies prefer to take a more indirect approach to generate business, such as inbound marketing.
When it comes to outbound lead generation strategies, many businesses take the cold calling approach because it allows SDRs to talk one-on-one with prospects and learn more about their current B2B partnerships. For example, if an HVAC company is looking to form more partnerships, an SDR can ask a business owner or facility manager what they have in place when managing their HVAC systems. If there is a specific time of year when they review contracts, the SDR can reach back out at that time.
Like any lead generation strategy, cold calling should have a streamlined process in place. With an efficient cold calling process, you have a better chance to convert prospects into customers. A common mistake businesses make with cold calling is that when a prospect tells a sales rep that they’re not interested in their business, the sales rep removes them from the sales pipeline. Most B2B cold calling appointments come from prospects that were previously not interested in learning more, which is why it’s so crucial to continue following up and building that relationship. If every SDR eliminated prospects that told them “no,” there would be no more prospects in the pipeline.
If your cold call strategy isn’t working how you want it to, take a step back and identify gaps in the process. From here, you can make adjustments to maximize your outcome.
Cold calling gets a bad reputation because many businesses don’t know how to build a sustainable cold calling strategy. Although cold calling is frequently looked down on, it can be a very effective lead generation strategy if performed correctly and efficiently. Here are some ways to maximize your B2B cold calling strategy:
Like any sales and marketing strategy, understanding your target market is key to a successful program. Understanding your target market ranges from identifying your key decision makers (KDMs) to what communication methods they’re using and when the best times are to call them.
- Identifying KDMs: Prospects aren’t—or at least they should be—chosen randomly. Each individual in the sales pipeline has a reason for being a target prospect. A prospect could’ve been put in the pipeline because your business has had success with the industry they serve. Lead generation data analysts typically build prospect lists based on the industry in which they’ve had the most success because this increases the chances of closing a sale.
- Methods of communication: Reaching KDMs isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. KDMs for various industries typically wear many hats, so they’re often away from their desk taking care of other responsibilities. KDMs aren’t always easily accessible by phone, so contacting them by email may be a more feasible solution. This also puts the ball in their court and enables them to contact you through more channels than one.
- Best time to cold call: Everyone has different work schedules, so some days are easier to reach KDMs than others. A 2020 study shows that KDMs are more likely to answer sales calls on Wednesdays and Thursdays because their busy week starts to wind down. However, it’s also essential for SDRs to take time to reflect and consider when they typically get the most contact from prospective businesses.
As lead generation strategies continue to evolve, sales tools and technologies are also advancing. Many sales tools and technologies on the market today enable sales teams to communicate with prospects and reach sales goals effectively.
One of the most effective tools to use for your B2B cold calling efforts is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Without a reliable CRM platform, sales processes can be easily disorganized. CRM platforms are built to ensure successful cold calling procedures and easily integrate with other sales tools and technologies.
While CRM platforms are ideal for efficiently integrating sales tools and technologies, they offer a variety of other benefits as well. A reliable CRM system encourages your sales team to do the following:
- Prioritize hot leads: A CRM platform like Salesforce Sales Cloud allows SDRs to prioritize their hottest leads. This ensures that a lead that is likely to close business doesn’t fall through the cracks. Without a system to prioritize hot leads, prospects often get lost in the pipeline with less pressing leads.
- Send email campaigns: Email campaigns are a crucial component to an effective B2B cold calling strategy. By integrating a CRM with your sales efforts, an email drip campaign is sent periodically to the prospect. This gives your company top-of-mind awareness and allows prospects to look over your company’s information after the call. A CRM platform also produces email templates if SDRs want to send a more relevant and personable email to the prospect.
- Track productivity: From the number of dials made to emails sent, a CRM program tracks sales team productivity. This enables sales managers to keep track of SDR metrics to ensure they’re completing tasks efficiently and accurately.
- Streamline communication: CRMs streamline communication and conversations with prospects from one sales rep to another. After a pitch, an SDR can make a note of the discussion and refer back to it when it’s time to follow up with the prospect. This gives SDRs the opportunity to tell the prospect why they were following up and refresh their minds of the previous conversation.
- Learn new sales techniques: CRMs are an excellent platform for SDRs to learn from other sales team members. With a CRM platform, sales reps can listen to each other’s calls and pitches to learn from each other and provide feedback on how they could make a call better in the future.
Ready to get the most out of your cold calling strategy? Contact Abstrakt Marketing Group today to learn how we help clients streamline their B2B sales efforts!
As mentioned previously, sending follow-up emails after a cold call allows SDRs to leave the prospect with more information to review on their own time. This information could include website information, social media profiles, a list of products and services, case studies, contact information, and more.
Here are a few tips on how to send an effective sales email after pitching a KDM:
- Include an engaging subject line: A subject line should be brief and get to the point. It would be helpful to include the prospect’s name or insight into the conversation.
- Start with a strong opening line: Avoid starting with “Hi, my name is…” and introduce the conversation with the wants and needs of the prospect.
- Include relevant copy about their interests: This copy should include information that the prospect was interested in learning more about. Don’t introduce new value statements that they didn’t ask about or seemed interested in.
- Add a call to action in the closing copy: The copy mentioned above should be a brief overview of the topics discussed on the call. A call to action should be implemented afterward so they have the opportunity to ask for more details.
- End with a professional signature: Sales reps should NEVER send an email without a professional signature. The signature should include relevant contact information so they can reach you through various channels.
Cold calling best practices are always changing, which means the cold calling techniques of your sales reps should change as well. Continuous cold call training is essential to ensure that your strategy stays up-to-date with effective sales trends. This enables you to get the most benefit out of your lead generation program.
As mentioned previously, a CRM platform is a great resource for cold call sales training. By implementing a CRM into your sales efforts, SDRs can gather cold calling tips from other team members by listening to their conversational approach.
No matter how good a sales team is, they’re going to be told “no” more often than they’ll be told “yes,” and that will never change in the sales industry. However, it’s crucial to measure cold calling success rates to determine your ROI.
Across all industries, on average, for every 250 calls, only 5 will result in a sales meeting. However, these cold-calling statistics differ from industry to industry. In addition, it’s important to consider that these calls are a combination of cold and warm calls to prospects. More than likely, these appointments set with prospects are from follow-up warm calls. By calling warm leads, an SDR has a 30% increase in success.
If you’re not in the ballpark of hitting these success rates, take time to reevaluate your cold call strategy and uncover opportunities for improvement. A sales team can efficiently gather metrics through a variety of dashboards and reports on CRM platforms.
While there are various ways to make a successful cold call strategy, some tactics work better than others. If you’re not achieving the results you want, consider implementing these processes to boost revenue and maximize your ROI.
Do you need more guidance on how to set up a successful cold calling strategy? Contact one of our sales reps today for additional insight!