Is cold calling dead?

Its been a long established fact that cold calling is a tried and true method of bringing in leads. As the shift in buying power sifts towards buyers, it is a common belief that cold calling is dead. After all, buyers have so many options for information and solutions – why would they trust a voice over the phone?

Throughout my career, I’ve only worked across both inbound and outbound teams. I have worked in sales teams that have been outbound only and everyone is a cold calling beast. Pure freezing cold calls to prospects who haven’t even shown interest in our solutions. I have also been a door knocker. If you thought cold calling was rough, you need to try door knocking. You can’t even hide down the phone from some of the abuse you receive with door knocking. These experiences have shaped me as a salesperson and I’ve seen a lot throughout the years. Interestingly, I’ve also seen how cold calling has evolved throughout my sales career. These are the evolutions I have seen cold calling make and why I believe cold calling is not dead:

Technology has enhanced cold calling efforts.

Old technology is getting replaced with smarter tech. The sales team now have access to a trove of data and analytics. Add sales automation to that and you have an arsenal at your disposal.

Take the old method of cold calling as an example; generally, a salesperson will pull up a list of phone numbers from the white pages and start hitting the phones. That should be the last option for cold callers today. Why call intrusively with no regard to timing when you can call prospects based on data. With the right tech, you can see what technology your prospects are using, if they just started the role recently or if they’ve visited your website. With all this data at your disposal – you can really tailor your cold calling strategy to only hit up prospects who are likely to convert.

Cold callers need to embrace marketing

I have worked with sales teams that do not embrace any marketing and I’m sad to say, those companies are suffering. I have also worked with companies that experience 100% growth each year and guess what? They have figured out sales and marketing synergy. The point I am trying to make is that the lines between inbound and outbound have blurred.

I believe a well-balanced strategy of inbound marketing and outbound efforts will help any company grow. The most successful companies have an inbound marketing team, an inbound sales team and an outbound sales team all working closely together. An example I’ve seen work really well is anonymous visitor data enrichment. The marketing team is able to identify who the anonymous visitors to the website are and send these lists to the outbound team to prospect. Once again, its a hybrid of inbound and outbound strategy.

Call tracking and individual performance monitoring

Your cold callers generally make 60-120 dials a day. From this, there’s data you can process so you can improve performance. Do you know the calls you get from organisations where they start with “This call is being monitored for training purposes”? There is a reason these organisations have embraced phone tracking and that is to optimise the cold calling experience with data.

You don’t have to make guesses into why a cold caller is struggling to convert prospects. Instead, leverage phone recordings, transcription and all the data points to pinpoint where there is room for improvement.

Cold calling is very much alive

Cold calling is not dead, instead, it has evolved into a hybrid method where multiple teams are involved. With the lines of inbound and outbound blurring, marketers and sales teams will find themselves working closer and closer together into the future. Its important organisations establish processes and strategies in place to facilitate teams in working together towards a common objective.

About the author: Jack is the Sales Director & Co-owner here at ChatGen. When he is not spending time managing the company, Jack is busy smashing the phones teaching his clients and prospects on how to drive more sales through conversational marketing.

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