If you talk to anyone in sales or sales leadership for very long, you’ll soon encounter an ongoing industry debate: Is cold calling dead?
People in sales are pretty passionate about the topic. A quick Google search will produce a ton of articles on both sides of the argument.
As the digital transformation continues, the art of selling needs to evolve with it, and how we connect to buyers also needs to change.
People are attached to their phones but rely on it more for social media, texting, and email than they do for actual conversation.
To effectively debate this topic we first need to define “cold calling”.
Cold calling has the following characteristics:
To answer the question,“Is it a good use of my time to pick up the phone and introduce myself to someone that I have never met before?” you need to keep in mind the fact that company leaders are constantly on the lookout for insightful information that is going to help them accomplish their objectives. Leaders and decision makers are under significant pressure to get positive results. This is a fact.
So, it stands to reason if a rep has insights into some of the challenges or opportunities, by industry, that a suspect might be facing, and if the rep makes a call armed with this information and their questions are focused on these issues, it is possible for them to capture the attention of a decision maker.
It is of paramount importance that reps are capable of establishing credibility and “equal business stature” in any phone call, voice mail, email or face to face meeting.
So, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s change the term from “cold calling” to “insightful contact”.
Insightful contact works.
In fact, case study after case study confirms that it’s still a highly effective sales strategy when done properly -- second only to referrals.
I’ve personally seen insightful contact work as a major part of lead generation -- doubling lists of qualified prospects and increasing the pipeline by fivefold.
Insightful contact is alive and (very) well. Should it be your only sales strategy? Of course not.
Email outreach and social selling via social media are critical elements to add to your overall strategy. It’s just that there’s still something to be said for picking up the phone and bringing the human touch back to sales.
Consider these additional benefits to insightful contact:
With that in mind, here are 3 simple insightful contacting tips for success in the new era of sales:
The magic is in the “mix”. To realize successful outcomes, you need to focus on combining sales tactics together (insightful contact, email, social) in such a way that you add value to your prospects’ lives by solving their problems.
Please reach out for advice specific to your organization.
Sales management expert Duane Cashin has lead award-winning sales organizations and trained sales teams for companies of all sizes. He’s earned membership in Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, successfully built and sold his own multi-million-dollar business, and enjoys sharing his passion for sales.