This is a blog post that we wanted to post as a partner article because we thought it was helpful. The truth is, we talk people out of cold calling all the time. It’s so rare for cold calling efforts to yield a positive return on investment. In our research to bring you an informative article, we found this one. The infographic was so good we just decided to post her article here.
This is original article is from Emma Brudner, of Hubspot’s Blog Team. After the infographic, we have added our own content to provide more educational material on this topic.
16 Compelling Statistics That Prove Cold Calling Is Dead
The rules of common courtesy hold that it’s not polite to speak ill of the dead. But let’s be honest — in the case of cold calling, this axiom does not apply. If cold calling has gone the way of the dinosaur, that’s good news for both buyers and sellers alike.
Is it time to bury the cold call? According to the following infographic from Sales For Life, the cold call’s time has indeed come, largely due to the practice’s rapidly declining efficacy.
Consider that only 1% of cold calls actually result in meetings. Or that a staggering 90% of B2B decision makers don’t respond to cold sales outreach. If you like those odds, you probably also think that putting money in slot machines is a wise financial investment strategy.
In the case of cold calling, don’t think “rest in peace” so much as “good riddance.” To learn how to approach buyers in a more effective (not to mention less annoying) way, check out HubSpot’s brand new Inbound Sales training.
How Do I Replace Cold Calling?
If you don’t believe cold calling is dead, you may still want to check out these sales strategies. Some people have positive ROI from cold calling. If that’s you, you may still find these helpful. It’s possible you might even hate us right now because we have killed cold calling. We understand. Just no hate mail, please.
Heat Your Leads Up
We are big fans of incoming lead generation and digital marketing strategies. We realize that this is very different from the purpose of cold calling. Which is trying to turn an ice cube into a furnace, essentially. So let’s use the approach that you are starting with cold leads. The colder the lead, the longer the sales cycle, and the lower the chance for closed business. When leads heat up, the balance shifts in your favor. So what do you do? You heat them up! No, there’s no magical lead oven. Heat your leads up by getting them familiar with you. Become the subject matter expert to them. Get ‘in front’ of them 7-10 times a year. Use social media, emails, ads, mailers, blogs, phone calls, gifts, etc. Any and all efforts that you can do to put yourself in front of them, and provide them with something helpful. NOT sales. Make the first 80% of your contacts focus on education. The next 20% sales. Repeat as necessary every 7-10 contacts.
Learning who your contacts are will help you heat them up. For example, sending them customized gifts, cards, mailers, packages, etc. Providing specific educational materials that you know they were looking for. You can find a lot about a person from their social media profiles, websites, etc. Do your homework and keep notes. Gather any information you can from gatekeepers or referral sources who know the contact (if possible.) The more you can identify with them, the better. There’s likely a lot of people out there who offer what you do but the difference is, they aren’t you. Cold calling can be annoying. Receiving personalized and valuable information is desirable. It also sets you apart.
Respect Their Time
Cold calling takes away from someone’s day at the time of the phone call. Mail, email, cards, gifts, ads, blogs, etc. can be viewed when we decide. The phone ringing is a right here, right now action. Heating your leads right will eventually lead to getting that conversation with the decision makers. When this happens, you can schedule the discussion. This is more respectful of their time. Less invasive. Plus, they’re always somewhat comfortable with you, since you heated them up. They’ll respect you more for this, and it will be a shorter sales cycle for you.
Once you have someones permission to follow up with them every so often, it’s time to nurture. Treat your warm leads like a plant. Plants require water, fertilizer, light. Your leads need to be reminded you can help them. 4-7 times per year from this point. Give them educational materials. Provide them with options to get value from you. Present opportunities occasionally to do business with you. Remember, 80% educational and 20% sales.
You don’t have to use cold calling strategies to grow your business with non-qualified leads. We hope that you’ve learned some helpful sales strategies here to help you replace these efforts effectively. Cold calling is so ‘normal’ for a lot of people, and it can be scary to add new strategies in. If you’re curious about discussing new strategies with the ideas we’ve proposed here, Let’s Chat! We’d love to help you create some stronger sales strategies for your business.