I've written many blog posts on the fact that cold calling isn't dead. In fact, doing the right amount of research, adding a personalized touch to your outreach attempts, and a lot of persistency will help you get in the door for more prospects than you might think. Using these gold calling techniques will help you have faith in the cold calling process.
Whether you call high quality cold calling Gold Calling or Cold Calling 2.0, there are four primary differences between quality outbound touches and old-fashioned cold calling or “interruption marketing.”
First, gold calling requires the caller to take strategic approach to call planning, including creating a detailed playbook, identification and segmentation your market, developing lead qualification criteria, efficient reporting on your calls, effective call training, and weekly contact between the callers and the team receiving the leads.
Cold calling is all about generating a list of people to call, a script for what you'll say, and spending money with the objective to produce a bunch of leads.
Second, gold calling requires leads to go through a quality control process that ensures each lead passed to the field is solid gold. Progress is monitored so that leads do not stagnate in the pipeline.
Cold calling is about quantity, not quality. Theoretical calculations of return on investment (ROI) or return on marketing investment (ROMI) are used to judge the success of the program without regard to actual results.
Third, a gold calling program requires sales to reviews leads provided to them and either accept or reject them within 24 to 48 hours. What I call a judicial branch of cross-departmental judges determine if the lead meets the criteria and ensures that the lead either goes back to sales or is put in a lead nurturing program. For cold calling, a large percentage of leads are ignored by sales and end up lost in a black hole.
Finally, a gold calling program requires that sales-accepted leads transition to sales-qualified within a one to two weeks or less. Those that do not move to sales-qualified are then reviewed by the judicial branch. It's important to note that no lead is ever left behind. It's either moving forward in the sales process or it is being nurtured. Marketing is evaluated on the quality of the leads delivered to sales and the sales reps are evaluated on their efficient use of company assets, in this case, leads.
Ask most sales reps what percent of leads they close and they will say they close 60 to 80 percent of qualified leads. What they are really saying is that they will close 60 to 80 percent of what they thought they would close. In my experience, I've seen that the average sales force closes nearly 20 percent of sales-accepted leads while best-in-class organizations close closer to 30 percent. That means an average rep is putting themselves on the hook for losing four out of five times. While that might actually be acceptable, few reps are going to allow that level of visibility (not to mention the perception of failure four out of five times) because they don’t have to. Their company does not force them to.
Call it what you want. Gold Calling, Cold Calling 2.0, or cold calling. It is definitely not dead, but your company might be if you buy into the hype.