- Cold calling is dead.
- 57 – 90% of the buying process is complete before a sales rep needs to get involved.
- Marketing and sales are aligned
Do you agree these are lies?
In late August I asked industry experts that same question and asked them to substantiate their answers. The team of experts includes:
Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions, CEO and Business Strategist
Dave Brock, Partners in EXCELLENCE, President
Deb Calvert, People First Productivity Solutions, President
Ginger Conlon, GingerConlon.com, Chief Editor of CustomerAlchemy.net
Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing, President
Dave Kurlan, Kurlan & Associates, Inc., CEO
Dave Stein, Dave Stein, Inc., Principal
Ruth Stevens, eMarketing Strategy, President
Mike Weinberg, The New Sales Coach, Principal
This week we will cover the group’s response to the first lie: Cold Callings is Dead.
I will start out with firebrand Mike Weinberg’s comments: “I’m tired of lies and the charlatans misleading salespeople by preaching deadly advice that reactive salespeople love to hear! If cold calling and proactively targeting ideal profile prospects is truly dead, then why are my clients having so much success creating NEW opportunities and CLOSING new deals from their personal prospecting efforts? Here’s a true story I just shared with my audience a couple months ago.” http://www.newsalescoach.com/2016/05/cold-calling-dead-guess-client-couldnt-secured-dream-prospect-meeting/
Next up, Dave Brock: “Well first, we have to agree on what a cold call is. If it’s an unprepared, random call, to pitch your products to anyone who is foolish enough to pick up a phone—it’s not dead, at least based on the phone calls I get. But it should have been KILLED decades/centuries ago. If cold calling is a call to someone you have never met before, interrupting their day, BUT if it is well researched, it is to a customer well within your sweet spot, and it is focused on providing insight the customer would welcome but may not be aware of, then this is what top performers are doing every day. And we would argue this be extended and pursued vigorously, both because it creates real value for the customer and it enables us to grow and serve customers more aggressively.” Read more here: Is Cold Calling Dead?
Here is what Ardath Albee has to say: “I’d argue that cold calling is dead so #1 is true.
"The ability to get quick access to information means that it’s possible – more than ever before – to find out information about buyers that eliminates the “cold” from the call. Even if you’ve never spoken to the buyer before, you can be relevant. And, if you’re not, then you won’t get the conversation. I experience this every day. Emails sent to me oblivious that I’m not a prospect. If they’d taken 5 minutes to Google me, they’d know this. Every bad, ill-targeted attempt to contact me tarnishes that brand in my mind. So I think this is something that salespeople need to get over.”
From Dave Stein: “It sure isn’t dead! I will admit that there are now other channels to get to customers, the most notable being any number of well-constructed, funded, staffed, and executed social programs. But I have clients who still cold-call and they are reasonably successful at it.”
Matt Heinz: “Cold calling has ALWAYS been dead. Calling with zero value doesn’t work, wasting your prospect’s time has always been a terrible idea. If you have something that makes your prospect smarter, helps them be better, it may be unexpected but they’ll appreciate how you’ve differentiated and been focused on value creation.” For more on Matt’s take, read this: http://www.heinzmarketing.com/2013/01/if-you-think-cold-calling-is-dead-youre-doing-it-wrong/
Short and sweet from Ruth Stevens: “My clients, despite the presence of extensive lead gen support, still rely on cold calling to get access to the accounts they target. “Cold calling is dead” is as big a lie as “outbound marketing is dead.” B2B marketers ignore it at their peril.”
A bit of a twist from Dave Kurlan: “Traditional cold calling has changed but few new meetings get booked without a salesperson dialing the phone. While it is true that there are a tremendous number of inbound leads coming in, fewer than 10% of them can be considered “leads” while the rest fall more into the “names/contacts who we can send emails to” category. So with 10% as the operative number, salespeople must get on the phone and make the calls and use the inbound leads to supplement their efforts. There are two other factors here. The first is the proliferation of inside sales reps whose job it is to make these calls – taking that responsibility away from account executives. For those AEs, cold calling is dead! The second is the abundance of firms that make outsourced calls to schedule meetings for salespeople. Here too, cold calling for those fortunate salespeople is dead.”
Want to read more from Dave about a revolutionary tool for salespeople? Click here.
Finally, Ginger Conlon has this to say on the topic: “Having been on the receiving end of several cold calls over the past year, I can tell you firsthand that cold calling is alive and well. Some companies seem use it for pre-sales, aiming to unearth the correct contact or level of interest; others go for the sale in the moment. I've received cold calls from marketing tech companies, translation services firms, and event management companies, to name a few.”
My thoughts: I think people get hung up about the word “cold”. I have been in the outbound prospecting business for twenty-five years and never once have made a truly “cold” call. Maybe the market would respond better if we called it a “warm” call. Plus, there simply isn’t enough inbound revenue for most companies to make their number on inbound alone. Check out my Lead to Revenue Calculator to estimate how much of your future revenue needs to come from existing business, inbound, nurturing and outbound.
Look for Part Two of this series – What percentage of the buying process is complete before sales needs to get involved?