Is cold calling making a comeback?

Cold calling is often looked upon as the wretched yet inevitable part of the sales cycle. We frequently read articles claiming that cold calling is dead… But how about now? In 2020 it is safe to say that the way we do business has been turned upside down.

No more tradeshows, travel, or face to face networking

We can’t go to tradeshows, and virtual events usually gather no more than 10% of the audience that used to visit the physical event. Yet, sales pipelines must be filled, new contracts must be signed and we must keep our economies moving. In this final quarter of 2020, many of us are acutely aware that we are working to save our companies, our jobs and those of our colleagues. The pressure is on for the Sales Team and for new contracts/clients.

Cold calling: what are your thoughts?

If you talk about ‘cold calling’ with your Sales Team what do they think? We bet that they do not like to cold call and will always find a good reason not to do it! Sales would rather be nurturing longer term clients or working on prospects that are truly prospects.

Does your Sales Team ever truly make cold calls?

We are not claiming that your Sales Team never ever make cold calls, but are they really completely cold? Sales could target people in your database but this is a very time consuming task so they will likely only call some of these prospects. Better than none…

People also move on and unless you have a healthy maintenance of your database, contacts more than a year or two old may no longer be in the same position. Churn within the Telco and Media industries is high, and you need to invest significant time & effort in updating and following your contacts.

Sources of other (lukewarm) leads

Inbound marketing can produce leads. For example, someone who downloaded a whitepaper or an attendee of a virtual event your company organised is automatically a lead. For the most part however, these contacts are clearly unqualified.

Chasing these contacts often result in finding out that they are not the right decision-makers. Even if they were, you would have to be extremely lucky to be contacting them at exactly the right time where your solution fits their needs and budget. So, lots of effort won’t produce any concrete results. Hence the cry ‘cold calling is dead!’.

So, your Sales Team are…

Complaining about making calls they don’t enjoy.

Chasing either old or unqualified leads, hoping to snag something juicy along the way.

Cold calling for only a few hours at best per week when this should be a full time activity to produce results.

Telling you that this is not an efficient use of their time, and cold calling is dead.

What solutions are available to you?

We have two potential solutions to this:

Which solution is right for you? One of the benefits of outsourcing is that you only have to invest for a very short period of time (a 1-month lead generation campaign will bring clear tangible results). You can evaluate if your LeadGen partner knows your industry, business, targets and test the water gently to see if this new way of securing leads could work for your particular situation. This is the first logical step – internalising lead generation comes afterwards eventually, not before.

Cold calling can be outsourced

Here’s the thing – you can outsource your cold calling. And you should be outsourcing your cold calling. Our number one piece of advice is to carefully choose a company that has a regularly maintained database of the right-decision makers in companies you want to target. This will help you to get new contacts that you have previously no contact with. This will bring true value.

Cold calling DOES work

Cold calling is DEVEO’s speciality and because we only specialize in the Telco & Media industries, we know our business. We have spent more than 15 years reaching out to people, so we definitely know how to go about it. Cold-calling does work – but you must set it up right.

Put the hours in!

You can’t expect to cold call for only an hour a day and see results. This is why cold calling often doesn’t work well for your Sales Team. You need to have someone dedicated to this job. We run Lead Generation campaigns full time for a period of one month to bring home good, high quality, well qualified results.

Define your target audience clearly

Define the targets of your audience as clearly as possible in terms of:

  • regions
  • job titles
  • types of companies (MNOs, ISPs, Cable Operators, OTT Players, TV Channels etc.)
  • remove any existing customers or potential leads you are already in talks with.

Elevator pitch is still relevant

Create a very brief pitch that captures:

  • the essence of what you do
  • creates a benefit for the listener – they will only continue listening to your pitch if they understand the value of your message to them.

You do not need an expert in your solution

The person making the cold calls for you does not need to be an expert in your solution to set up a teleconference call. They must have certain personal and professional qualities: tenacity, a thick skin and the ability to drill down and find out exactly who the target person is within a company are far more important than an in depth knowledge of your product catalogue.

Use strategic questions

If you prepare a brief pitch that includes a benefit, and target your calls well right from the beginning, you can catch the attention of the right people and find out if there is any real interest with a few strategic questions, such as:

  • Checking that the contact’s role is relevant to your solution – “Are you the right person to speak to regarding ABC solution in XYZ company?”
  • Gauging their interest and current needs – “We specialise in making A and B connect with C and can do it at a lower price than the competition – would you be interested in a demo on how we can do that for XYZ?”
  • Getting their availability for a call – “Are you available for a call this week or next?”

Just like that you will have an open door to a juicy, qualified lead. The key to confirming that the call or meeting happens is also to follow up to ensure that they have not forgotten their commitment.

Outsourcing brings qualified leads to your Sales Teams

Outsourcing the door-knocking to someone else saves your sales team from the grind of cold-calling. They will have an introduction to new leads that they previously didn’t have access to. Their diary will be full of calls and they will know that they will be talking to the right person who has a real interest.

Results driven evaluation

An external LeadGen partner is evaluated on the quality & quantity of Leads identified. There’s no way you can be fooled or cheat. Internal collaborators will never be evaluated the same way.

Reach your competitors’ prospects

Through an external expert, you can reach out to the whole Telco & Media world in general.

In particular you can also reach out to thousands of prospects that use your competitors’ solutions and that you wish to target immediately.

Share on:

Looking for Resources?

Video Interview
January 13, 2024

AfricaCom 2018: What exhibitors expect from a trade show

Do you want to meet new prospects at Telco trade-shows? In this video, learn how to allocate your trade-show budget!