Most sales experts agree that cold calling remains a highly effective way to drum up new business. Not only do 92% of all customer interactions continue to take place over the phone, 69% of buyers say they’ve accepted unsolicited calls in the last 12 months – making cold calling a relevant part of today’s sales prospecting process.
In this brief summary of benefits and best practices, we’ll show you why there’s still a place for cold calling in your company’s 2021 sales strategy.
Benefits of cold calling
Rather than being outdated in the digital age, cold calling is a time-tested way to get in touch with and sell to more customers.
By arming a call centre or sales team with the right strategy and cold calling script, you enable them to:
- Better gauge the quality of new sales leads
- Become more familiar with your target audience’s needs, expectations, and paint points
- Initiate the personalized relationships that lead to more long-term accounts
Unlike less direct forms of marketing, cold calling lets you engage in real-time, two-way communication with prospects. So, while email is great for making widespread contact, cold calls allow you to ask questions and maintain control over initial conversations with prospective buyers.
Here are a few equally important cold calling benefits.
Convenience. Because cold calls can be made from anywhere, they make it easy for your sales team to work in-house or remotely – and your business to hire help based on part-time, full-time, short-term, or long-term selling needs.
Cost-effectiveness. As a budget-friendly sales methodology, cold calling is perfect for helping your startup or small business gain a foothold in new markets without an extensive financial investment.
Competitive advantage. Not only are cold calls an effective way to help reps improve their sales performance, you can use them to gauge how many prospects are working with competitors, who those competitors are, and where they may be failing to meet customers’ needs.
According to statistics from RAIN Sales Training Group:
- Most buyers want to hear from sellers when they’re looking to solve a problem or improve results
- Over 80% of buyers take meetings with the sellers who reach out to them
- More than half of senior-level buyers prefer to be contacted by phone
So, whether you’re training or hiring a sales team – or you’re just looking to expand your marketing reach – here are 3 expert-recommended cold calling best practices you should be following.
3 Top cold calling tips
- Reach out sooner than later. According to HubSpot, your business will qualify more leads if you make it a point to call and follow up within 5-10 minutes of a trigger event (like the receipt of a web-based pricing request, demo request, or contact form submission, for example).
- Be persistent and consistent. Not only can it take an average of 6-9 calls to connect with a new prospect, research suggests the best times to cold call (depending on what you sell, and who you sell it to) are 8-9 am, 11 am-12 pm, and 4-5 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Talk more than you listen. According to Sales Hacker, the optimal talk-to-listen ratio for cold calls is about 55:45, while the average rep monologue during a successful call is a full 37 seconds long.
Finally, since most buyers report their purchase decisions are heavily influenced by sellers who educate them, share new perspectives, or demonstrate situational or industry-specific insight, make sure any cold calling you do is authentic and reflects a bigger sales strategy of providing real value to customers.