The world is moving forward with new ways of implementing digital channels into marketing. In this scenario, one question that every B2B business seeks an answer to – is cold calling still effective for lead generation? And the answer is definitely a big yes! Cold calling has always been there and is still thriving in the B2B marketing landscape. However, the approaches have evolved a lot. Despite being termed as tedious, old-fashioned, and sometimes invoking uncomfortable conversions for sales representatives, cold calling can do wonders if you use it strategically.
Let’s get this straight — cold calling isn’t as simple as picking up a phone and dialing a random number. It is more of an art than just a simple B2B lead generation approach. According to statistics, 82% of individuals want to meet the salesperson who contacts them. But, this does not assure that they might close the deal, still, it indicates that the cold call could be effective. Basically, the success of a cold call relies on how good or bad the script is. Since B2B marketing is more complex than B2C, you need to have a well-thought-out, personalized approach when calling your prospects.
However, why is cold calling still considered one of the best B2B lead generation methods of all? Have you ever given a thought to this? Well, it is because, with strategically thought-out cold calls, you can connect to prospective customers, learn about your target market, and build strong connections with potential businesses.
Still unsure whether cold calling might be the right approach for your B2B lead generation strategy? Here are the top 5 reasons that might change your mind.
The Reasons Why Cold Calling Is Considered the Best Practice for Lead Generation
Planning and implementation are essential to the success of any marketing strategy. As a result, cold calling may be more effective for some B2B companies, while other lead generation tactics may be impactful for some others. You must understand why your company needs this strategy, whether you have been using it or are considering it. Let’s take a look at the reasons below,
- It Helps to Recognize Your Market
As we mentioned earlier, cold calling isn’t just about calling people and convincing them to make a purchase. You need to know about the audience you are targeting and how to give your sales pitch to them.
From their pain points to the goals they are trying to achieve, you must have a clear idea of what they want and how your product or service can be a solution to their problems. The best part about making your cold calling personalized for the target audience is that you can take advantage of the same approach itself.
In simpler words, you can extend your market research by asking the right questions to your prospective audience. Let’s assume you are part of a SaaS company and want to promote your software to businesses. You can gather information about your prospects by asking a question via cold calling. For example, you can know:
- What kind of company are you trying to reach out to?
- What is the total number of employees?
- What are their objectives, goals, and so forth?
- What city are they in?
- What is the nature of their working environment?
By collecting this vital information, you can more specifically understand who your target audience is and recognize which companies or prospects you need to target for better conversion.
- It Answers All Your Concerns
Every business goes through a process, especially in its growing phase that resembles a roller coaster ride. This is why every organization must have a clear understanding of where their business excels and where their revenue-boosting strategies fall short.
With cold calling, you can not only gather information about your target market, but it can also give you a detailed insight into whether your services or products meet their expectations or not.
Perhaps you are doing everything possible to drive effective leads, but still, the conversation rate is saying otherwise. Here, cold calling can act as real-time feedback that can help you do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of your business.
The best aspect is that you can personalize your goods or services to the needs of your leads or the feedback you receive from your customers. You can discover whether your team needs to be more experienced in cold calling or whether you are targeting the wrong audience altogether or not. Whatever the reason is, with effective cold calling, you can understand what you are good at and where your teams have room for improvement.
- Cold Calling Will Build Your Brand Identity
Let us ask you a question. Will you be more comfortable interacting with a bot and talking about your pain points? No, right? Effective cold calling gives you the opportunity to provide a human touch in your marketing approach and connect better with your prospective clients to let them become familiar with your brand.
It’s no secret that most B2B email marketing has become saturated with all those automated messages and emails that lack personalization. However, we all know how important it is to build connections with your prospective clients to convert them into long-term customers. By allowing human engagement via cold calling, you may succeed in making your brand appear more real, relevant, and professional. So, when you’re not a robot and can relate to their problems, people will be more inclined to give you useful information. This builds trust, which further boosts conversions.
Human interactions also allow you to learn more about your prospect’s personality. It means you’ll be able to come up with a customized plan that will attract their attention by knowing and understanding them and developing a business relationship with them.
- It’s a Cost-efficient Technique
Do you know what makes cold calling more approachable than other marketing techniques? It’s the cost-effectiveness and flexibility that come with the method. It is true that you need to spend on certain upfront costs, like cold calling software, but it is way cheaper than other marketing techniques.
For this reason, many small and medium-sized businesses prefer cold calling over other methods to generate sales leads. Another reason why many B2B businesses prefer cold calling for lead generation is that it can be done from anywhere.
You get the freedom and flexibility to choose where to interact with your prospects. This gives your team better opportunities to have more conversions in a single day.
- It’s an Effective Way to Boost Sales
No matter what type of business you run and whichever marketing method you prefer, it all comes down to sales growth in the end. Cold calling is an excellent way to understand your prospective market and build a meaningful relationship with your leads.
It also allows you to give a human touch to your marketing message and come up with personalized approaches that fit each prospect. And all of this influences the conversion rates and sales in the long run.
However, you need to use relevant tools and grasp the strategies behind cold calling that will help you boost sales and conversion rates. Besides, it all comes down to the pitch and the skill of the personnel. You also get hold of newer prospects that you might not have even identified before through cold calling. This means you can also expand your target list and get better results.
Ways to Cold Call B2B Leads to Increase Your Winning Chances
“Hi, [Pause] I’m John Doe from the ABC, uhmm… [A long pause follows] I’m calling because… Oh! [Suddenly, disconnects].
Does this ring a bell? Most salespeople have received at least one such call. While cold calling, it’s possible to find yourself in an uncomfortable position with little expertise and a poorly written script. Therefore, strike a perfect balance between conversational and persuasive in your cold-calling script.
But, how should you respond to a cold sales call? Well, we’ll explore some of the most effective cold calling strategies for salespeople and some solid examples for every cold calling tactic to help you put them into practice in real-life situations. Let’s start reading,
- Keep Your Introduction Strong
In cold calling, you don’t get a second chance. If you neglect the prospects, they will never return your call. Your first sentence should persuade them to stay on the line and pay attention to you.
So, before the call, organize your ideas and come up with a sentence that will pique the prospect’s interest. It must be really remarkable that the prospect responds with “tell me further.”
Refrain yourself from asking something like, “Hi, this is John Doe from ABC company?” or “Do you have a few moments to talk?” Instead, after stating, “This is [name] from [business],” pause for 4-6 seconds.
This will give your potential customer time to think about what you’ve just said. Another great way to start your call is by simply asking, “How have you been?” Believe it or not, the response rate of starting a B2B cold call with this question was more than six times higher than the average.
- Don’t Pitch Right Away!
Now that you have successfully grabbed the attention of your prospect, it is time to ask relevant questions and build rapport. You want to get them engaged and show that you know who they are and what they do.
This personalizes your conversation and immediately distinguishes you from the flood of cold callers who are likely to be rejected in the first 15 seconds. A touch of personalization may go a long way to keep your prospects on the line.
You may ask questions like:
- I see you attended [university], [prospect name]. How was your experience?
- I saw your LinkedIn post about your new job. Congratulations! How is everything going so far?
- Wow, [organization] has had you for [X] years. What was your journey to this profession?
A pleasant question makes the situation light and non-salesy. Ask a follow-up question if they appear interested in talking.
- Make Sure You’ve Your USPs Ready
After a conversation opens and makes the mood light-hearted, it is extremely likely that your prospect will ask you the reason for your call. Make sure you have your USPs prepared before you answer.
Keep in mind that your prospect might be currently working with a competitor or might even have a list of competitors they are considering at present. Your USP will help you stand out from your competitors quickly. This will also help your prospects to understand that you are knowledgeable about their industry, their pain points, and their business.
To put it in a sample script, it might go like the following:
I am from [your business’s name], and you’re currently using [competitor’s product]. Or, I work for [your business’s name], and I saw you’re using [competitor’s product].
At first glance, our [product] appears to be comparable to [competitor’s product]. It is, however, suited to [the prospect’s sector]. According to our clients, we’re excellent at:
[1-2 unique selling propositions (USPs) that set you apart from the competition]
Taking into account your business and clientele, we might be a more cost-efficient and comprehensive fit for you.
While most cold-callers try to focus on what they have to offer, try focusing on the pain points of your prospects instead. Discussing them and asking more questions will help you gain momentum and close your cold call persuasively. This takes us to the next point,
- Ask More Questions
To get a clear idea about what your prospects are looking for and their pain points, you need to get them talking. According to a survey, a successful sales cold call should only have 30% of the salesperson speaking and 70% of the prospect talking about their goals and challenges.
Open-ended questions can be useful during the research phase for identifying valuable information like the decision-making process and what a customer needs to buy the product. These questions are an excellent opportunity to show that you are a good listener to a potential client.
This enables you to better comprehend what they said while also demonstrating to the prospect that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. To practice open-ended questions, you may ask questions related to their current challenges, expected solutions, their budget, or what steps they plan to take to finalize the deal.
Some sample questions could be:
- What difficulties have you encountered previously when attempting to overcome these issues?
- For you, what would be the ideal solution?
- What is your proposed budget for resolving this issue?
- Who else might have an impact on this decision?
However, make sure you go along with the pace of the conversation rather than forcing them to ask questions to make the conversation feel more natural.
- Get the Most Out of Your Conversation
After a personalized introduction, asking relevant questions, and offering solid USPs for your product, your cold call will be in peak form by now. This is when it gets interesting. Either your prospect could be highly interested in speaking with you or disconnected.
It can go both ways. To make sure your prospects choose only the former option, there are certain tips you can follow.
- Always respond with excitement and enthusiasm, especially if your prospect sounds unresponsive at first.
- Remember to pause now and then while speaking. This will help you to highlight the importance of a specific point or emphasis a particular feature of your product.
- Simply imitate their way of speaking. This might sound strange, but it works like a charm.
What is the point of all of these? Your prospects will feel more comfortable and will be more likely to have a conversation with you. Repeating the words your potential client says can also be an excellent way of keeping them engaged and urging them to talk.
For example, if the prospect says something like, “My sales staff searches for leads manually,” simply repeat the same sentence, emphasizing the words that express their pain points more clearly. This will show that you are listening to them carefully and understanding their challenges as well.
We’ve gone over the top cold calling techniques that truly work, as well as some examples of each. Knowing how to use cold calling effectively could be extremely beneficial to your B2B lead generation strategy. So, we hope this guide helps you close all or most of your upcoming deals.