Cold calling has long had a bad reputation in the digital world. In fact, the claim that cold calling is dead has circled the lead generation industry for years. With so much negativity surrounding this tactic, often companies don’t even stop to consider this method as a viable option to improve their sales.
Other tactics, such as pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization, tend to be the go-to methods for lead generation. But such a dismissal might be doing your business a major disservice.
So how do you decide if cold calling is right for your business? Here’s a few things to consider:
Your Business’s Industry and Niche
Cold calling typically works very well for specialized industries or very niche businesses. The reason behind this is that these types of businesses tend to be very unique and offer something that the person on the other end of the phone will not find readily available elsewhere. This makes them far more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Your Business’s Value
Closely related to being a highly specialized business, your company needs to provide something that is extremely valuable. In fact, so valuable it is worth calling up a complete stranger to chat about it. Without a powerful value proposition for potential clients, they are simply going to wonder why you are wasting their time and hang up.
Your Business’s Branding
Building your brand typically comes as a result of marketing activities. And while most companies are happy to use digital branding methods such as social media, blogging, and paid ads to speak for them, there is still a lot to be said for simply picking up the phone and representing your brand through an actual human being.
This isn’t to say those other strategies are bad, or less effective. They are valid lead generation tactics that are extremely successful for many businesses. But typically, it is not a business that closes a deal, it is a person. And in this day and age of all things digital, a personal touch may go a lot farther than a tweet.
Your Business’s Sales Team
While the above might be true for your company, whether or not your company should invest in cold calling comes down to your sales team’s ability to perform.
Do They Know the Product or Service?
Without an intimate knowledge of what it is they are selling, your sales team will never be able to make a successful cold call. The cold call requires building trust and providing knowledge to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. And if your sales team is not up for it, a cold call could actually do more damage to your company than good.
This goes back to the idea of a value proposition. If you’re sales team does not know, or talk well, about your particular selling point, then your call is going to be wasted.
Do They Know How to Build Relationships… Without Prior Contact?
This comes down to having a winning personality and strong sleuthing skills. To really connect with someone in a few minutes over the phone is rare gift, and sometimes finding the right information to do this is due to some impressive Sherlock-like abilities.
While having a cold calling script is essential to success, it can actually hurt your chances of closing a deal or even just sparking interest if the conversation feels too robotic. Instead, your sales team needs to be able to make the script feel natural in order to really connect with the person on the other side of the line.
Do You Have Enough Salespeople?
The final factor that will impact your ability to cold call well is whether or not you have enough sales members to make it worthwhile. If it is just you, and most of your efforts are already being channeled towards other sales activities, cold calling should probably be a low priority.
In fact, even if you have an inhouse sales team to assist you, it can take quite a few no’s to get a yes and make your efforts worthwhile. If cold calling is really an initiative you feel strongly about, it may be worth considering hiring an outsourced sales team to support this activity.
Ultimately, the decision to utilize cold calling for your business is entirely up to you. While it is often considered an outdated, or dead method, this assumption is simply not true. Cold calling is obviously not for every company, but it is still a valid method of generating leads.
As the new year approaches, consider adding cold calling to your mix of lead generation tactics and grow your sales in 2016!