What is cold calling?

For many of us, when we think of cold calling our mind goes to spam calls. We have all gotten a call from someone trying to sell us something or a robot call that has nothing to do with us. Although these calls are annoying, Cold Calling is a very important and useful tool for businesses.

So, what is Cold Calling? Cold calling is a practice in which a salesperson calls a list of potential clients, ideally a good list, and connects with them to build a relationship with decision-makers to sell them their product or service. It is making the initial contact with ideal customers to get them to know your product/service and either sell to them on the spot, set an appointment, or create a connection between your business and their future need, so they reach out when they are ready.

Cold Calling is a difficult, time-consuming, and often expensive practice, but a very successful one when done correctly. Cold Calling is one of the greatest tools a salesperson can possess. A good Cold Caller knows how to connect with the person on the other side of the phone, get past the gatekeeper (such as the assistant), and get through to a decision-maker. Cold Calling is about connecting, finding a need, and filling the need with a product/service. The cold caller is the first impression of a business, so it is important that they are professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and experts in their field.

How does Cold Calling Work?

Cold calling is all about persistence and perseverance. Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, but 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. This is not a one-and-done situation, but a process that requires a lot of time, hard work, and commitment. Calling is the first step in a business connecting with potential clients. Most salespeople are skilled at closing warm leads, but how do they even get them? Cold calling. This practice gets you through the door so the salespeople can close the sale and grow the business. Cold calling equals opportunity.

The three main steps to this sales technique:

  1. The first step of cold calling is to have a good list of numbers/potential clients you can – and start to call. Without a good, fleshed-out list of potential clients, a cold caller will waste their time. A good list has potential clients that fit the characteristics the business is looking for, such as certain locations or certain needs. If the list is good, the cold caller can spend the time doing step number two instead of wasting their time being hung up on or reaching contacts that don’t fit the needs.
  2. The second step is qualifying. A cold caller, once they reach a gatekeeper or decision-maker, must qualify them as a potential client that fits the needs the business can fill. For example, as a roofing company, you would qualify a prospect as a potential client if their roof was a size you work on. These questions will distinguish those prospects that could become potential clients, from those who don’t fit your client’s needs.
  3. The third and last step is to set an appointment. The goal is to sell. You are soliciting the business from a potential client that has had no prior contact with the caller; it is an attempt to convince them to buy your product/service. This process connects you with prospective clients so you can get in front of them and sell your product/service. A cold caller will set an appointment for their company’s salesperson to connect with the prospect to pitch to them. The cold caller’s job is to pass on to the salesperson a warm, qualified lead that fits the requirements and is interested in the company’s business. The cold caller’s job is done once the meeting is set, passing the lead on to the salesperson.

What is cold calling? It is the first step in the sales process. It is the practice of connecting with potential clients, qualifying them, and setting an appointment for your sales team to go and close the sale. It is a key component of a successful business strategy, one that cannot be overlooked.

Lead Generation Strategies

Lead Generation is a key process in a company’s endeavor to grow their business. It is a difficult practice, in fact, 68% of B2B companies struggle with lead generation. Yet, it is a necessary process to find your ideal customers and connect with key decision-makers to gain more business. The big picture of a lead generation strategy is outbound sales marketing, in which a company aims to grow its market and develop its process through a few elements that aid in building a company’s sales pipeline, increasing sales opportunities, and acquiring clients.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead Generation is the process of identifying potential clients for your business or service. Through a Lead Generation Strategy, experts research, connect and convert potential customers into clients. This process requires varied strategies to arrive at one goalsetting pre-qualified meetings with decision-makers. In simple terms, Lead Generation is finding possible clients, attracting them to your business, and selling to them your offer/service.

Lead Generation Strategies

     There are three steps, three actionable elements, that are part of a successful strategy. These strategies all fall under one umbrella: outbound sales marketing. So, what is Outbound Sales Marketing? It is the process where a seller begins engaging with a customer. This starts with cold calling potential clients or leads, to inform them of your service or product, to generate interested, and to set an appointment with a lead. Outbound sales marketing will help you grow your potential clients and develop your lead generation strategy.

 

The Three Actionable Elements of Lead Generation Strategies:

  1. Market Research / Segmentation 

To begin any lead generation process, you must have a flushed-out idea of who your ideal customer is. You must know who they are, what their needs could be, and how to pitch your service or product to them. Without a clear vision of your target market, you won’t be able to qualify your leads. You must have qualifying questions and criteria that separate warm leads from those who do not fit your segmentation. With a clear ideal customer flushed out and a defined checklist of characteristics, you can move on to the next step.

  1. Data Acquisition and Enrichment 

Once you have your list of qualifying customer requirements, you must gather data. The second actionable element in your lead generation strategy is to acquire a large data list of emails, phone numbers, and/or LinkedIn profiles to possible clients who fit some criteria, such as location.  This data list will be the leads you will be calling to qualify and set appointments.

  1. Outreach

The last step in your outbound sales marketing strategy is to do the actual outreach. You now have your ideal customer profile and a list of possible candidates who fit some of your criteria, it is now time to employ your lead generation skills and identify those on the list as either potential clients or not. This step requires a combination of three tools: Cold-Calling, Email Marketing, and LinkedIn Marketing. These three tools will help you prequalify your list and set appointments.

 

These Lead Generation Strategies will aid you in setting pre-qualified meetings with decision-makers, to get in front of your ideal customer and sell your service or product. Lead Generation is at the core of a business’s growth and success; therefore, knowing these actionable strategies and employing them correctly will set your business up for success.