Cold-calling: the 1 thing no one is talking about, but should be
Let’s talk about cold-calling.
It’s a tried and true strategy for building pipeline and closing deals. Yet, with the rise of various prospecting strategies, its popularity has come under pressure.
Google ‘cold-calling’ and you’ll be served up articles wondering whether it’s dead, if Linkedin killed it or asking whether it’s even worth doing at all.
More than 50% of decision makers prefer to be called over the phone according to research by Rain Group. But while the phone still matters, this doesn’t change the fact that the success rate for cold calling is only 2%.
How can salespeople improve their success rates then?
We spoke to several experts in the field to find out.
Here’s what they had to say:
Gurupandian Chandrasekaran, VP Revenue & Growth, JustCall
‘Balance’ is the keyword that’s missing in conversations around cold calling. I see so many sales teams who make cold calls blindly. And then there are those who take hours of preparation before making even one call.
Sales teams need to balance this out to be optimally productive – all the while, also being impactful in driving conversions.
And it’s not that difficult.
I have talked to top sales leaders who use JustCall and their workflow is simple. Once they have a list of contacts, they segment it based on whatever data they have. Segmentation can be as broad as which state prospects live in OR as narrow as their job designation. With the proper context of each segment, they create custom cold call scripts, battle cards, and pitches that work for the entire segment.
So, now they’re not cold-calling blindly or wasting time tailoring everything from scratch for every call.
They simply put up the segmented contact list in the sales dialer, start calling, and have personalized conversations for the segment. This significantly increases the chances of conversions without spending too much time ‘hyper-personalizing’.
All this happens because they have the context of the customer segment and past interactions.
So, “what’s the best practice for cold calling” – it’s to build one such simple workflow that’s centered around context and is effective, scalable, and easy to deploy across the team. I believe this is missing right now and it’s something very few people are discussing.
James Donaldson, Engagetech
People should be talking about the fact that you don’t have to call the decision maker.
Often we see sales reps, knowing their ICP and personas, trying to call and get hold of the person who is the “right” person or “right fit.” Of course, that is who you want to try and speak to within an account, however what else are you missing out on? And how
much do you really know about the decision making processes within the account? With a wider and more patient approach to your calling you could increase your scope of information, number of individuals connected with and insights. Here’s how our experienced SDRs approach gatekeepers and how they consistently get through to decision-makers.
20:1 dial to connect ratios or worse are often spoken about. This can be cut different ways. Are you counting connections to decision makers? Or connections to the person you believed you were calling? Or connections to a key influencer within an account,
and a meaningful conversation? If you can widen the approach you start to improve the dial to connect rates. Not because we’ve completely moved the goalposts, but because we aren’t hanging all our hopes on that one prospect with the perfect title. It also helps to have a sales stack to increase productivity.
There are often 3-5 people who could access budget for you, and each of them perhaps has 2 people they’d listen to outside of this. All of these people can help you understand and get closer to one of the decision makers.
If you’re willing to do this, you start to gather information about other people’s roles, other projects, other tools and systems in use. All of which makes the conversation with that dream prospect even more powerful when you do connect.
David Gable - Head of Sales, Kixie
“When it comes to cold calling today, I recommend two things: Call from a local number and dial as much as possible. Our customers use our ConnectionBoost tool to always call from a real local number, automatically matching any area code in the US and Canada. They pair that with our multi-line PowerDialer, and they’re having more conversations and fewer voicemails.”
Jack Obertelli, BDR Manager UKI, Aircall
My tip would be to plan your time wisely - dedicate an hour in the morning & another in the afternoon where your only task is picking up the phone. Slack, emails & Linkedin are all muted.
I would also (where possible) pull up a list or report of your prospects & bucket them (by industry, persona etc).
This way, your value proposition is likely to be similar, as are the objections that you face in that block of calling. It’ll allow you to quickly have the chance to iterate & try new things.
If you have the ability to powerdial, you can easily be making 30-40+ calls in each session, and sharing the recordings of these conversations with your manager can allow for an in-depth 1-2-1 covering persona A or Industry B, plus all the associated actions you’ve encountered.
Evolve are Pipedrive Elite partners and are experts in helping small and scaling businesses get the most out of Pipedrive's CRM. Book a call and let's talk about how we could help you.
If you're using Pipedrive and want to get more out of your cold calls, then learn more about these phone caller apps:
Kixie - Watch a demo/podcast with Head of Sales, David Gable.
Aircall - Watch a podcast with UK Partner Manager, Enryck Serin.
Just Call - Watch a podcast with JustCalls CEO, Gaurav Sharma.
If you’re on Pipedrive and want to get more from it, book a call and let's talk about how we could help.
Looking for a new CRM? Try Pipedrive for Free