Cold calling is a tried and true sales strategy that has reached potential customers and built relationships for over a century. The first documented cold-calling strategy occurred in 1873 with John Patterson and the NCR Corporation. Cold calling has evolved and adapted to reach prospects via email marketing, content marketing, and social media outreach. Cold calling is far from dead and, when executed properly, is still an effective sales tool and deserves the focus of your sales team.
Despite the rise of digital inbound marketing, PPC, and other modern marketing focused on search visibility, outbound marketing, and cold calling in particular, is still a key sales strategy for many businesses. The reality is your solution is only effective if you treat the problem. The greatest product and most skillful sales team will always fail if prospects do not engage with your brand. Marketing attracts leads, and outbound marketing attracts leads by introducing your solution to their problem.
Valve+Meter Performance Marketing believes in the power of cold-calling campaigns driven by research, planning, and measured by results. We’ve gathered some statistics to help companies determine if cold calling is an effective tool their salespeople can harness to achieve scalable and repeatable growth.
General Cold Calling Statistics
Cold calling can seem old-fashioned because the term evokes call centers and spam emails. The worst examples of this outbound lead generation strategy corrupt the high-level skill set and intensive training great business development representatives use. Statistics show that outbound marketing as cold call specifically, are effective methods to find and reach out to potential customers.
Consider these recent statistics to gain some insight into what cold calling is and why so many cold outreach processes fail:
- In general, sales reps make roughly 33 calls per day (Zippia)
- 49% of buyers prefer to be initially contacted via a cold call (HubSpot)
- 82% of buyers accept meetings with salespeople that reach out via cold calls (HubSpot)
- 94% of consumers believe that unidentified calls are fraudulent (Hiya)
- Roughly 80% of cold calls go to voicemail (ServiceBell)
- The best salespeople spend roughly 6 hours per week researching their prospects (Crunchbase)
- 30% of leads don’t receive a follow up call after initial contact is made (CallHippo)
- Companies that don’t believe cold calling is still effective experience 42% less growth than companies that believe in cold calling (Zippia)
- 28% of completed cold calls are considered to be productive (Forbes)
Reimagining Cold Calling
Cold calling is research, planning, strategizing, and then executing. Clearly, the statistics above demonstrate that extensive phone calls and lack of research are not effective. And yet, when companies stop executing cold calling and abandon outbound marketing, they experience 42% less growth.
At Valve+Meter, we are reimagining what cold calling is. When business development representatives follow data, cold-calling campaigns are most effective. This requires identifying ideal targets, creating strategies to reach key decision-makers, and planning how to deliver marketing messages individualized to these decision-makers. Effective cold calling moves in waves and mediums, from email outreach to phone calls. After contact and rapport is established, social media and video conferencing sales appointments are utilized. In short, cold calling has progressed far beyond phone calls, especially in B2B cold calling.
B2B Cold Calling Statistics
By analyzing some of the latest B2B cold calling statistics, businesses can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of this sales strategy and make informed decisions about how to optimize their approach.
- Cold calling is the main new customer acquisition channel used by 17% of B2B marketers (Cognism)
- B2B sales reps spend roughly 55 minutes per day connecting with prospects (ringDNA)
- 57% of C-level and VIP buyers prefer to be reached over the phone (RAIN Group)
- 82% of B2B buyers will accept a meeting with sellers who reach out to them via cold calls (RAIN Group)
- B2B sales reps make roughly 45 calls per day (SmallBizGenius)
- 72% of B2B buyers want to hear directly from sellers earlier in the sales process (RAIN Group)
- 75% of CEOs would schedule a meeting or otherwise take action based on a cold call (Smith.ai)
- 82% of B2B decision makers believe that most sales reps are unprepared to discuss the products or services of the business they’re representing (MarketingProfs)
Every statistic in this list validates why innovating the cold calling process is vital to marketing your business. When talented and knowledgeable business development representatives (BDRs) focus on crafting an individualized campaign to a target audience, business leaders respond. When your subject lines and concise message solve a pain point for a company, leaders listen. A phone call that is properly scripted is far more effective than generalized efforts.
Cold Calling Effectiveness Statistics
Whether your current sales team boasts seasoned sales professionals or those who are just starting out, understanding the effectiveness of cold calling is essential for driving results and achieving success in your sales efforts. The reality of cold calling like all outbound lead generation is failure is far more likely than success. This is why professional BDRs are trained and instilled with a fundamentally different approach toward rejection and objections.
- Cold calling has roughly a 2% conversion rate (Marketing for Success)
- Sales professionals spend roughly 7.5 hours cold calling to schedule one appointment or meeting (Leads at Scale)
- Cold calling a quality lead, however, has a 20% conversion rate (Dooly)
- Roughly 28% of cold calls are answered (Selling Signals)
- Asking a customer “How have you been?” increases the success rate to 10.01%, compared to the 1.5% baseline success rate (Gong.io)
- Successful sales calls typically last around 7.50 minutes (Chorus)
- 93% of the success of a cold call is dependent upon the seller’s tone of voice (FinancesOnline)
- Cold calls made between 4-5 PM are 71% more successful cold calls than calls made between 11 AM-noon. (Klenty)
- Wednesday is the most effective day for cold calling. Wednesdays provide 46% more conversions than Mondays. (Resourceful Selling)
- Successful cold calls typically have a 55:45 talk-to-listen ratio with the prospect (Crunchbase)
- Mentioning the name of a referral or shared connection during a cold call can increase its effectiveness by 70% (LinkedIn)
- Immediately stating your reason for calling can increase your success rate by 2.1% (Cognism)
Is Cold Calling Still Effective?
Put simply, cold calling is still an effective sales strategy for many businesses. One of the key advantages of cold calling is its personal touch. Unlike many other marketing tactics, cold calling allows sales representatives to connect with potential customers one-on-one, developing relationships and gaining a greater understanding of a customer’s specific needs and challenges. This can lead to higher conversion rates and more meaningful business partnerships than other marketing tactics can provide.
Additionally, cold calling is typically a more cost-effective approach than other sales strategies. It doesn’t require a significant investment in technology, software or digital infrastructure. All a business needs is an outreach list, a phone and a well-trained team of salespeople. This makes cold calling accessible to businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized companies that may not yet have the resources to invest in more complex sales strategies. Additionally, cold calling allows sales teams to generate leads quickly and efficiently, making it a valuable tool for businesses looking to drive short-term results.
Challenges of Cold Calling
As salespeople know all too well, cold calling comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest hurdles of cold calling is low conversion rates. With so many businesses relying on this method, potential customers are often bombarded with calls, making it difficult to stand out and capture their attention. Additionally, many people negatively perceive cold calling and view it as an intrusive and annoying experience. This can make engaging with potential customers and building meaningful relationships with them difficult.
Another major challenge of cold calling is its time to generate results. Cold calling requires a significant amount of time and effort, with sales representatives having to make countless calls and handle countless rejections to reach interested prospects.
Furthermore, the process can be repetitive and monotonous, making it a demotivating experience for sales representatives. This can lead to high turnover rates and make it difficult for businesses to maintain a consistent and effective sales team. In today’s fast-paced business environment, where time is of the essence, these challenges can make cold calling a less attractive option for many businesses.
Cold Calling Tips for Greater Success
Put simply, cold calling is a difficult process but can be improved when reframed by Valve+Meter’s performance marketing concepts. A cold-calling campaign is often the first step before more expensive outreach. It can seem like you’re making hundreds of calls and crafting dozens of emails before finally breaking through and finding success. These steps can effectively and affordably sift through the wrong prospects and capture the attention of qualified leads.
When you consider the goal is not to convert every lead but to introduce your brand to potential customers, every effort is worthwhile. Some tips to help salespeople see greater results from their cold-calling efforts include:
- Research the company and target audience: Before making a call, make sure you take some time to research the company and the person you are reaching out to. This will help you personalize your pitch and address their specific needs and pain points.
- Prepare and follow a script: Having a script to follow can help you stay on track and cover all the important points during your call. Make sure not to sound too scripted or robotic when reading it, however.
Emails should be highly personalized and focused intently on the needs of the prospect. Concise messages that call attention to the pain point, demonstrate your solution, and promise follow-up are most effective.
- Begin with a strong opening: Your opening line is critical in immediately capturing the attention of the person you are calling. Keep it brief, confident, and stick to the point.
- Build rapport with the prospect: Cold calling can be intimidating, so it’s important to build rapport with the person you are speaking to. Ask open-ended questions, listen actively, and try to establish a connection.
Emails subjects should be concise and constantly tested. Data will guide your team to understanding the most effective subject lines for each campaign.
- Clearly highlight the value proposition: Make sure to clearly articulate the value your product or service can bring to the customer. No one wants to know about you. Everyone wants solutions for their problems. So lead with the problem and quickly follow-up with a solution. Then discuss how your brand can help solve their problems and improve their business.
- Be persistent but respectful: Cold calling can be a numbers game, so it’s important to be persistent, but also to respect the person you are speaking to. If they are not interested, thank them for their time and move on to the next call.
Many strategies are most successful when the initial call does not have a call to action from the prospect. A simple demonstration of your solution and a promise to follow-up introduces your brand and allows prospects to consider your solution. When you re-engage, decision makers are more open to taking time to listen to your pitch.
- Follow up: After a call, make sure to follow up in a timely manner. This can be in the form of a quick email or even another call to see if they have any additional questions or if they are ready to move forward in the sales process.
- Stay on schedule: Never waste a prospect’s time. Provide clear and concise messages with as little extraneous information as possible. When you promise to follow-up, hold yourself to an exact schedule. Cold leads will quickly reject you when you are not efficient and precise from the first contact.
What Types of Businesses Can Benefit From Cold Calling?
Cold calling can be a valuable marketing strategy for various businesses regardless of size or industry. Small and medium-sized companies alike can benefit from cold calling by using it to reach potential customers and generate leads that would otherwise be difficult to attain. Cold calling can provide a cost-effective and scalable solution to your sales needs for these businesses, allowing you to grow and expand their customer base with minimal investment in technology or infrastructure.
Businesses in industries such as real estate, insurance, and finance can also benefit from cold calling. These industries often involve high-value products or services that require a personal touch in order to be sold effectively. Cold calling provides an opportunity for sales representatives to connect with potential customers and build meaningful relationships that can lead to increased sales and long-term partnerships. Furthermore, cold calling can be an effective way to reach niche markets and target specific segments of the customer base that may not be reachable through other sales strategies.
Overall, cold calling can be a valuable sales strategy for businesses of all sizes and across a wide range of industries. While it comes with its own set of challenges, cold calling can provide businesses with a cost-effective and efficient solution to your sales needs, allowing you to reach new customers and generate leads in a personalized and meaningful way.
Should You Outsource Your Cold Calling Efforts?
Outsourcing cold calling can provide businesses with many benefits. First, outsourcing provides your business with a pool of experienced and skilled sales representatives with a proven track record of success in generating leads and closing sales through cold calling. This can help businesses achieve better results faster and with less effort. Outsourcing can also eliminate the need for businesses to invest time and resources into training and managing a sales team, freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on other aspects of the business.
In addition, outsourcing your cold-calling efforts can also provide businesses with greater flexibility and scalability. A team of sales professionals can quickly ramp up or ramp down their cold call volumes to meet the changing needs of the business, allowing businesses to respond quickly to market changes and fluctuations in demand.
A team of cold callers will also typically have access to the latest technology and tools, such as predictive dialers, CRM systems, and call tracking, that can help streamline the sales process and increase efficiency. This allows your business to focus on what you do best while leaving the sales process to the experts. Outsourcing cold calling can provide businesses with a cost-effective and efficient solution to their sales needs.
Contact Valve+Meter for Lead Generation Services
At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, we understand that cold calling can take up much of your day and prevent you from completing other tasks. We employ a team of experienced cold callers that can reach out to prospects on your behalf to deliver a steady supply of qualified leads. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how our cold calling and outbound lead generation services can help your company achieve repeatable and scalable growth.