What is B2B cold calling and how can you make it more efficient?
Overview of cold calling
Cold calling involves prospecting for phone contacts who don’t know you and who aren’t waiting for your calls. This cold call is therefore made to people who are not necessarily receptive to your company’s offer, whom they may not even know.
Used in B2B and B2C, this prospecting hard targets cold prospects that need to be interested in your products or services in a few minutes. This cold call is a delicate exercise that requires talent, skill, and resilience.
Advantages of cold calling
The launch is immediate
You can trigger a cold calling operation in 2 or 3 days. Do not have to create a digital asset (white paper, videos, etc.) or wait for the first returns from your SEO campaigns after 8 months of effort and investment.
You choose your prospects
Choose the companies you want to work with. You also choose your interlocutors in a cold call. Target accounts that are aligned with your offers and referrals.
Investment in cold calling is limited
This type of phoning operation requires limited resources. There are no advertising campaigns, creation of digital assets … The cost is mainly human. An investment in a good database and a good CRM is also essential to support and accelerate the mission of your expert.
Cold call results can be quick
If you’re relevant on the phone and your offering is differentiating enough, you can see results within the first few weeks. In cold calling, you will identify short, medium, and long-term opportunities. It is important to then set up a mechanism to nurture your opportunities.
Disadvantages of cold calling
No one knows you, no one is waiting for you
In cold calling, the prospect has not identified you. He doesn’t know your business. The reception is less favorable compared to someone who has just liked an article or downloaded your white paper.
An experienced resource is essential for cold calls
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot bring in an intern or a junior to do cold calling. You must take a sales representative of a certain level who has a good knowledge of your offers, your business cases… This expert must understand often complex organizations. He must master all the techniques of calling to pass the barriers of the secretaries. He must have a commercial game intelligence and be in a conversational mode with his prospects. Equally at ease with writing, he knows how to write nominative and relevant emails to his prospects.
Cold calling is not suitable for all cases
This cold calling technique is not recommend for reaching very small businesses. If you have to make thousands of calls to sell a product for a few hundred dollars, you will hardly get an ROI (Return on investment for return on investment) with this type of operation. You will get better results by targeting mid-market or mid-market companies (mid-size companies) or large accounts.
In addition, cold calling does not work if you want to reach too high-level interlocutors. You will never be able to pitch a board member into a large account. The CIO (Director of IT services) of Société Générale will never take you on the phone without knowing you.
Best practices of cold calling
Intelligently target the accounts to prospect
Similar to ABM (Account-Based Marketing), you should select and target the accounts with the most potential for your business. Thus, you will identify those who can generate the most turnover and margins. In addition, you should prioritize those to which you can be relevant because you already have references in the field or you are a disruptor.
For successful cold calls, you need to invest in a good CRM and have the right data. This is an important point that will allow you to save precious time in your prospecting. If you have the right contacts at the base, their email addresses, and even their direct line, this is an undeniable advantage. For better targeting, take at least a Sales Navigator LinkedIn license, integrated into your CRM.
Find out about your contact person before any cold call
It is not because these are cold calls that they are made without first inquiring and without an account strategy. You must target your interlocutors, understand their environment, their problems … For this, it is important to have a good database and also to find out about them on LinkedIn (or elsewhere). You have to put in place a bottom-up strategy with maximum finesse.
If the context lends itself, you can bounce on the latest publications of your target. You can put a high-add-value comment on one of his posts. Example: “I am contacting you because I saw that you had share an article by Laure Closier of BFM Business on interim management and…”.
Prepare your cold calling calls
During your phone, the quality of your pitch and your offer will make all the difference. To achieve this, you need to have a relevant salesperson with strong expertise. He must have a spirit of synthesis, operate in a conversational mode with your prospects, develops a commercial game intelligence …
For example, a call to the marketing manager of Microsoft can begin with a hook such as: “We know your field of activity well because we work with SalesForce and we generate more than 140 qualifie leads per month”. You will surely hold his attention because you talk to him about his direct competitor and you immediately evoke quantified results. He must think (night and day) of his competitor and ask himself how to generate more leads for his teams.
Use your email
In cold calling, you must have writing skills, because project detection or appointment setting is often done in 2 or 3 stages. You must be able to send highly personaliz emails to your target contacts, before or after the call, depending on the context. If your Inside Sales / Business Developer can’t write, this will be a problem.
Use cold calling social selling
With LinkedIn, you can find out about your interlocutor and, in addition, contact him directly. If your profile, invitation, and InMail are relevant, chances are you will grab your prospect’s attention. Your social selling strategy will be all the more effective with Sales Navigator and the automation of certain tasks, such as invitations.
Often criticized and perceived as an old-fashioned method that does not give results, cold calling works very well on targets of finely identified companies in the mid-market and large accounts. It must also be carried out by an Inside Sales / Business Developer expert with a mastery of its market and its offers. They must be able to use their phone, their messaging system, and the LinkedIn social network intelligently and in a coordinated manner.