Should Cold Calls/Cold Outreach Be Part of Your Sales & Marketing Process?
I don’t know…
but here is some guidance to help you figure it out.
First, cold calling, cold outreach, cold emailing, these are neither a good nor bad thing. These are just marketing tools; appropriate in some situations… never should be used in others.
There is the right way to implement a sales tactic and many wrong ways.
Maybe you have tried cold outreach and concluded “it doesn’t work.”
Did you implement a process correctly so that it had even a chance to work?
If you “tried” billboards but placed them 100 miles away from where your clients are located, you didn’t “try” billboards. You just threw your money up in the air.
If you placed a billboard smack dab in the middle of where your clients were located, but it was confusing, ugly, and potential clients could not grasp your message, you didn’t “try” billboards, you just tossed your money up in the air.
If you “try” any sales and marketing tactic yet execute it poorly or don’t give it a reasonable runway to test and tweak, you didn’t “try” it, you just threw money out the window.
If you are considering cold colling, cold emailing or cold outreach, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you start.
What does success look like?
You are going to invest a certain amount of time and money. What result must you achieve to make that worthwhile? So, refer to your prior experiences or make reasonable assumptions for responses, appointments set, opt-in’s to webforms, conversion ratios, size of the average sale, length of typical sales cycle and margins. If the numbers don’t make sense on paper, don’t start
- What are you willing to pay for a new account?
How much money would you be willing to spend to get your average new account? Essentially, what is an acceptable cost of sale? Your prospecting cost is just part of your overall cost of sale. Considering your assumptions above, do the numbers still make sense?
- What are your alternatives?
If you can get the same result using other marketing methods… and not have to call or send emails or ravens, go for it. I do. I am an expert at using the phone to gain access to top-level decision-makers, but guess what? If you can generate your desired sales result using alternative methods, I recommend you do it.
Many times, particularly if you are seeking larger accounts or selling to large organizations, or your offering requires a face-to-face meeting, picking up the phone integrated with other cold touches with the right process is your best option.
Frequently, other marketing methods may work but require a longer period to kick in. If you don’t have that time, it can make sense to reach out to top tier prospects directly.
- If cold outreach is going to be part of my overall successful sales and marketing process, how can I get the most value from the calls?
This is critical. Reduce your cost per sale and identify more opportunities by getting more from your calling, emails and outreach efforts. Listen carefully… you need appointments in the short term to make the math work, but you can pick up additional information… and leverage that information… to drastically increase the value you get from your calling effort.
In the course of calling, if you use the right process, you discover info on volumes, decision-makers, bid reviews, future plans, products/services used, vendors used and other “stuff” that if properly collected and accessible in the future, enables you to launch very focused marketing initiatives to a very qualified very targeted audience.
Example: You have an advantage over competitor X. In the course of calling, you identify 100 companies using competitor X. You launch a focused effort into that group, possibly using other marketing tools.
- What process do I follow and how can I get more from my present efforts or start a program without a costly learning curve?
Very simple. At a minimum, look at my books on Amazon or check out a full list of advisory services here. The “Sell the Meeting” book is a great place to start.
This is not rocket science. Just a lot of simple common-sense strategies that must be coordinated to achieve a desired result.