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Is Cold Calling Dead? Not in 2024

Whether cold calling is dead or alive is a source of endless debates among marketers.

But despite all the new ways of communication emerging in sales, cold calling remains an effective sales strategy. Recent B2B cold calling stats prove it works for acquiring new customers and booking meetings, especially among C-level and VP buyers.

So why does it get a bad rap?

It’s simple really—

Many salespeople abuse the liberty to reach out to prospects, pitch too soon and spam the system. 

But do cold calls work?

Of course!

This article will explore why cold calling isn’t dead and how not to kill it. 

1. Supported by data

First of all, B2B cold calling isn't dead because recent developments in technology have improved its efficiency. Salespeople can easily reach prospects who are likely to be interested in your product or service thanks to sales intelligence software, like Cognism. It helps you take a proactive approach and identify ideal fit accounts. You can then build targeted cold calling lists that warm up the calls even before you dial.

With Cognism, you get access to a global, compliant database of business contacts that you can filter by location, company size, position, etc. And to improve the quality of conversations and close rate, you can integrate intent data, like Bombora. 

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2. More SDRs are entering into sales space

In the past, sales prospecting has been limited to startups and B2B software companies that needed sales development representatives (SDRs) to grow their revenue and get their brand out there. But the SDRs' role is mainstreaming B2B sales

Aaron Ross, a sales development expert, believes cold calling isn't going anywhere. Even 'established' industries such as manufacturing or advertising could benefit from incorporating the SDR (or some version of the SDR).

He also thinks that replacing the human aspect of sales with tech stack can be risky:

You’re essentially relying on the buyer to do all of their own research and know they’re a fit for what you offer. That’s a big ask.

And, with your AEs busy closing deals, do you really want them spending time disqualifying prospects that have only qualified themselves?

And what about those perfect buyers that don’t find you on their own?

3. Executives love it!

According to RAIN Report, cold calling is very much alive among C-level and VP buyers across industries. As many as 57% of them prefer cold calls as the first point of contact. The rate goes down slightly in the case of directors (51%) and managers (47%) but still indicates that cold calling in business still works.

Even though today’s buyers don’t need sales reps to make purchasing decisions, a cold call can be one of the touchpoints that engage buyers throughout their customer journey.

Speaking directly to decision makers high up the company structure is one the most efficient ways of getting your foot in the door of a new business. 

💡 Check out CEO prospecting scripts and learn how to sell to the C-suite roles with tips from Ryan Reisert, the co-author of “Outbound Sales, No Fluff”.

4. Provides value to prospects

You can bring cold calling to life with experienced salespeople who have the business acumen and market awareness that enables them to have meaningful conversations with target prospects.

SDRs who do research to identify prospects’ potential pain points before they pick up the phone can instantly bring value to the table. On the other hand, if they are purely sales-oriented and their approach is purely transactional, they’re not going to get too far past ‘hi’. 

You know you’re providing value when the goal of your cold call is sales discovery. You need to find out if the prospect has a problem that you can solve. 

💡 Check out some of the best examples of cold calling from sales pros Josh Braun and Ryan Reisert to learn how not to push prospects into your agenda and increase your cold calling success rate.

5. Rejection is part of the process

One of the common misconceptions is that cold calling is dead because reps get rejected 6 out of 10 times. In fact, rejection is part of the process. Sometimes you get brushed off because the prospect is bored, tired, you reached a gatekeeper, or simply, call at the wrong time. 

On other occasions, you may find your solution really isn’t suitable for every business you call. It’s okay to assume your product or service can help prospects on your list. But if during the sales discovery it turns out otherwise, stop persuading and get off the phone.

If you feel you lost your cold calling mojo, check your stats at the end of the month. If they don’t add up, go back to square one and review your cold calling list. Analyze your existing customer base, what industries they operate in, their size, location, job title, etc., and clean up your list.

You can do this manually via LinkedIn or Google research, or automate the search and export contacts to your CRM with the Cognism Chrome extension.

Download Chrome Extension

💡 If you or your SDRs lack confidence on the phone, check out four tips on how to get over the fear of cold calling.

Do cold calls still work?

For those of you who are in a hurry, here is a summary of the key points raised in the article:

  • The success rates of cold calling vary depending on whether sales reps combine it with best sales practices such as determining the best time to cold call, defining ideal customer profiles, researching prospects to warm up calls, or using prospecting tools.
  • Cold calling works best if you use a reliable B2B data provider to call the right people.
  • Generally speaking, rejection is part of the process but the more targeted your cold calling list, the better your connect rate.
  • Cold calling is evolving and requires more specialization. Companies ready to adapt and optimize their approach to cold calling strategy can make it a relevant revenue channel.

Need some help with reviving your cold calling?

  • Cognism is a sales intelligence platform that supplies businesses with verified mobiles and B2B emails of people you want to do business with.
  • If you feel like your prospecting list is incomplete or out of date, visit our homepage to learn more or book your demo here to see how we can help. 👇

Book your Cognism demo

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