There’s a heated debate amongst the sales community that’s been growing louder for years. The question, in its most simple terms, is this: Is cold calling dead?
The rise and fall of cold calling The headwinds for cold calling are well known — all starting with the rise of caller ID in the early 2000s giving prospects an upper hand to avoid salespeople. Nowadays, though, it’s harder than ever. Less business is being done on the phone as the world has shifted to virtual conferencing. In B2B tech sales, office phone lines have become obsolete as less decision makers go to a physical office each day. In response, cold callers are more and more reliant on mobile numbers from LeadIQ, ZoomInfo, and a growing list of new providers. To no one’s surprise, connect rates are dropping as prospects have grown frustrated with the sheer volume of unknown calls they receive. So what is our new baseline? According to Cognism’s study, only 2% of cold calls convert into a warm lead. A Zippia poll found that nearly two thirds of salespeople say cold calling is what they dislike most about their role — and it’s no wonder. Since the time-consuming act of cold-calling accounts for under 20% of warm leads across businesses polled. Nevertheless, sales leaders across the globe still bang the drum for call blitzes (much to the chagrin of individual reps). And assure ourselves "cold calling isn't dead".
What happens when you increase your cold call volume by 300% A 300% increase in meetings booked? A 300% increase in outbound pipeline? Not quite. Here was the situation: We were seeing a spike in meetings booked on the phone from warm calls (calling prospects that we’d already chatted with via email or LinkedIn). We also were seeing a low volume of cold calls. Our hypothesis? More calls (at a stable/increasing quality) = more revenue. Therefore, we decided to turn up the heat on cold calls. Over two months this year, we made a concerted effort to increase our call volume by 300%. From January/February to March/April, we went from 15 calls/rep/day to 60 calls/rep/day.
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