Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Using Inbound Marketing Vehicles to Warm Outbound Cold Calling

May 07, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Not all work tasks in sales are created equal, and some are disliked far more than others. Cold calling, for example, seldom makes it to the top 10 of anyone’s list of favorites. It’s intrusive, often thankless and even opens up the caller to rudeness and abuse. It’s also relatively ineffective: it’s estimated that for every 1,000 calls made, only 30 appointments will actually be set up. Cold calling’s success rate hovers somewhere between one and three percent: pretty dismal for the amount of effort involved.

The good news today is that no call needs to be completely cold. There is evidence that any advantage that can be added – a referral, for example – can boost the success of outbound calling considerably. Today, there is more data than ever before available publicly on prospects, so no one should be picking up the phone and blind dialing a telephone number. It’s simply too easy to warm up the call by doing a bit of research.

“With all of the information available to you about your prospective B2B customer, the first time you contact them doesn’t have to be a cold interaction,” wrote business consultant Sarah Greesonbach for Business2Community recently. “No matter how you get your lead list, it’s easy to gather information about your targets that could lead to a better phone call. While cold calls usually rely on scripts, researching your contacts ahead of time can provide valuable information to develop rapport, so it’s responsible to do your homework first.”

Information can be gathered from social media profiles, a company’s website, the sales organization’s internal customer relationship management (CRM) system, the contact center, message boards and online communities and many other places. In addition, sales personnel can use Google (News - Alert) alerts to help them keep track of a prospect’s dealings.

Another great source for information to use to “warm up” cold calls includes your own organization’s website. Most companies today keep track of who is visiting their site.

“Why not call companies that have already visited your website instead?” asked Greesonbach. “If you have in-depth marketing analytics on your website, you should be able to get a list of companies you want to call on in a short amount of time, even if they don’t fill out forms on your site. You can screen those companies to make sure they’d be a good fit before you call, helping to make your sales reps more productive.”

It’s a great way to use inbound marketing transactions – people who have visited your site, download product information, left a comment on a social media page or asked a question – to drive outbound sales calls and warm these calls up to build better rapport with a prospect from the get-go.

“Warm calling allows you to take that list of customers who have contacted you by email, form fill on your website, or social media to further the conversation in a more customized way,” wrote Greesonbach. “It’s more helpful to your prospect because you’re not talking to a complete stranger. You’re developing a relationship your prospect started — one who’s interacted with your company already.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson