Warm Up Your Prospects This Winter
"Baby it’s cold outside"
In the inimitable words of Dean Martin, selling can be a cold, lonely game and you can often feel ‘on the outside’. Sales cycles can feel interminably long, and relationships can be slow to build. It is not a career for the faint hearted or the easily distracted; it takes determination and resilience to get results. This can be particularly so if using cold data lists. But it doesn’t have to be about frosty receptions and lonely days hitting the phones to a barrage of negativity. Using a few simple techniques, and the right approach, you can warm up your calling and transform your opportunities.
Traditional cold calling marketing has its place. At CPB we work solely in the B2B sector and use a variety of marketing methods, including cold calling, finding different benefits to each, depending on the campaign and its objectives. Our telemarketing agents are expert at the traditional cold calling approach and deliver fantastic results for our customers. However, warm calling has a far better conversion rate than cold calling. It sounds obvious but let’s look at the practicality behind the theory to understand how rich and intelligent data can make such a significant difference to your marketing campaign results.
What is cold calling and is it legal?
Cold calling is “the solicitation of a potential customer who had no prior interaction with a salesperson. A form of telemarketing, cold calling is one of the oldest and most common forms of marketing for salespeople”.
Yes, it is legal – in both the B2B or B2C sectors – but companies must be very careful not to contact individuals who have expressly requested they are removed from databases or who have signed up with the TPS or CTPS. It is crucial that consumers are protected and respected, however, companies are within their rights to undertake cold calling campaigns as long as these are conducted with respect and accountability.
How successful is cold calling?
Research by LinkedIn found that less than 2% of cold calls resulted in a meeting, while a study by Baylor University found that for every 209 calls made, only one appointment or referral was set. These figures sound poor, but it’s important to consider the following:
Firstly, a telephone inquiry will provide you with immediate feedback as to whether a prospect is worth pursuing
Secondly, it’s easy for emails to be ignored, sent to spam, or otherwise filtered out
Thirdly, while younger sales professionals favour digital approaches, older (more senior) decision-makers often respond better to a telephone interaction
Furthermore, the question should be asked, how much are the low success rates down to bad technique?
Warm it up with digital
So, we’ve established that cold calling is tricky and has a low success rate. Your option?
Otherwise described as “the solicitation of a customer who had previously expressed interest in the company or product”. Warm calling refers to a sales call, visit or email that is preceded by some sort of contact with the prospect, such as a direct mail campaign, an introduction at a business event or a referral.
If you’ve had some contact with a prospect, nurture this to ‘warm it up’ with digital marketing techniques – this approach can have a huge impact on your calling success. We recommend our clients use a mix of digital advertising, social and subscribing to an intelligent data list. Moving away from cold calling to using warm intelligent data delivers results. In 2021 CPB delivered over £6.6m worth of pipeline to its customers, mostly due to the warm nature of its telemarketing calling.
How to choose your data source
CPB specialises in marketing for the IT industry and ensures it uses data that has the ability to complement its campaigns. To get the right results you must choose your data partner carefully – the right data will make warm calling so much easier. Choose a database that contains IT end user data intelligence combined with vendor installation data – this combination provides unique insight. ProspectaBase is designed for the IT industry and holds intelligent IT contact data on over 300,000 contacts and 110,000 IT decision makers. It caters for data on personnel as well as key aspects of organisations' IT installations. The database holds records on 19,700 UK organisations flagged as having 100+ network users (representing 94% of the UK's 100+ network users market) and it is the only IT database to size by network component e.g. users, physical server volume, virtual server volume and total data stored The database CPB uses, is packed full of rich, intelligent, usable contact data. If you want to learn more, you can download the full install stats to see just how detailed data lists can be, and how much more useful they are to your campaigns when they contain this level of intelligence.
Using this type of data means you can begin a digital marketing campaign safe in the knowledge that your target audience is either already using or has shown interest in using your brand/product/service. The clicks you gain from digital marketing are the beginning of the warming up process that can be followed up by warm telemarketing activity. The conversation starter is already there: “Good morning Ms Smith, my name is Jennifer from CPB UK. You recently clicked on an email regarding IT marketing services, and I wondered if now might be a good time to discuss this further?” Bam, there you are, in the door with a factual, real link to a person who has shown an interest in your offering. You are over the first hurdle and well on your way to winning heat 1.
Top tips for warm calling success
Target prospects that are similar to your company's most common customer. Using buyer personas to work from a familiar profile will give a better idea of what these prospects are looking for and how to appeal to them.
Research your target company and its decision-makers. By knowing their needs and values you can better serve them or tailor your pitch.
Get the target's attention and do it quickly. Ensure your pitch is brief and gets to the point fast, while clearly demonstrating your value proposition. Be sure to respect your prospect’s time.
Do not be afraid to employ humour or attempt to be informal and personable when making the call. The product may be good enough to sell itself, but you will never get to that point if you lose the target's attention or miss the opportunity to connect.
Utilise various methods to ensure several points of contact, such as voicemails, social media or emails that offer tips and assistance via video.
At CPB we understand that warm calling is
the best chance you will have of capitalising on links and building relationships that will result in sales conversions. We don’t want to replace your existing marketing mechanisms and activities, we want to enhance them. For example, if you are already doing email marketing, we can help with warm follow up or more intelligent data to email into. We’re not suggesting you consider a full-scale rout of your strategy, but we are suggesting you consider how we can help warm things up by supporting you with elements of your strategy that might need enhancing.
The right digital marketing to the right list will result in clicks that will become conversations, these warm conversations are your opportunities. The result is a data-driven, multi-touch activity that delivers ROI.