B2B Cold Calling Best Practices


Posted: September 30, 2011 | Sales, Sales Marketing Alignment

Is cold calling dead? Patrick Donnelly said cold calling was in a blog post recently, but only if it has not evolved from the smile and dial of years past.   Even as social media and web applications become mainstream B2B marketing platforms, cold calling remains one of the most effective ways to make contact with decision makers, but only if done right. Cold calling can increase the number of prospects, appointments and sales. So how can a business realize tangible results from this marketing method?

There are some smart tips and techniques to fulfilling a successful cold call campaign:

  1. Target. Aim for the right industries. Seek out contacts at the right level. Get the direct line of someone that can make decisions on what you have to offer.
  2. Research. Can’t make the connection? Use online resources. Information sources like LinkedIn, Data.com and ZoomInfo can be indispensible for making contact. This may also help you understand more about their business.
  3. Strategize. Sometimes it takes some prospecting to find and talk to the right person. Once the right person is found, gatekeeper administrators can keep you away. Some great times to call in order to reach the right person are midweek and early in the morning, just before the top of every business hour or between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.
  4. Include. Cold calling shouldn’t stand alone. It should be fully integrated into your marketing campaign, as it is often most effective when accompanied by email and direct mail communications.
  5. Propose. Once contact is made, make an offer that is compelling. Address one of the major challenges your prospect is likely facing. Being capable of solving a problem can bring you half-way to a sale.
  6. Relent. There is a fine line between persistence and annoyance. Once the line is crossed, it can be hard to get the prospect back. Before making another call or sending one more e-mail, put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. What actions would make you turn away from a deal?

Cold calling is an invaluable B2B marketing technique for businesses. Even if a prospect isn’t ready to buy, the phone offers a great opportunity to personally introduce your brand. By leaving a positive image, cold calling encourages and nurtures the possibility of a future sale.

What cold-call tactics would you add to this list?

Related Resources

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  • Toby Marshall

    Maria, whilst you’ve raised some good points abut cold calling
    as a B2B marketing strategy, I will have to differ. I maintain that marketing
    nowadays centres on relationships, building rapport. And not so sure if
    cold-calling adds to that. If you’ve the time, please have a read of my
    reasons: http://tinyurl.com/7jo37ht

  • http://www.listgiant.com/ telemarketing leads 

    You really need to practise before you start making real cold calls. It will improve your success rate.

  • http://salesloft.com/ Kyle Porter

    I’d love to expand on #2- research. Having done your research is the easiest way to turn a cold call into a warm first conversation. Other tools that reps should be using to uncover more information on their prospects include Google News (news.google.com), Google Alerts, Rapportive, jobchangealerts.com & Twitter. We’ve also seem a dramatically higher level of success using this tools to generate a relevant cold email first…asking to conduct the phone conversation.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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B2B Cold Calling Best Practices

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