Why is business 2 business cold calling dead?
Business 2 business cold calling is a waste of time & resource.
Recently I had the pleasure of hearing the great Brian Halligan from HubSpot give a talk that included a piece about business 2 business cold calling.
I particularly enjoyed his story about the cold calls he receives from Microsoft…
And I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.
Personally I hate receiving cold calls from sales people, at home and at work.
It disturbs the flow of what I am doing, and results in a lot of wasted time.
Especially when I am mid way on a blog post and lose my train of thought!
Why business cold calling is a waste.
Fundamentally it’s a waste of precious time, for everyone involved, and time is money!
Worse yet, it is expensive… Every piece of research now shows that cold calling is the most expensive way to generate leads.
If you don’t believe me give it a Google, just remember to come back for the rest of the article!
You are wasting time, losing money and spending money to do it…
But if that isn’t enough, here are some questions I would like you to seriously think about your answers to, and then ask your team.
Some of these are very useful when it comes to making your management team understand why you want to move to inbound marketing!
When did you last pick up a cold call at work?
Or a withheld number?
If you did, what was the net result? Did you bite and buy?
My guess is probably not, but then if you are reading this you are probably already on side when it comes to cold calls.
The way we learn has changed. So how we market has to.
The ways that we do business have changed.
As have the ways we learn new things.
We now consume information online at a time that suits us, on a device that we choose.
For most people this means that if we have a problem we go to google, at least that is where we start our research.
When a company finds it has an issue / problem / need, the people involved will start with a google search.
This search is step one.
After the first few websites there is every probability that other people will start to get involved.
Reading and watching as much information as possible.
Listening to podcasts, there is a reason that podcasting is becoming so prevalent and that so many content creators like to use them!
Downloading white papers.
Reading blogs, watching vlogs, the list goes on and on. But you get my point.
Before you are even aware that you could have helped this company with it’s problem or need they will have found someone that can.
And if you rely on a team of people cold calling, they will probably have completed their project and you will never have known.
Oh, and before you say “he is a marketer what does he know?” I will let you in on a secret.
I did business 2 business cold calling myself for a long time before I moved into marketing.
I heard all the put downs, shouting, ignoring, brushing off, complaints, doors close etc. And I was pretty bloody good at the job.
If you are anything like me, as a child I was told this multiple times a day, every day!
Yet by adulthood, it seems that interrupting people during their day is absolutely fine because, hey, their company needs to know about yours!
By its very nature cold calling a business is interrupting.
It is disrupting but not in the good sense of the word like Uber or Air BnB or Amazon.
If what you are doing is cold calling then you simply have no idea what the other party is doing.
Perhaps you will be lucky and catch someone when they are doing nothing, they have time to talk to you and listen to your pitch.
Maybe the person on the other end also knows they have a problem you can solve and whatever the problem is they also have a project to look at it.
Oh, and you happened to pick up the phone and cold call them at exactly this moment…
Your chances of success are pathetically small.
At best you will be building a very cold pipeline of prospects, people and businesses that may perhaps remember you one day…
If you are lucky.
And if you have been doing your research before hand on LinkedIn, company websites etc.
There are not many companies out there that like to leave things to luck! Especially not something as vital as finding new customers.
And if your are unlucky… Well, you could burn bridges you hadn’t even built yet!
Technology makes business 2 business cold calling pointless.
Thinking back to that video technology really is not on your side either in business 2 business cold calling.
Does your company still have telephones on their desks?
Or have you now moved to Skype or Microsoft Teams or something similar?
Even if you have physical telephones you should have caller ID… After all we have had this since at least the 90’s. I remember Blink 182 singing about it.
Why does this matter?
Because people can control who they talk to and when. If you keep calling a number don’t you think you are likely to be flagged?
Perhaps at reception, perhaps on an individual’s desk. The person who you really do need to engage.
Either way your chances of now selling to this company have dropped to zero.
Yes, flat zero!
As a business cold calling for leads you now have no chance of that company buying from you. And you haven’t even spoken to the right people.
Unless you have a phenomenal marketing team and they manage to convince your audience at the company you are worth talking with.
But if that were the case you wouldn’t be cold calling any more… Because why waste the money on it?
Just don’t lose the skills & knowledge your team has!
Business 2 business cold calling may be dead and buried, the skills though are transferable!
The knowledge and skills your team have will be invaluable to you as a company.
Information that can be used to create amazing content.
People that can straddle the marketing and sales teams and help build bridges that many companies struggle to have.
A team that can pick up the phone and comfortably talk to people when the time is right. Ans this is the real point.
Once the prospect has educated themselves on your content, when they reach out and have downloaded your knowledge!
When your story is embedded with them, they know who you are and why you do what you do.
When they have bought into your messages.
This is the time to strike!
To pick up the phone and have a serious and meaningful conversation.
Business 2 business cold calling is dead. But business 2 business calling to have a real conversation is alive and kicking.