AI’s footprint in the business world has been steadily increasing year over year. Gartner predicts that, by 2026, one in ten interactions originally handled by human agents will be automated through tech. One of the areas where AI is already gaining traction is cold calling.
In this article, we'll explore AI cold calling and how it helps sales departments boost their efficiency.
Table of Contents
- What is AI cold calling?
- The Benefits of AI Cold Calling
- AI Cold Calling Tools
- AI Cold Calling Best Practices
What is AI cold calling?
AI cold calling uses artificial intelligence technology to make the traditional cold calling process more effective and less time-consuming. These tools can assist the sales team in the following areas: gathering insights about the prospects and information verification, lead scoring, call scheduling, and more.
With greater efficiency, sales professionals can reduce admin work and close more deals — a win-win.
The Benefits of AI Cold Calling
Here are some of the ways AI cold-calling tools can be helpful for sales departments.
With AI, you can present your offer to hundreds, if not thousands, of prospects daily — all without having your sales team initiate the conversations. This can help save time and your employees, as 48% of sales reps admit they’re afraid of cold calling.
You can set up a voice bot that will start the phone call, present your offer, and route the call to an agent if the prospect is interested.
<blockquote class=“tiktok-embed” cite=“https://www.tiktok.com/@donnellycss/video/7256735379275943194” data-video-id=“7256735379275943194” style=“max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;” > <section> <a target=“_blank” title=“@donnellycss” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/@donnellycss?refer=embed”>@donnellycss</a> An AI program has been created to complete sales calls, customer service and acts as an intelligent, well mannered and interested sales agent on this call. Air AI is a new conversational AI tool that can complete phone calls 5-40 minutes, to support a customer with a problem or a sales opportunity, and it sounds just like a human. <a title=“ai” target=“_blank” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ai?refer=embed”>#Ai</a> <a title=“air” target=“_blank” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/tag/air?refer=embed”>#air</a> <a title=“sales” target=“_blank” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/tag/sales?refer=embed”>#sales</a> <a title=“artificialintelligence” target=“_blank” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/tag/artificialintelligence?refer=embed”>#artificialintelligence</a> <a target=“_blank” title=“♬ original sound - Chris Donnelly” href=“https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7256735358111501083?refer=embed”>♬ original sound - Chris Donnelly</a> </section> </blockquote> <script async src=“https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js”></script>
AI cold calling works well with omnichannel communication, too. You can run your cold outreach campaign through text channels like live chat or email. You can then have the AI shortlist leads who wish to hear more information via phone.
Helps With Spotting and Nurturing the Right Leads
Most sales pros aren’t particularly fond of cold calling. In fact, 63% of them say it’s something they dislike the most about their jobs. Why is that? It comes down mainly to three things:
- Not having the right information prior to calls.
- Getting leads that are too difficult to reach.
- Receiving poor-quality leads from marketing.
These are all valid reasons for finding cold-calling challenging. Luckily, these issues can be tackled easily with AI. The AI technology goes over hundreds or even thousands of leads and picks those that have the highest potential of converting. This spares sales agents from calling leads who aren’t interested in a specific offer or aren't ready to buy yet.
Additionally, conversational AI, thanks to its NLP capabilities, assists in assessing a lead’s sentiment. It checks whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral — this comes in handy in picking the right nurturing strategy.
Boosting Your Sales Teams’ Productivity Levels
In HubSpot’s State of AI survey, two-thirds of business leaders said they believe AI will rival the Industrial Revolution in terms of its impact on productivity. From a sales department perspective, the biggest change lies in automating outreach and updates to lead and customer data. Those who use AI to handle prospecting and administrative work already save two or more hours daily.
This means that sales reps can redirect their attention, brainpower, and creativity to more demanding tasks — closing deals with ‘hot’ leads or upselling existing clients.
Having More Personalized Conversations
When cold calling is concerned, its success often boils down to volume, i.e., the more calls you hold, the higher the chance of conversion. This makes personalization hard unless you use AI.
These tools can analyze millions of data points, including interests, demographics, browsing, and purchasing history. AI helps to understand your prospects' needs and tailor your offer accordingly.
And we all know how much people value personalization. No wonder 35% of Amazon’s sales come from product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases.
AI Cold Calling Tools
Here is a list of AI-powered tools to support your cold-calling efforts. While some let you run outreach, others relieve you of time-consuming administrative work and help you create data-driven sales strategies.
ChatSpot is a conversational CRM bot that helps sales teams optimize the entire sales cycle, from prospecting to growing your accounts’ lifetime value. By running chat-based prompts, you can ask ChatSpot to support you in a variety of tasks, including:
- Building sales prospecting lists tailored to your sales persona. For example, you could ask it to “provide a list of e-commerce companies headquartered in San Francisco that have a headcount of 500 or more employees.”
- Creating (or editing your existing) cold calling scripts or outreach email sequences.
- Boosting your lead list quality by removing duplicates and automatically enriching profiles with new information.
If you integrate it with HubSpot, you can automatically transcribe conversations with leads, capture notes, and update your CRM records with the latest information. Whenever you need to look into an account, you’ll find all the context necessary to personalize your interactions.
Best for: Anyone looking to maximize their cold calling efforts and save time on manual work.
AirCall is a popular cloud-based phone system used by brands like 1Password, Lokalise, and Pipedrive. It positions itself as a solution that democratizes access to AI for small and medium-sized businesses and “simplifies AI for customer-facing teams.”
You can use AirCall to set up automated workflows, transcribe and analyze conversations with leads, and update log calls with contextual information. By removing the burden of manual note-taking, your sales reps can get through call lists faster and dedicate more time to promising accounts.
AirCall boasts an impressive list of integrations with B2B software, including HubSpot.
Pricing: Plans start at $30 a user per month.
Best for: Small-to-medium enterprises that need a solution that lets them call and keep all conversation logs in a single platform. It’s also great for call centers.
SentiOne started as an online reputation management platform and has now become one of the pioneers of voice bot technology. The platform lets you create a conversational AI bot, which you can use to initiate calls on your sales team’s behalf.
The bot has natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. This means the AI can understand your prospects’ responses, even if they speak freely.
You can customize the voicebot workflow and decide when the conversation should be wired to a real-life agent and when it can be handled entirely by AI.
Pricing: SentiOne offers four pricing tiers, which vary by the number of user sessions per month. Prices are available upon request.
Best for: Companies that want to run wide-scaled cold calling campaigns.
Gong.io is a revenue intelligence platform that leverages AI to understand sales conversations better. It records, transcribes, and analyzes customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, including voice, video, SMS, email, etc. It understands over 70 languages. Based on the analyzed data, it allows sales pros to:
- Improve their sales messaging.
- Enhance prospecting.
- Easily connect with prospects at the right time.
- Boost their sales skills based on feedback.
Pricing: Gong charges a platform fee between $5000-$1200 per user annually. There's also a user fee, which ranges between $100 and $200 per month. To get the exact pricing, you need to contact Gong.io directly.
Best for: Gong is an ideal solution for sales teams that deal with leads and prospects at various sales funnel stages. It works great for bigger sales teams with few supervisors. Thanks to data from Gong, team leaders can share actionable feedback more effectively and in less time.
AI Notetaker by Fathom
AI Notetaker is a note taking Zoom app. It records and transcribes your Zoom calls and highlights the key moments from your meeting. So, instead of splitting your attention between listening and note-taking, you can fully focus on what’s happening on the call. All information is then synced with HubSpot and Salesforce.
Fathom can turn call highlights into video clips, which you can easily share with your team, even if they were not on the same call.
Pricing: AI Notetaker is free to use.
Best for: It’s a great solution for sales teams who are highly engaged in AI cold calling, i.e., hold large volumes of calls. It will allow them to focus on the conversation, go over the notes after the meeting, and identify areas for improvement.
AI Cold Calling Best Practices
Here’s how to use AI to its full potential when you run cold-calling campaigns.
1. Use AI to personalize cold calling scripts.
The larger your cold calling contact list, the more likely it is that you’re dealing with many prospect segments. These people (or businesses) can vary in terms of goals, challenges, and psychographics, among others.
If you use the same script for everyone, then it’s doubtful that you’ll reach a reasonable conversion rate. Instead, use the information from your CRM or lead distribution software to identify these groups and personalize your scripts in a way that speaks to their needs.
For example, if you target B2B brands, you can ask AI to tailor your script to the lead’s specific industry. Alternatively, you could experiment with the tone of voice. For instance, you could target startups with a casual tone while keeping a more formal one when reaching out to finance and law corporations.
2. Target sales-ready leads only.
Here’s where using an AI integrated with your CRM can do wonders. If you use a solution like ChatSpot and connect it to your CRM, you’ll be able to continuously update and analyze potential client profiles and ‘scan’ them for sales readiness.
You can set up a voice bot to run cold calls and support you in prospect building while focusing your attention on closing deals with your sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
3. Update your prospect lists regularly.
If your prospect lists are filled with obsolete records or duplicates, it will take a heavy toll on your sales. Use AI to analyze your database for any errors or profiles that haven’t been updated in a long time. Depending on the platform you use, you can either:
- Run a chat command asking the AI to bring up a list of questionable accounts for your review.
- Ask it to delete them automatically.
That said, it’s important to continue updating your verified contacts, too. This can also be done — you’ve guessed it — with the help of AI. Even adding a simple note, like “contact is on parental leave till August 31st,” could go a long way.
4. Do your research before the call.
It’s hard to find a person who’d say they’re thrilled to receive cold calls. Most of us will put our phones down as soon as we hear someone trying to sell us something we don’t want. But this can change if a seller finds our sweet spot, right?
That’s why it is so crucial to do proper research before cold calling your prospect. Sales call automation can assist you in collecting deeper insights about your prospects to create a pitch that will appeal to your target audience.
5. Optimize your pricing.
Getting your pricing right is complex, and businesses rarely offer just one standard pricing for all their customers. If you get it wrong, you’ll end up with fewer closed deals.
Luckily, you can use AI to optimize your pricing for different customer segments. It will use its algorithms to look at a few pieces of information including:
- Past deals.
- Competitors’ pricing.
- Individual customer preferences.
It will then suggest an optimal price for that customer, improving your chances of making a sale.
6. Generate reports and use them to refine your cold-calling strategy.
Use a conversational CRM bot to quickly draw up results from your latest cold-calling campaigns. What are they telling you? How many calls went past the first interaction? How many contacts have ghosted you, and at which point of the conversation?
Dig deeper if the success rate is particularly low among a prospect segment. Run an after-action review and use your insights to spot the ‘weakest link’ in your sales workflow or assets.
AI Cold Calling Technologies and the Sales Landscape
There are many ways AI can help boost your cold-calling efforts. While some software helps you optimize your scripts, automates CRM record updates, and generates advanced reporting, others let you set up your own voice bots.
To learn more about how artificial intelligence is impacting the world of business, read HubSpot’s State of AI report.