Cold calling isn't as cold as it once was. Salespeople now have access to search engines and social media to research their prospects before they pick up the phone. There's no excuse for a rep to go into a conversation completely oblivious to what their prospect cares about and what's happening at the contact's company.
But just because cold calling has gotten warmer doesn't mean it's become any more data-driven. Sales reps generally don't consult data to determine the best time to call their prospects, and they often give up trying to contact a lead after a single attempt. How soon they reach out to a lead after receiving an inbound inquiry has less to do with the timeframe in which they have the best chance to make a sale and more with how busy they are at the moment.
To inject some science in your outbound prospecting efforts, check out the statistics in the following infographic from OpenView Labs. You'll never approach cold calling or emailing in the same way again.
Think an inbound lead can wait an hour or two for a response? Salespeople that reach out within five minutes are 100 times more likely to qualify the prospect. Doubtful that seeking an introduction to a prospect from a common connection is worth the time? 84% of B2B decision makers kick off their buying processes with referrals.
Whoa. If data points like these don't make you reconsider your cold calling strategy, I don't know what would.
Check out the full graphic below, and contemplate incorporating these action items into your outbound outreach:
If you share a common acquaintance with a prospect, seek a referral instead of or before cold calling/emailing.
Strive to respond to all inbound leads within five minutes.
Curate content and engage with your buyers on social media to increase your chances of being the first sales rep invited to present a proposal.
Which statistic is the most surprising to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Originally published Jun 5, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017