What used to be a smart sales tool is now ineffective thanks to changing habits. The days of dialing and smiling are over.
Cold calling has been a standard sales tool for years. But despite the hard truth, most salespeople today continue to waste valuable time and effort cold calling, usually because they don't know what else to do. Cold calling is all they've been taught.
The new approach to sales calls doesn't involve interrupting strangers and immediately going for the hard sell. Instead, modern cold calling is all about tracking engagement and learning what your potential customer is interested in so you have context for each call.
In a recent SlideShare presentation "Stop Being A Creep! Why eMail Tracking Is Useless Without A Sales Strategy" the Signals team at HubSpot describes a 3-step process, which is the secret to making cold calling or warm calling as ("inboundy") as possible.
Here's their recommended approach:
1) Measuring engagement The best people to call are people who are actively engaging with your company – the people who are checking out your site pages and downloading your content and reading your emails.
But how do you know when all that stuff is happening? Here's the good news, HubSpot's Signals does all that.
By measuring how your prospects are engaging with your company, you can determine which prospects would be most receptive to sales calls. Instead of potentially bothering a people that haven't expressed an interest in your company or your content, you can be sure you're reaching out to only interested parties.
2) Call fast Once you see that a prospect is actively engaged, don't waste time connecting with them. The longer you wait to interact, the more likely it is that the prospect will go to a competitor.
3) Open with context Use the information you glean from measuring engagement to bring content to the conversation (for example: "I noticed you downloaded that ebook I mentioned to you in an email last week, do you have any questions about it?")
But don't stop there. Good old-fashioned research can also help you open with context. Depending on what industry you're in, you should be able to tell what challenges the company faces form its website or the people who work there.
For example: if I see a company with little to non-existent thought leadership content, I know that we can be of help. It adds context to our intitial conversation, rather than making the person think that I'm just trying to get through a list of phone numbers.
The difference between cold calling and warm calling has always been whether or not the prospect you're calling has heard of your business before. But with HubSpot's Signals, it's about providing new avenues for prospects to initiate the conversation.
At this early stage, it's not about selling them anything. It's about unlocking the value you can provide them, and that's what I see as a warm call.
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