Chasing cold leads can often feel like a waste of time. You send out email after email, but never hear anything back, lost in the sea of spam.
But the truth is, 82% of buyers say they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a cold call. So it’s clear that the B2B market is open to cold calls from businesses offering the best solutions.
The key is knowing how to turn cold leads into customers with strategic, optimized outreach campaigns.
If you’ve not had luck converting cold leads in the past, this post will show you how to do it.
See how you can harness the power of email marketing and make sure your emails get opened and read with our guide on The Best Time to Send an Email to Prospects.
How to Convert Cold Leads
Businesses are used to getting dozens of cold emails every day, but there are a few ways you can stand out from the crowd and convert them into warm leads.
Avoid making your leads wait
Studies show that you need to respond to potential leads within five minutes for the highest conversion rate. That might seem impossible but with so much competition, you need to show potential leads you are passionate about customer service.
Automation is key here. You can’t be around to answer emails every second of the day, but automated responses will give your lead an immediate follow-up and get that relationship off to the right start.
Bant allows you to follow up with clients on auto-pilot by setting up high-converting automated email sequences (we’ll talk more about how this is crucial for cold outreach later).
Qualify the lead
Not all cold leads will be the right fit for your business, so it’s important to qualify them straight away to avoid wasting your or their time.
Ask questions and do some quick research right off the bat including:
- Checking they have the right demographics for your customer base
- Making sure they are a decision-maker who can close a deal
- Ensuring your service or product is the solution to their problem
All of this can be done in an initial cold call with regular questions or gamification principles. Not only will it ensure you aren’t wasting your time, but it will also show your potential customer that you care about working with only the right people.
Do additional research
Knowledge is power. If you can show a cold contact that you’re familiar with their business and their role, you’ll immediately build trust and the foundations of future deals.
Make sure you know the basics about anyone on a sales call including their name, job title, a bit about their business, and any important information relating to how they can use your product or service.
Showing a keen interest in a cold lead highlights your interest in having them as a client, rather than them just being dollar signs in a spreadsheet.
Structure your sales team
A Harvard Business Review study shows that over half high-performing sales teams have a documented sales process and structure to make the sales process as smooth as possible.
The best structure for a sales team is the assembly line, which looks something like this:
- Lead generation team: This part of the team is responsible for sourcing potential leads and creating a database of names, phone numbers, email address, and all relevant data.
- Qualifiers/Prospectors: The next part reaches out to cold leads and makes initial contact. At this stage, each lead will be qualified and ranked before being passed on to the next part of the sales team.
- Account Executives (AEs): The sales rep here is responsible for closing deals. They will talk to qualified leads only, offer demos, help overcome objections, and move deals forward.
- Account Management: At the end of the buying cycle when a client is closed and has paid for your product or service, they will be passed on to a dedicated account manager whose job is to keep the customer happy, troubleshoot problems, and increase the lifetime value of each client.
When you have this sales structure in place, each sales member knows exactly what their role is and can focus on optimizing a specific part of the structure.
Present an offer
No matter how cold your lead is, people always respond well to great offers. So start by giving them a fantastic offer they can’t refuse.
This could be a discount on your main product or service, or a tripwire product that’s less expensive and gets them into your sales funnel and into your nurture process.
Keep an eye on your sales pipeline
Research by Vantage Point showed that around 72% of sales managers hold sales pipeline review meetings at least once a month. But a staggering 63% said it wasn’t managed well, even with regular meetings.
If cold leads are left stagnating in your sales pipeline, you’re missing out on sales. A decade ago, it only took 3 or 4 sales calls to make a sale. Today, it’s more than 8, so you need to constantly review cold leads, where they are in your pipeline, and how you can move them forward.
How to Follow up With Cold Leads
A lot of sales teams fall into the trap of sending out generic, mass cold emails that are ignored, if ever opened.
But to stand the best chance of opening a line of communication, you need to be strategic with how you follow up and create warm leads.
A word on subject lines
Subject lines need to be eye-catching and optimized for clicks. If your subject line looks spammy or it’s clear it’s a generic cold email, it’s unlikely the prospect will even open it.
Here are a few examples of good subject lines that get clicked:
- Question about [their paintpoint]
- [Mutual connection name] recommended I get in touch
- Did you get what you were looking for?
- Hoping to help…
- A [benefit/value] for [their company]
- An idea for [pain point]
The subject line will need to be tailored to your product or service but focus on showing value, interest, or benefits to grab attention.
Cold email templates you can use
When it comes to the email content, keep it brief and focus on providing value to your lead. No one has time to read an essay, so prove your product or service is the best option for them in just a few sentences.
Hi [their name],
I’m on your website and noticed you’re using [competitor product or service]. How are you liking it? Have you come across [an issue your product or service overcomes]?
I’m [your name] with [your company]. Just like [competitor], we offer [product or service] only [key differentiator].
I’d love to set up a call and give you a quick demo of how our service works and see if we’d be a good fit.
Would [date and time] work for you? Let me know.
Hi [their name],
I had an idea to help [their company] get [your value proposition]. I can explain in under ten minutes if you’re up for a quick call.
Our company recently helped [related company] [give stats showing the benefit of your service], and they were ecstatic with the results.
I think it’s the perfect fit for [their company], let’s schedule a call. When works best for you?
Hi [their name],
Just saw the news that your company [trigger event], congrats!
Our client [company name] recently went through a similar launch and found our [your product or service] helped massively with [value proposition].
I know things at [their company] are probably hectic right now, but I’d love to schedule a quick call and find out if we can help with [your offer].
Are you free [date and time]? Feel free to send a link to your calendar if that doesn’t work.
8 Elements of a High-Converting Cold Email
No matter how you approach emailing cold leads, there are some quick and easy techniques that will help boost your chances of a response:
- Focus on the struggle
Your product or service is a solution to a struggle your prospective client is currently facing. Show them that you understand the frustrations they’re having, where they’d like to be, and how your product or service is going to help them overcome challenges and reach their goals.
- Skip cheesy lines
Although you want to grab attention, there’s no need to be gimmicky or cheesy in the way you approach a client. Stick with concise subject lines and email content that get to the point, always focusing on solutions.
- Cut to the chase
You know how precious your time is as a business owner, do you have the time or energy to read an essay-style cold email with ten paragraphs, two links, and a welcome video?
Every potential lead is looking for quick solutions, so keep your emails short and to the point.
This not only saves the client time, but it shows them that you mean business and your company is focused on results, not fluffy sales pitches.
- Add a CTA
Make sure any email ends with a specific call to action that encourages your client to message you back.
You’ll notice in the examples above this is asking if a specific time and date works for a discovery call. This encourages them to either respond and agree, or choose another time.
Don’t simply leave a number and hope they call your sales team. Be proactive in encouraging them to take the next steps.
- Make it personal
Always add the name of the person you’re emailing to immediately personalize any email you send. But take it a step further and show you’ve done your research.
Mention recent work the company has done you admire, highlight if you’re from the same city, talk about a recent post on their LinkedIn. Anything you can incorporate that shows you care on a human level will go a long way to scheduling a sales call.
- Give yourself credibility
Statistics are a great way to show you deliver results so if you have a past client you can use as a case study, highlight them.
This could be a percentage increase in sales, a savings in money, a boost in analytics, anything that lends credibility to your offer.
- Don’t sell yourself short
Nothing kills a cold email quicker than acting like you shouldn’t be emailing them. While it’s fine to recognize the value of your client’s time, don’t sell yourself short by using phrases like:
- I won’t take up much of your time
- I just wanted to steal five minutes from you
- I’m sorry to bother you
Be confident in your offer and communicate that time spent on a sales call with your team is a sound investment.
- Automate your sales email templates
Lastly, make the entire cold email process much more effective by automating your outreach.
Manually emailing cold clients is a massive drain on time and resources when you could be focused on delivering your service and nurturing warm leads.
Bant allows you to automate your cold email outreach with personalized, high-performing email campaigns. This optimizes your outreach for conversions and gives your sales team a consistent stream of clients to follow up with.
Don’t Miss Out on Cold Leads
When done strategically, cold outreach can be a consistent way to bring in potential clients for your sales team to qualify.
The key is doing your research and reaching out in a way that connects and engages. With the help of Bant’s automated email sequencing, you can cold email prospects on autopilot, bringing in a consistent stream of interested leads for your sales team to nurture.
Reach out to us today and schedule a personalized demo with our consultants to see how you can reach your sales goals.