With the growing popularity of live chat on websites and direct messaging on social media, it’s easy to think that traditional phone calls are dead for businesses.
But the opposite is actually true in the B2B world. Customers expect almost instant responses and quick communication from companies. In fact, 56% of business owners say the phone is still the most popular way for customers to close deals.
With all that in mind, it’s clear that cold calling is still popular in 2022. The trick is getting your strategy right to stand out from the sea of spammers.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to approach cold calling in 2022 and how you can update your strategy to increase conversions.
Do you know what is affecting B2B buyer behavior in 2022? Check out our guide to find out.
Does cold calling still work in 2022?
Cold calls are still effective moving into 2022, as long as they’re planned and done right. Although cold calling shouldn’t be your primary marketing strategy, it does have high success rates when closing warm leads and booking discovery meetings.
Cold calling alone won’t ensure business growth, and your lead generation strategy should more heavily focus on email marketing, cold email outreach, and social media marketing.
But as we move into 2022, there are some effective ways of optimizing your cold calling strategy to get better results (and some common mistakes to leave in 2020), all of which we will go through in this post.
Best Practices for Cold Calling in 2022
First up, let’s look at some cold calling tips you need to adopt to improve your success rate.
Introduce Yourself Fully
One easy way to improve your cold calls is to introduce yourself fully with your first and last name as well as your brand (and even your position if it fits).
For example, “Hi [prospect’s name], this is Alex Smith from Bant.io. I’m calling because…”
This establishes trust and respect with your prospect from the start and immediately lets them know who they’re dealing with.
If you don’t make this clear immediately, they’ll be distracted wondering who you are and why you’re calling – completely missing any important information you’ve given.
Keep Your Prospect on the Phone
The longer you can keep your prospect on the phone, the better chance you have of securing a meeting or reaching your goal.
The problem is, a lot of cold callers do anything they can to keep potential customers on the phone, and the conversation becomes one-sided and a little pushy.
The best way to keep your potential client on the phone is to engage them with questions and follow a well-planned cold call script that helps you keep the conversation flowing.
Research Your Prospects
Before any cold call, you should know some basic information about your prospect. It’s not enough to know their name, you should be armed with information that shows them you’re genuinely interested in their business and you’ve done your homework.
- If your product is a software tool, you should know what competitor they’re already using so you can communicate the benefits of your alternative.
- Look for articles they’ve written recently, awards they’ve won, or qualifications they have.
- Make sure you know their company name, their position, and their preferred method of communication (for booking follow-up meetings).
The more you know about a prospect, the easier it is to initiate a genuine conversation and keep them engaged.
Focus on Securing a Meeting
Many sales professionals make cold calls with the aim of making sales, but it’s unlikely you’ll secure a new client from a cold call. They don’t know you or your business well enough to commit to a purchase.
Instead, your goal should be to get a meeting. During a meeting, you can get to know the client more, explain your product or service, and have more time to listen to their needs.
When you’re creating a cold call script, have an overall goal of getting a meeting with your prospect.
Improve Your Closing Question
Your closing question will depend on your business, product, and customer. But getting this just right can be the difference between securing a meeting and losing a lead.
Generic closing questions usually make it easy for a prospect to dodge a meeting, or don’t give concrete details of when you’ll talk again.
Here are some closing questions to work from:
- Do you have your calendar in front of you?
- Are you free Tuesday or Thursday next week for a meeting?
- I’ll send my schedule over to you now, what’s the best email for you?
Learn from Rejection
You’ll inevitably get a lot of rejection when cold calling prospects – it’s part of the game.
But rather than feeling personally attacked by rejection, use it as an opportunity to learn and evolve your strategy.
If a prospect is being friendly on the call but is clearly not interested, be upfront and ask them how the call could’ve gone better.
And if someone is rude or angry, don’t take it as a personal attack. Everyone has bad days. Instead of dwelling on it, move on to the next call with renewed optimism.
Cold Calling Mistakes to Avoid in 2022
There are some common mistakes sales reps often make when cold calling. Once you know these undesirable cold calling techniques, you can avoid them in 2022.
Not Using a Customer Avatar
If you call anyone you think might benefit from your offer, you’ll waste a ton of time on pointless phone calls.
It can feel like you’re narrowing your potential client base too much when you create a customer avatar as a template. But having a specific customer in mind will make your cold calls more successful.
You’ll have fewer calls to make, but you’ll also see a boost in conversion rates.
When you’re creating a customer profile, here are some questions you should be able to answer:
- What challenges are they facing?
- What size is their company?
- What industry are they in?
- What is their role?
- Are there multiple decision-makers?
- How will they benefit from your offer?
- What are their values?
If you find your target audience isn’t interested in your offer or your conversion rates are still low, it’s time to re-evaluate your target market.
Using a Bad Contact List
There are thousands of databases and tools available for creating a contact list of potential leads. The trouble is, many of the tools are too generic and the databases are filled with outdated information.
In fact, 91% of data in CRM systems is incomplete, out of date, or duplicated.
Rather than buying contacts, use tools like Bant.io to build up-to-date contact lists filled with the very best leads from platforms like LinkedIn.
Not Following A Cold Call Script
In 2022, you can’t work without a cold call script to follow. This will make sure you’re using the right language, giving all the important information, and keeping the conversation flowing.
Without a script, it’s hard to stop the conversation from going off point, and you won’t be able to compare calls to measure progress.
If you don’t know how to get started, check out our cold script guide to create your own.
Focusing on Sales
Each sales professional usually has targets to hit with cold calls, so it’s easy to get trapped in the cycle of chasing sales and targets.
But the real goal of the cold calling process is building trust in your brand. Your lead probably won’t know who you are when you call, so if it’s obvious you’re just after another sale, they’re going to ignore you.
While you should have a goal for every cold call, focus on communicating benefits, relieving pressure, and building rapport with your prospect. This genuine approach will be much more well-received and help you stand out from the crowd.
Not Tracking Data or Progress
Based on your cold calls from 2020, can you answer the following questions:
- What is your average deal size?
- What is your conversion rate?
- How long is your average sales call?
- How long does it take to close a deal from the top of your funnel?
You need a firm grasp on your metrics so you know exactly what needs to improve. If you can’t currently track the conversion rate of cold calls, you don’t know if they’re an effective use of your marketing spend.
Not Having a Defined Strategy
We know that most sales reps have targets they’re working towards. But without having a defined strategy that is used to train new reps, you end up with multiple approaches and no consistency.
Have a S.M.A.R.T strategy for cold calling that your sales team can all work towards. Then have regular meetings to discuss what’s working and what needs to be refined to improve that strategy.
Cold calling should be a continually evolving process based on review and feedback.
Not Making Enough Calls
It’s tough dealing with rejections all day. But that’s what the cold call strategy is. Consistency and tough skin are important to make sure you make enough calls.
It’s not just about calling as many qualified leads as possible but also following up with the ones you can’t get on the phone. It can feel like you’re being pushy, but that persistence is needed when you’re trying to win business.
Create a Winning Lead Gen Strategy
With some simple strategies in place, cold calling can be an effective way to generate meetings for sales reps.
A lot of businesses fall into the trap of spamming as many businesses as possible with a generic cold call script, but when you focus on quality and research, your cold calling strategy can almost immediately stand out.
But that’s not to say cold calling should be your only lead gen strategy of 2022. Head to our cold email outreach guide to see how you can incorporate cold email marketing to improve your conversions even further.