Does Cold Calling Still Work in 2023?

When it comes to cold calling, there are tons of mixed reviews. Some have been claiming that it’s been dead for years while others are overwhelmingly in love with the channel. 

The truth however, is somewhere in the middle. There are specific instances when cold emailing works extremely well and times when it provides a very small benefit. 

So in this article we’ll be discussing cold calling, when to use it, and why you should. Let’s dive in!

What’s so Great About Cold Calling?

Many people love the idea of sending 2k emails to drive new customers or spending $10k on digital ads to generate $20k in revenue. But this just isn’t how cold emails or digital ads work. Both require talented, albeit expensive, employees to run successfully. Cold emails are very technical and any error can lead to your emails landing in spam. 

Digital ads are even worse when you consider who you are competing with. A team of designers and digital marketing experts optimizing for the lifetime value of a customer just isn’t something most companies can’t afford. 

So why is cold calling any better? Simplicity. 

Cold calling has this unique trait. You can pick up a phone, dial, and all you need to worry about is convincing the person on the other end of the line that a meeting is worth their time. 

Here’s a list of reasons why I love cold calling:

  • Leads aren’t lost if they don’t respond, just call them again.
  • Easy task to execute 
  • No one is out of touch 
  • Less technical 
  • Easy to scale

When is Cold Calling Necessary?

Some industries have prospects who just can’t be reached unless you cold call them. This includes any company selling to small brick and mortar stores, property owners, and others. If you are targeting these audiences, the prospects that you want to get in touch with just don’t hangout on email or LinkedIn. You could try social media but in my experience, the targeting is just far too broad to be even remotely effective. 

In this case, you HAVE to use cold calling. There’s just no other way for you to forcefully drive revenue. 

This might sound bad but it’s actually great news. Cold calling is simple and straightforward so your revenue can be unlocked by mastering one skill. There’s no need for you to worry about cold email deliverability, email verification, or even the costly team and expenses of running digital ads. In many ways, I envy companies who have such a simple customer acquisition strategy.

When is Cold Calling Beneficial?

There are times when cold calling may not be the most effective channel but using it is still hugely beneficial. This is generally the case with traditional B2B sales. You have customers hanging out on email and LinkedIn which opens up a ton of opportunities. You can send cold email, run Linkedin sales outreach, or even run ads on LinkedIn and these channels can be extremely effective so why bother cold calling?

Let’s use us (LeadLoft) for example, cold email is our most effective channel. But does that mean we shouldn’t use cold calling? No, certainly not. In most cases, we engage across email, LinkedIn, and digital ads. By adding cold calling onto an already effective outreach playbook, we can double or in some cases triple the number of touch points. Again, it may not be as effective as cold email but if we can use cold calling and increase response rates by 5%, the impact will snowball quickly.

This is even more true as you move up market to enterprise sales. It’s unlikely that directors or VPs of enterprise organizations (1k+ employees) will respond positively to digital ads or cold emails. It is possible that they answer a call from an unknown number, especially if that number calls twice in a row. As soon as they answer, your team has the opportunity to book a meeting with what would be a massive client. 

How do You Find Someone’s Cell Phone Number?

Cold calling is only as effective as the data you are using to engage someone. Depending on who you are engaging, you may want to source the data from different sources but more on that below.

How to find Phone Numbers for Local Brick & Mortar Stores

If you’re engaging brick and mortar stores, the number to call is extremely easy to find. In most cases, the phone number of the business is actually the cell phone number of the owner. You can simply scrape this data from Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google, or any other listing platform. 

If you don’t know how to do this, you can simply hire someone from UpWork to scrape the data for you. Simply provide the fields or columns you need and they’ll be able to deliver what you need. I recommend building a spreadsheet to outline the columns you need. This will ensure you are both aligned on the data you’d like to gather. 

How to Find Direct Dials for B2B Sales

Finding accurate phone numbers for B2B sales is a much more difficult task. In these cases, you should try out a few vendors to see which provides the most accurate data. We have actually already run this test and we know that ZoomInfo and LeadLoft have the highest quality phone data of any data broker. All the phone numbers are direct dials as well, meaning when you call them you will have a direct line to their cell phone instead of the company operator.

If you use LeadLoft, you can use the LinkedIn Prospector to save anyone’s phone number directly from LinkedIn and click save. 

LeadLoft will then search its database for the prospects email address, phone number, and more. As soon as the data is verified, the data will appear in your dashboard. 

How to Make a Cold Call?

By now you should have a list of prospects and be ready to begin cold calling. So what software should you use? There are tons of great options to pick from. 

If you are targeting brick and mortar stores, I recommend using DialPad. It has a great dialer which makes it easy to call at a high volume. DialPad does not have any email or LinkedIn outreach features unfortunately so it’s best if you are solely focused on cold calling. 

If you are running B2B sales, DialPad will not be the best software to run outreach. You’re better off using a tool like MailShake or LeadLoft in this case. Both tools are designed for multichannel outreach which makes it much easier to generate leads for B2B sales teams. 

If you use LeadLoft for both prospecting and cold calling, you’ll get the additional benefit of having everything in the same place, making the entire process far simpler.

Wrapping Up

Cold calling may be fading but it’s certainly not dead. Many of the top startups relied on cold calling to scale their sales team so regardless of the industry that you’re in, cold calling is a tactic that you should utilize if you want the best results. 

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