The cold call becomes obsolete?

Technology enthusiasts jokingly say that if Alexander Graham had heard of telemarketing and cold calling that he was about to launch on the world with the invention of the phone, he would not have it. Would never have published.

Ten years ago, we had said, "Cold calls are dead." Inc has termed it "time waster" and sales blogs are spending real estate talking to sellers by their hate unannounced calls. Thousands of existing businesses have however been created as a result of impromptu calls. It therefore seems unrealistic to declare the entire exercise "dead" in modern affairs.

But a Keller Center research report looked at real estate agents' efforts to make impromptu calls and found that only 28% got an answer. An appointment has been set for every 330 calls made. It took almost 7.5 hours to make 209 calls, which meant it took a day and a half of telephone conversation to get a conversion (in this case, an appointment).

Similarly, Salesforce's B2B study found that some primary channels performed better than others in terms of telephone canvassing. While referrals are converting to nearly 4%, prospect lists are barely changing 0.02%. Leap Job reported that only 2% of impromptu calls result in an appointment. Everything seems hardly worth it.

But what would take the place of cold calls?

Unexpected obsolescence

Some products have long been part of a platform of "planned obsolescence" – you will find computers and smartphones – but the tactics of wholesale is being lost. Old-fashioned marketing methods are disappearing to make way for the data. Home sales take precedence over e-commerce. The brochures give way to digital newsletters.

But impromptu calls are not meant for this mold. Security loopholes, social media and other modern technological developments have made people more private, and this intimacy entails a reluctance to engage in unfamiliar processes. To complicate matters, technology has also provided us with features such as caller ID and voicemail, and it's easy to see how efforts to establish individual connections have been dethroned .

However, sales are essentially about building relationships and fueling business growth through personal relationships. If people who call cold can not reach people across the phone line, how can they use their charisma and knowledge to convince potential candidates to find out more?

The truth is that sales are moving towards a new dynamic, which still uses individual connections but uses methods other than verbal communication to establish them. It's also smarter for businesses: many technological developments over the last two decades have allowed brands to step up their efforts, allowing them to maximize their investment. Automation and marketing personalization have joined forces to eliminate the lack of camaraderie that plagues so many traditional marketing materials, so that "spray and prayer" tactics are more like "playing games".

Here's where the cold call moves next:

E-mail: Smart sellers do not put all their eggs in one basket; they use a multi-faceted integrated approach to sales: phone calls, emails, social media, etc. "E-mail produces the highest quality of these methods, because when you send an e-mail, people have to open it, read it, think about it, and respond to it – there is no on the phone, when you might catch them off guard, "says Jeff Winters, CEO of Sapper Consulting.

Winters says that impromptu calls create instant pressure, which can result in poor quality meetings. E-mails provide room for maneuver, allowing people to think and engage in a sales pitch; they indicated their thoughtful intention to go forward. Emails, he says, can result in fewer calls, but they tend to be better – eliminating much of the work required by the 330 unsolicited calls to close an appointment. .

Social media: Social selling is the flip side of the coin. Like impromptu calls, social media coverage requires a lot of time and effort to be profitable. The difference is that social selling tends to be more visible, meaning that the initial efforts – and the public interactions that take place on social media – are seen by many prospects at once. This means that the influence spreads even more quickly and that people develop brand impressions based on the conversations of others. It does not even consider SMs and other private conversations.

"Unless you still live in the world of selling via a phone bank sweatshop, then you understand that unplanned calls actually consist of hot calling or contacting people who already have some knowledge of you or a relationship with you. you, "says Mark Hunter of The Sales Hunter. "In this context, social media is a great vehicle. However, it still takes time and needs to be done as part of a marketing strategy. Spending time tweeting hour after hour or playing on everyone's Facebook page will not get you anywhere else.

Inbound marketing: Access to online research has, in some cases, made the vendors themselves obsolete. After all, if people can find the answers to their questions on a website or via a chatbot, they do not need to talk to a live person. In fact, a Demand Gen report revealed that 70% of a B2B buyer's journey was completed before contacting a representative.

This in most cases requires collaboration with the marketing department, but companies rely more and more on retargeting, customization and cookies to track what prospects are looking for and considering. Building campaigns to get their attention during the research phase undoubtedly attracts more person-to-person interactions for sales professionals, thus closing the loop for those who find it difficult to convince people to take the phone.

If Alexander Graham Bell had known what he was unleashing, he might have put the genius of the impromptu calls back into the bottle. But if the sellers – and the customers – had not suffered impromptu calls, they might not have insisted on developing all these platforms that would allow them to do better than ever.

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor-in-Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor who oversees the content of Previously, he worked as a publisher at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at Brad at