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Cold calling has a notorious reputation. Even the name itself evokes a chilly reception. But somehow, organizations like Outreach are finding that their SDRs are still booking 70% of their meetings over the phone.

That’s absolutely huge. And multiple studies back this up. Voice sells.

According to, the conversion rate on a cold call campaign is 5-10 percent. While B2B Marketing Zone compares this to less than 1 percent for a cold email campaign.

A similar study by Salesforce found telephone outreach out-converted emails by a significant margin (8.21% vs 0.03%).

Despite this, cold calling is hard. More often than not, you’ll hit a dead end. But we can help. Check out these four tips to help you thaw your prospects and nail the cold call.

1. Just looking up your contact in Salesforce isn’t actual research

    Research should be a no brainer. But when you’re making 50+ calls a day, deep-diving into each contact isn’t possible. (Using the right cold calling software can help.) To make sure you are spending time on the right contacts, leverage SFDC (or another CRM) to look at your targets role, company, and previous activity.

    If these fit your key target personas (or if they’re a VP and above), spend the extra time researching and building out a message that resonates with their needs. Use some of the sites below to help you discover more about your prospect.

    • Linkedin: Groups, Current and Previous Job, Shared Contacts, Recent Activity
    • Twitter: Both the prospect and their company (Recent posts and messaging)
    • Company Website: Press and media release pages.
    • SEC Website: (If prospect works for a public company): Company 10-Qs (quarterly report) & 10-Ks (annual report), especially the management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations (section 2).
    • Angellist: (If prospect works for a startup): - funding history, including the timing, value, and participants in each round; past and present employees; advisory team; founders; products and launches; open jobs; and more.
    • Crunchbase: Prospect's acquisition history, funding rounds, investors, team members, news, timeline, competitors, former employees, customers, partners, sub-organizations, board members and advisors, and other related details.

    2. Email, phone, and social = all part of the approach

    Cold calling should never be done in a vacuum, but rather as part of a larger multi-channel outreach to your prospects. Try to make sure that a prospect has seen your company’s name at least once before attempting a cold-call.

    That means that they should have opened an email, engaged with your website or social channels, or been the target of an ad campaign. While not always possible, it has a huge impact on their initial reception.

    A recent study found that combining multi-channel outreach has a multiplier effect mail alone, with no call, lowered the effectiveness of the sales effort almost 98%.

    3. Make it a cadence

      Employees are increasingly inundated with emails, calls, and now messages each day (I’m looking at you Slack). With an average of 121 emails per day, it is tough for individuals to keep on top of everything.

      This overwhelming amount of outreach is why it is essential to not only approach a prospect through multiple channels, but also build a consistent cadence of outreach.

      Personally, I’m a fan of extended outreaches (12+ outreach attempts through a variety of channels including email, social, and phone - spread out of a two to three week period), but depending on your audience and market, what is effective may vary.

      If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these templates by and tweak to fit your needs.

      4. Take product out of the equation—focus on the prospect

        Our culture has become distrustful of unknown numbers. After too many robo-calls and irrelevant sales attempts, we tend to discard and ignore sales outreach almost immediately. To cut through this hard freeze, you have to ensure you connect with them immediately.

        Be upfront, don’t confuse them, and save the product pitch for later.

        When the prospect picks up the phone, introduce yourself, say where you are from, and then pause. Yes, pause. It is hard, but it is giving the prospect time to think through who you are, any connections they may have, and provide some context.

        Don’t start the pitch right after the pause—instead establish rapport. The research you’ve done will provide you with lots of fodder., Bring up something interesting the prospect or the company has done recently. It could be anything from the performance of a shared sports teams interest, to a recent acquisition by the business. Either way, it should be relatable to the prospect, get them talking, and show them that you’ve done your research.

        Got them talking? Awesome. Now be upfront and tell them why you are calling. Hint. It’s not about what you do. It’s about how you can help them.

        Congrats. You’ve effectively turned a cold call into a warm lead who is now far more receptive to your pitch.

        Looking for more cold calling tips? Join us, Outreach, and Josh Braun to learn how to help your reps make those first words count. Register now.