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Sales Leadership
3 Reasons Why Cold Calling Is a Waste of Time
Sep 9, 2016 | Matthew Cook lock
“It’s tried and true,” you might think. “We’ve been cold calling for decades, so we don’t need to change our strategy now,” you might argue.

Millions of organizations still use cold calling as their main—or only—selling strategy. They set up their sales reps in tiny booths, where they make calls all day, every day.

It’s actually quite shocking that so many companies still cold call as a way to make sales. With so many better options out there— like inbound marketing and selling—there’s just no reason to be cold calling anymore.

And the fact is, cold calling is just a waste of time and effort. Here’s why.

1. It’s Annoying, so People Screen Your Calls
You’ve learned throughout your entire career that you have to build empathetic and positive relationships with your leads and prospects in order to close deals and maintain customers. So why on earth would you try to start out your relationships with new leads through cold calling?

It’s interruptive and it’s annoying to prospects. It doesn’t make them happy. It frustrates them. It certainly doesn’t earn your sales reps any respect or admiration. It starts off relationships on a very bad note—one that might be impossible to bounce back from.

Well, guess what? Because prospects are annoyed at your unwanted interruptions, they’re going to screen your calls. Since the invention of caller ID, people just don’t get tricked into answering the phone to get sucked into a sales pitch anymore. In fact, people rarely pick up the phone nowadays if they don’t know the number on the screen. I know I don’t.

Cold calling was built on the idea that normal phone behaviour is to answer a call and have a spontaneous conversation with the person on the other end of the line. But today, not only are people screening your sales reps’ calls, but phone conversations in general are really becoming “by appointment only.” Buyers and decision makers would rather use email or texting to connect, and only use the phone if a call is scheduled for a convenient and pre-established time. So the whole concept of cold calling is just out of whack now—it doesn’t work with today’s buyers.

You can keep getting your sales people to cold call leads, but you’ll just be wasting their time, because no one’s going to answer.

2. It’s Not in Sync with the Way People Buy Today
Sales people used to be the gatekeepers of information. Decision makers relied on sales people to give them the information they needed to make informed purchasing decisions, so they appreciated cold calls a bit more. But now, people go online to research products and services, companies and competitors, prices, and reviews. They don’t need your sales reps calling them with information—in fact, they don’t want them calling because they’d rather be in control.

3. It’s Inefficient

The thing is, if all you’re doing is annoying prospects and they’re all ignoring your phone calls anyway, then there’s just no way that this old-school sales technique is efficient.

Don’t believe us? Look at some data-driven reasons why it sucks:

  • Only 2 percent of cold calls result in an appointment being set. And that’s just an appointment—not even a closed sale.
  • It costs a staggering 60 percent more per lead than other sales strategies.
  • Only 2 percent of decision makers want to be contacted by phone.
  • More than 80 percent of decision makers won’t buy from a cold call, no matter what.

If you’re still making your sales people cold call, it’s time to stop immediately. It’s annoying, people are screening, it’s out of touch with the way people buy today, and it’s an inefficient and ineffective way to actually make sales. There’s no place for it in the market anymore.

About the Author:
matt-cook-saleshubMatthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. He is the founder of SalesHub, an inbound marketing agency that helps companies generate leads, boost revenue, and adapt to the new way customers buy. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue, he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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