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Sales Strategy
Rhys Metler, Salesforce Search lock

Organizations have been cold calling buyers for decades. In the past, it was one of the few ways that sales people had to connect with buyers. But then we got caller ID technology and buyers started screening and ignoring these calls from unknown numbers. Then, the internet became widespread and buyers no longer needed sales people—they did their own preliminary product research. And that’s the way they liked it. It gave them control over the buying process. In fact, inbound marketing essentially killed the cold call. Customized services then became the norm, and the sales script and generic one-size-fits-all pitch that sales people used over the phone became more ineffective than ever.

Now that it’s harder than ever for sales people to hit their quota while using the phone, it’s clear that cold calling is ineffective.

Need more proof? Here are some data-driven stats that prove cold calling is no longer effective and should be ditched by all.

1. Less Than 2% of Cold Calls Result in an Appointment Being Set
The fact is, whether you want to admit it or not, the vast majority of the cold calls that sales people make aren’t going to lead to anything. Many of the calls will be ignored completely, some sales people will be hung up on, others might get yelled at, while others still will just be politely hurried off the phone. They must deal with rejection, time after time.

What’s the point of spending day in and day out calling buyers when only a tiny 2% of those calls will actually lead to an appointment being set for a meeting?

2. It Costs a Staggering 62% More per Lead
With only 2% of cold calls resulting in a meeting, it’s no surprise that this sales method costs 62% more per lead than inbound marketing tactics. Email marketing, social media, and warm leads all cost much less than cold calling. Why not use a selling strategy that saves you money and is more effective? It’s a win-win, really.

3. Half of Sales People Feel that They Don’t Have the Right Information to Be Making These Calls
Because so few phone calls result in an appointment, sales people feel like they have to buckle down and make more calls in a day. This is the solution, they think. But what goes out the window? Pre-call research. Now, being forced to make more calls than ever, these sales people don’t have the time to research their leads ahead of the call to qualify them and to learn even the basics, such as their position or budget, let alone learn rich intelligence that could help them make the sale, like the buyers’ likes, dislikes, pain points, and needs. Qualifying leads is a no-brainer way to close more sales, but what’s a sales person to do if they don’t have the time to do it?

When you don’t know anything about the buyers you’re calling, it’s no surprise that your scripted pitch doesn’t work on them. Your words end up sounding impersonal, your solution doesn’t meet their needs because you don’t even know what those needs are, and you have no information to use as a base for connection and conversation.

4. Customers Don’t Want to Be Contacted by Phone
Only 2% of buyers actually want you to call them. Think about that. For the other 98%, you’re just being annoying and interruptive. Your calls are undoubtedly unwanted the vast majority of the time. Sure, it’s not as bad as Twitter with 1% or LinkedIn with 0%.

But if you want a warmer reception from your buyers, you need to contact them through their preferred channels. By and large, this is email with 77%. Next, 9% of people want to be contacted by mail, 5% by SMS, and 4% by Facebook.

5. 80% of Decision Makers Won’t Buy from a Cold Call

Even if you get lucky and end up calling a buyer that actually has a need for your product, even if your product is a perfect solution to their problem, they probably still won’t buy from you, simply because you’re cold calling them. 80% of decision makers won’t buy from a sales person that’s cold called them. Period. No matter what.

About the Author: 
Rhys-MetlerRhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.

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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