There are still lots of proponents of cold calling. But with an average return rate of 1.62%, it's an awfully tough way to generate revenues. Why then are there still lots of manufacturing companies focused solely on cold calling? Perhaps it’s because cold calling is what they've always done. Or maybe it’s because manufacturing companies are typically sales dominant with marketing taking a backseat, if a seat at all.
That being said, cold calling (or, more specifically, warm calling) does have its place as part of the prospecting process, provided it is part of an overall lead nurturing strategy. By approaching it more strategically (instead of a ‘to do’ list), it won’t be long before companies start seeing better results.
There are many effective strategies that can be used to drum up inquiries and generate qualified leads. One of the most important strategies for generating leads is a comprehensive nurturing campaign for both prospects and customers. Creating a nurturing program can be an invaluable tool to encourage, educate, and inform your potential prospect or customer so that when the need arises, your company is top of mind.
Nurturing strategies can include email marketing, phone calls, thought leadership collateral such as white papers and articles, eBooks, invitations to an upcoming speaking engagement, social media, in-person meetings, etc. Companies need to warm their leads in order to increase credibility, build trust among their target market, and ultimately generate sales. Nurturing strategies are about building long term relationships, staying top of mind and guiding prospects and customers to make the right buying decision along the way. By turning your cold calls into warm calls, you make the interaction about the buyer and not about the seller. Watch this video for additional insight from sales and marketing professionals on whether or not cold calling as a singular effort still works.
With a multitude of possibilities for connecting with people (i.e. Website, LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, email, etc.), prospects can easily find information about your company. Ultimately, you want to provide relevant messaging at the right time during the buying cycle to move your prospects further down the sales funnel and closer to the buying stage. Get them acquainted and familiar with your industry’s product and/or service by driving them to your website, encouraging them to sign-up for a monthly newsletter, and then including them in a thorough nurturing strategy. Start by building that trust and demonstrating your value so that when your sales staff finally does pick up the phone to make that call, the customer is already aware of your product or service offering and watch that cold call turn warm.