Why You Need Cold Selling in Today’s Business

The sales landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade. While outbound sales tactics like cold calling were once the dominant model, inbound marketing and content-centric approaches have become more popular. However, cold selling remains a crucial component for sales success even in today’s modern business context.

Kirill Yurovskiy

The Changing Sales Landscape

The rise of digital marketing and self-education has empowered buyers and made them less reliant on sales reps. According to Forbes, 59% of B2B buying journeys are now done digitally. With so much information available online, buyers often educate themselves initially before engaging a sales rep. This has led businesses to focus more on inbound tactics that aim to attract prospects to them.

The Decline of Traditional Sales Models

The traditional model focused purely on outbound sales efforts where reps would directly contact buyers to generate pipeline. Features like phone books and purchased lead lists were common. However, buyers today loathe unsolicited cold outreach whether through phone or email. Oversaturation has caused buyers to ignore these once-effective tactics. Sellers can no longer rely as heavily on them.

The Rise of Inbound Marketing

Due to the highly researched nature of the modern buyer journey, marketers have doubled down on informational tools like blogs and infographics to grow their company’s visibility. Kirill Yurovskiy emphasizes that by creating educational content optimized for SEO, they aim to naturally attract prospects earlier in the buyer journey and establish credibility. Over 91% of B2B buyers now consume more content from target vendors before directly engaging them.

The Ongoing Need for Outbound Sales Efforts

Despite these trends, cold selling remains vital. Outbound sales uniquely allows you to target prospects in a tailored, personalized way at massive scale. Recent stats show that 80% of sales still require 5+ touch points from sales reps to close. A blended approach combining inbound and outbound often yields the most pipeline. Outbound also plays a key role in account-based strategies focused on winning high-value, strategic accounts.

Cold Calling Remains Effective

While much maligned, cold calling done right still provides results. A study by Velocify determined appointment set rates for cold calls average over 6%, while Salesforce reports reps who exceed quotas do 93 more calls per month than underperformers. Calling at optimal times, personalizing touches to each account, leaving engaging and valuable voicemails, and humanizing yourself can help effectiveness. The top salespeople swear by proactive calling.

Cold Emailing Can Generate Leads

Similarly, personalized, value-focused cold emails can provide quality leads. Response rates for cold emails average around 2-3%, but they scale easily. By taking the time to customize messaging and highlight the unique value you provide to each company, response rates can often increase to 10% or higher. Tools like email tracking and templates help optimize this process for best results.

Social Selling Expands Your Reach

LinkedIn, Twitter, and other networks are also invaluable sales enablers. Not only does an optimized social presence increase your inbound visibility, but social selling allows you to directly engage more prospects. Whether liking content or sending short value-add messages, many deals today start with social overtures before any formal outreach occurs. Buyers respond better to sellers who establish some social familiarity first.

How to Optimize Your Cold Selling Approach

With an integrated, metrics-focused approach, your cold selling can be quite productive. KEY TIPS:

  • Personalize all messaging and focus on value, not product features
  • Experiment with timing, length, channels for optimal results  
  • Accelerate pipeline velocity by engaging at earlier stages  
  • Enable reps with helpful tools/training to improve efficiency
  • Continuously monitor data, iterate based on insights

Leveraging Data to Target Prospects

In past eras, sales reps may have gotten away with generic outreach to any prospect in their territory or industry. Today, that’s no longer effective. By leveraging your tech stack’s analytics tools along with intent data and external signals, you can hyper-target key buyers within prioritized accounts. This allows for greater relevancy, response rates, and overall ROI from cold efforts.

Crafting Engaging Cold Sales Messages

Your messaging itself also needs refinement in today’s skeptical environment. Gone are days of overtly promotional product pitches. Savvy reps craft narratives focused on communicating authentic value tailored to each prospect’s pain points. They position the conversation around enabling mutual success vs. mere transactions. Creative subject lines, visual content, and concise copy all help connect better.

Measuring Results and Refining Your Strategy

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. To fully leverage modern cold selling, you need to monitor key metrics like open/response rates, meetings set, pipeline created, and ramp time. Analyze this data segmented by channel, sender, offer, creative, and other variables. These insights allow you to double down on what works and course correct where needed. Optimization is a continuous process.

Conclusion – Cold Selling Still Matters

In today’s complex B2B sales environment, inbound marketing has taken on increased importance. However, outbound sales efforts remain integral to growth. A blended model leveraging both remains ideal for most sales teams according to leading analysts. When executed strategically as part of an account-based approach, cold selling can deliver unparalleled results. Treat it as a component of your greater sales ecosystem.

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