Cold calling is dead. We’ve probably all been on the receiving end of one even to this day and more often than not, we all hang up really quickly. Put yourself in the cold caller’s shoes and just think about how much success you’ll have using outbound methods today.
That’s not what customers want, they’re searching for answers themselves and don’t want to be bombarded with annoying calls. People’s buying habits have changed so the way companies market to them also needs to adjust. Although some are still fans of cold calling, here are seven disadvantages of cold calling to highlight its true demise.
1. Customers Find it Irritating
With so many promotion calls from different companies trying to persuade customers to purchase their product or use their services, more and more people are beginning to ignore these types of calls altogether. They don’t want to sit there and waste valuable time listening to a salesperson who might be following the exact same script used by five other cold callers - so they’ll hang up.
It’s estimated that over 229 million phone numbers are now listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, so it’s clear just how frustrated people are with cold callers. Rejection after rejection might even take a toll on people picking up the phone for cold calls too.
2. Not Sustainable
For marketers to succeed in cold calls, they need to work tirelessly so that they can somehow get lucky in locking in the right person. The problem with that is it could take hundreds of phone calls throughout an entire day before you even find the right person to market to.
Even then, there’s no real guarantee that they’ll be nice to you during the conversion, understanding or even have any interest in your product or services.
3. Can Damage Company Reputation
Cold calls are primarily done to people that aren’t aware of the company’s products or services that it provides. Essentially, cold callers are trying to distract people from whatever they were doing to keep them engaged and entice them into purchasing something by thinking in the same way as the caller.
However, there can be rude callers, some that are pushy or leave a bad impression in general. Mistakes like these can lose potential clients and more importantly, leave the company with a terrible reputation.
4. More Time-Consuming = Less Success
In cold calls, you need to talk to every single person individually. As you can imagine or probably already know, it’s a very slow and exhaustive process when you have to reach a large number of audiences. In some cases, it comes without any success.
The problem is that cold callers are battling with marketers that are taking full advantage of emails, social media, blogs and more so they can reach an even wider audience than cold callers can but in a much shorter time.
It’s a battle that cold callers can’t win. As marketers are utilising multiple channels and constantly creating content, they're always going to reach a bigger audience. And that means they’re going to resonate with more people without irritating them.
5. Reaching Decision Makers is Difficult
Relating back to the last point, marketers using email strategies and even social media are setting themselves up for a lot more success than cold callers. This is because they have content out on the internet - meaning decision makers that have queries will look for their answers online and a tough part is done as they’ve grabbed the decision maker’s attention.
Cold callers, on the other hand, have a tough task right from the get-go. Prospects have become wise to the pesky cold calls and now most businesses actively make it difficult for salespeople to reach decision makers in the first place.
So, while cold callers can’t reach decision makers to sell their products or services, those same decision makers are avoiding annoying cold calls and getting their answers elsewhere.
6. Difficulty in Educating Customers Over the Phone
If you’re trying to buy a new pair of trainers, you’re not going to be enticed by somebody explaining to you over the phone how they look and feel. You’re certainly not going to go through with buying them either.
Trying to explain a product or service through a cold call is challenging. People need to read reviews, physically see the product or service in action or even trial it out to see if it’s worth it. Going in blind is hardly ever an option for customers.
Cold callers usually have specific scripts to follow and they might not know what type of information to give for a more personalised customer interaction as they’re limited. Without educating through written or visual content, proper visuals or even body language and emotional cues in person, promising results are non-existent.
7. Advances in Technology Prevent Callers from Getting Through
Cold callers are limited to the technology they can actually use: phones and maybe laptops at a stretch. Alternative marketing methods are steamrolling ahead with automation platforms, content management systems and more while the people cold callers are trying to reach have adopted technology too.
In their case, it’s more like caller ID, call blocking, spam filters and more.
As expected, cold callers using phones and then calling people with call blocking technology and spam filters in place...you get the idea. It’s just not going to work as cold callers are far behind in terms of technology while their audience and marketers are using technology to stay one step ahead.
An Alternative Method: Inbound Marketing
Cold calling falls under the outbound marketing umbrella where salespeople are interrupting large audiences with plenty of guesswork to, hopefully, find the right people to market to. Inbound marketing is different. There are no cold calls as inbound marketing methods are all about addressing people’s problems and helping them solve the pain points they’re going through.
By adopting the inbound marketing approach, you can eliminate all of the guesswork and endless phone calls with little success by attracting the best-qualified prospects that will instead trust your business.
Those that are loyal to cold calling will obviously be sceptical about inbound marketing and how it can succeed. While cold calling is simply following a script and persuading a customer, inbound marketing includes creating strategies, SEO keyword research, creating content, workflows and so much more.
However, while more effort is needed, inbound marketing gives sales teams a warm list of prospects that have already made contact with you through online marketing efforts. This can include prospects downloading an eBook, handing their details over to download a resource from your website, watching a video about your company or connecting with your social media accounts.
If you want a much more detailed breakdown of the ins and outs of inbound marketing, check out this useful resource.
See the difference? With cold calling, there aren’t any warm leads. A wide net is cast and cold callers are hopeful that they can somehow succeed whereas sales teams in inbound marketing are only given qualified leads to target. So, half of the job has already been done by the marketers so that sales teams can be more successful when closing the sales.
By adopting a flywheel approach, you’re in a better position to interact with prospects at every stage where the customers are always the priority. The flywheel demonstrates that customers can buy more than once and are an opportunity for repeat business.
Through this, marketing teams can continue engaging with existing customers. This engagement keeps prospects and customers coming back around the flywheel for additional products or service or even to renew current ones.
Here, marketers can send out relevant content at the right time to smash every pain point of the customer so they trust you. The flywheel then turns to sales where they have the most qualified leads to pursue instead so that they can build meaningful relationships and by fostering successful relationships, it helps power further growth.
That’s why sales and marketing alignment is vital. It allows the two teams to work together in tandem where marketers do their part to hand over the best possible leads to sales teams so that they can close more. And this is all part of sales enablement.
The service stage of the flywheel is about boosting customer service up to equal standing with sales and marketing. Here, it’s all about providing excellent services so the flywheel goes around and around.
So, while cold calling is all about guesswork and not building any relationships, adopting the inbound approach so you foster relationships and target only the best leads is a better way to produce leads and results for your business.
Interested in Closing More Deals With Sales Enablement?
Although it’s easy to say sales and marketing teams should work together, actually adopting sales enablement is an obstacle some businesses struggle with. Not everyone knows all of the benefits it can bring so that sales teams can close more deals. If that’s something you’re interested in, then you’ll be happy to know we’ve created an eBook about sales enablement.
From the current state of the sales landscape right through to succeeding with sales enablement and tips on how to realign both teams, all that and much more is in there. Grab your free copy below.