Cold calling services have been a significant part of B2B marketing and sales strategies for decades. Despite the rise of digital marketing channels, cold calling remains a powerful tool for generating leads and appointments.
In this guide, we will outline the best practices for running a successful B2B appointment setting campaign, including the importance of a quality script, focusing on specific industries, and following up with prospects throughout the sales funnel.
Why People Hate Cold Calls
When it comes to receiving a cold call, what do you think of?
A sketchy and pushy salesperson trying to trick me into a meeting I don't want.
A scam caller from an untraceable account trying to steal my information.
An annoying robot autodialer taking up space in my voicemail telling me about something not relevant to me for the 5th time this week.
Some underpaid worker that took the first job that would hire them calling me to sell me something I don't need at a price that they won't tell me about.
All of these concerns and annoyances are 100% valid. And while we hear things like cold calling isn't effective (usually from people who have never been in sales), the data shows that 82% of buyers have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with sales cold calls.
That's 4/5 decision makers saying they have bought services that started with a cold call. While most people will say they don't think cold calling is effective, at the end of the day the opinions salespeople and business owners need to concern themselves with are the ones making the decisions to buy.
Some additional cold calling statistics:
51% of company owners say they would rather hear from sales reps via phone compared to email, faxes, drop-in visits, and other media, according to phone call statistics. - RAIN Group
Of buyers who accept sales calls, 75% report interest in the product as the most important reason. - RAIN Group
Nearly two thirds (57%) of C-level executives say they value information from phone calls with sales reps. - RAIN Group
41% of sales representatives say the phone is their most valuable tool for work along with CRM software, email, and social-media prospecting. - Marc Wayshak
If Cold Calling Works, Why Are My Campaigns Not Converting?
Cold calling, when compared to more traditional lead generation tactics, offers something unique. Immediate feedback and rebuttal opportunities. If you're running ads, and the copy isn't speaking to your audience, you won't be aware of the quality of those ads until after you've already ran through ad spend.
With direct contact methods like the phone and door to door however, you are able to actively communicate with prospects and overturn objections in real time.
However, in order to have a quality campaign you need to have a good starting point. Here are the things to consider before going all out on a cold calling campaign.
Some Offerings are Better for Cold Calling Than Others
Certain industries are more receptive to cold calling than others, making them ideal targets for a B2B appointment setting campaign. Typically, the easiest campaigns are for offerings that will do 1 of 4 things for customers:
You offering is going to make your customers more money.
Your offering is going to save your customers money.
Your offering is going to save your customers time (so they can focus on making more money or saving more money).
Your offering fixes a bottleneck in your customers business (which will allow them to make more money or save more money when solved).
If your offering falls into one of these categories, you will have a high likelihood of benefiting from a cold calling campaign. However, if your offering falls into the "nice to have" category it will be more effective to run more traditional lead generation campaigns like advertising, word of mouth, and SEO.
The Importance of a Quality Script with Prepared Objections
Having a well-crafted script is crucial for running a successful appointment setting campaign. A quality script helps sales reps to:
a. Deliver a Consistent Message: A script ensures that your sales reps consistently deliver the same value proposition and benefits, increasing the chances of success.
b. Navigate Conversations: A good script should be flexible, allowing sales reps to adapt their approach based on the prospect's responses and objections.
c. Address Objections: Preparing for common objections and having appropriate responses ready will increase the likelihood of overcoming these objections and moving forward in the sales process.
d. Maintain Confidence: A script provides sales reps with a roadmap for their calls, helping them to maintain confidence throughout the conversation.
Focusing on Follow-up Throughout the Sales Funnel
Following up with prospects is a critical aspect of a successful B2B appointment setting campaign, and should be considered at every stage of the sales funnel:
a. Initial Follow-up: After the first cold call, it's important to follow up with prospects to keep the conversation going and address any lingering questions or objections.
b. Appointment Reminders: Once an appointment has been set, it's crucial to send reminders to ensure that both parties are prepared and committed to the meeting.
c. Post-Appointment Follow-up: After the appointment, follow up with the prospect to discuss any additional questions or concerns and move the sales process forward.
d. Long-term Nurturing: Even if a prospect doesn't convert immediately, continue to nurture the relationship by periodically checking in and providing relevant information, positioning your company as a trusted resource.
When it comes to a quality cold calling campaign, there are several factors to take into account. With a combined experience of 0ver 50 years in sales and marketing, JNF and our cold calling reps bring the expertise needed for a quality cold calling campaign. This is why for every call campaign we offer we include our own scripts, calling system, and analytic tracking to ensure our clients are left satisfied from our campaigns.