Traditionally, in the past two decades, there have been two ways of getting in touch with potential customers: you could either call them up or write them an email. Before the introduction and spreading of email in mid-nineties, phones were basically the main tool of any sales person. A phone was to a sales rep what a hammer was to a blacksmith – irreplaceable.
But, come 1996, and people are signing up for AOL, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, and it was only natural that some started pitching via email, too. Some did it out of convenience for themselves, others for the convenience of their leads and prospects. Fast forward 20 years and there are now generations of salesmen who started working with emails straight away. Some went as far as developing a stage fright from picking up the phone, having grown up in a text-based world of SMS, MSN Messenger and now WhatsApp.
Is there any reason left for cold calling in 2017, even? Or is it time we laid the old phone to rest? Let’s dig deeper.
The Case for Cold Emailing
If the convenience factor has ever been a strongpoint for emails, it’s even more so today. With CRMs and automation tools, you can email thousands of people in minutes. So, scaling is definitely a thing with email. But just how well will your plentiful emails be received if you send the same thing to every single one of those people?
Not very likely, but with that many emails sent, the odds are still in your favor. Of course, picking up “introduction sales emails” or “cold sales email templates” from Google is still not recommended and you should put together a genuine and honest email, instead. Beware, though, there are cases where personalizing each email for your recipients will yield better results, so take these things into consideration: who are you contacting, with what kind of pitch, how likely are they to respond to generic emails and what your goals are.
The great thing about emails is that they are times and times less intrusive than calls and even if a person swipes away the notification at first, they may come back to it and reply later. However, they may also forget or delete it straight away, in which case you’ll have to follow up, making the response wait time longer and increasing your work. Tip: Always include your original message when following up.
|Calls straight from the CRM and email automation are built-in features of Platformax. Sign up for a free one month trial here.|
The Case For Cold Calling
The way we perceive calling has changed immensely since the introduction of cell phones and this has affected sales calls, too. Firstly, smartphones have taken over the market so drastically that the percentage of homes with working landline telephones in the US has fallen from 92.7% in 2004 to under 46% today. Wowza! Secondly, with everyone connected and available 24/7, people have started making smartphone timeouts during off-hours. Thirdly, all smartphones have caller ID now and how many people will simply hang up on a call from an unknown number without ever picking up? All of these account for gloomier than ever chances of someone picking up.
But, there are tricks that can help you overcome this. For example, you can use emails to try and arrange a call. This is especially a good idea when you get a maybe or a soft no from anyone – ask them about scheduling a call to avoid too much back and forth. Moreover, you can try and call someone lower in the organization, first, but not to ask “to speak with the decision maker”. Instead, start a conversation with them and later inquire about the best way to get in touch with their team leader. This is a also a good way of checking if the person you were intending to get in touch with is in fact still the correct person.
And why would you go out of your way for this, you wonder? Because, once you’re on a call, you’re in control and you get instant feedback. There is incredible value in this, as long as you know how to harvest it. Rejections are bound to happen, but that’s only normal and the best sales reps are experts at turning NOs into YESes. There’s no room for any kinds of cold calling scripts here – great people skills are needed.
|Cold Emailing||Cold Calling|
|Easy to scale up||Easier to control the communication|
|Time-efficient||Quick reach and feedback|
|Visually appealing||Voice based = more personalized|
|Cheaper||Learn from “no”s straight away|
|Can be personalized with customized copy|
|Long wait times and follow ups needed||Time consuming|
|Automation tools required for scaling||Valid numbers are hard to find|
|Good copywriting skills needed||People find it more annoying|
|More potential obstacles (spam reports and blacklisting)||Hard to scale|
The takeaway here is that you simply shouldn’t write cold calling off. There’s a place and time when it will do wonders for you, but the same goes for cold emailing, too.
Ideally, the best sales reps will be masters of both techniques and understand how one can complement the other and it’s now probably clear that the goal of this post from the start was to illustrate this, rather than to announce the winner.
Calling straight from the CRM and sending and automated email campaigns are all built-in features of Platformax – signup for a free trial today and test it out!