It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of COVID – the age of people who think cold calls don’t work, and it presented us with a tale of 2 clients. Both provide IT services. With everyone increasingly reliant on laptops, smartphones, and being connected 24/7, the pandemic should have created plenty of opportunities.
Client A paired cold calling with B2B lead generation, and Client B didn’t. It was a consistent storyline for the 2 businesses. But the divergence really showed whenever they both held webinars. Client A, Ms. Cold Caller, diligently called invitees. They enticed people to register over the phone. After the event, they followed up with registrants – not just attendees – to keep the conversation going. Client B, Mr. Emailer, didn’t call anyone before or after the event. They sent emails with the event recording and told the recipient to reach out if they needed anything. Which client do you think got new business from their webinars?
Passively Sending Emails and Hoping People Respond Is Not a Lead Generation Strategy
The answer, of course, is Client A, Ms. Cold Caller, that is growing. Client B, Mr. Emailer, is left wondering why people who engaged with their emails didn’t directly reach out and schedule a call. They took the easier path. It took fewer resources, and it cost them results. Mr. Emailer chalked it up to webinars being a weak lead generation tactic right now. But was that really the issue?
Some people will respond to your email campaign
Don’t get me wrong, sending emails is critical. People continue to work from home. Email is an incredibly effective way to reach your target market. When the messaging and timing is right, they’ll respond. If they’re distracted or rushing to finish a project? Good luck. Even though they need your services or find value in your email, it will quickly be forgotten in the crush of everything else they have to accomplish that day.
Full sales funnels aren’t built on a single outreach method
The most effective B2B lead generation strategies are multifaceted and include picking up the phone. Lately, I’ve seen too many people fall for the myth that they don’t need to call leads or prospects. Interested prospects would reply to their emails or call them. It’s been a popular idea for several years, but the pandemic gave salespeople an opportunity to ditch cold calling.
Overnight, everything went digital. You couldn’t just pick up a phone, call a business, and be confident you’d get a response, let alone reach the right contact. Salespeople and marketers gave up calling because it felt like a waste of time. It felt too hard and unrewarding. They switched to email-only outreach and abandoned their lead generation system.
This decision decimated sales funnels and results for those sales and marketing teams.
What Really Happens When You Stop Cold Calling
Removing the phone from your outreach strategy makes it easier for prospects and leads to ignore you. You become Client B, Mr. Emailer. Even though you try new strategies or switch up your messaging, you don’t get results. All the businesses that stopped calling in 2020 have watched their pipelines shrivel up and are desperately trying to recover lost ground.
How to Get Consistent Marketing Results
You’ll get out what you put into your B2B lead generation system. Occasional, incomplete efforts yield scattershot results. You’ll score a couple of wins, but it won’t be enough to create stability. For that, develop a comprehensive plan, like the one Client A, Ms. Cold Caller, uses.
Pick your mix of lead generation strategies
I’m going to keep repeating it because it’s a costly mistake. You won’t get results from email alone. To get leads in a competitive environment, give people multiple ways to find and interact with your company. Here are a few activities you should be doing right now:
- Send emails
- Cold call
- Optimize your site for SEO
- Run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
- Post on social media
- Publish blogs and articles
- Host events and webinars
Stop ghosting your leads and call
Marketing activities are designed to reach leads. So why are you ignoring them once they engage? You can’t expect your leads to follow up with you. Even people interested in your solutions get distracted by meetings, deadlines, kids who need help with schoolwork. They forget to call. Don’t reply to your email. Abandon setting up a Calendly meeting after clicking the link. Have a plan for reaching out to marketing qualified leads who download resources, engage with your emails, connect on social media, or attend events.
Establish criteria for when marketing passes qualified leads to sales
To make your plan stick, know exactly when you’ll pass your marketing qualified leads (MQLs) along to the sales team. Then, have them check in with sales reps to see how many cold calls they’ve made and what results they’re getting. Monitor their cold call metrics and hold your salesperson accountable for follow-up. You worked hard to get those leads.
Stay on track with the Bloodhound Follow-Up Strategy
Even when a pandemic isn’t raging, people struggle to fully follow up with qualified leads. Is one attempt enough? What about 5? How do I know if my prospect is distracted or disinterested?
Right now, we’re seeing it takes 11+ attempts to reach a prospect
Keep yourself on track with our Bloodhound Follow-Up Strategy. It’s an exact blueprint and lays out when and how you’ll follow up with prospects. You’ll know when to call, email, send a calendar invitation, connect on social media, and hit pause on an unresponsive contact. Download the guide now and clarify your outreach strategy.
Play to your strengths
I understand why so many people give up on cold calling. Trying to reach unresponsive contacts and being told no isn’t exactly fun. I certainly never enjoyed it. So, I found a way to stop cold calling. That doesn’t mean I stopped calling. Instead, I changed my approach and focused on using the sales skills I possess to reach out to leads who wanted to engage. And it worked.
You’ll never know where your strategy is failing if you don’t carefully measure every point in the process. Regularly look at your:
- Target market
- Trigger events
- Cold calls
- Marketing activities
Analyzing each will point out what’s working and what’s broken. You’ll identify what you need to adjust so you can get more leads out of your strategy.
Switch up your messaging
You want to present timely, useful solutions. PreCOVID, you had some leeway for reusing messaging. The pace of life is different now. In 2020, the minute you thought you had a grip on what was happening, the ground shifted below your feet. One day, your call script about a solution for safely reopening was perfectly on point. 24 hours later, it was rendered obsolete by news of a surge in cases and a new round of stay-at-home orders.
Content has a short shelf life.
If you don’t constantly update what you say, you’ll come across as stale and irrelevant. When you’re evaluating results, look at the messaging and solutions that got the most engagement. Ask what it was that grabbed engaged contacts’ attention. Dig into why leads are interested in your services. Regularly rework your content so it shows you can solve their problems right now. Use our worksheet to plan your marketing messages.
Lead Generation Is Constantly Changing
It’s not only messaging or cold calling that you need to keep up with. It’s your entire lead generation system. No one knows what post-pandemic life will look like. Many people are predicting a hybrid work environment. Some in-person, some remote. Two different groups. Two sets of activities to reach them. Constantly refine and adjust your lead generation and prospecting strategies using the guides in our resource library. Attend and watch our Coffee with Kendra webinars to find a way to make these dynamic times the best of times.
If you want advice and support specific to your business, target market, and circumstances, schedule a meeting with me today or call us at +1-888-302-9685. We’ll discuss your challenges, vision, and how we can help.