During the great recession of 2008, we lost almost 50% of our revenue due to government cutbacks and customer bankruptcy. We needed to generate new revenue fast. How did we do it? With ‘smart cold calling 2.0’. If you’re a startup looking for new sales or a mature business whose reps cold call, this article is for you.
The biggest bottleneck with cold calling isn’t selling the decision maker or influencer, it’s finding them in the first place.
Instead of cold calling, it’s much more efficient to cold email. We found it to be 27% more effective than cold calling alone. Below, you’ll see an example of the Cold Calling 2.0 funnel and a step-by-step process on how to implement this for yourself.
Step 1: Define Ideal Target Profile
As we discussed in Business Success Begins and Ends With This 8 Letter Word, everything starts with the customer — including outbound prospecting. We will use the ICP developed previously to target our most profitable prospects.
Step 2: Create List of Accounts and Contacts
You’ll need to purchase a lead list from a lead list provider. Here’s some of the more well-known list providers and their associated strengths:
- Data.com, formally Jigsaw, offers company and contact information through a socially powered B2B directory updated daily.
- NetProspex offers the largest targeted list for B2B marketing and sales.
- InfoUSA offers business and consumer speciality lists such as new businesses, bankruptcy filings, religious marketing lists, etc.
- Zoominfo is a search engine built for searching company information and profiles.
*Warning* When you’ve completed your list, you should run it through an email verification program. If your lists have incorrect emails, you will have a high bounce rate and it can cause you to be put on a spam list. You should strive to keep your bounce rate below 5%.
Step 3: Upload Your List to Your CRM
Once you have a targeted list, you will need to upload it to your CRM. It is absolutely critical that your lead upload process is quick and efficient. Without getting too far into the details, after testing multiple CRMs, we selected Salesforce.com as our CRM because Salesforce.com and Data.com are 100% integrated. This seamless integration allowed reps to import twice as many leads in the same amount of time compared to Microsoft Dynamics CRM & Sugar CRM. So even though Salesforce.com was an extra $100 per month, this was nothing compared to having twice as many leads in our pipeline.
Step 4: Send the Email
Send a personalized, mass email asking for a referral to the person responsible for what you’re selling. Use a top-down approach. When a CEO or VP tells a peer to talk to someone, they generally do. You should get a 9% response rate and 35%+ open rate once you have the right content. If you want to track open rates, you’ll need to send the email in HTML format. Here’s an example of a simple referral email:
Hi [First Name],
Sorry to trouble you. Could you please refer me to the person in charge of [something that’s relevant example: revenue generation]?
Thank you for your time,
[company & address] (required for CAN-SPAM).
Step 5: Work the Responses & Close Deals
Now that you’ve been referred to the influencer or decision maker, start qualifying and closing deals! Smart Calling by Art Sobczak can really help if you need help on your calls.
Aaron Ross from Predictable Revenue created the Cold Calling 2.0 process while he was at Salesforce.com. Art Sobczak created the Smart Calling process. I highly suggest you read both books if you plan on implementing this system. Our business consultants can help you implement this process if you want to guarantee success.
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