In lead generation circles these days we see discussions of the alleged obsolescence of the cold call. Here’s how the argument goes: web sites – specifically, visitors to web sites – are the primary means of identifying qualified leads. Wait for the visitors to show up and then call them, and don’t waste your time on people who haven’t shown interest in you.
Sure, outbound call centers looking for prospective buyers should reach out to web site visitors. We have several clients who have hired us for that role as an outsourced lead generation call center. We call web site visitors and then give the client’s inside sales team prospects who are interested in receiving more product information, in scheduling a sales appointment or in making a purchase.
But what about prospective buyers who don’t know about a company’s web site, or visit competitors’ web sites, or don’t know that a company’s products and services exist? These are people for whom the completely cold call can also be a great lead generation tool.
Sure, digital lead generation is highly effective and cost efficient. But relying solely on the web can be limiting. For example, small and mid-sized companies that do not have a strong keyword position may not show up on page 1 of Google when prospective customers search the web. And if you’re not on page 1 you’re nowhere.
And even for companies on page 1 of Google, relying completely on web site visitors can be misguided. What if the snippets of content that show up in a Google organic search don’t attract much attention? There may be plenty of potential customers who never bothered to click on a given web site.
For these scenarios and a myriad of others, the cold call remains an essential business development strategy requiring great cold calling talent within the call center, a solid understanding of the correct targets to go after and quality lists of potential customers.
Done right, the cold call works very well, it pays major dividends – and it should not be ignored.
Mark Fichera, CEO