Cold Calling is dead.
At Ringio we’re big fans of Aaron Ross’s seminal book: Predictable Revenue. Aaron, who was instrumental in growing Salesforce.com’s revenue to $100M articulates how to build a build a high performance sales team for a SAAS business.
One of his key tenets is that cold calling is dead. What he means by that is that, if your team of closers is calling complete strangers that have never heard of your company to pitch them, you are wasting their time. In fact, you may be using your most expensive resource on the least valuable selling activity of all.
Instead, he coins the term Cold Calling 2.0 to refer to a series of focused prospecting activities designed to interact with highly targetted accounts. Cold Calling 2.0 is done by prospecting specialists, Sales Development Reps in his terminology, whose contribution to the selling process is to turn contacts at sweet spot organizations into hot leads.
The cold calling 2.0 process, as charted in David Skok’s blog.
It starts with defining the ideal customer profile, who has the highest revenue potential for your product and with whom you can achieve the highest close rates. (So we can’t settle for just one of those goals).
Then, you build lists of those targets and import them into Salesforce.com, Hubspot, or your favorite automation tool.
Run email campaigns with those lists. Now, these are not your typical marketing emails. They look like very simple, plain-text emails coming directly from the rep. For the most part, they’re trying to get to the right person inside of the organization that you’re targetting.
The goal of these emails beyond finding the right person, is to get a chance to “sell the dream”. By that, Aaron means:
“1) to help the prospect create a vision of a dream solution that will solve their problems; and then 2) to connect your product to their key business issue(s) and dream solution. “
This is when the actual calling starts! During the call, the Sales Development Rep is asking lots of questions about the business and organization, listening, and speaking very little.
If everything checks, the SDR can pass the baton to the Account Executive, who is getting a hot, qualified, and mapped out lead in his territory that is ready to engage.
In conclusion, Cold Calling 2.0 is about having qualification conversations about the prospect’s business with people who would be ideal buyers to see if there is an opportunity… not about having transactional conversations with complete strangers about buying your product.