You are here

In B2B Lead Generation, Cold Calling is Shifting to Warm Calling

I recently hosted a live Google+ debate titled, “Does Cold Calling Still Work?” to discuss amongst a panel of marketing and sales experts whether cold calling is still an effective marketing strategy today. You can check out the full discussion by watching the video here.

Each of the panelists answered three questions:

  1. Given how the Web has empowered B2B buyers, is cold calling still relevant in the Internet Age -- and are companies still generating a return on investment (ROI) on it?
  2. With other lead generation activities on the rise, like paid search and content marketing, can cold calling help marketers stand out from the noise?
  3. Can inbound marketing and analytics help us better decide who to cold call and when?

I wanted to share a few of the takeaways from our discussion as I thought the content would be useful for this community.

The Evolution of the Cold Call
Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO of Reality Works Group says that “in this day and age, there’s no excuse for a call to be cold anymore.” But what does this mean? In today’s world of hyperconnectivity, changing the “cold” in cold calling to more of a “warm” call can be as simple as learning a little about your prospect by connecting via LinkedIn or Twitter.

This “warm” approach to cold calling can be more effective, Seley says. Learning more about the person you’re trying to reach out to can help improve the effectiveness of your outbound marketing--such as using salesforce automation technologies to support calling efforts.

Warm Calling Can Integrate with Inbound Marketing Efforts
But perhaps the answer lies within a balance between warm calling and inbound marketing. At least that’s what Ken Krogue, President of, says he thinks. “If we [at] just rely on the Internet to bring us leads, it’s like a fish sitting in a pond waiting for the river to bring whatever it brings them.” And the result is that the size of the potential deals is not enough to sell into larger clients.

Krogue suggests a proactive approach of initiating communication, often by calling, then moving back to a nurturing of the lead via the Web. A combination of the strategies, he says, are what helps fill in the gaps.

Permission-Based Marketing Takes the Lead
One point each panelist could agree on was that lead generation is shifting toward a permission-based model of marketing. This means marketing will need to evolve into being about showing buyers how valuable you are, and ultimately getting them to come to you.

Marketers can achieve this in several ways. For example, they can provide specific, useful information and advice to target buyers to stand out from the noise and lower quality content on the Web. Additionally, experimenting with different platforms of communication such as Google+ hangouts can help attract more individuals to your brand.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of outbound and inbound marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To read the full article, visit The B2B Marketing Mentor.