In B2B sales and marketing, human connections are really important. It’s relatively rare for a business to make a purchase worth more than a few thousand dollars without at least speaking to a salesperson.
Rather than waiting around for them to reach out or making potential clients jump through hoops just to schedule a call, it can be more efficient to start the conversation yourself.
Depending on your relationship with the prospect, this is known either as a cold call or a warm call.
Wondering what these terms mean? You’re in the right place. Keep reading for a direct comparison, and some top tips for optimizing your sales calls and outreach.
Better Sales Calls Start with Better Data
Before we get too deep in the weeds of cold calling vs. warm calling, we want to emphasize the importance of starting with accurate contact data.
No matter how polished your sales pitch is or how well you’ve researched your target’s industry, you can’t make connections if you don’t have up-to-date contact information.
One of the best ways to improve your outreach efforts and get more results? Using a prospecting tool like Datanyze.
The Datanyze Chrome extension makes it easier to find and connect with your future customers—and ensures you get the most value from every call you make, whether it’s cold, warm, or somewhere in between.
Want to see Datanyze in action for yourself? Sign up today to start your free trial.
Cold Calls vs Warm Calls: What Is the Difference?
The difference between a cold call and a warm call is whether the potential client has shown any previous interest in your product or service.
With a cold call, you are reaching out to someone who may never have heard of your company. With a warm call, you are calling someone who has interacted with your business in some way.
Of course, these are just the basic definitions. To understand what they mean in the real world, let’s dive a little deeper.
What Are Cold Calls, Exactly?
The concept behind cold calling is simple: you’re making direct contact with someone who might be interested in your product or service. The person who picks up has never expressed this interest before, but perhaps they were unaware of what you offer.
If all goes well, you should have a few minutes to build trust, make a short pitch, and book a follow-up meeting.
Unfortunately, the majority of cold sales calls don’t play out this way. In many cases, you will end up leaving a voicemail or speaking to the gatekeeper. But even with these hurdles, a well-constructed cold calling campaign can generate serious revenue in a short span of time.
As cold calling is quite time consuming, it generally works best for businesses that are selling high-ticket items and premium services. If you can afford to make 100 calls to land a single contract, then cold calling might be worth the effort.
The key is to know who you are calling. While call centers sometimes dial numbers at random, smart B2B marketers will only call people who look like a good fit for their product or service.
What Every Sales Rep Should Know About Warm Calls
Technically speaking, any call that isn’t stone cold should be regarded as a warm call. However, there are quite a few different factors to consider.
There are lukewarm leads, such as your social media followers and people who have clicked on your ads.
There are toasty leads, who might have signed up for a lead magnet.
And then there are the red-hot prospects, who may have enquired about your product or service.
Here are a few other ways that potential clients might engage with your business:
- Requesting more information
- Subscribing to your newsletter
- Signing up for a demo
- In-person conversations
- Personal LinkedIn connections
Your approach to warm calling should be shaped by the amount of engagement you’ve had with your potential client and the channel through which it happened.
Cold Calls vs Warm Calls: Which Is More Effective?
In a straight shootout, warm calls beat cold calls every time.
Your prospects prefer picking up the phone when they know something about the company or individual calling. Warm prospects also speak more openly about their challenges—and are more open to hearing about solutions (AKA, listening to your sales pitch).
But making a direct comparison of cold calls vs. warm calls would be a mistake. They serve two different purposes.
What’s the Goal of Cold Calling vs. Warm Calling?
Most cold calls are simply about getting past the initial roadblocks and booking another call or meeting. They help you to reach potential customers who fall through the cracks of your inbound marketing.
And done well, cold calling is a surprisingly effective way to get your foot in the door. In fact, 82% of buyers tend to book a meeting after getting a cold call.
Warm calls are more about delivering a pitch and guiding leads down to the latter stages of your marketing funnel. You can use them as a very personal type of follow-up, helping to turn initial interest into a closed sale.
In addition, there is a gray area between cold and warm calling. With a little preparation, skilled salespeople and marketers can “warm up” their cold calls before picking up the phone. Their success rate is usually much better as a result.
7 Ways to Warm Up Your Cold Calls
Want to emulate the success of top-performing sales reps and telemarketers? Here are some of the best ways to “preheat” your sales calls and make every cold call a little bit warmer.
1) Perform Deep Research on Your Prospects
Research is an essential part of the preparation for any sales call. It is even more important when you are cold calling.
To stand a chance of building a rapport with a new prospect, you need to show that you are interested in them specifically. People do not respond well to cookie-cutter pitches at the best of times—and definitely not from a random business that has dialed out of the blue.
Before a call, visit the LinkedIn page of your contact and their company. Gather intelligence about the size of the business, any recent launches or funding rounds, and any common connections.
During the call, use this information to customize your pitch and any qualifying questions you want to ask. It will instantly earn you some trust points, which you can “redeem” at the business end of the call.
2) Engage with Leads on Social Media
While you are on your target buyer’s LinkedIn page, comment or leave a like on one of their updates. You can do the same on Twitter or Instagram if they are more active there.
These might seem like insignificant actions, but they are the first step to establishing a relationship with your prospect. Really committed marketers will increase their engagement over time so that they establish a regular presence in their prospect’s notifications.
If you follow this strategy, your lead may then recognize your name on a cold call. Even though you have never met, this small link will get you past the psychological barrier of “stranger danger.”
3) Send an Email in Advance
In some cases, it is worth taking a more direct approach.
If you are aware of a company or decision-maker who seems like a really good fit, you can send them a cold email or two. You might not get a response—but once again, you are introducing yourself. It works in much the same way that good advertising improves brand recognition.
In addition, an email can introduce the key points of your pitch. If your lead even scans the message, they will have some understanding of your offer before the phone rings.
This saves time for everyone. If your prospect is interested, they can quickly ask for more information. And if they aren’t, they will tell you just as quickly.
4) Create and Share a Learning Resource
One thing you can include in your pre-call email is a link to a learning resource, such as a white paper or case study. Likewise, you can share similar content with a prospect via social media.
This tactic gives you two possible ways to warm up your cold call:
- Educate leads in ways that will support your pitch
- Qualify leads by asking them to sign up for more information
It might feel like we’re drifting into the world of inbound marketing here. But remember that you are the one reaching out first; the prospect isn’t being attracted to your website on their own.
5) Send a Gift to Your Dream Clients
Everyone within a business who holds a position of power receives dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day. Standing out from the crowd can be a challenge.
Instead, you might want to try sending something by mail. A simple gift is sure to attract the attention of your prospect—and make them think more favorably about your business.
Along with the gift, you can include a business card and information about your products and services.
Obviously, you might not want to try this technique with every possible lead. But if you have a dream client in mind, it’s a great way to break the ice before a call.
6) Use Connections and Drop Names to Find Common Ground
Even if you don’t have the opportunity to soften up your target in advance, you can still make a cold call a little warmer through what you say.
Social proof can be a powerful tool. This is any resource that lets you say, “Don’t just take my word for it!” You could mention big clients you have helped, any shared connections, or even a shared alma mater.
Providing social proof is a good way to enhance your credibility and make your prospects more open to your message. It provides a neat entry point to the conversation, as well.
7) Didn’t Get Through? Leave a Voicemail
When you ring a potential client and you don’t get through, it’s all too easy to hang up.
Why? Because voicemail is a great way to reach busy people.
Better yet, it allows you to make a mini-pitch ahead of a subsequent call—much like the email tactic mentioned earlier.
In order to make the most of this opportunity, it’s a good idea to create a script for voicemail. You only have a limited amount of time to get your point across, so keep it concise. Remember that the objective is to have a longer conversation at a later date.
How Datanyze Makes It Easier to Start Making More Sales on the Phone
More than half of C-Level executives and VPs prefer talking on the phone, which means both cold calling and warm calling can be very lucrative for your business. Of course, warmer calls tend to offer more success—so consider how you might improve your outreach using the tips outlined above.
For any type of prospecting and sales outreach, Datanyze is an essential tool to add to your sales stack.
Our Chrome extension allows you to easily find essential information about any prospect—including accurate contact data and company information—so you have all the information you need to warm up your leads and connect with future customers.
Want to see how easy it can be to find and connect with prospects? Get started today with your free trial of Datanyze.