The cold call is dead; the informed call has emerged

Say goodbye to the out-of-the-blue, icy interruptions of years past. The cold call is dead.

We are entering the age of the informed call, a better way to sell over the phone. The informed call, a warmer approach to B2B lead generation, delivers a hard-core punch in a way the old model of cold calling simply doesn’t deliver.

The informed call is a more artful and more data-driven approach to reaching out to leads. Traditional cold calls were made with only a person’s name, company name, and related industry. It was “dial and smile” and a game of numbers. Now, sales teams are equipped with much more information at their disposal. Used properly, this information can inform how to approach each lead in a more targeted and refined way.

Answering a few key questions will go a long way toward maximizing your time on the phone with each lead. Before a call, ask your marketing team questions like these: How has the person you’re speaking to interacted with your website, content, webinars, and social media channels? Where did they spend their time? What did they download? And what were they searching for when they found you? Platforms such as Hubspot, Salesforce, and Google Analytics help fill in these blanks before every conversation is initiated. An informed call leverages this information to make the most of each lead.

Because of Hubspot’s robust CRM capabilities and its integration with other platforms, sales teams can use these tools to track the interactions of leads over time and know the precise moment when they’re ready for a call.

This process might sound invasive. However, no one’s time is wasted when pertinent, actionable information is put to good use. Sales teams have the data they need to immediately provide value and articulate over the phone how their business can give prospects what they seek. No lead receives a call until they’re ready.

In this way, the informed call is more respectful than the cold call. Data and analytics inform where each prospect is in their buyer’s journey, revealing their needs as they move from awareness to partnership. Someone who has just discovered your company should never receive a hard sales pitch. Conversely, when someone is ready to be contacted about a purchase, you can be ready to act because you know.

For the informed call method to work, there must be alignment between sales and marketing teams. Marketing teams need to drive toward sales goals, and sales teams must communicate their needs with marketing. This results in more qualified leads: Both teams are working toward the same goal. When marketing and sales are at odds, the result is inefficiency.

For some organizations, this de-siloed approach flaunts the traditional company structure. To fully integrate sales and marketing efforts, traditional organizational structures need to evolve. Individual roles and responsibilities may also need to be reevaluated.

Marketing can no longer be the brochure factory of an organization. It must provide audiences with compelling, relevant, and timely content that meets a need, educates, or generates a lead. Every piece of content must be trackable, and analytics reported and shared across both marketing and sales.

So, go ahead. Pick up the phone and make that sales call. But make sure you’re armed with insights supplied from marketing. A nice, warm lead awaits.

Michael Brown is responsible for sales and marketing leadership at ddm marketing + communications. In this role, he helps ddm teams develop new strategic partnerships, while also increasing revenue through existing account expansion. With more than 25 years in marketing, Brown has served clients across many industries, including health care, manufacturing, building and construction, and higher education.

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