Cold Calling vs. Warm Calling: What’s The Difference?

Are you tired of having prospects hang up on you and your team?

It’s time to re-think your cold calling strategy.

With less than 2% of sales calls resulting in a meeting, it’s no surprise that SDRs are turning to cold email, webinars, and social selling to grow their pipeline.

But, cold calling isn’t dead yet.

It’s time to approach your cold calling with a fresh perspective.

Rather than cold calling, you should be warm calling.

In this article, I’ll walk you through:

  • The Problem with Cold Calling
  • What is Warm Calling?
  • Cold Calling vs. Warm Calling: What’s The Difference?
  • Tactics to Warm Up Leads Before a Call
  • How to Make Your Sales Calls More Effective

By the end, you’ll be able to approach your cold calls with a new perspective and be able to use them to grow your pipeline with ease.

The Problem with Cold Calling

Cold calling is a tried and tested sales strategy.

It’s the most direct way to engage with qualified prospects.

If someone picks up the phone, you can start a conversation and learn about someone’s problems far more quickly than you could over email.

However, there are some issues.

90% of C-level executives never reply to cold calls.

Research done by Baylor found that it takes 209 calls to generate one meeting

It takes, on average, 209 calls to generate one appointment or meeting.

As well as that, 63% of salespeople say that cold calling is their least favorite part of the job!

There’s an apparent mismatch in expectations between:

  • Sales reps
  • Sales managers
  • Sales prospects

If there wasn’t, we’d see far higher success rates and cold calling would be everyone’s favorite way of engaging with leads.

What is Warm Calling?

Warm calling is when you call a sales lead who has already expressed interested in your product or service.

Unlike a cold call, where you have no proof they’re interested, with a warm call, you do have that proof of interest.

Warm calling is the perfect way to improve the success rate of your sales calls.

Cold Calling vs. Warm Calling: What’s The Difference?

Both tactics involve calling prospects.

However, in a cold call you won’t have any prior engagement with the lead.

You may have sourced their contact details from somewhere but don’t actually know if they’re interested in becoming a customer.

A warm call happens after they’ve displayed some initial interest in your brand or marketing campaigns.

This could be:

  • Commented on your LinkedIn post
  • Attended a webinar
  • Filled out a sales contact form
  • Engaged with your paid ad content

There are no set rules, but the idea is that when you call them, your prospect will already know about your brand and be more likely to engage with you than if it was a cold call.

In the next section, I’ll show you some of the most effective ways to warm up a lead before your first sales call.

Tactics to Engage with Leads Before a Warm Call

Warming up your prospects doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some effective ways to make contact before that first call and get yourself on your prospects’ radar.

1. Engage Decision-Makers with ABM Campaigns

If you want to engage with high-level decision-makers, you’ll need to put in the effort before your first sales call.

Target them in your account-based marketing campaigns to ensure you engage with them in multiple ways across multiple platforms.

Once they’ve begun to engage with your content, you can call them and provide useful follow-up information and open a conversation.

2. Build a Relationship through Social Selling

Social selling is one of the best ways to engage with prospects in a natural, casual way.

78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t.

A conversation on Twitter or LinkedIn is the perfect way to build rapport with someone who may become a future customer.

3. Share Value with Content

Another effective way to get noticed by prospects is to create amazing content and promote it to them.

Running webinars, inviting them to be on a podcast, or simply promoting a great blog post can all be ways to get in front of leads who are a great fit for your solution.

4. Reach Out Using Cold Email

While cold email does suffer a similar fate to cold email, the barrier to entry is low. You can start with an email that isn’t a direct sell but instead introduces yourself and your company, and offers your prospect something of value.

If they engage with your email, you can warm call them, and they’ll already know who you are.

Make Your Sales Calls More Effective with DemandScience

Warm calling is one of the best ways to make your sales calls more productive and generate better results.

However, it’s not the only factor that could be affecting the success of your sales calls.

If you don’t have access to accurate B2B data your direct dials can result in dead ends, meaning your sales reps can’t be as productive as they want to be.

Find accurate contact data for 41+ million B2B decision-makers with DemandScience

With DemandScience you have instant access to contact data for 41+ million B2B decision-makers. Our sales data is GDPR-compliant and regularly verified to ensure it’s up-to-date.

You can even sync your data with your favorite marketing tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Reply.

Wrapping Up

Cold calling is a great way to generate new business, but warm calling is even better.

It’s the most effective way to use calling as part of your overall sales strategy. Rather than wasting time with unqualified or uninterested leads, your sales team will have proof that leads are engaged before they even pick up the phone.

Productivity will increase, and your lead pipeline will be filled with leads who are a great fit for your solution.

Your sales team won’t be an annoyance to decision-makers, and their calls will be welcomed. Warming up prospects before a call using social selling, emails, or content, combined with data from DemandScience is the ideal way to generate new pipeline.

Reach out to someone on our team to learn more about DemandScience today.