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Few people are fans of cold calling. When done with nothing but a list of phone numbers and a script, the process is inefficient. It takes far too many no’s to get a yes. The reasons for saying no are many. These include the prospect not having any interest, already having what you offer, being your competitor’s customer, or not being a good fit. The problem with traditional cold calling is it’s too much of a numbers game.

However, when you do connect with someone who very much needs what you have to offer, the prospect of a sale is good. If you hadn’t contacted the person, she may have eventually found a solution, and one possibly similar to the service or product you sell. However, it would likely have been with a competitor. Although inefficient, cold calling gets results provided you maintain a high activity level.

You can make cold calling more efficient by qualifying your prospects first. Set up a list of criteria such as their business size, location, and their budget. Create personas of your ideal prospects that might include their motivations, their job function, and their needs or “pain points.” Much of this is common practice among marketers. Therefore, you might work closely with your marketing department where they create qualified lists of prospects for you to call. The criteria used to qualify these leads also guides your interaction with them during your phone calls.

Your business can increase cold calling conversions further by using inbound marketing techniques that draw prospects to you. Rather than selecting them via your criteria list, allow them to self-select by their interaction with your content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing. Some will call you first. Others will be on the fence yet interested. Monitoring their interactions with your website, blog, emails, and social media campaigns gives you insights on their level of interest and what these interests are. How many times did they reread an email or visit a blog post? What were they reading?

The right software allows you to track the interactions of individuals, provided they joined an email marketing list or filled out a lead form. Armed with this insight into the likes and interests of individual leads, your cold calls, or rather, warm calls, will net more yeses and fewer nos.