Warm Cold Calling

Inside sales representatives and business development representatives spend a majority of their time prospecting companies to find and create potential sales opportunities. Depending on the type of project, an inside sales rep may have many different campaigns to follow up on, calling both warm and cold prospects.

Let’s recap the colloquial definitions of “cold calling” and “warm calling.” I contact prospects for my client who have expressed interest in their solutions through downloading information on their website or attending their events. Reaching out to a prospect who already has a relationship with your client or that you have previously engaged with is considered “warm calling.” It is also common for a sales rep to prospect campaigns in which the prospect has had no prior engagement with a client. This type of situation is commonly referred to as “cold calling.”

What is the true definition of a cold call? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a cold call is “a telephone call made by a business to try to sell something.” Sound familiar? This definition sounds quite similar to a warm call. The main difference between the two is that cold calling is considered unsolicited – unexpected and unrequested by the prospect.

After looking up these definitions, I realized that both sales prospecting techniques do not always follow suit. Not every warm call is expected and solicited. Teleprospecting is not black and white. There are many shades of gray between cold calling and warm calling. In fact, cold calling does not have to be cold.

A talented and successful sales rep will warm up their cold calls by using a variety of methods. Resourcefulness is one of the best techniques an inside sales rep can learn. A rep should make sure to do research before beginning dials. They should learn as much as they can about the prospective company by browsing the company’s website and social profiles and learning about their industry. Most inside sales reps learn as much as they can about their client and in turn immerse themselves in the clients’ products or services and industry.  This will be helpful when talking to the prospect, because they can refer to success stories that are particularly relevant to their industry.

An inside sales rep will also want to confirm that the data on their list is accurate. To confirm information, you can use resources such as Data.com and LinkedIn to check prospects’ job titles and responsibilities as well as find corporate phone numbers and emails. Inside sales reps may also find valuable information about prospective companies through conversations with operators and administrators. It’s good to ask them questions because they can often point you in the right direction departmentally. And, better yet, you could even get  a referral to decision makers within the company.

All of this information can be used to warm up the initial “cold call” with the prospect. Mention that you have spoken with the prospect’s colleague who had helped direct you to them. Express to them how your client helped other companies within their industry that have had the same pain points and challenges.

Prove to your prospect that you have done your research. Show them that you are genuinely interested in finding out whether or not your solution can help them overcome a business challenge. To me, this is the essence of a warm call.