There are those that say cold calling is dead. There are those that say it is alive. Personally, I believe a company offering products or services to the outside world can not succeed without a balanced view on this sales and lead generation tactic. Concentrating solely on making outbound cold calls and neglecting other avenues is a mistake, however the same goes for ignoring the benefit that contacting prospects without notice can offer.
When should a company cold call? When shouldn't they?
An organization, for profit or not, that depends on a revenue stream coming from brand new customers can not normally sit upon its laurels and simply wait for revenue to be generated. There has to be some sort of outbound marketing tool. Using these tools correctly is the reason that a company retains a marketing director or a company specializing in marketing. Note: I didn't say sales, I said marketing. Marketing allows a business to retain a brand and plan its projections to the outside world. It allows a company to optimize its sales force's success rate through branding, through advertising and through marketing.
Cold calling is both a marketing and a sales tool. On one hand, it can be used to develop a name and to generate interest. On the other, it can be used to directly generate an interest and, from there, a sale. There is at least one website and newsletter out there that claims that cold calling is dead. I happen to disagree with them, but I am sure that there are many people that agree.
I disagree because I believe that cold calling is a tool that still has its benefits. It is impossible to, unless you are lucky enough to garner as much media and word of mouth attention as companies such as Microsoft do, simply wait and expect customers to come to you. It is unreasonable to be passive about your sales generation. Cold calling is one way to increase interest and contacts.
It is, however, not the only tool that should be used. A company should use all the tools at its fingertips including websites, opt in newsletters or blogs, referral contacts, and advertising. By using all of the marketing and sales avenues that a company has available, the business sets itself up for success.
Cold calling is an excellent way to generate interest and contact people you hadn't considered. It is a good way for a lead or referral generation company to optimize their time for your success. Cold calling is not something that everyone is good at or enjoys. It is something that requires a specific attitude and perspective.