Prospecting is a necessary part of your sales process. You can’t sell to someone unless you first find them, and that means developing a prospecting strategy that works for your team and your sales process. There are many ways to do this, including by e-mail, telephone call, or some combination of the two. Which one is best for you and your company – choose emails or cold calls?
That depends on what’s most comfortable for you as an individual salesperson (or team) and what will work best for your organization. Let’s look at both pros and cons of each prospecting method so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.
E-mail Based Prospecting
One of the most popular ways to prospect for new business is via e-mail. This is particularly true for sales reps who work in B2B sales and have a shorter sales cycle. E-mails work well for a few basic reasons.
First, they are easy to use. You don’t need any special equipment or supplies to send an e-mail, and you can do so anywhere you have internet access, which is pretty much everywhere. E-mails are also trackable. You can easily see how many of your e-mails were opened, who they were opened by, and how many were deleted without being opened.
This e-mail data is incredibly valuable and helps you to tweak your e-mail strategy over time. E-mail is also easy to personalize. You can copy and paste the same e-mail to as many individuals as you like and still personalize the message for each recipient by adding their names to the e-mail.
E-mails are also easily searchable. You can sort your e-mails by date, time, who you sent them to, their subject lines, and more. This makes it easy to find any e-mail you need at any time.
Another tried-and-true prospecting technique is cold calling. This is when you call new potential clients who don’t know you or your business. If done correctly, cold calling can be an extremely effective way to find new clients, especially if those clients are actively searching for your product or service.
Cold calling is most effective when you have a well-researched list of targeted prospects and can accurately determine your best potential customers. You can find such lists in various ways, including using a paid prospecting tool like SalesHacker or signing up for a paid lead generation service.
You might feel uncomfortable or even scared about cold calling, but as with most things, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the less scary it gets. You can reduce your anxiety and make cold calling even more effective by doing a few things. Make a list of your biggest benefits, and make sure you have them memorized.
This will help you stay focused during the call and make you more likely to keep your pitch brief. Keep a list of your most frequently asked questions by clients and prospects and the answers to those questions. This will help you stay on track during the call and address the most common questions and concerns more quickly.
Telephone Based Prospecting
As with e-mail-based prospecting, you can choose to do your telephone prospecting in two different ways you can call people who don’t know you or your company, or you can call existing clients. Telephone prospecting is most effective when you have a clear sales process and follow it (customer journey) to the letter in every conversation.
You can do telephone prospecting over the phone or with a tool like SalesHacker’s Sales Call Assistant. The latter is a virtual call recording device that allows you to record both sides of your prospecting calls, allowing you to listen back and review your conversations for any sales process issues. It also allows you to record your conversations easily.
Telephone prospecting can be particularly helpful when you have existing clients and would like to find new clients that are a good fit for your existing customers. This is known as sales nurturing and a technique that is becoming increasingly common. Sales nurturing is when you stay in touch with your clients, letting them know you still exist and providing them with helpful resources, advice, and information.
You use these interactions to build relationships with your existing clients and learn about their challenges and needs. Once you’ve built a good rapport with these clients, they will more likely trust and buy from you when you offer them new products or services.
Deciding Which is Best for You
As you can see from the information above, e-mail and cold calling have a lot in common. Both can be done virtually from any place at any time. Both can be done with basic equipment, and both are trackable. Both also help you stay organized and schedule and manage your time more effectively.
Both e-mail and cold calling are also easy to personalize and easy to search for, making them more efficient and, therefore, more effective in general. That said, e-mail and cold calling differ in a few ways.
Choose Emails or Cold Calls?
First, cold calling will almost certainly require you to leave your office and call your prospects, while e-mailing will allow you to stay put and save face.
Cold calling is also more direct, while e-mailing allows you to be more subtle and indirect. It is also more directly with clients and prospects while e-mailing is more nurturing.
Cold calling is also more urgent and immediate, while e-mailing allows you to be a bit more relaxed and take your time. How you want to come across your prospects and clients is something you will want to keep in mind when deciding between e-mail and cold calling as your prospecting method.
Emails for Lead Generation and Sales Nurturing
As you know, e-mails are a commonly used sales prospecting tool. E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to nurture your customers and keep them coming back for more.
E-mail marketing is so effective that most executives believe it is worth the investment. E-mail marketing is a great way to kick off your sales prospecting. Make sure you follow proper e-mail marketing best practices to avoid burning bridges with your prospects before you’ve even spoken to them.
E-mail marketing is also a great way to nurture your existing clients and customer relationships. You can use it to offer your customers helpful content, send them special offers and deals, and tell them about new products or services.
Sales nurturing helps you to build a relationship with your customers and helps you to understand their needs and challenges. This will make it more likely for your customers to trust you and buy from you again in the future.
Combining Emails and Cold Calls
As you can see, e-mails and cold calls have a lot in common. While they are different in some ways, they are similar in many others. You can easily combine the two as part of your sales prospecting strategy.
For example, you might send an e-mail to certain prospects that you have identified as being the best fit for your product or service. Then, you might follow up with a cold call to those same people.
This way, you are giving your prospects the best of both worlds. You are showing them that you are confident and serious while also giving them the space they need to make the decision they need to make. This is generally referred to as hybrid sales prospecting, a mix of cold calling and e-mail-based prospecting.
Cold calling and e-mailing are two very different and effective ways to prospect for new business. There are many similarities, but there are also a few key differences. E-mailing is more indirect and casual, while cold calling is more direct and immediate. E-mailing allows you to take your time and be more relaxed, while cold calling is more urgent and requires you to be prepared and confident.
Both cold calling and e-mailing are effective ways to get your foot in the door, build your brand and get your name out there. They are also both effective ways to build relationships with your existing and potential customers, as well as to find new business. Cold calling and e-mailing are both ways to prospect for new business.