Austin-based company Software Advice recently hosted a live Google+ debate titled, “Does Cold Calling Still Work?” to discuss amongst a panel of marketing and sales experts whether cold calling is still an effective marketing strategy today. Each of the panelists answered three questions:
- Given how the Web has empowered B2B buyers, is cold calling still relevant in the Internet Age — and are companies still generating a return on investment (ROI) on it?
- With other lead generation activities on the rise, like paid search and content marketing, can cold calling help marketers stand out from the noise?
- Can inbound marketing and analytics help us better decide who to cold call and when?
Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO of Reality Works Group says that “in this day and age, there’s no excuse for a call to be cold anymore.” But what does this mean? In today’s world of hyperconnectivity, changing the “cold” in cold calling to more of a “warm” call can be as simple as learning a little about your prospect by connecting via LinkedIn or Twitter.
However, Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot, suggested that making unsolicited calls is not a high priority for investing marketing dollars, especially compared to inbound marketing tactics such as SEO and PPC that are cheaper and less invasive to buyers.
But perhaps the answer lies within a balance between warm calling and inbound marketing. At least that’s what Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com, says he thinks. “If we [at InsideSales.com] just rely on the Internet to bring us leads, it’s like a fish sitting in a pond waiting for the river to bring whatever it brings them.” And the result is that there the size of the potential deals is not enough to sell into larger clients.
One point each panelist could agree on was that lead generation is shifting toward a permission-based model of marketing. This means marketing will need to evolve into being about showing buyers how valuable you are, and ultimately getting them to come to you.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of outbound and inbound marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To read the full article, visit the B2B Marketing Mentor.