cold calling

Many truths became apparent in 2020, but one that stands out to me as a telemarketing agency leader is how much small businesses still need cold calling.

For small businesses this year, survival has meant changing strategies at the drop of a dime. Some have had to build a new client base overnight and take unexpected risks. If you’ve weathered the storm life has brought upon us during this time, I applaud you. If you’re still figuring out your next move, you’re not alone.

You might plan to expand, or you might need to hit the reset button as we approach 2021. Whatever your situation, if your focus is B2B, it’s time to consider why small businesses need cold calling. To get into specifics, let’s now discuss cold outreach’s benefits and how it can help you achieve more.

Small Businesses Need Cold Calling When They Can’t Compete Online

The first reason telemarketing is vital for smaller companies is that online competition is tough. Think about it – the average B2B business spends around 5% of its annual revenue on marketing, according to the CMO Survey. If a small business brings in $1M, their monthly marketing budget is likely under $5,000.

We can assume that just a portion of that budget goes to search engine marketing (SEM). It’s also fair to guess that their spend on online ads will be relatively low compared to larger competitors. Now, let’s ask, who’s ads will a prospect see first? They’ll most likely see the company’s who has spent more before seeing anyone else’s.

Paid online advertising is great, but it’s a hard space to play in for a company with limited resources. On the other hand, cold calling has the power to produce similar conversion rates and get you speaking with potential customers faster.

 SEO Takes a Long Time to Produce Results

Even though paid ads are expensive, every company needs an online presence. Smart marketers use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to help customers find them organically without tons of ad spend. And while SEO should be in your marketing toolbox, it does take time to work. Depending on your industry and offering, it could easily be 6-12 months before you start seeing results.

SEO requires quite an investment in terms of cost, time, or both. For this reason, small businesses need cold calling to supplement their efforts. Most companies can’t wait almost a year before getting leads to come to organically. To generate revenue immediately, cold outreach and grassroots are simply a must.

Social Proof Isn’t Build Overnight

Being on social media is great, but like SEO, but to build your credibility, you need to be in it for the long haul!

Speaking from personal experience, on a new social media page, it’s not uncommon to post every day for 60-90 days before getting genuine engagement. By genuine, I mean a like or comment from a perfect stranger who’s interested in your brand. Not from your faithful friends and family, as much as they appreciate your brand, they’re not a real potential customer.

Some marketers buy followers or likes to build a following on social platforms overnight. Savvy customers can quickly tell the difference between real and forced engagement and are typically not motivated to buy from their brands. Be active where your audience is. And, when done right, paid posts can give you a real boost.

However, without a substantial budget for ads and strategic planning, you’ll need to supplement with a more direct approach. This is where you need cold calling as part of your strategy.

The Best Marketing Plans are Multi-Faceted

We all know that many businesses were ready to move online even before the pandemic. The crisis of 2020 only quickened the phenomenon. As technology evolves, the practical need for personal interaction decreases. But the human need for relationships remains. That’s why the most successful businesses use a multi-channel approach to connect with their customers.

In a world of daily email promotions, automated attendants, and information overload, people want to know they matter. Speaking with someone that understands and cares is now a special occasion.

If they want to stand out, small businesses need cold calling now and in the future. That’s because cold calls, when done right, are a way to make a true connection that should not be overlooked.

Rachel Marcelle is a Client Partner at SAS-Marketing LLC in Orlando, Florida and helped co-found the company in 2017. She’s passionate about cold calling, but also about people, finding purpose in work, and in all aspects of life. If you’d like to read more about how cold calling can help your business, visit our blog at @sasmarketing_us

Cold calling stock photo by James Steidl/Shutterstock