Let’s discuss the ultimate friendly brother-sister tussle within the pre-sales process.
Actually, I’m just joking.
Between live chat and cold calling, there’s a serious ongoing tug of war about which pre-sales process is more important for business success.
Is live chat better than cold calling? Can live chat replace cold calling? Is it wise to put your complete trust on either of these activities?
The practice of cold calling has been the crux of pre-sales activities for many years. If you can get a prospect on the call, most salespeople would try to convince them to fix a face-to-face appointment or even buy a product. Later, an expert closer would attend to this lead and attempt to close the deal.
It was the simplest yet the most effective way to handle presales prospecting process. But, today cold calling isn’t as effective at reaching-out or engaging the prospects. If you are tracking cold calling ROI, you might have noticed a reduction in its effectiveness.
In this blog, we will into the reasons why cold calling is no more effective at managing prospects. We will also help you understand how you cold calling once more great again.
Why cold calling struggle to attract high quality leads?
There are numerous reasons why cold calling isn’t effective anymore at converting website visitors into leads.
1. Prospects are desensitized to cold calls.
2. Cold calling leads can be time-wasters.
3. Cold calling prospects are problem unaware
4. Cold calling tactics were used to sell quack products.
5. Cold calling numbers can be tagged spam
6. GDPR Laws requires recipient consent for cold calling
7. cold calling has rapidly plummeting ROI
8. Reputed businesses don’t do cold calling.
9. Cold calling doesn’t provide in-depth analytics.
In short, it’s not at the best of anyone to have a cold calling as the leading front of your sales strategy. Instead, the strategy of building enough inbound traffic and turning that traffic into your leads could be a much better internal strategy.
Live chat v/s cold calling in sales prospecting scenarios
On the first thought, live chat can appear to be an entirely dedicated customer service channel. You could very well be thinking that sales would require a more direct approach. This would be required to close more deals.
But, live chat interactions can be effective to actually engage and feed requisite information to the sales team.
Now, let’s consider the implications of these problems in real-life.
As the term indicates, a ‘cold call’ begins with a cold prospect. If the call receiver is completely unaware of the product, he may not allow the time to listen to the sales script. And, the prospect that actually spends time on taking the call may not have adequate money to spare for your product or service.
Even if you’re a seasoned cold calling expert, these problems are likely to persist.
Live chat interactions can completely side-track this problem by managing only inbound website interactions. As these visitors have deliberately sought out your website, they are likely to be already aware of your product or service.
2. Information management
For cold calling professionals, the primary objective would be to always fix the next interaction. This could be a follow-up phone call or a product demo or renewing the subscription.
In all these cases, you are trying to make the prospect agree to your goal or objectives in your sales process. With almost 80% of the salespeople stating that prospecting is the hardest part of their sales process, most cold calls are prolific and don’t have a happy ending. A major portion of companies is not able to generate enough opportunities to achieve their revenue goals.
With this information at hand, a more proactive strategy to align with sales and customer needs is more likely to bear fruit. The sales prospecting should revolve around handing-over adequate information to the prospect. Among all the channels, the live chat can really help you achieve this objective.
3. Sales funnel management
If you want to have a growing and thriving sales funnel, you need to optimize the sales funnel to achieve the maximum number of conversions. The top of the funnel mainly concerns with capturing a maximum number of leads. Meanwhile, the middle and bottom part of the funnel concerns with converting the acquired prospects into paying customers.
In other words, the second and third level of the sales funnels largely depends on the performance of the top-most part.
A well-trained live chat agent will be able to triple or quadruple your lead conversions. In this sense, the middle part of the sales funnel will automatically increase your total lead conversions across the board.
Which one helps you land more sales meetings?
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organization, both the live chat and cold calling is ultimately geared towards fixing more sales meetings. If one helps you arrange more meetings, it’s likely to be deemed better for business.
When live chat or cold calling is able to land more meetings, it automatically gets the upper hand. With this in mind, let’s look into a few statistics.
As per studies, almost 90.9% of the cold calls fall on deaf ears. They don’t get a positive response or gets asked to defer to a later time. A significant percentage of cold calls end-up in voice mails or non-responsive attempts at reaching the prospect.
It’s always better to have a multiple touch point interactions before entering a cold call.
As per studies, almost 44% of survey respondents stated that they would like a live person to answer their questions when reaching-out to a website. These numbers are only likely to rise in a short time. The website that offers live chat is likely to see 63% of their customers return to the website. All these work towards improving the number of touch points and thereby connections with the audience.
With this information in mind, the cold calling could help you keep your sales team busy on an immediate basis. But the live chat website option is more likely to send more qualified leads to your sales team on the long run.
If you have a website live chat option, your cold calling team can start focusing on more qualified leads with verified data. You no longer need to do cold calling based on 3rd party data which is largely incorrect.
Evaluating live chat and cold calling for cost effectiveness
Within an organization, all activities are evaluated based on their ROI. It’s simply based on total revenue/ money spent on the same. This is true for both employees and processes.
And, it’s especially true for sales prospecting processes. At the end of the day, the cold calling and live chat option would be compared side-by-side for their efficacy. This would follow the trend of investment v/s sales revenue.
If one process is able to consistently rake-in more revenue, you could even get discontinued in favor of the other process.
With the available data, upper management can easily draw a comparison chart. This would pit cold calling against website live chat interactions for the total sales revenue.
If one channel is consistently beating the other, it’s an easy decision to divert the investment of one channel into the other channel. In this case, it could lead to investing more dollars on top-of-the-funnel marketing activities.
Live chat or Cold calling – Which choice gives better audience reach (Present and Future)
If you are exclusively focusing on cold calling, you might be severely limiting your audience reach. For example, today most locations have put severe limitations on contacting prospects without their consent. In Europe, these are known as the GDPR laws. In the future, the US and Canada are also likely to follow suit and come up with similar laws.
In essence, cold calling is becoming less and lesser effective at reaching-out and engaging with your audience.
As per studies, almost 82% of new purchases begin with research online. This could be realistically expected to keep on steadily increasing in the coming years. With this in mind, it could be a much better strategy to focus on achieving a higher percentage of this initial search. This could be turned into engaged prospects through live chat.
With this in mind, you can say that live chat forms the bridge better cold prospect and an engaged prospect who is expecting your phone call.
Live chat reinforces your cold calling efforts
You cannot absolutely say that live chat and cold calling are the two sides of the same coin. That could mean that you will be able to substitute one channel with another channel at any point.
But this is rarely the case.
Instead, you can try to utilize live chat to reinforce your cold calling campaigns. Based on the previous points that we discussed, you already know that cold calling often suffer due to the lack of adequate product information. Also, cold calling suffer due to the lack of enthusiasm from the part of clients.
Instead, you can align your live chat and cold calling to achieve maximum conversions. For example, you can start by bringing-in website visitors who gets qualified through live chat. This also includes collecting relevant information that is required to close the deal.
By passing along this information, you can accelerate the sales closure process. In turn, this would accelerate your entire sales prospecting process.
In this way, live chat can actually focus your cold calling efforts and create a fresh calling database that would lead to better results. In this way, it would help you reinforce your overall cold calling efforts.
Benefits of offering website live chat
As a pure business process, live chat has numerous benefits over cold calling. Here are some of those benefits.
Live chat is proactive, not reactive
Live chat cost lesser resources
Live chat operations can be easily scaled
Both sales and digital campaigns can utilize Live chat
You can collect NPS score through live chat
Live chat delivers more proactive answers
Live interactions engage leads when they are hot.
Lead qualification optimizes entire sales prospecting
In short, the live chat could help you manage and significantly improve your overall sales process.
In the previous years, cold calling remained the main source of new leads and opportunities for most businesses. In the recent years, this situation has seen a dramatic change. With strict rules that constrict cold calling efforts, most businesses needs to have better strategies that circumvent the traditional cold calling approaches.
In this article, we discussed how live chat interactions can reinforce your cold calling efforts without essentially replacing them.
Mr. Prassanna Kumar is Industry veteran with in-depth experience in managing 24×7 chat agents and different marketing activities. He has experience at growing brands in different industry verticals. You can connect with him at his linkedin profile