Who Wins? Cold Callers or Social Sellers?


Some sales people believe in cold calling/emailing, supremely confident in their ability to seduce anyone into buying their wares.  Predictive Analytics people tell you to cold call but not just anyone — just the people they tell you that you should call/email.  And the Social Selling experts instead recommend a long, slow process of courting leads by building a reputation on LinkedIn and establishing trust before moving in for the sale.

That’s nice but what works best?  And where does Reachable fit in all of this?

I had a very interesting discussion with the Director of Marketing Analytics for a big company a few months back.  He told me that large companies like his were looking for scalable sales processes because they had big numbers to meet.  It gave me a clue to the answer to the question I just asked…

Cold emailing is scalable.  And predictive analytics works in that context.  Here is the process that proponents of persistent calling/emailing recommend:

Email or call anyone at least 5 times and you will ultimately get through and be able to build a qualified prospects list to sell to.  The problem with sales people in their view is that they don’t call or email enough.  Their view is that you should take a list of 10,000 people, email them 5 times, annoy 9,950 people, in order to end up with 50 very good leads (those who actually need your service but were too lazy or busy to respond the first 4 times you emailed.)  If you get a little smarter on who you email, with the help of predictive analytics, you can reduce the list of 10,000 to 5,000 and still get 50 good prospects but a) you pissed off less people, b) reduced your email campaign costs, and c) 50/5,000 looks better than 50/10,000 so you must be doing something right (and keep buying the analytics!).

This is indeed a scaleable process, and it works within the current model of inside sales teams backed by research and appointment setters.

The Social Selling crowd is focused on a different problem.  They are looking to find leads by having the leads qualify themselves and reach out to the sales team.  This is done by leveraging the sales organization to do marketing, aptly called Social Selling.

Here is what the Social Selling experts recommend: Get on Twitter, follow the people you want to sell to, and when they post something be the first one to jump in and tell them how their post was amazing.  The poster will appreciate your sincere compliment and reply.  Based on that relationship with your new BFF you are assured to be able to sell a lot of widgets to him/her.  You can do the same on LinkedIn by posting comments on people’s posts, comments that they will appreciate, and cause them to connect with you, allowing them to sell to them whatever you have to sell.  You can do even better by turning your LinkedIn page into a billboard for your company’s products, with materials pushed to you in an online locker by your marketing department.

This is why LinkedIn streams are now streams of commercial messages.  But if you post, post, post then when someone does click or respond, you can be sure they are interested in buying something from you.  Or are they trying to sell you something and are trying to build trust…?

I think you may get the feeling that I have doubts that the Social Selling thing will soon replace cold emailing/calling.  If it were then InsideSales.com would not be doing so well.  After all, the Sales Solutions revenues at LinkedIn are still a drop in their revenue bucket.

What about Reachable?  Glad you asked.

See, we are not trying to help you meet new friends.  Reachable is the perfect complement to the cold calling/emailing sales process to make it a lot better.  The marketing analytics folks or the sales managers can overlay Reachable on top of call or target lists that were built outside of Reachable.  Reachable will analyze the lists and warm them up by showing you for each of your prospects someone inside your company, or someone willing to help, that can make an intro or give you the scoop on the target person or accounts.  So, call or email, but not cold thanks to Reachable.

Reachable is going so far as integrating entire prospecting databases (like the people database of Leadership Directories and S&P Capital IQ) so that if you don’t have your list and need to build it yourself, then you can do it within Reachable.

So, going back to my conversation with the Marketing Analytics director, Reachable is the only scalable lead warming solution that we know of that complements existing sales processes.

And that is pretty powerful stuff.

Log in to your Reachable account now, or sign up for a free account now, and close deals faster.  Stop wasting time and energy on blind leads when you can get the inside scoop and know whom to talk to, what to say and when to close your deals.


Laurent Ohana, CEO