Kirill Yurovskiy: Does Cold Selling Work in Business?

Cold calling has long been a staple of sales teams looking to drum up new business. But in an age where buyer preferences and values are changing, does this traditional sales tactic still deliver results? We take a closer look at the effectiveness of cold selling today.

The Case for Cold Selling 

First, let’s review the reasons why salespeople have relied on cold outreach for so long. Cold selling ultimately comes down to initiating contact with potential customers you’ve had no prior interaction with. This allows you to:

– Reach prospects who aren’t actively looking for your products or services. Relying solely on inbound leads means missing out on entire markets of buyers you could sell to. Cold selling casts a wider net.

– Increase overall lead volume and opportunities. Especially if current pipelines are lean, cold calling can rapidly expand prospect lists and ensure sales reps always have someone new to engage.

– Regain control over pipelines. When queues of inbound leads are lacking, cold calling lets sales teams drive the action rather than waiting around. Outbound activity level and results are within their control.  

– Scale revenue generation. More conversations inevitably lead to more sales, so cold calling enables overall growth. High performing sales organizations swear by the numbers game—the more prospects contacted, the more deals closed.

Clearly, done right, cold selling offers proven benefits in terms of sales productivity, growth, and control. But how relevant do these advantages remain today?Read it here

Changing Buyer Landscapes

Here’s the reality—buyer behavior is fundamentally shifting for several key reasons:  

– Buyers complete more research before engaging. By the time today’s prospects reach out to vendors, they have already thoroughly investigated their options online. Cold callers are unlikely to present anything new.  

– There are more tools for buyers to filter out cold calls. Caller ID, spam blockers, and robocall protections give buyers more power over what attempts actually get through.  

– Buyers have come to resent cold outreach. After years of endless robocalls and irrelevant sales pitches, people now have a strongly negative perception of unsolicited sales calls.

– Competition for attention has intensified. Buyers deal with more daily disruptions from emails, ads, social media notifications. Cold calls just add to the noise.

Essentially, cold selling has become less effective because it no longer aligns with how modern buyers want to engage. The traditional model for cold calling now feels outdated and disruptive to customers. 

But has the response drying up completely? Do cold calls no longer drive any buyer action? Not necessarily…

New Data on Effectiveness

Looking at the latest sales research reveals a slightly more nuanced perspective—the effectiveness of cold calling ultimately depends on smart execution. Here are some of the more surprising data points around cold calling results today:

– Well-targeted messages can still complete sales. Even though people don’t love cold outreach, calls remain productive if hyper-relevant to customers. AI can help identify warmer prospects that will actually resonate with messaging.

– Short cold calls work better than long ones. Respecting buyers’ time and constraints raises positive response rates. Concise pitches or value propositions fare far better than drawn-out conversations.  

– Video cold calling is on the rise. As millennials and Gen Z buy more, they strongly prefer video chat over voice calls. Cold calls that enable visual interaction do drive more connections.

– Personalized, account-based outreach gets results. Taking a highly targeted approach with customized messaging shows buyers their unique needs are understood. This warmer touch thaws cold calling hesitation.  

Yes, the tide has absolutely shifted towards buyers regarding cold calls. But sales organizations willing to modernize tactics for today’s customers can still make cold work—it just looks different.

The Future of Cold Selling 

Rather than debate whether cold selling remains relevant or not, the question now is—how must it adapt? What should the future cold calling strategy actually look like?

Again, experts emphasize that updating and integrating cold calling is key:

– Don’t rely on it alone: Blend both inbound and outbound channels for a balanced sales cadence overall. Too much cold calling without nurturing warm leads is also problematic. 

– Refine targeting with intent data: Leverage digital body language, search patterns, and interest signals to qualify warmer prospects worth contacting. 

– Experiment with new outreach formats: Email, text, social messages, and chat can open conversations before calling. 

– Keep it hyper-short and valuable: Don’t robocall or pitch immediately. Offer helpful information or an intriguing invitation to brief discussion. 

– Set expectations and give control: Tell prospects it’s a cold call, ask if it’s a bad time, and give them simple opt-outs. Transparency is key.

– Follow up with relevance: Send tailored, useful info after calling so prospects remember you positively, not as a disruption. 

The Bottom Line

Cold calling undeniably remains a legitimate sales strategy. But simply blasting the phones no longer aligns with buyer realities. Instead, stellar execution—careful targeting, concise and meaningful messaging, and consultative follow-ups—can still convert cold prospects. Blending these outbound efforts with a strong inbound foundation makes for an overall sales cadence that drives scalable pipeline growth.

The key is not necessarily more dials, but smarter dials. This means quality over quantity when it comes to cold calls. Savvy sales organizations don’t abandon cold selling—they reinvent it.

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