If you are an expansion stage SaaS business looking to generate more qualified leads for your sales team, launching a cold calling initiative to supplement other lead generation systems (SEO, email marketing, advertising, influence marketing, etc.) might be just the ticket to catapulting your company’s growth into high gear.
While a well-run cold calling initiative may be great for your sales team’s pipeline — be prepared. It will also be an investment… an investment of time and money. For management teams at the expansion stage, time is money. And money, particularly if you are at the point where you are looking for investors, must be spent wisely. That being said, make sure that you are buttoned up before you kick off something like this so that you are not wasting any of your company’s precious resources.
If your goal is to launch a cold calling initiative to generate revenue for your business within the first 90 days, here are 10 things that you must consider prior to kick off:
- Do you know your target market segment that will have the greatest need for your product/services?
- Do you know who the key decision maker is within that segment, and what his/her pain points are?
- Do you have the capacity to build content customized specifically for that segment? (Must haves: email templates, call scripts, case studies, white paper, power point presentations for demos, competitive matrices, etc.)
- Do you know which of your competitors are prevalent in that market and how you will compete against these companies (features, cost, services, etc) to win business?
- Does your sales team understand the value of adding lead qualifiers (aka cold callers) to the team?
- Have you established a hand-off process that will make for a seamless transition of qualified leads from cold callers into the hands of the closers?
- Do you have a lead nurturing campaign established for the leads that you find are interested, but not quite ready to be passed along to the sales team?
- Do you have a manager with the capacity to train, manage from a productivity standpoint, and gather feedback to improve the process on a weekly basis?
- Do you have a resource/service (either internal or external) that will provide you top-quality leads on a weekly basis for your cold callers to call into?
- Does your team have the patience to build something that may not have short term results, but rather long term results?
If you can’t answer “Yes” to every one of these questions, you may want to consider putting off your cold calling initiative until everything is sorted, and resources have been properly designated to support the initiative. You simply can’t cut corners if you are expecting immediate returns.
Now, if you have a bit more flexibility and are looking to treat your cold calling initiative as a market clarity research project just as much as a revenue generation strategy (see my recent post about this exact topic), then this type of initiative can have a tremendous impact on your business in the long run from a market knowledge standpoint. If this is ultimately your goal, you’ve got to figure out the logistic early on — not a month into the campaign. Your lead qualifiers must understand their roles from the get-go to keep motivation high and frustration low, and their metrics/quotas must reflect this research-driven approach. On a final note, in this situation, point #10 will be very, very important to consider!