Move Over Cold Calling, It’s Time for Warm Calling

Written by Yoo Hyeon Park

Upon earning her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Yoo Hyeon interned at The Selling Factory, where she excelled in both marketing and sales roles. Currently, she is a business development advisor at KPMG where she enjoys interacting with consumers and finding solutions for customer needs.

Photo by Mart Production from Pexels

What is the chance that you will answer an unknown number, not saved in your contacts? Probably slim to none. 

With more sophisticated caller ID systems identifying spam calls, answering a stranger’s call is highly unlikely. This is a major obstacle for sales professionals and sales development representatives (SDRs). Cold calling was the traditional method used to pique interest, set appointments, and close deals. Yet, do cold calls work?  

Multiple studies have pronounced that cold calling is dead. Harvard Business Review reported that cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time and 9 out of 10 top-level B2B decision-makers no longer respond to cold calls. With hundreds of cold calls happening on sales teams daily, research further shows that only 1% of cold calls convert into a booked appointment. So why are we still cold calling? 

According to Bob Apollo, the Founder of Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, calling is about quality rather than quantity. He says, “the most effective way of increasing the quality of every outcome is to research, prepare, and personalize every outreach.” Our calling strategy needs to change. 

What Is a Warm Call?

Warm calling” involves contacting a prospect that a salesperson has already connected with previously. This could be through email, social media, an in-person exchange, etc. The goal of a warm call, or sales prospecting, is to educate and inform rather than sell.

Buyers already know what products and services they want and need. Businesses are constantly conducting research to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Data from Accenture confirms this: B2B buyers have usually completed 57% of the buying process before speaking to a sales development representative. Thus, an SDR team often speaks to a prospect in the final stages of the sales process. 

To gain insights into a buyer’s journey, useful data on businesses and people is readily available. Beyond information found on LinkedIn, social media, and through mutual acquaintances, credit card purchases, web page visits, and location data on mobile apps are accessible and tracked. Moreover, data providers like Bombara and ZoomInfo consolidate this information allowing sales professionals to better identify potential prospects that could benefit from specific products and services. 

This in-depth research supplies sales professionals with much-needed information to solve a prospect’s business problems. Rather than cold calling out of the blue to immediately sell an individual, warm calling or prospecting a client is one component of a multi-pronged approach to support a buyer as they work to make a purchasing decision. 

Best Cold Calling Tips: Make Them “Warm”

Here are some helpful tips to ensure a more effective call campaign:

#1: Adopt the Best Practices in SEO

Augment your marketing with the best practices in SEO (search engine optimization) and building a content library. The goal of marketing is to pique the interest of a prospect. SEO starts with identifying keywords and the questions prospects are asking online. 

Whether blogs, videos, web pages, or case studies, develop content relevant to prospects’ needs by including these words in order to appear on the first page of a Google search. 

#2: Use Multiple Touchpoint Marketing Campaigns

Reach out with multiple touchpoints. Research suggests that to activate a prospect, an individual needs to reach out 11 to 14 times. This includes personalized emails, LinkedIn messages, sample sends, handwritten notes, webinars, and more. 

Rather than working to close an individual, each touchpoint provides an opportunity to educate prospective buyers. Set up a multiple touchpoint campaign using tools that share relevant content including case studies, testimonials, or videos. 

This engages leads organically, and allows them to be part of the buying process. Track a prospect’s journey and online interactions through email opens and link clicks. This can help to determine which prospects are interested in learning more about your products and services. 

#3: Use Prospecting (or Warm Calling)

Follow up with “warm calls”. 

Rather than a first impression, prospecting for sales with a warm call is an additional touchpoint. Instead of randomly dialing a call list, the research gained in the previous steps offers ways to better know where a prospect is on their buyer journey and what they might like to learn more about. Use the call to follow up to see if an individual received an email, a sample, or a note, to ask if you can provide further information, or to set up a time to talk with an expert. 

For an SDR team or salesperson to be effective, this process and the tools at one’s disposal can make calling more effective, increase the number of prospects in the sales funnel, and successfully connect with individuals to drive business.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.