Cold Call Vs. Cold Email: Do We Have a Winner Yet?

If you’re prospecting clients for your tech business, you’ve undoubtably asked yourself the question: cold call vs. cold email?

No matter how you slice it, sales is a numbers game. Working the dialer and attempting to connect with prospects one by one requires a high degree of skill and patience. On the other hand, cold emailing sacrifices that personal touch but replaces it with scalability, which makes it attractive.

When deciding how best to capture leads and acquire new customers, you need to choose an approach that fits your strategy. In this article, we’ll explore how to choose between a cold call and a cold email.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold calling is better for making fast contact and letting your skilled salespeople win over customers in real time.
  • Cold emails are less intrusive and far easier to scale.
  • The answer on which one is better will depend on many factors, such as your target audience and the purpose of the outreach.

For more, check out this YouTube video by Sell Better that breaks down this same question:

Why Cold Calling is Better

Here are four ways cold calling edges out the cold email:

1. Fastest Way to Make Contact

If a customer answers a cold call, you’ll immediately know their interest level. This allows you to:

  • Influence their interest by having your salespeople bring up pain points, offer solutions, and overcome objections in real time.
  • Adjust your sales tactics in the event of a “no.” Knowing why you’re getting a no can be nearly as valuable as hearing a “yes.”

2. Easier to Make Authentic Connections

Regardless of how good you are at writing copy, there’s no substitute for a spoken conversation in sales. Verbal communication offers subtle nuances that allow a skilled salesperson to quickly establish a very deep level of trust. This can potentially override a “no” and lead to bigger sales happening more quickly.

3. Avoids Potential Technical Challenges

Mass emails are subject to spam reports and blacklisting, which is not an issue with cold calls.

When to Make a Cold Call

There is no simple answer on which is better between cold calling vs. cold emailing. Instead, you should think of each as a unique tool to be used in targeting specific prospects.

Here are three ways to use cold calls most effectively:

1. During Peak Hours

Focus your cold-calling efforts later in the week. Wednesday and Thursday seem to be the most effective days according to research.

An infographic explaining best practices for making a cold call.
Image Source: Global Call Forwarding

Also, time is important in cold calling. You’re most likely to reach a prospect later in the day after meetings or right before lunch. Think late morning (11 AM) and late afternoon (4-5 PM).

2. When Making a Strong Request

The strength of your request is essentially a determination of how much you’re asking from the prospect. Are you hoping to close a sale, schedule an appointment, or just get some simple information?

The more you ask, the bigger the decision is for the prospect, and the stronger the request.

Calls work great for strong requests because they will almost always involve objections, questions, and concerns that a salesperson must overcome.

3. When Reaching High-Level Prospects (Upper Management and C-Suites)

Higher-level prospects are very likely to have an assistant who takes their phone calls for them. Since the assistant will almost always answer the phone, you’ll have a much higher chance of connecting and having a conversation.

Verbal communication is always preferable to text if you can get it, so rely on cold calling when prospecting high-level managers and above.

Why Cold Emails Are Better

On cold calls vs. cold emails, the latter has the edge in versatility, scalability, and optimization. Here’s why:

1. Less Intrusive

As mentioned above, cold calls are difficult to ignore. They can lead to frustration for prospects who feel overwhelmed by the time and effort needed to reject the call.

Cold emails avoid this problem by their gentle nature. An email is easy to ignore and does not require a response. This helps prospects ease into your offer and gives them time to consider.

2. Scalability

Here’s where cold emails really start to pull away from cold calling. They are vastly more scalable and easier to adjust.

In the time it takes to make a single cold call, you could send dozens of cold emails (or more, depending on how customized you make them). You’ll get more data which means they are easier to optimize going forward, as well.

3. Responses Are Instantly SQLs or MQLs

Every response to an email represents a lead. This allows you to identify quickly and efficiently where to direct your attention. A cold call, even one that results in contact, is still only somewhat likely to result in a lead.

When to Cold Email

Here are three scenarios where a cold email will work best:

1. Making Weak Requests

If you’re only looking for feedback or simple information from a prospect, save both of you the time and send an email instead of making a call. You’ll save resources, and the prospect will be grateful for the opportunity to respond in their own time.

2. In the Late Morning or Late Afternoon

Just like cold calling, customers are most likely to engage and respond to cold contacts in the late afternoon and late morning. Try to catch customers as meetings are wrapping up or beginning: this is the best time to find them as they scroll through their emails during downtime.

The best times to send a cold email.
Image Source: GetResponse

3. When You Want to Reach Many Prospects at Once

Emails are far easier to scale and send en masse than phone calls. If you want to reach out to many customers at one time, you’ll want to design an email template and make minor tweaks to customize it on a per-client basis. 

Pro Tip: A/B testing your emails can increase ROI by up to 28%

And the Winner Is…

It’s a split decision!

There is no clear answer on which method will work best for you. The right answer will depend on

  • Your industry
  • Your product
  • Your brand
  • Your sales experience
  • Marketing background
  • and far more

If you’re exhausted just watching the battle unfold and are looking for an easy solution, consider working with Televerde.

With over 30 years of experience in outsourced sales and marketing, we can take the stress of deciding which sales method works best for your company. Our expertise in delivering consistent growth, lead generation, and a stellar pipeline velocity will settle the debate for your company. 

Contact Televerde today to discuss how we can grow your sales and marketing operations.

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