Sales Outreach 101: Choosing Between Cold Calls vs Cold Emails

Sales Outreach 101: Choosing Between Cold Calls vs Cold Emails

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Picture this: you’re a sales enthusiast, eager to connect with potential leads and close those lucrative deals. You’re ready to pick up the phone or fire off an email, but a crucial question looms large: Should you make a cold call or send a cold email?

Sales outreach is a bit of an art and a science. It’s the cornerstone of success for any sales professional. Within this realm, there are two formidable contenders for the title of the ultimate outreach strategy: cold calls vs cold emails.

Both have their unique advantages and challenges—but which one should you choose to optimize your outreach strategy?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between cold calls and cold emails, examine their pros and cons, and provide practical tips on how to effectively use both methods in sales outreach.

Understanding cold calls and cold emails

A sales person using a laptop to send a cold sales email while also talking on the phone to conduct initial outreach

In the world of outbound sales, it’s essential to have a good grasp of the tools at your disposal. Understanding what cold calls and cold emails are, and the potential they hold, is your first step toward mastering the art of sales communication.

At their core, both cold calls and cold emails serve the same purpose: to promote a product or service by reaching out to potential customers first.

The art of cold calls

Cold calling is the traditional method of sales outreach. It involves contacting prospects directly by phone—also known as sales calls. These phone calls are unscheduled and are often used to introduce yourself, your product, or your service.

Cold calls allow sales reps to:

  • Engage in real-time conversations and build rapport with potential customers
  • Gather valuable information
  • Address objections immediately
  • Adapt to the prospect’s needs

On the other hand, traditional cold calls can also be quite intrusive for the prospects. For sales reps, they can be time-consuming. Cold calling also requires persistence and dedication. Overcoming initial resistance to establish a connection can be quite the task. Once you’ve mastered the art of cold calling, you’ll reap significant results in lead generation and conversion.

The efficiency of cold emails

Cold emailing, on the other hand, involves sending unsolicited emails to potential customers who may not be aware of your business. These emails serve as the initial point of contact and aim to capture the recipient’s interest.

This method also allows for a more scalable approach to sales outreach, as multiple prospects can be contacted using cold email templates simultaneously. Additionally, sales emails give recipients the flexibility to open and respond at their own convenience, fostering a less intrusive experience.

However, the success of a cold email strategy heavily relies on a lot of factors like policies, spam filters, and data privacy regulations. Despite these challenges, cold emailing is a highly effective tool for customer acquisition and lead generation—as long as it’s implemented correctly.

Key differences between cold calls and cold emails

Two people discussing the differences between cold calls and cold emails

When it comes to sales outreach, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. Cold calls and cold emails each have their unique strengths and weaknesses. Understanding these distinctions will help you decide which approach is best suited for your specific sales goals and target audience.

Pros and cons of cold calls

Cold calling has a lot of advantages, and we have the numbers to prove this. For example, more than 50% of C-level buyers or decision-makers actually prefer that salespeople call them. Additionally, a study reported that companies that said cold calling is dead had 42% less growth than companies that still believe in it.

Pros of cold calls:

  • Instant connection: Feedback is immediate, which means you can address questions and concerns in real-time.
  • Personal touch: The human voice adds a personal element to the conversation. It may also provide the prospect with an idea of the type of person behind the call.
  • Builds trust: A well-handled call can quickly build rapport and trust with the prospect.

Cons of cold calls:

  • Intrusiveness: Unscheduled calls can be seen as interruptive and intrusive—especially if the timing is bad.
  • Call reluctance: Some salespeople may find making calls intimidating. It is a skill that needs to be practiced, especially because it means knowing how to deal with different types of prospects. After all, an SDR never knows how the person on the other end will react.
  • Time-consuming: The number of calls a sales rep can make in a day is limited compared to emails. Additionally, sales team members can’t multitask or do anything else while they’re on calls.

Pros and cons of cold emails

The average email user gets 147 emails every day—yet deletes almost half of these in less than five minutes. However, if executed flawlessly, cold email outreach is still a powerful strategy for sales prospecting.

Pros of cold emails:

  • Scalability: You can reach a large audience with minimal effort by sending to targeted lists all at once.
  • Efficiency: Automation tools can streamline the process, saving time.
  • Documented communication: Emails provide a written record of the conversation so it’s easier to backtrack and refer to past discussions.
  • Less annoying: They are less intrusive, allowing both recipients and sales reps to open and respond at their own convenience

Cons of cold emails:

  • Lower response rate: Emails may have a lower response rate compared to calls, with only 24% of cold sales emails getting opened.
  • Impersonal: It can be challenging to establish a personal connection through a written message. Plus, it requires more effort to stand out in a crowded inbox.
  • Spam risk: Sending too many unsolicited emails can trigger spam filters and harm your reputation. Additionally, compliance with laws and regulations is also essential to avoid potential legal and reputational risks.

Tips for improving cold calling and cold emailing success rates

Tips for improving cold calling and cold emailing success rates

Mastering the art of cold calling and cold emailing is all about finesse and strategy. Whether you’re picking up the phone or crafting that perfect cold email template, a few key tips can make a lot of difference in your outreach success. Let’s explore some practical advice for both methods.

Tips for cold calls

  1. in points before initiating the call. This allows you to tailor your approach and demonstrate empathy
  2. Prepare your script. Have a well-structured script that outlines your key points, but be ready to adjust it on the spot based on how the prospect responds.
  3. Listen actively: Pay close attention to the prospect’s concerns and questions. Active listening builds rapport and trust.
  4. Practice your pitch: Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your pitch until it flows naturally and confidently.
  5. Leverage technology: Use call tracking and recording tools to analyze your calls and make improvements.
  6. Time your calls: Schedule your calls strategically to maximize your chances of connecting with prospects. Studies suggest that calling prospects on Wednesdays and Thursdays, just before lunch or near the end of the day, yields better results.

Tips for cold emails

  1. Craft an engaging subject line: A compelling subject line piques the recipient’s interest and increases email open rates. Based on the subject line, 47% of email recipients decide if they’re going to open an email and 69% decide whether or not to report emails as spam.
  2. Personalize your message: Tailor your email to the individual prospect, addressing their pain points and needs.
  3. Keep it concise: Get to the point and keep your email concise. Busy professionals appreciate brevity. There’s no need for fluff.
  4. Include a clear Call to Action (CTA): Specify the action you want the recipient to take, whether it’s scheduling a call, downloading a resource, or replying to your email.
  5. Test and optimize: A/B test different email elements like subject lines, content, and CTA buttons to find what works best.
  6. Segment your lists: Segment your email lists based on factors like industry, job role, or location for more targeted messaging. 

The follow-up game: what happens next?

The follow-up game: what happens next?

You’ve made the initial contact, whether through a compelling cold call or a well-crafted cold email. But what happens next? This is where the follow-up game comes into play. It’s a critical aspect of sales outreach that can turn initial interest into a solid lead.

Persistence and maintaining contact are key components in securing demonstrations, meetings, and conversions. Nevertheless, striking a balance between persistence and the risk of appearing annoying or spammy is crucial.

Strategies for effective follow-up

  • Set a schedule: Establish a follow-up schedule that includes emails, calls, or other forms of communication.
  • Provide value: Each follow-up should add value. You can do this by sharing helpful resources, insights, or solutions. By doing this, you show your prospects that you can help them with their pain points.
  • Be persistent, not pushy: Persistence is key, but avoid being overly aggressive or intrusive in your follow-up attempts.
  • Leverage automation: Use automation tools to streamline and schedule follow-up messages.
  • Personalize: Tailor each follow-up to the prospect’s previous interactions and responses.
  • Listen and adjust: Pay attention to how prospects respond to your follow-ups and adjust your approach accordingly.

The follow-up game is where sales professionals truly shine. It’s the bridge between that first connection and a closed deal. Now, let’s uncover the pro move that seasoned sales pros swear by: blending the power of cold calls and cold emails.

The pro move: blending cold calls and cold emails

A sales rep who knows how to blend cold calls and cold emails

When it comes to sales outreach, the pros know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they rely on a powerful strategy—the fusion of cold calling and cold emailing. It’s a dynamic approach that leverages the strengths of both methods and delivers a one-two punch that’s hard to resist.

Integrating these two methods will enable you to craft a comprehensive approach that effectively reaches your target audience. By synergizing your various cold outreach campaign efforts, you can maximize the benefits of both methods while minimizing their drawbacks.

Here’s an example of how you can implement this:

  • Warm-up with cold emails: Begin with a well-crafted cold email. It serves as an initial soft touch, introducing yourself and your offering.
  • Follow up with a personal call: Once the prospect has seen your email, follow up with a personalized cold call. They’ll be more likely to remember your name and your message.
  • Build on the connection: The email and the call complement each other, building a stronger connection and increasing your chances of success.

Additional resources from the TaskDrive team

We’ve gathered some of the resources we’ve made in the past that can help you level up your cold calling and cold emailing strategies:

  1. The Complete Cold Calling Guide for SDRs
  2. Cracking the Code: How to Find Your Best Leads with Boolean Searches on Linkedin
  3. The Ultimate Cold Email Outreach Guide You Need
  4. How to Revolutionize Your Outbound Sales Strategies with ChatGPT, Your Outreach Assistant
  5. How to Optimize Subject Lines for Email Outreach Campaigns

Ready to use this powerful combo to supercharge your sales?

In the world of sales outreach, the decision between cold calls and cold emails is not about choosing one over the other—it’s about harnessing the power of both.

Each method brings its unique strengths, and the pros know that the real magic happens when you blend these approaches. Whether you warm up your leads with a well-crafted cold email campaign or engage them with a personalized call, it’s all about building relationships and connecting with your audience.

The pro move is to blend cold calls and cold emails, integrating their strengths to create a comprehensive and effective sales outreach strategy. By experimenting and fine-tuning your approach, you can unlock the full potential of your sales efforts and drive your business and sales teams toward greater success.

So, are you ready to master the art of cold outreach and propel your sales to new heights? Our team of professionals is ready to provide you with high-quality lead generation and lead research services, ensuring you connect with the right prospects.

Don’t wait. Contact TaskDrive today and unlock the full potential of your sales efforts.

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