The Comprehensive Guide to Warm Calling

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Cold calls have always been a staple sales technique used in sales outreach. Even if the closing rate for cold calling averages a measly 2%, it’s still a sales strategy that many experts swear upon.

However, cold calling doesn’t necessarily give the fastest and most visible results—even if you’re spending a considerable amount of time, money, and resources securing one-on-one face time with companies. Worse, when done wrong, cold calling can leave a bad impression on your prospects.

On the other hand, warm calling does the opposite. Unlike cold calls, warm calls encourage you to spend more time and attention on the temperature of the prospect rather than the call itself. Because warm calls try to reel in prospective customers who have already expressed interest in your business one way or another, you actually stand a better chance to close the deal.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into what warm calling is, how it differs from cold calling, and why it is a noteworthy approach to supercharge your sales.

Understanding the concept of warm calls

Sales agent conducting cold calling exercises

Warm calling isn’t a new or complex concept. In a gist, implementing warm calls is a sales outreach technique that deals with prospects and customers who already have some form of prior engagement or interaction with your brand. Because these people are already aware of your business and have shown interest in your product or service, they are likely to be more receptive to your offer compared to complete strangers.

Unlike cold calling, warm calling is personalized, involves less sales friction, and is generally more conducive to conversion. Let’s dig a little deeper to better understand this concept.

What is warm calling?

Investopedia defines warm calling as “the opposite of cold calling,” a sales call or any sales interaction that follows “some sort of contact with the prospect.” 

In essence, warm calls can be a first call or a follow-up to prior sales interactions you had with your prospects. It can come out of networking at a conferencing event, an email campaign, a referral, or any other activity that introduces prospects to your product or service.

Cold calling’s success largely relies on the volume of the sales calls you make, but warm calling hinges on the temperature of the prospect. Ask yourself these questions when thinking about potential customers:

  • Are they ‘warm enough’ to consider your offer? 
  • Have they been exposed to your brand yet? 
  • Do you have a pre-existing relationship with this prospect? 

These questions determine your prospect’s warmth towards your product or service, reflecting their likelihood to convert into paying customers or clients. 

However, this doesn’t automatically mean that you should pounce right away and attempt to close the sale. Similar to cold calling, the key to warm calling is to be efficient and strategic with your communication—which means adding value, building trust, and then closing the deal.

2 major benefits of warm calling

Sales agent interacting with warm leads for a sales pitch

Warm calling is a powerful outreach technique and offers plenty of advantages, with these two as the major highlights: better conversion and engagement.

Warm calling has greater chances of success

Those who do warm calling are also 51% more likely to meet or exceed their given quotas, per LinkedIn’s Social Selling study. Since warm calls target higher-quality leads and prospects who have already interacted and engaged with your business, your business already has a foot in the door.

Using warm calling techniques, in fact, enables 78% of B2B sales representatives to outsell their peers, according to LinkedIn.  Unlike cold calls, warm calls also have a much higher conversion rate at 20% (up to 70%—a metric that can be attributed to the already-existing relationship and trust with the prospect. 

You are also 4.2x more likely to schedule a meeting with prospects who have already interacted with your business than those who haven’t yet.

Warm calling builds stronger relationships with prospects

The key objective of warm calls is to nurture and deepen your relationship with prospects. It allows salespeople to connect with prospects right from the start by referencing the prospect’s previous interaction with your company.

According to a study from CSO Insights, warm calling techniques allow 31% of B2B salespeople to build deeper connections and relationships with their customers.

What are the differences between cold calling and warm calling?

Sales person conducting cold calling strategy on a potential customer

Let us count the ways that a cold call differs from a warm call:

Cold calling

  • Involves reaching prospects who have never heard about your business at all
  • Is based on general research
  • Usually means that the higher the volume of your calls, the less qualified the leads may be
  • Usually happens early in the sales process
  • Has a lower success rate

Warm calling

  • Involves reaching prospects with prior interactions with your business
  • Is based on personalized search
  • Has a lower volume of calls but better-qualified leads
  • Comes later in the sales process
  • Has a higher success rate

Now, the key difference between cold calling and warm calling doesn’t hinge solely on which approach is more successful. Both approaches work and suit particular use cases. 

For example: Because of the volume of calls and how unaware the prospects are, cold calling is better executed early in the sales process, while warm calling is in the later parts of the sales process.

Cold calling or warm calling—which is better for you?

Cold call vs warm call: Sales representatives weighing the difference

Both cold calling and warm calling come with their respective positives and negatives. And as we have illustrated, each one suits certain use cases. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of cold calling and warm calling.

The pros and cons of cold calling

  • Pro: Cold calls expose you to brand-new customers—increasing brand awareness and reach.
  • Pro: Because it happens early in the sales process, cold calling is an effective means of weeding out bad leads and/or uninterested customers right off the bat
  • Con: The lack of prior connection or interaction with leads makes for inconsistent results.
  • Con: In some cases, cold calls or even cold emails result in getting flagged as ‘spam’ or ‘fraudulent’

The pros and cons of warm calling

  • Pro: Since warm calls deal with leads who are already aware of your brand, they may be more likely to become customers—especially if all they needed was a simple nudge
  • Pro: Having a personalized approach lets you develop stronger customer relationships and can tailor the value you provide to their specific needs.
  • Con: SDRs sometimes struggle to conduct warm calls since they are more personalized.

So, which sales call horn are you leaning towards? Well, the truth is, there’s no wrong or right answer.

Perhaps, a more productive question is why not both? With both sales strategies in place, you have the opportunity to introduce your brand to a bigger pool of prospective customers and at the same time nurture deep relationships with better-qualified prospects.

5 tips for effective warm calling

A prospect receiving a call from a sales rep

Mastering warm calls is all about making a connection with the prospect. The key to your success lies in building solid trust, understanding your pain points, and offering great value. Below are some actionable tips to help you execute warm calling effectively.

1. Do your (personalized) research

Do your homework. Research the individual or company you’re contacting extensively. This will translate into your conversation as you demonstrate genuine interest. Get a good grasp of the prospect’s industry, products, services and tailor the call to their specific needs. Pro tip: Use AI tools like ChatGPT for more efficient lead research.

2. Build rapport and trust

Approach every call with a genuine desire to establish rapport and earn trust. Greet your prospect warmly. Be friendly—but not so casual that you might come across as unprofessional. Actively listening to them will show your empathy and ability to understand your situation. Prepare a spiel, but make sure you don’t sound too robotic and be ready to adjust depending on the flow of the conversation.

3. Listen closely to their pain points

Effective warm calling isn’t about pitching right away. It’s about understanding the unique pain points your prospect has and how your business might be of help. To this end, you can ask open-ended questions so they can elaborate on their problems. Pay close attention to nonverbal cues, as sometimes those speak louder volumes. 

4. Clearly outline the next steps

Once you have established rapport and collected everything you need to know about your prospect, it’s time to let them know about what’s next. This bit is crucial. You want to efficiently and clearly articulate your value proposition and why this next step makes sense for them. Offer a concise and compelling rundown of what should happen next.

5. Follow up regularly (but within reason)

Warm calling isn’t a one-off contact. It’s an ongoing process. Nurture the relationship by following up within the agreed-upon timeframe. Demonstrate professionalism by avoiding excessive follow-ups and offering value with each attempt at contact. Personalize each message and address any specific concern they have. You can check out this guide on how to send follow-up emails after a call.

5 steps to craft a successful warm call script

Sales teams and marketing team studying a sales script for potential clients and hot prospects

If you’re looking to do warm calling at scale, it might pay to craft a script that streamlines your communications. It will increase your productivity, improve success rates, and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with sales outreach.

Here’s a simple structure you can follow when crafting your warm call scripts:

  • Introduce yourself and your brand. Tell them who you are in a friendly but professional manner. Quickly reference a mutual connection, a recent industry event, or a sales interaction that can help establish instant rapport and trust. Remember: you only have 15 seconds to make a lasting impression. Make it count!
  • Break the ice. Take a moment to break the ice with a story, a quip, or a personal anecdote. It doesn’t have to be theater; just making human connections. HubSpot cites rapport-building as one of the most important aspects of sales calls.
  • Align expectations. Clearly articulate the objective of your call. Avoid blanket statements; if possible, personalize the message by tailoring the call objective to solving your prospect’s pain points.
  • Provide solutions. Aligned with the previous point, you’ll want to offer solutions to your prospect’s problems. Pay close attention to what they share to be their main pain points and present your product or service as an asset that can solve their problems.
  • Guide the next steps. Propose a clear and concise call to action for your next steps. This can be scheduling a demo of your product or providing extra resources. Avoid hard-selling. Let your industry knowledge and genuine desire to help shine through.

Here’s a bonus tip: Make sure to personalize and practice your scripts. The last thing you want is to sound too robotic or disingenuous. Let your personality shine through in your calls. People are more likely to do business with someone they like and trust.

Additional resources from the TaskDrive team

We’ve collected a handful of resources that you might think to be interesting. These will help you elevate your sales outreach tactics, including warm calling.

  1. Sales Outreach 101: Choosing Between Cold Calls vs Cold Emails
  2. How to Revolutionize Your Outbound Sales Strategies with ChatGPT, Your Outreach Assistant
  3. The Ultimate Cold Email Outreach Guide You Need
  4. The Complete Cold Calling Guide for SDRs
  5. Cracking the Code: How to Find Your Best Leads with Boolean Searches on Linkedin

Are you ready to convert warm calls into steady sales?

Sales reps looking at graphs and analytics

True, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to sales outreach. After all, every sales tactic has its own unique function and strength. Though powerful, warm calling should not be the only weapon in your sales arsenal.

With a strategic combination of cold, warm, and hot calling outreach activities, you can unlock the full potential of your process and help propel growth to your business. Our team of experts is ready to help you find and connect your sales professionals with the most qualified prospects. Contact TaskDrive today and tap into a steady stream of leads and sales.

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