Cold calling is a sales and marketing technique used to reach out to potential customers who may or may not have shown interest in a business’s products or services. It’s an effective way to fill pipelines with quality leads and has become even more valuable in the post-pandemic era, where B2B teams increasingly sell remotely via phones and video conferencing.

B2B products and services are often complex and require personalized, detailed descriptions to communicate their value and influence decision-making. Compared to B2C, B2B transactions typically involve larger values, more stakeholders, a longer sales process, and a more nuanced approach.

Sales strategist Michael Humblet explains the key differences between B2C and B2B sales in this video:

To progress deals toward closing, salespeople must build relationships with decision-makers, and cold calling is an important tool in achieving this. It enables sales teams to engage with prospects, demonstrate the value of their product or service, and establish trust. Additionally, cold calling allows for personalized conversations that can uncover pain points that may not be revealed through other channels.

Types of Cold Calling Campaigns

Companies employ cold calling to achieve various ends. The type of campaign you should run depends on your sales and marketing goals.

Lead generation

Cold calling is primarily used for B2B lead generation campaigns. For these, sales teams conduct research on prospects to identify and qualify leads for potential business opportunities. Cold calls can then qualify inbound leads collected through lead capture forms or reach outbound prospects. An example of a proven cold call lead generation technique is appointment setting.

Lead nurturing and sales follow-up

Businesses employ cold calls to nurture leads and gear them up for a potential deal. They do so through speaking to prospects, obtaining information about their needs, and providing offers that add value. SDRs utilize cold calls to follow up on hot prospects and close deals with pre-qualified leads.

Inbound sales support

Companies provide sales support for clients who use their services through telemarketing. This strategy helps personalize the customer experience, build brand loyalty, and boost revenue. 

Event marketing

Consider using cold calls to send invites for webinars, meetings, and industry sales events. Many organizations take this approach to provide information about the event and offer incentives to encourage registration and attendance. 

Benefits of Cold Calling Telemarketing

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Direct communication

Salespeople capitalize on cold calls to interact directly with leads, which opens an opportunity to learn about their needs firsthand. While pre-call research is helpful, conversing on the phone allows salespeople to learn what truly matters to the prospect.

SDRs can tailor subsequent calls to create stronger value propositions and demonstrate a genuine interest in the prospect and their business. 

Greater reach 

With cold calling, you can reach many prospects within a short time. Sales teams are able to contact hundreds of prospects daily, increasing the probability of generating leads and closing deals. 

Cold calling also increases brand awareness by touching prospects who didn’t know about your business previously. A good cold call is your chance to make a solid first impression.

Better lead quality

By making a high volume of cold calls, businesses can produce lists of warm leads for nurturing. This improves lead quality and conversion rates by building a strong list of potential prospects.

Practical professional development

Managers can coach SDRs on the art of cold calling using specific scenarios as on-the-job training. This helps employees quickly improve their communication, prospecting, active listening, and other critical sales skills. 

Rich feedback 

Cold calling creates a valuable feedback channel for your product, service, and outreach methods. Responses from potential customers can uncover issues in your sales process, allowing you to make necessary adjustments. 

Karen Green, CEO of Buyerology, affirms this benefit: “Cold calling doesn’t have to end up in a sale but can give personalized feedback on the offer which is useful for adapting the marketing and selling further down the line.” 

Effective targeted campaigns 

Cold calling is an effective strategy for targeted outreach campaigns. When promoting a product, service, or feature that’s useful to certain companies, cold calling enables you to streamline your outreach and focus on specific audiences.


Despite up-front expenses like software, CRM tools, and phone plans, cold calling is a cost-effective option for boosting sales. Its remote nature slashes the cost of electricity, rent, and other overhead expenses associated with alternative sales strategies.

You also don’t need a large team to implement a cold calling strategy since one person can make multiple calls. This saves on hiring costs, as you only need a few trained sales professionals with the right skills to handle prospects.

Roman Milyushkevich, chief sales officer at Scrape It Cloud, praises cold calling as a cost-effective sales technique. According to him, “When done strategically, cold calling can be a sustainable and economic model that converts leads faster. It is a cheaper way to reach potential customers, build a personal connection, interact in real-time, answer queries, and analyze customer interest based on responses.”

Challenges of Cold Calling Telemarketing


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Cold calling is a long process. When salespeople run through a list of prospects, many of them don’t pick up, with 80% of cold calls going to voicemail.1 Some of them last only a few seconds before the prospect hangs up. 

The average length of a successful cold call is about five minutes and 50 seconds, and SDRs have to complete lists with hundreds of phone numbers. 

Inconsistent results

The results of a cold calling campaign can be unpredictable, with success rates around 2%.2 Many factors contribute to the efficacy of this outreach, and salespeople have only broad tips to help them improve their performance.

This makes it unpredictable for companies without deep experience to use cold calling as a lead generation strategy. If you’re unsure about your cold calling bonafides, consider outsourcing to a cold calling service or using a combination of cold calling and other methods such as email, social media, and content marketing.

Annoyed customers

Most prospects don’t appreciate unexpected calls; they’re unscheduled and may be inconvenient for the recipient. 

To avoid annoying prospects, timing is key. Research has shown there are optimal times to cold call prospects, so take advantage of this information to improve your success rate.

Competing forms of communication

The popularity of social media, instant messaging, email, and video chat has made decision-makers less receptive to phone calls. As a result, salespeople struggle to get their foot in the door and make an impactful impression during a cold call. 

To combat this challenge, create an omnichannel lead generation strategy that reaches prospects across various channels. By using multiple forms of communication, such as phone and email, you can increase your chances of success and remain competitive in a crowded market.

Spammy activities

Cold calling functions have gained a bad rep thanks to unscrupulous individuals who run spammy campaigns. These scams have discouraged many decision-makers from engaging with cold callers.

Although it’s become more difficult to incorporate cold calling into your sales and marketing strategies, focus on providing value. Train your sales teams to communicate effectively and build long-term relationships with prospects to foster trust.


What’s better: cold calling or door-to-door sales?

This generally depends on the product or service involved. Some offerings enjoy better results from cold calling, while others may need a face-to-face presentation to achieve full effect. B2B products and services often start with a cold call and aim to book an appointment, which initiates a physical product assessment.

What types of businesses rely on cold calling?

B2B service providers top the list of companies that use cold calling services. Businesses that create products and services for other businesses rely on this tactic to generate leads and build rapport with potential customers. Insurance companies, real estate management firms, financial institutions, and some non-profit organizations also use cold calling as part of their revenue generation strategy.

Conclusion: Should You Use Cold Calls?

Cold calling is a valuable method for generating new, highly qualified leads, but it can be time-consuming and produce inconsistent results. 

Before making cold calling your preferred strategy, weigh the pros and cons outlined above and consider other techniques. Determine whether it aligns with your organizational goals and its potential to further them. Develop an effective cold calling strategy that boosts productivity and aligns with your organizational goals.