A Cold Day in Tel(esales)

22 Oct 2013

I hate cold calling. Years ago, when I worked for a different company, I would spend about one day every month or two making cold calls. It was always a depressing day. The people I was calling didn’t really want to talk and were often quite short in their responses. Basically, I spent the day calling people who weren’t expecting my call, didn’t really want to hear from me, and, usually, didn’t have any problem with telling me so. Like I said, a depressing day.

The problem was, although they were our “target audience,” they hadn’t expressed any particular interest in our product. We didn’t know very much about them, really only their name and job title. We would send them an email and then carry out a follow up call a few days later. They hadn’t clicked through or sent through an enquiry, we just ran through our email list and called everyone.

If we had been using a CRM system, we could have tracked the people who had clicked a link and/or sent through an enquiry, targeting our approach. This would have resulted in me spending maybe 2 hours calling a small group of potentially interested people instead of 8 hours of hang ups and the occasional annoyed tirade.

I can’t really blame those people for being annoyed, I hate getting cold calls almost as much as I hate making them. When I do get a cold sales call, I try to be as polite in refusing as I can because I know what it is like to be on the other side of that very depressing day. I do think to myself, however, that they could spare themselves a lot of time and grief if they only called those people who had expressed an interest.

A good CRM system would help them organise and target those people who are really interested in their product, ensuring that the money they spend on marketing and telesales is worth spending. I can’t help but feel that if my old company had been using a well implemented CRM system, I wouldn’t have had so many depressing days of cold calling.