Will Cold Calling Work for a Startup?

By:  David Cummings  ~

Earlier today I had the opportunity to talk with an entrepreneur that has a successful Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup. He’s been at it for a few years and the business is growing nicely. Naturally, a question that’s top of mind for him is how to grow even faster. After I mentioned that cold calling works well for us, he started asking a number of questions.

Here’s how I like to think through if cold calling will work for a startup:

  • Markets that suffer from a lack of market awareness are ripe for cold calling (e.g. the technology is ready, the ROI proven, but people just don’t know about it yet)
  • Products with a high lifetime value, and gross margin, help make cold calling more viable
  • Test cold calling on a list of prospects by hiring a college intern for $15/hour and see how many people answer the phone, how many people engage in a conversation, how many people schedule a demo — shoot for at least 50 calls per day
  • Ensure that social proof and case studies are readily available to educate the potential prospect

Cold calling one of the most under utilized, but effective, method of B2B sales. Startups would do well to experiment with it and figure out how to make it work in their organization.

What else? What are some other ways to know if cold calling will work for a startup?

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