Cold Calling vs. Cold Emailing: How to Lead Highly Effective Sales Prospecting Conversations

The essence of all sales-oriented activities is trust; and trust is built when sellers accurately understand the prospect’s business problem, create value proactively, and establish credibility—all of which can be achieved through dialogue.

Some sellers decide to lean on cold emailing to engage with their prospective buyers and build long-term relationships. Others swear by cold calling to get on their prospects’ radar and lead highly effective conversations.


Although the phone call is still the primary method of contacting prospects, Ryan O’Hara, VP of Growth and Marketing at LeadIQ, is amplifying a simple truth for sellers:


“You should start all your cold prospecting with an email.”

Why Cold Calling Is a Less Effective Prospecting Option

Many enterprises are increasingly deactivating desk phones for all employees or, as the case may be, relying on strict no-use policies regarding cell phones at work.

When the typical worker spends a total of five hours and 52 minutes each day to check email, cold calling does sellers a disservice as it threatens to push prospective connections out of reach—and not just because prospects are rapidly moving away from phones.

Not only does it take an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect, but it also is increasingly difficult to get the key decision-maker or influencer on the phone. Decision-makers are notoriously busy and it’s estimated that 90% of them never answer a cold call.
Even if a decision-maker picks up the phone and that conversation turns into an appointment, 40% of the appointments set over the phone will not show up for the meeting.

How Cold Emails Boost Your Outreach

Sometimes, a phone call takes much longer than it should—and typically, few prospects like being put on the spot.

By contrast, “email is non-threatening—[prospective clients] can reply when they want to, they don’t have to have a conversation on the spot. Email gives the customer more freedom,” explains Scott Mark, Sales Director at XANT.ai.

Emailing is convenient and, in many cases, it helps SDRs quickly filter out uninterested targets to spend more time interacting with qualified prospects. Additionally, email allows sellers to better prepare for overturning the prospect’s objection and rebuilding rapport.

Sellers can also increase interactivity with their prospecting emails. Incorporating visual elements or attaching client case studies may swiftly grab the prospect’s attention—and hold it.

Finding the Perfect Balance of Cold Calling/Cold Emailing

“Everyone that’s in sales should be touching the phone,” encourages Adam Springer, the Founder of StartupSales.

All that matters is when you pick up the phone and start dialing.


Gather timely and valid contact data on your prospects and lay the groundwork for sales success by writing an email that is personalized to their specific needs; then, after building up credibility and trust, set up a mutually convenient time to talk.

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