cold callingI recently asked a diverse group for feedback on the phenomenon I call “Inbounditis” (check out this PowerMinute, How to Diagnose if Inbounditis is Killing Your Sales Pipeline). Their responses indicate to me that the zombies chanting “cold calling is dead, cold calling is dead” may be greatly exaggerating the death of outbound marketing.

“Inbound is definitely critical for marketing in today's overwhelming informational environments. But I'd argue that inbound doesn't actually work without outbound. It's all in how you incorporate the two disciplines.” -- Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions

“To grow your business, you have to reach out to people you don’t know and don’t know you. If they aren’t downloading content, then you have to try something else. Welcome to reality.” -- Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic

“This is the conversation that many in Inbound marketing do not want to talk about, but is critical to have. The fact that outbound prospecting STILL offers clear, successful results is contrary to many who claim inbound is all one needs. Our preference is a combination of outbound, inbound and referral selling. Love the ‘allbound’ term.” -- Lori Richardson, Score More Sales

“The most reliable and scalable approach to finding new B2B customers is outbound communications – whether one is using mail, phone or email, or using rented or purchased lists.” -- Ruth Stevens, eMarketing Strategy

“Lately there has been a lot of talk about the ‘power’ of inbound marketing and the importance of being extremely active with social media and this idea that cold calling is dead etc. ... and to be quite honest I have been a little irritated by these comments. I still adhere to the fact that most of the people making them are not able to sell themselves and have for years been looking for an excuse and an easier approach and now they have it!” -- Dave Kurlan, Dave Kurlan Baseline Selling

“Whether you reach out to anyone within earshot and or only call people who were referred to you, you have to begin the conversation some time. That first call is pretty darn ‘cold’ no matter how delightfully bad-ass your pitch might be. They are new to you and you are new to them. It doesn’t matter whether the Pope or the President of the United States is your referrer, you have to make an opening gesture and begin a journey that might actually end in failure. It seems kind of silly to prolong that process in the hopes that someone else might help you shortcut that process.” -- Dan Waldschmidt

“Almost daily I see social media folks with good intentions suggest that cold calling is dead. They (incorrectly) write that selling is dead, that no one likes salespeople, and that even salespeople don’t like being salespeople. With good hearts, they suggest things like changing your title to disguise that fact that you’re in sales. They insist that you abandon your outbound efforts and find your way to the Promised Land that is inbound marketing. In their mind, the ideas are mutually exclusive: you are either an old-school salesperson or you are enlightened, social-media wielding, non-salesperson. Unless you want a career change imposed on you in the not-to-distant future, you should ignore this advice.” -- Anthony Iannarino, The Sales Blog

While this blog is a couple of years old, it is still one of my favorites. Trish Bertuzzi writes: “It is the cold that’s dead, not the calling.”

For a few years now marketing’s biggest lie is that inbound is king and the outbound marketing is dead. The Big Truth is that balance is king. 

About the Author

FDan McDade is President and CEO of PointClear, LLC, a prospect development firm that helps B2B companies drive revenue by nurturing leads, engaging contacts and developing prospects until they're ready to purchase.