February 11, 2008 7:25 PM
I run the sales and business development team at my company. I have been in a similar position as you were, and believe I can offer you some advice (hopefully good advice).
1. Cold calling works.
2. Cold calling works better when it's not COLD.
3. There are many ways to "warm up" the cold call. In case you aren't completely familiar with the methods available: do due diligence on the company and build a virtual org chart of the contacts you can find using online networks like jigsaw, ryze, Linkedin.com, facebook, myspace, etc.
4. Bring some value to the call, and absolutely make sure you can demonstrate that value in <30 seconds
5. Support your calling campaigns with direct mail, e-mail, Internet, traditional mediums. A multi-pronged methodology has the highest chance of resonance and the rapid creation of positive brand awareness
6. Monitor, meaure, motivate and MANAGE.... if you don't keep an eye on the sales force, don't set goals, don't push them to give a little extra.... the chance of them reaching your projections are slim to none. You've got to be one part cheerleader, one part leader, one part SME, one part creative consultant. Whatever it takes!