How to Revive Cold Leads with Account-Based Networking

Adam Michalski
April 25, 2022

Revived cold leads are sometimes the best-performing leads. 

Take it from Patrick Purvis, former Chief Revenue Officer at DiscoverOrg. His team revived cold leads that led to an increase in close rates by 10%, an average of 1.6 new opportunities per sales rep, and more engaged prospects. 

But what’s a revived cold lead? You could view a revived cold lead as a dormant lead — someone who was probably a warm lead at some point in the sales pipeline but dropped off the radar for one or more of these reasons: 

  • Something happened along the way. Maybe the person got caught up in the holiday season or went away for a long vacation and lost track.
  • You waited too long to follow up. Data shows that “80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting, but 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.”
  • The prospect has been putting you off despite your follow-up attempts. 

Cold leads can be revived, but many sales teams don’t have a clear strategy for preventing leads from getting cold in the first place. And no, we’re not suggesting badgering dormant leads with calls and emails. 

Enter account-based networking (ABN).

ABN is the solution for creating mutually beneficial partnerships that lead to closing more deals. So, let’s dive into what ABN is and how it can help you and your team revive cold leads.

What is account-based networking?

ABN allows you to tap into your target buyer’s sphere of influence. Traditionally, connecting with prospects has been about cold calling and cold emailing the heck out of people hoping that someone would be interested enough to follow through with a purchase. 

But cold calling and cold emailing on their own don’t have very high success rates. John Jantsch said it well when he quoted facts he heard Mahan Khalsa share at a conference.

“Cold calling results in about a 1-3% success rate for getting an initial appointment and it’s generally abusive to both parties. When that same call is made with a referral, the rate jumps up to 40% and even much higher when that referral comes from within the company.”

The secret is to get referrals that lead to conversations with the right people. That’s why tapping into your target buyer’s sphere of influence is important. This sphere represents a group of people and brands who your target buyer turns to for product recommendations when problems arise. 

With ABN, you’re creating a network of salespeople who fit into various spheres of influence. This salespeople network shares prospect introductions, recommendations, and information to mutually close deals, together. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

How to harness your account-based network to revive cold leads

Remember that revived cold leads aren’t people who’re completely unaware of your company and what it offers. The three tips that follow focus on how ABN can help you get your foot in the door and remove your cold leads from dormancy to purchase. 

  1. Connect with sales professionals who’ve already sold to that company

Partnered has a Collaborative Inbox feature that allows you to connect with other sales professionals who’ve closed deals with target buyers. Here’s what a possible conversation would look like. 

It’s through arranging these meetings that you’ll learn:

  • The best times to approach prospects
  • What matters most to your prospects
  • How to close deals with prospects

Pete Caputa, CEO of Databox and one of the key players in developing HubSpot’s partner program, explained the power of using partnerships to make these connections during a Partnered podcast interview. HubSpot’s sales team was having great conversations with marketing agencies, expecting that these conversations would lead to a huge influx of clients. They didn’t. 

At the time, HubSpot’s inbound marketing methodology was a fairly new concept.  Their focus had to shift to building strategic relationships with forward-thinking marketing agencies. That’s when Pete began training these agencies to sell HubSpot’s products to their clients. The rest is history. HubSpot’s partnership program grew to 50% of overall revenue. 

The point? Collaborate with strategic partners who can give you the right information, refer you to the right people, and also help you sell your product to your target buyer. Notice the word collaboration — you have to be willing to give as much as you’re expecting to receive. 

      2. Use surround sound to connect with other strategic people within the company

Surround sound in ABN refers to the art of influencing prospects by getting multiple voices in the mix. Your sales partners may not have direct access to the CMO but some may have access to Senior Account Managers, the CFO, and other key people within the organization. Leverage these connections. 

Here are two tips for using surround sound effectively:

  • Build relationships with a wide group of sales professionals, not only sales professionals within your niche. 
  • Track your conversations with other sales professionals so that you can keep tabs on those who help you consistently build relationships that influence revenue. 

      3. Improve your lead response time by building stronger relationships

Research conducted by Lead Response Management reveals that “you’re 21x more likely to qualify your lead with a fast response time than waiting 30+ minutes.” ABN helps you revive cold leads much faster. Here are some tips you can use to make this possible:

  • Set up automation systems that alert you when a warm lead has gone cold. 
  • Use a partner ecosystem tool, such as Partnered, to identify sales professionals within your network who’ve closed deals with people within the company where your warm lead works (maybe even with that particular cold lead).
  • Start a conversation with these sales professionals and come to mutually beneficial agreements. 
  • Get a warm introduction to the right person within your target organization, work your magic, and close the deal. 

Revive Cold Leads Faster with Partnered 

ABN is easier with Partnered. You get access to a wide network of sales professionals across industries who’re ready to help refer you to the right people. Your lead response time for dormant leads will improve and you’ll get access to more people within the company.  

Sign up if you'd like to learn more about how Partnered can help you get the most out of partnerships and eliminate wasteful cold calling and prospecting. 


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