A number of pundits have foretold the death of cold calling in the sales process for many years.  Certainly the old days of “smiling and dialing” are no longer effective.  Attempts to replace this practice with auto-dialers and technology platforms that “slam” calls are losing luster in the B2C market, and have questionable effectiveness for B2B campaigning.  In fact Europe is already seeing a significant backlash to firms that practice the machine vs. man techniques of volume calling to reach a live person. Current conventional wisdom holds that forms of electronic communication like email, texts, “tweets” and other on-line dialog are the preferred method of interaction between buyers and sellers … but is this really true in the B2B world? In the end, wouldn’t we all prefer to qualify prospects (and vice versa) with a live conversation?  Can electronic methods ever provide the ability to judge sentiment, emotion, and the thoughtfulness that occurs when we simply talk to someone? Many publications, on-line sources and industry experts report that sales focused organizations are deploying more and more inside sales teams for lead generation, prospecting, pipeline development and account management activities.  The lower cost of entry, shorter ramp up times and ease of deployment (remote, home based agents, etc.) has fueled this growth.  Empowering this new wave of inside sales specialists are a host of SaaS, Cloud-based, Web 2.0 and Sales 2.0 platforms and tools that deliver significant enhancements to the selling process … and also an increase in cold calling strategies leveraging these new capabilities to drive unprecedented levels of productivity and sales efficiency. What if your sales organization had the ability to determine connect and conversion rates with target decision makers?  Or measure the effectiveness of your messaging and value proposition?  Understand when (by time of day and day of week), and (persistence in prospecting) direct contact will insure the highest possibility of connection success?  And if you could review and manage this data in real time, and increase your number of meaningful conversations by 50, 100 or 300%, how would this impact your pipeline and forecast? Today’s successful selling organizations are deploying a new order of sales professional equipped with technology that enables these results and more. So is cold calling dead?  Probably for some, but the new breed of inside sales professionals and managers understand the benefits and importance of meaningful, personal, voice to voice conversations.