"When was the last time someone cold called you at work and actually got you interested in doing business with them?"
Here's the big problem with that question: people don't buy the way you buy!"
"B2B marketers reported cold calling as their third-highest quality lead generation channel." The author, Derek Singleton, continues by saying "the Web has afforded us other ways that make it easier to identify leads without cold calling. For instance, prospects might download your white paper, visit your website, or follow you on Twitter."
The white paper lead gen trick is getting over-played and there are studies that show many people don't read the white paper. The white paper (or e-book) is a marketing tactic; cold calling a sales tactic.
You can certainly improve cold calling techniques by improving your list. If your list consists of companies that can benefit from your offering and you can be specific about that, your results improve.
If you target a vertical and tailor an offering directly to that vertical, your results will improve.
The biggest obstacles to cold calling success are voicemail and no-answers.
The problem with B2B tactics like twitter and white papers is that it is marketing not sales. Certainly, companies that perform marketing campaigns will generate more leads if the marketing is clear, repeated and aimed at the prospective customer.
Cold calling is a must for a company with a very specific customer base, like Caterpillar or Boeing.
Is a good tactic for telecom? It is a requirement, because service providers (for the most part) do not have a brand; do little effective marketing; and lack a unique value proposition. Some of this is due to the nature of telecom, where executives think that everyone is a customer. Being unable to determine who a hot prospect is or who your service offering will best benefit seems to be a symptom of telecommunications companies.