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A model for lead conversions through cold calling in startup B2B services firms in India: a sense-making derivation

Abishek Santhosh Raj (Management Studies, NSB Academy, Bangalore, India)
Shameem Shagirbasha (Management, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India)
Kumar Madhan (Management Studies, NSB Academy, Bangalore, India)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 22 March 2021

Issue publication date: 31 August 2022




Cold calling being one of the most preferred modes of sales strategies in the past, with all digital platforms setting in, is it still the best option a B2B service firm has? To seek answer to this interesting question is the purpose of this paper. The study seeks to understand the contributions of both the sales force and the digital marketing team towards lead conversion. The paper also aims to derive a sense-making model for lead conversion based on a few propositions of the study.


The authors have adopted mixed method approach. The authors have chosen a small enterprise offering B2B services to understand the sales process. The past one-year cold calling data were analyzed. In addition, 15 in-depth interviews were conducted among the managers and the executives of the firm. The study adopts the AIDA model of customer response and the stages of selling process to better map the sales process of the firm. Based on the analysis, a new model is proposed to aid lead conversions.


The findings suggest that cold calling is not an effective mode of sales strategies in this case as the firm experienced a very low conversion rate. However, with the integration of digital marketing efforts with sales process, the sales team could achieve higher conversion rate.


Very few studies in the literature examines the effectiveness of cold calling strategy integrated with digital marketing efforts. This is one of the few studies examining cold calling strategy in B2B service firm in India.



Raj, A.S., Shagirbasha, S. and Madhan, K. (2022), "A model for lead conversions through cold calling in startup B2B services firms in India: a sense-making derivation", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 370-384.



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