This was pushed to me on twitter by Kim Arnold. The statistic is valuable reminder of the importance of your personal network and brand.
It always surprises the number of sales individuals who do not seek a referral since it is the warmest way to open a conversation (besides inbound). I think this is due to not knowing what to send to support the referral to your contact initially.
Even if this barrier has been overcome without this support documentation the chances of success to further work with the account will be limited as your details are shared around the account. Making it as easy as possible, sometimes even writing the referral email, is a key to success.
Whilst I would broadly agree with the amount of cold emails unopened in my personal experience, my recommendation would be to create an aggregation of all your weekly/monthly content to send out to your contacts. Whether these are new or well established relationships you will certainly be in the minority by staying in touch this way!
Outbound B2B sales are becoming less and less effective. In fact, a recent survey found that connecting with a prospect now takes 18 or more phone calls, callback rates are below 1%, and only 24% of outbound sales emails are ever opened. Meanwhile, 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.