Selling products and services as a sales rep can feel impossible when you don’t know how to coordinate or navigate a cold call. Something like not knowing the best time to cold call can devastate your sales development reps (SDRs). Abstrakt can share cold calling techniques that really work.
Cold calling isn’t dead. It’s a sales activity that still generates millions of dollars in revenue. The trouble is that you need to understand how to conduct a cold call for the initiative to be successful. Requiring your sales team to make cold calls to prospects without a strategy leads to wasted time, resources, and a crop of employees with damaged self-esteem.
Many elements contribute to a worthwhile cold call. When you understand the ingredients of a good call—a solid script, response time, knowing when a decision-maker is likely to pick up the phone, how to discover pain points, and more—then you can use cold calling to your advantage. Cold calling, in untrained hands, can ruin relationships with your leads and tear your potential growth to pieces. With proper planning, these sales calls can be a lean, precise, and target-driven communication tool.
Understanding how to cold call is much easier said than done. As we mentioned, there are many factors that contribute to a rewarding cold call. Making a cold call unprepared or at the wrong time can put off a potential lead and tarnish any chances you had at starting a relationship. So, before picking up the phone, give the following topics deep consideration:
Before you pick up the phone, you need to know who will be at the other end. To prospect, your approach needs to be articulate and organized. Researching your lead’s business before a call and seeding your conversation with key information you learned about the organization makes the call valuable. It’s easier to keep the lead’s attention, and you have a clearer vision of where to guide the conversation.
Building a list of promising prospects is the first step in any successful cold calling initiative. Sales reps have an easier time making calls when they know targets were vetted beforehand. Being smart about who you reach out to means your sales teams face fewer rejections and increase productivity.
Having criteria and curating a target list ensures you’re spending time wisely. You know before you dial that your products and services benefit their business. You can focus on describing that service and building a rapport. To learn how to find leads for cold calling, read on.
An estimated 80% of new salespeople suffer from call reluctance. Calling someone you’ve never spoken to before is already scary. Dialing a stranger likely to disconnect if you don’t prove your worth in a matter of seconds is nerve-wracking. Coaching your sales reps through call anxiety and offering support inspires team-wide confidence and camaraderie.
Every call is a learning experience, not a trial. Encourage callers to note what works and what doesn’t in a call and share the experience with colleagues. Publish a list of cold calling tips for new salespeople to study.
A well-written script is a boon in a cold call. However, much like any tool, a script can be abused and mishandled. Calling is a performance. Sales reps need to know how to use a cold call script without sounding awkward. Internalizing the script, adding a personal touch, and staying flexible in a call helps you sound less like a sales-pitch-obsessed robot and more like a person having a conversation.
When learning a script, try the following:
- Write a unique opener
- Memorize your introduction
- Write out open-ended questions
- Prepare responses to possible objections
- Practice, practice, practice
For a call to be fruitful, a sales rep has to know how to convince a potential lead that their products or services effectively solve whatever pain points the prospect is experiencing. This step should be taken soon after the call begins. Tell the client clearly what problem you think they have and determine how interested the prospect is in solving the matter.
If you’ve done preliminary research, they should be the right person to speak with about the issue. If the prospect is receptive, congratulations! You’ve effectively illustrated your position. After clearly defining the gap, you can move the potential client forward in your sales cycle.
Building a rapport with a caller is essential to productive cold calls. However, identifying whether you can work with a potential client first ensures you’re spending time with genuine leads. When you prioritize qualifying a lead, your efforts at making a connection never go to waste.
Do you want to introduce a new structure to your prospecting and selling processes? Abstrakt specializes in B2B appointment setting. We secure quality outbound leads for you.
Securing an outbound lead is all about timing. Making a call at the worst time on the wrong day of the week can be fatal to your cold calling program. Not knowing when a decision-maker is likely to pick up the phone damages your reputation. You may seem like a pest or illegitimate.
According to 2019 call data, the best time to cold call a potential lead is 9 a.m. in the prospect’s local time zone. Call connection rates are highest between 8 and 11 a.m. To ensure fruitful results, your sales teams should structure their day around leads’ working hours and call at peak connection times.
Never call prospects outside of working hours. Placing a call too early in the morning or late in the evening intrudes on your potential client’s personal time. It’s also inadvisable to call around lunchtime. People are likely to be out eating, taking a break, or concentrating.
Very few people welcome a cold call. When a prospect picks up the phone, you have a short window to persuade them that you have value and aren’t wasting their time. Calling at an off hour further shortens that window. You generate hostility before you’ve made introductions, making your job harder. So, do your research. Know the time to make a cold call.
To discover quality leads, you need an ironclad prospecting solution. A sound prospecting strategy lays the foundation for the rest of the sales cycle. To find leads for cold calling, you have to build a list. You should make your list according to the criteria you determine before picking up the phone. Consider your ideal customer profile. What does a potential client look like?
Once you have a process to define your prospect list, you need to select tools to create the document. You don’t have to shell out for expensive software. Public information, like what you find on LinkedIn, can help you identify and research decision-makers.
It’s up to you how detailed your target lists are. They could include items as simple as a name and phone number or as particular as job title, geographic location, size of the facility, and social media activity. We recommend being as detailed as possible. The more information your sales team has to study, the more tailored their approach to a call can be.
When making a target list for cold calls, ask the following questions:
- What is the company size, industry, and geography?
- What is the contact’s role or title?
- How does the contact perform their job?
- Who do they report to?
- Who reports to them?
Cold calling isn’t easy. You have to account for many particularities, but if you have the tools and the patience to see things through, you can build a stellar cold calling strategy. Approach cold calling with confidence, consistency, and accountability, and you’ll always be in a position to refine your approach and calibrate your sales teams for success.
Abstrakt Marketing Group has spent years polishing our B2B sales practices. Our sales reps know how to reach people at the right time and how to speak with them. We secure outbound leads for clients in every industry. Are your cold calling strategies where you want them to be? Reach out today and learn how our outbound marketing services can make a difference for your company.