Cold calling typically has a bad reputation because it’s difficult, and many businesses believe it’s ineffective for business growth. However, we’re here to tell you that’s not the case.
Believe it or not, cold calling isn’t so hard if you have the right approach and mindset going into it. Here are some ways to be successful and prepare for a cold call:
Every business has a different cold call strategy, so it’s essential to understand the process you have in place. Understanding a business’s cold call strategy allows you to effectively cold call leads and secure an appointment with a qualified prospect.
To understand your cold call process, you must:
- Understand the target market: This allows you to know who and what you’re pitching. Some markets react better to products or services than other markets, so consider where you’re pitching and what is currently trending in their area. This increases the likelihood of scheduling an appointment with a qualified prospect.
- Know what tools and technologies they’re working with: Sales tools and technologies allow you to streamline communications from one sales team member to another. In addition, it enables you to prioritize your hottest leads first.
- Acknowledge the approach: Cold calling is more than calling and pitching KDMs. A cold calling approach can also include emailing or connecting with prospects on LinkedIn to send them an InMail message. Using different channels to approach KDMs ensures that you’ve tried reaching them through various platforms.
- Consider cold calling success rates: Every industry varies in its cold calling success rates. When calling on your industry, research current trends in cold calling success rates to ensure that your cold calling program is on the right track.
If you’re looking for the best cold calling tip, here it is: actively listen to the prospect. Sales development representatives (SDRs) are more than salespeople; they’re relationship builders. One of the most crucial components to sales is understanding that—above all else—you’re looking to build a relationship with prospective businesses.
By actively listening to prospects, you can provide them with value about what products or services you offer them. This builds the relationship and ensures that this could be a good fit for their business compared to their current situation.
When calling prospects, lead the conversation with quality over quantity. If you make over 200 calls a day to prospective businesses and end the day with zero warm leads or appointments, the work you’ve put in means little to nothing. However, if you call 80 prospects and end with a good amount of leads and appointments, you’re setting a company up for success and an opportunity to close business. Focus on the prospects’ wants, needs, and interests and find ways that your company can relieve their pain points.
When pitching a prospect, it’s crucial to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions open up the floor for conversation and encourage the prospect to talk about their relationship with their current B2B partner.
Here are some types of open-ended questions to ask prospects:
Asking problem questions allows you to understand the prospect’s priorities and how they think of their problems. Examples of problem questions include:
- What are your top business priorities right now?
- How would you describe the problem you’re trying to solve?
- What challenges have you faced in the past when trying to solve these problems?
- Is there anything else about the situation that worries or frustrates you?
- If there is a current supplier, what would make you consider an alternative?
Asking solution-focused questions help you develop a customer-centric solution. Examples of solution questions include:
- What would an ideal solution look like for you?
- What are the must-have criteria for a solution?
- What are the nice-to-have criteria for your solution?
- What are the qualities you’re looking for in a solution provider?
Asking process questions allow you to understand what steps are needed to set an appointment. Example process questions include:
- How will you go about making your buying decision?
- Who else may influence this decision?
- What additional information will you need to make a decision?
- What has worked or not worked for you in the past when making similar purchases?
Probing questions can be asked at any point during the pitch to gather more information and get the prospect to engage more in the conversation. Example process questions include:
- Can you tell me more about your current situation?
- How has your current provider impacted your success?
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our outbound sales reps make phone calls and ask probing questions to prospective businesses. Connect with us today to reach key decision-makers and close business opportunities!
- “I don’t have the budget for that right now.”: “We’re not trying to sign on the dotted line or make moves immediately. We want to open up the floor for conversation when the time comes to make a change. When does your company typically reevaluate their budget and current contracts?”
- “I don’t know anything about your company.”: “We understand that we’re a new company to you, and all of our partners were the same way at first as well. Although you don’t know anything about us right now, we’d like to send you some information to familiarize yourself with our company. What’s a good email I could forward some information and success stories to?”
- “I don’t foresee this having a significant impact on my business.”: “We’re glad that things are working out with your current provider so that you don’t have any issues that are negatively impacting your operations. What may be some ways you’re looking to improve your current situation?”
- “I have other things to prioritize.”: “We understand that other things take priority in your business right now, which is good because that means you don’t have any issues with your current solution. What about your current situation is most important to you?”
While cold call scripts are a great start to the conversation with a prospect, they should be used with caution. A cold call script should be used as if you’re an actor, not a robot. This ensures that you continue to actively listen while gathering all the information you need to secure an appointment.
While it’s vital not to follow a sales script word by word, it’s important to have a lenient outline of what you plan on discussing. Here is a step by step guide for an effective cold calling script:
- Step 1: Introduce yourself: First, say your name and the company you’re presenting with a momentary pause afterward to give them a chance to think about whether or not they know you. Many cold callers want to jump into their sales pitch immediately, but this encourages the caller to hang up immediately because they know you’re trying to sell them something.
- Step 2: Establish rapport: Through this, your goal is to get them talking and to open them up. Make statements to ensure that you’re familiar with their company.
- Step 3: Use a positioning statement: A positioning statement shows prospects that you work with companies similar to theirs, so you understand their challenges. Focus on the prospect, not what you’re selling.
Sales tools and technologies are a great addition to your B2B selling efforts. With advanced technology capabilities, you have the opportunity to prioritize hot leads and effectively communicate with other sales team members. In addition, they help you and your sales team track time, manage projects, and close sales.
A customer-relationship management (CRM) platform is crucial for implementing sales tools and technologies because it streamlines each sales technology into a single platform. While there are tons of tools out there, it’s easy to get caught up on which ones work best for your cold calling process. Every cold calling program has different needs, so it’s crucial to pick a sales tool and technology that aligns best with your sales goals.
Having a cold call voicemail strategy is crucial to turning leads into customers. If a prospect doesn’t pick up the phone, you should leave a voicemail message that gives them a reason to call you back.
Having a good voicemail script can be what turns a prospect into a hot lead. When making sales calls, here are some practical tips to leaving a voicemail:
- Keep between 20-30 seconds: Keeping a voicemail between 20-30 seconds allows prospects to spark curiosity without demanding too much time.
- Speak slowly and clearly: Most cold callers tend to speak too fast when leaving a sales voicemail. Remember to talk as if you’re talking directly to the KDM to keep them engaged and following the information you want them to receive.
- Lead with relevant information: While it may seem effective to state your name and the company you work for from the get-go, this is how a prospect knows that it’s a sales voicemail. Lead with something relevant to the prospect, such as a thought-provoking question.
- Put away your customer service voice: Just like any other sales call, make yourself sound cool, calm, and collected. When leaving a voicemail, many sales reps put on their customer service persona. Put the customer service voice away and mirror the tone of the prospect’s voice on their outbound message