The Key to Cold Calling Success—Creating a Process
Cold calling—the task that every salesperson fears and the process that every business owner strives to perfect. It probably seems like a daunting task, but cold calling doesn’t have to be scary. Having a process for cold calling that you can measure will help your entire team consistently win business. If you want to learn how to be successful at cold calling, create a process.
The Reason for a Process—Why It’s Important
Perfecting your process will help you achieve sales success. Every activity your team performs should be baked into a process so you can see what’s working and what’s not. The better your process is, the more targets you can manage. When you implement a process and tweak it according to what’s working, you’ll see your B2B cold calling success rates improve.
Who to Contact—Generating a Prospect List
The first step in creating a successful cold calling process is to generate a prospect list. Before picking up the phone, your sales team needs direction as to who they are calling. Ask yourself these important questions:
What process do we follow to identify our target list? Prospects shouldn’t just be chosen at random, there should be a rhyme and reason as to why they are chosen as targets. For example, what industries have you been most successful in? Data analysts can build prospect lists based on various factors of what they feel will help sales teams to be successful.
What tools are we using to create prospect lists? Once you have a process in place to define your prospect list, you must then choose the tools you will use to physically create those lists. One popular tool that is helpful in finding decision-makers is LinkedIn. There are countless tools in the market to help you utilize specific criteria and build lists around that specific criteria.
What criteria are we using? It’s important to pay attention to the criteria you use when building lists. This is something you can easily tweak as you work through your process. You can do a trial period using a list of prospects who match one or two criteria and then change up that criteria to see what works better. The following are common criteria items you can use to build lists:
Size of facility
Number of employees
Type of company
Behavioral information (targeting based on social media activity)
How detailed are your lists? Your prospect list can include a name and phone number, or it can be much more detailed and include more information such as company, job title, and geographic location. The more detailed your list is, the more information your sales team will have when calling. As with anything in your cold calling process, you can make changes to your list as you see fit.
Train Your Sales Reps On What You Sell, Let the Process Do the Rest
A process reduces what a human has to be good at. Let your process do the work so sales reps can focus on what they do best, talking to people. Let your writers focus on what they do best, writing emails. The only thing you should have to worry about is training your employees on cold calling techniques and on knowing what you sell so they can write well and sound good on the phones. The process should take care of the rest. A small sample of what a good process takes care of is:
When a call is made
When an email is sent
Who emails are sent to
To train your sales reps to sound good on the phones, train them during new hire orientation and provide ongoing training so that they have the most up-to-date information on your products and services. Ongoing training may include: cold calling tips, sales and marketing industry knowledge, and more. It’s also a good idea to provide sales reps with scripts, or call guides, to use as they’re making sales calls.
Track When Are You Sending Emails and Making Phone Calls
You should have a process in place for when you call and email prospects. Beyond that, you should have a way of documenting touchpoints and keeping track of these calls and emails. This way, you can make changes to your process as you see fit. Ask yourself these questions about your current process or the process you are creating:
Can you track dials, answers, and voicemails? This will help you understand where you need to make changes in your process
Do you have a process for how you handle objections, and is it documented so that you can change it? (If everyone is reacting badly to one thing, you can change the pitch)
Do you have a process for when you send out emails?
Do you have a process for when you nurture people (this is a critical part of a cold calling/sales process? If you’re nurturing someone for 18 months, you can either be thinking and worrying about when to reach out, or you can have a process to drive that. In this case, you can nurture a lot more people).
Tracking emails and phone calls are mainly important for this reason: you don’t have to wonder how long it’s been since you touched a prospect or what their response was. Instead, you can have that baked into a process and know exactly when to reach out and to whom.
Where Do You House Customer Information? Implementing a CRM Tool
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is an essential component of a successful sales process. Determining what CRM tool you are using to drive your process is a key first step in actually building a successful process.
Remember, while some CRM tools may seem superior just because they are bigger and more developed, the best CRM tool is the one you actually use. Don’t spend countless hours trying to build up a CRM. Instead, find what works for you that will manage the activity you need. Then, you can scale up and add bigger things as needs change for your growing organization.
It’s Your Turn to Create a Successful Cold Calling Strategy
Your cold calling program doesn’t have to be a success right away, but if you can measure every component, then you can calibrate parts of the process to steer it towards success every time. You should always have clear visibility into what works and what doesn’t. You can perfect your process if it’s measurable. The only way you will fail is if you don’t know what’s wrong.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we’ve spent years calibrating aspects of our B2B sales process to polish it to perfection. We know how to reach people at the right time, say the right things, and talk to the right companies. Is your cold calling structure in a process, or are you simply guessing? Reach out to our team today to learn what a custom outbound marketing program would look like for your business.