Despite technological innovation and the rise of email and social media communications, phone-based outreach remains the most effective and prevalent method of communication in today’s sales climate. In fact, Brevet found that 92% of all customer interactions still happen over the phone.
Here’s the thing – cold calling isn’t easy, and it isn’t fun, especially for young sales reps. But it is necessary to have a successful sales team. To sell something, you first need to have a conversation. And that starts over the phone.
So, is cold calling dead? No. If it seems to be ineffective for your sales team, we hate to break it to you – but you are just doing it wrong. Instead of giving up on the phone, here are three ways you can improve cold calling effectiveness at your organization:
1 – Prepare Your Reps
Calling prospects involves planning. If you want to be successful over the phone, you can’t just “wing it”. The most successful reps will know the best days and times to make calls, the right person to call at the right company, and the right message to convey to your potential buyer. Managers; ensure that you coach reps on these principals and that you are tracking data on these statistics to provide them with the accurate information they need to be successful. Ensuring that reps have the knowledge and preparation they need before they start making dials will both boost confidence and give new reps a clear path to success.
2 – Anticipate Rejection
It is vital to get in the right mindset before picking up the phone – because cold calling takes discipline. Almost 45% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call (Scripted), but Brevet found that it takes an average of eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect. So, anticipate and prepare for rejection, because it WILL happen, and remind yourself that it happens to everyone. For every successful phone call, there are bound to be a handful of rejections.
3 – Analyze & Adjust Performance
It is the job of a manager to guide reps, make sure they are adhering to a proper sales script, and tweak their performance over the phone with time. The best way to do so is by using a call recording tool with speech analytics so reps can listen back to their calls. This way, reps can get feedback from their managers on ways to improve their skills and listen to what the most successful reps are doing differently, and managers can coach reps to listen and learn from their mistakes.
Improve Cold Calling
Training reps on what it takes to make a successful phone call and the rejection they will undoubtedly face – as well as using a sales tool to analyze performance and adjust their approach over time – are surefire ways for managers to increase call conversion ratios and help reps set more appointments. At the end of the day, it is up to the rep to adhere to best calling practices and persevere through rejection. However, with the right preparation and tools, cold calling will prove to be an essential part of closing deals and hitting quota at your organization.