Do you manage a team of inside or remote salespeople that are cold calling prospects? Do they blindly smile and dial, or do they have a strategy in place? If you want your sales team to be more effective over the phone, having a cold calling strategy is vital.
From being properly prepared to talk to a prospect to learning from the inevitable rejection that comes with the job, training reps on the ins and outs of cold calling is a sales manager’s responsibility.
Cold calling isn’t easy, and it takes perseverance. Below are 7 cold calling strategies that reps can learn from – and managers can use to better coach their reps towards success over the phone, empower them to set more appointments, and to hit their quota.
Practice and prepare before making outbound calls:
Before you start making calls, consider your tone and confidence, both which can affect the outcome of the call. Practice calls can be beneficial for reps to understand this, and better hone their messaging. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips and suggestions from your manager and peers. Take your time before getting on the phones – proper training beforehand is essential to get off on the right foot.
Ask personalized questions and actively listen:
To optimize your effectiveness on each call, make sure to research your prospect, their company, and their industry and business needs before picking up the phone. If are knowledgeable of the individual you are speaking to and their role at their organization, your likelihood of having a successful conversation will skyrocket. Understanding why your product would be beneficial to them and what features may be specifically of interest can only improve your odds of having a successful conversation.
Adapt your outbound sales script for real-time success:
When following your script, make sure to adapt to the flow of the conversation; cold calling is more than simply reading lines. Managers – the more coaching you provide your reps and the more educated they are on the prospect or industry, the more adaptable they will be. Up to 78% of executive buyers claim salespeople do not have relevant examples or cases to help them understand their pains and options. As a salesperson, if you feel that this is true, reach out to your manager or marketing team to get a better understanding of your customer’s needs and what you can offer them.
Set a cold-calling and follow-up schedule:
Set daily goals for yourself that pertain to your greater weekly and monthly goals. Whether that means the number of calls you make per hour or times of day to call, adhering to a schedule can help you find the most effective approach and timetable to cold calling. While having a routine will not automatically make you successful, it will give you a better chance from the start to stay on track to meet your goals.
Balance quality with quantity for sales call success:
Make sure you are having productive conversations, not just hitting your required number of daily dials. If you realize your call quantity is greater than the quality, try to reassess who you are calling, or how you are addressing the prospect. Don’t forget quality entirely, however; 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls, even though 44% of reps give up after 1 follow-up.
Listen for prospect fit & learn from rejection
One of the most important parts of cold calling is learning as you go – specifically learning from rejection. It is inevitable that while making calls every day you are going to be rejected by countless prospects and, the fact is, every “No” is one step closer to a “Yes.” However, learning why a prospect wasn’t a fit, or what you could have said or done differently on the call can only help you to improve in the future.
Track outbound sales calls and use the performance data:
At the end of the day, technology can be your best friend when it comes to keeping track of your call performance. Sales analytics and performance management tools allow reps to see their stats in real time, making it easier for reps to ensure they are hitting their numbers and having meaningful conversations.
Further, with sales performance management technology, managers can better identify struggling reps, and reinforce these 7 cold calling strategies in coaching to improve performance and optimize rep effectiveness.