You’ve probably heard it before: cold calling is dead and selling by email or social media is in. But in reality, that’s not the whole story.
Although you might gain some traction and insights from leveraging email and social media, the real magic happens over the phone. That’s where sales representatives can crushcommon sales objectionsranging from “We only work with people we know,” to “I’m just not ready to decide.” In fact, according to research fromSalesforce, 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. But a staggering 85% of customers report being dissatisfied with their phone experience.
That high level of dissatisfaction is your big opportunity to stand out from the competition and impress your prospects. This is your chance to equip your sales team with the right cold calling script and strategy to land new clients and close the sale, helping you to scale your business. Here’s how to get started.
Identify the Right Verticals
Before ever picking up the phone, your team should sit down andidentify the right verticalsto tap for their sales campaign. Sure, you can dive right into an entire industry, but you’re ultimately creating more work for yourself by trying to continuously pivot to serve everyone’s needs instead of hyper-focusing on one or two verticals. Think of it this way: picking the right verticals is a way to fine-tune your list with laser-precision segmentation.
Let’s say your company sells SaaS for healthcare recruiting. Instead of calling every hospital and clinic in town, you can identify key aspects of your product that make it especially useful for recruiting nurses or support staff. Of course, if you truly feel your product would be amazing for everyone in the industry, you can identify which verticals have the most demand for your SaaS and are potentially the most lucrative. From there, you can develop a relevant message to that list segmentation including their common pain points, such as lack of time to recruit or ability to source top talent.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
Most salespeople already know how valuable social media is for pre-qualifying leads before ever hopping on a cold call. The idea is to dig deep into a prospect’s business model, their role at a company, and their shared connections so you can instantly create common ground. These are all no-brainers and should already be a part of your research process. But sales teams can also harness the power of social media by integrating that information directly into their cold calling scripts.
Your team should take a look at what they have in common with each sales prospect to see where they can create openings in the conversation to warm them up. Maybe they share the same alma mater, belong to the same LinkedIn Groups, or follow the same charities and nonprofits on the platform.
Outside of LinkedIn, you can also see what your prospects are commenting on and what engages them through Twitter or Facebook, or check out their travel photos on Instagram. The more you can dig into some of the personal aspects of your prospects, the more you can establish common ground.
Craft an Intriguing Positioning Statement
It’s not enough to justtalkabout the benefits or value of the product. Prospects also need to knowwhythey should listen to your team and this particular call in the first place. And that ‘why’ is best delivered by a warm and personable voice that can propel the conversation forward.
This is where a well-crafted positioning statement comes in that showcases the value of your product and company.HubSpotgives a compelling example: “I work with sales managers in hospitality with five to eight reps on their team. My customers are typically looking to increase rep productivity. Does that sound like you?”
From there, your team can focus on asking prospects to share their pain points and exercise some empathy. When prospects feel like a salesperson understands their struggles, they can better see the value in the offered solutions and services. That ultimately keeps the cold call process moving forward organically instead of trying to force prospects to stay on the phone until they agree to a meeting.
Avoid the Passive ‘Yes’
Salespeople don’t get into the business because it’s easy. They all know that sales objections are the norm in cold calls, and they take experience and skill to navigate. Track which objections are the most common for your industry, such as “Can you just send me some information?” or the dreaded, “I’m just too busy right now with the upcoming [insert excuse here].” It’s tempting to just go for the passive ‘yes’ and dutifully send along the information requested, but there are ways to get around this kind of passive ‘yes’ and turn it into an ongoing conversation.
Your team can tell their prospects, “Sure, I can send along some information, but first can you help me better understand what type of [pre-qualifying question]?” Thatpre-qualifying questioncould just target prospects’ biggest stressor and highlight how your product can help.
Pre-qualifying prospects and sending highly-targeted information is a win-win for everyone, and builds more trust between the salesperson and the prospect. The prospect gets a clearer picture of how your company can help without feeling like they’re wasting time, and you get to keep that door open and continue those conversations.
The big secret to sales scripts is simply to not try to sell on a cold call in the first place. This may sound counterintuitive, but immediately going for the sales ask can raise prospects’ guard and shut them down immediately. Instead of selling, think about creating opportunities and conversations to get the prospect talking.
People like to talk about themselves, and don’t want to sit through a call listening to a sales rep. Simply focusing on being an active listener can change the entire dynamic of a call. Get the prospect warmed up by asking them about their business and the struggles your product or service could help with.
LeadFuzerecommends focusing on asking powerful questions that “compel serious consideration of your solution.” Now it’s all about consulting them, not just selling. Guide them through a conversation that identifies all of their pain points and answers their objections so they can confidently say “yes” to the next meeting or call.
Track Your Metrics and Tweak
Even a well-crafted cold calling script that crushes it and leads to that coveted sale still needs improvement. But simply telling your sales team what the problem is won’t always be effective — sometimes they need to hear it for themselves.
Ask your sales team to run through the script with you, or record it and let them play it back to hear for themselves. Chances are there’s something missing, or it comes off sounding stiff. They can likely tell where they’re using hedge words, stalling, or just not getting to the point fast enough. Once they’ve figured out where the script is falling flat and how to fix it, the next step is sitting down and tracking and measuring the metrics for your team’s calls.
Start by identifying which time of day the calls are the most successful, whether or not shorter or longer calls perform better with clients, and what prompts the most sales. You might find that salespeople who focus on common ground for five minutes are more likely to get that next meeting. Or you could discover that sales reps with the most practice at navigating sales objections are the most successful. The more insights you can gather from your team, the more you can incorporate them into your global sales scripts.
With a tested and well-rehearsed cold call, your sales team can dramatically improve their sales closings; but the work isn’t done once your team has nailed down their scripts. No matter how amazing a cold calling script is, your team should be paying attention to how their prospects’ objections are shifting, or any new industry trends that could help shape their approach.
Now that your sales team has a winning cold calling script in hand with a clear way to measure the metrics, you should start seeing transformational results in your business. And when your team is more confident and well-rehearsed, your prospects can see the difference, too. Continue adjusting and improving on the process by studying what’s working and what’s not — and establishsmart callingas the new cold calling technique for your business.
Did you create a cold calling script for your sales team? Let us know what worked — and what fell flat — in the comments below: