One of the most frustrating and (perhaps) scariest aspects of sales is cold calling. No matter how professional and trained your sales team is, calling a prospective client for the first time without prior notice is intimidating.
The reason is simple – no one wants rejection and when you cold call, there’s a bigger possibility of getting turned down. But this does not have your story because there’s a better way how to do it.
#1 Get SMART
SMART Calling – Sales & Marketing At the Right Time – enables the sales team of a business or company to reach their target at the time they are ready to make the decision. It is based on different sets of data and factors, which give you an insight which prospect should be pursued first. It goes beyond getting a list of the right prospects. It also tells you which of these prospects are ready to make the decision and WHEN to call them.
Let’s say for example that your target is hospitals, and you know that a third-party pharmacy makes the buying decisions. You just don’t let your sales team barge into their door and deliver the sales spiel. Instead, you patiently wait for the right time to pounce. It is done by studying the online behavior of your prospect including lead scores and KPIs.
#2 Forget about the Script
Yes, a sales script is very helpful, especially when training new candidates. It also provides confidence to someone who is shy or anxious about talking on the phone. Most of all, it helps you steer the conversation to where you want it to go.
However, there’s a couple of problems with using a sales script: first, it sounds fake. Customers are more informed nowadays than before, and they can tell whether you are using a practiced spiel or not. Second, sales scripts get you stuck in a routine. They might be quite useful, but it also stops you from discovering a better alternative.
#3 Record and Analyze Your Calls
People tend to be self-conscious when they talk to prospective customers on the phone. Thus, they tend to change the tone and texture of their voice. Your sales people are not immune to this.
A good exercise is recording your sales call and let your sales team listen to them. It makes them collectively aware of the techniques that work, the mistakes they’ve made, and the things they need to improve.
Aside from recording your calls, using analytics tools can also help you thoroughly dissect your calls, including the turning points of the call and the important keywords that engages the customer. It will also help you brainstorm new strategies and techniques to improve your team.
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#4 Set Goals
Goals are powerful – that’s a no-brainer; thus, it makes perfect sense why your sales team should have them. Goals help them measure their success and tells them where they are at. If they know where they are, they are motivated to continue and push themselves to reach the goal.
Here’s a tip with regards to goal setting: do not make short and long-term goals. You should also set individual and group-focused goals. It will not only encourage them to work together but will also push them to improve as they engage in a bit of friendly competition.
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#5 Make Your Calls Short and Sweet
Three minutes per call is enough. Don’t chat with your prospects and never give them the impression that you are. Remember that you have a mission, a goal to fulfill and you need to focus on that. Be quick and straight to the point. After that, go on to the next prospect.
Don’t forget to take a break as well. Experts advise taking a 5-minute call after every 15 calls you make. During this time, relax and de-stress, so you’re refreshed when you get back on track.
#6 Experiment and Observe
Not because your strategy is working means you keep on doing that nor should you be comfortable with it. If you want to keep on improving, you need to be agile, dynamic, and innovative, even if it means deconstructing current strategies and experimenting with different approaches.
Observe how your experiments progress – keep the strategies that work and throw those that don’t. Soon enough, you will discover something worth pursuing.
A Final Note
Unlike tips like starting your call with a positive story, the above are strategies and methodologies with long-term effects. You can apply them, again and again, to help your sales team improve and learn by themselves. Accordingly, they will not produce immediate results, but when applied over the course of time, they can give you the positive results you’ve been waiting for.