Ah, B2B cold calling.
The powers that be within the sales industry swear by this skill. And yet it can strike a chord of fear within even your most seasoned of sales reps—especially in today’s market.
From cold calling to set a meeting—but it only ever goes to voicemail—to trying to engage someone in actual conversation, to booking appointments, cold calling can be a struggle.
But it’s one you need to help your sales reps overcome so they can be successful.
Luckily, cold calling is a skill that can be learned. And today we’re going through five ways you can help your reps succeed at cold calling for appointments—and become the company hero—even if you’re a brand new sales leader.
Have a list, be prepared
Instead of approaching B2B cold calling as one large task, have your reps break it down into parts. If they don’t already have a list of prospects generated, then creating that is the first step. They should also research the individuals on that list so that it’s easier to form an initial connection. Having that background data in front of them when they pick up the phone will be a big confidence boost. And when you consider that 93% of the potential success of your cold call comes down to the tone of your voice, confidence is a huge plus.
How do you find this information? Online! From LinkedIn profile findings (which 74% of sales reps surveyed were found to use for researching a prospect before calling) to general company research, arming themselves with knowledge is a quick and powerful way to make cold calling into a more personalized space.
Block time to call, no distractions
As humans, we’re easily distracted. Texts from friends, email pings or reminders about plans later in the week can easily pull your sales reps away from their B2B cold calling efforts.
So before they get started, be sure they know to snooze notifications on their phone and computer. If they have an office door, tell them to close it. Ensure time is blocked out on their calendar so they’re not interrupted by a last-minute meeting.
If needed, have them create a quick routine that will get them in the right mindset—maybe it’s listening to a pump-up song on Spotify or performing a 5-minute meditation. Also, having a handy “wind down” tool ready for when your rep has to face multiple rejections in a row can help them avoid feeling put out or distracted. Affirmations, a squeezy stress ball, or even a collective scream of frustration at the same time each day within your department can help release tension.
Set a controllable goal
Sales reps often get caught up in … well … revenue. And it’s true, this is likely what they’ve been taught to focus on. But gluing their attention to how much they’ve earned for the company can actually have a negative impact on their sales.
Instead, talk through goals that they can control such as how many phone calls they make in a day or how many follow-up emails they send out each week. This helps them to focus on what they have power over—versus what they have NO power over, such as being repeatedly hung up on.
Have a script
What are your sales reps going to say when someone picks up the phone? Many tend to wing it so as not to sound robotic, but this can do more harm than good.
Don’t think of a script as a word-for-word conversation. Instead, teach your reps to think of it in terms of a guideline. A script should lay out important talking points they want to hit about the product as well as questions they want to ask to get a better sense of whether or not a prospect is qualified.
But there should also be room for fun, ease, and casual conversation. Even if a call doesn’t result in a sale, being a bright spot in someone’s day can always lead to rewards further down the road—and that’s an important lesson to instill.
Track objections; always revise and optimize
How far are your sales reps getting with their current approach? Keeping track can help determine what cold calling efforts are succeeding versus what areas could use improvement. Are things going downhill quickly in a conversation? Might be time to adjust the introduction. Is your rep successfully conversing with a prospect but can’t seem to set an actual meeting? Maybe it’s in how they’re requesting that meeting.
In addition to the tips above, encourage your reps to set tasks within the CRM so that they remember to follow up with prospects they’ve contacted through B2B cold calling. Because the truth is, few sales are made within only one cold call!
Another useful tactic is using email as part of a B2B cold calling strategy. Doing so can generate a big difference in results. And it can reduce the amount of stress your reps feel to continue following up by phone.
Start Closing More Deals
B2B cold-calling success is within reach for both new and seasoned sales representatives. Achieving it undoubtedly takes planning, pivoting, and persistence—but that is something all your reps should be capable of. And if you find yourself wishing you could set more meetings, reach out to us and gain access to the talent you need without the burden of full-time employees or traditional agency pricing.