How to succeed at cold calling

“But cold calling does not work anymore in 2020!”. Wrong.
Yes, cold calling is hard and many seasoned sales people prefer taking a cold shower to taking a cold call – because you get rejected, a lot, and unlike with cold emails personally.

But cold calling also still works well. Because you get feedback, from humans, in real-time, repeatable, with the opportunity to enter a dialogue. As many times as you are willing to pick up the phone and dial an – again, dedicated target buyer persona with a great messaging.

Scripting: Your approach and style to cold calling needs to fit your company cultural and personality as it needs to be authentic to work. A few parts should however always be there to increase your conversion from cold outreach to follow-up activity

  • Introduction: Keep it simple by introducing 1. who you are, 2. where you are from and 3. why you are calling such as “My name is A from company B and I am calling you to find out if we could help you save up to 35% operational costs by doing C.”
  • “Opt-In”: Yes you can ask “May I directly get to the point?”. But also get an “opt-in” from the human being on the other end to have an open, attentive conversation for 2-5 minutes and make sure they can understand you well.
  • Discovery: Define 3-5 key questions that you need answers for in order to understand 1. to create intrigue from the prospect and 2. qualify if a follow-up makes sense
  • “Mini Pitch”: 3-5 facts about what you achieve for the customer with which approach, ideally supplemented with social proof from 2-3 reputable customers
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Date-In, Date-Out. Your goal should always be to get a commitment from a prospect for the desired follow-up activity such as a 30min discovery call or demo or a physical meeting to further evaluate a collaboration
  • Bonus: Try to already understand and execute on the buyer journey by exploring what needs to happen for a successful purchase and bring additional stakeholders in early-on

KPIs: This really depends on the quality of your prospecting and execution, but aim for >10% conversion call -> follow-up activity, ideally higher by investing the time upfront into great research and scripting

Tools: Most CRMs technically allow you to directly call people out of the CRM as well as document and record calls as you go. Recordings can be great if you 1. obtained permission from your prospect to do so and 2. will ever take the time to listen to them again e.g. for sales rep onboarding.

Learning Opportunity: (Cold) call role plays with colleagues or an external coach are probably (one of) the most effective tool in your arsenal to accelerate your learning cycles and bring new sales reps up to speed faster. Use a Cold Call Training Insights template to document these learnings in a structured, sustainable fashion and maintain a dedicated Cold Call Sales Action Plan.

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