Outbound calling has been in use for many years and has proven to be a successful way of finding new prospects for your business. Used as a way of telemarketing and sales, this ‘cold calling’ method can in many ways get you in touch with customers. But since you are the one contacting the prospect, you have to do so with a solid plan.
An outbound call is much like a game of chess, filled with rules and the right move. One wrong step, and you’ve lost the client. We all know, people don’t like being disturbed by strangers and sold products they didn’t ask for.
To avoid getting hung up on, there are certain tips that can help make your cold call a successful one. Improve your outbound calling strategy with these important steps.
Qualified leads only
Just because you are cold calling, it doesn’t mean it needs to be a complete shot in the dark. Only use qualified leads that have been nurtured by marketing reps, instead of randomly calling people. Also, never buy calling lists as that will only make you less likely to succeed.
When it comes to finding prospects with potential, a CRM is also a great help as it tracks the various leads and ranks them in order of priority.
Set your sales strategy
Before you make that first call, every sales rep needs to be clear about their sales strategy. Why are you selling this product or service? What is the objective of this call? Who are the people you are contacting and why?
Knowing these pertinent questions and also having the answer to them can help you create a strategy that has a high conversion rate. Every strategy also needs to have Key Performance Indicators or KPIs, which work as milestones to see how well the strategy is preforming and whether you need to make any changes for it to do better.
There are many KPIs you can track and analyse but some of the most pertinent ones include the Conversion Rate, First Call Close, Occupancy rate, and Average Handling Time of the call.
To use a script, or not
Scripts are a great way for sales reps to stay on track during a conversation and help them keep all important points in order. But sometimes these very scripts become the reason for the failure of a cold call. In fact, a new research shows that 51% customers thought a cold cold without a script was much better. The trick is to maintain a balance between the two and keep your scripts flexible.
Sales reps should use scripts as a guiding factor instead of reading them out word for word. They can help as a conversational format, so the rep doesn’t forget to mention any vital points, but reading them out makes you seem like a robot, and makes the conversation seem impersonal.
Instead, speak in a conversational and friendly tone that seems natural and not forced. Prioritise your points and take the conversation from there!
Just because you are calling a new prospect, doesn’t mean you need to go into the conversation clueless. Before you even pick up the phone to place the call, make sure you’ve done your research. There are many ways you can find out about your prospect, and their social media and company websites are a good place to start.
With intelligent software and a multitude of digital resources, you can easily find out the pain points of the prospective client and offer them your services. This research will help you keep the conversation on track and only focus on things pertaining to the customer, making it relevant to them, and thus keeping them engaged.
The product or service you offer may have a lot of features, but you need to highlight the key features and only present those to your prospect. In the case of outbound calling, less is always more. Presenting customers with too many options can confuse them and make it harder to take a decision.
If you’ve taken the time to research the prospect, you can simply focus on features that your product has, which can help solve the prospect’s problem. This will in turn help them rationalise and take a quicker decision.
Use other mediums
Making a cold call is one thing, but to get warmed up, you can also spread out your communication with the prospective client. For instance, before making a call, you can leave the prospect a message on their phone or perhaps on Facebook introducing yourself and letting them know you are interested in getting in touch.
This will give them a heads up and prepare them to anticipate your call, specially if they are looking forward to the product or service you offer.
Keep them engaged
Apart from talking about what your product or service can offer to the prospect, there are a couple of other things you can do to keep them engaged in the conversation and not hang up instantly.
Since the start of the call is the make or break moment, speak to the prospect with purpose and get their attention. Always ask if they have time at the moment to speak to you before you get into your pitch. This shows that you value their time as well as your own.
Keep the conversation centred around them and make them feel valued by mentioning some fact you know about their company, which matches your end goal, letting them know you are calling for a reason.
If you’ve managed to keep the prospect on the phone for so long and have them engaged, don’t get tempted to over promise as that may lead to you delivering below their expectations. Only commit to as much as you are sure of and make deliverable guarantees only after you know the ins and outs of the whole situation. This will help keep both you and the client on the same page.
Don’t forget to set up a follow up call or meeting to further the conversation and reach your end goal.
Use these above tricks to remove the anxiety from cold calling and instead turn it into a profitable sales revenue. Stay calm and collected during your call and use the information you’ve gathered, in turn converting leads!