In today's world where there are various communication channels and personalization and authenticity are crucial, cold calling might seem like a thing of the past. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cold calling is still a successful and practical B2B sales strategy, and it belongs in your sales pipeline.
According to HubSpot, 82% of buyers agree to meet with sellers who cold call. Additionally, 57% of C-level buyers want to be reached by phone. This proves that cold calling is still a viable tactic for reaching prospects and important decision-makers. However, if you lack the necessary skills and knowledge, you won't be able to influence the right decision-makers.
At SalesHive, our professionally trained B2B calling services team knows what it takes to be successful at cold calling and is eager to share this cold call checklist with you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to master cold calling and close deals!
What is B2B Cold Calling?
First, let's take a closer look at what cold calling actually means. Simply put, cold calling is getting in touch with prospective customers before they've expressed any interest in a product or service. B2B cold calling is exactly what it sounds like – one business cold calling another business in the hopes of closing a deal with them.
This is the opposite of "warm calling," in which sales representatives call prospective clients who have already shown an interest in their products or services. For example, they may have filled out a form or downloaded a guide.
Many businesses use a cold calling strategy to:
- Set up appointments over the phone
- Sign on new business
- Find out what customers think about their product or service
Why Does Cold Calling Get a Bad Rep?
Cold calling often gets a bad reputation among salespeople because they lack the resources to do it well and struggle to make sales. LinkedIn reports that 63% of sellers consider cold calling to be the most difficult aspect of their job. It typically takes 18 or more dials to reach a tech prospect when cold calling and less than 2% of cold calls result in meetings.
Cold calling itself, though, isn't the issue; rather, it's how the salespeople go about it. If a sales rep isn’t equipped with the right skills, cold calling will feel uncomfortable and unnatural.
That’s why we’re here to make sure you have all the information you need to make cold calling measurable and effective.
Cold Call Checklist
Now for the reason you’re all here – the cold call checklist. Whether you’re a newbie or a manager, there are several steps in the cold calling process that you should follow. Instead of focusing on closing a deal as you complete these steps, consider cold calling as the start of the customer journey.
Before the Call
The first step in the cold call checklist is to plan ahead. Who are you going to call? When are you going to make these calls? To be fully prepared for your calls, you must respond to these questions the day before.
Keep in mind that when making cold calls, timing is everything. In fact, 76% of sales representatives believe that having the ability to engage the prospect at precisely the right time will significantly increase the likelihood of a conversion. Here are the best times to make a sales call:
- Between 10 and 11:30 am after the morning rush
- 1:30 pm after lunch
- Between 4 and 5 pm
Review and Research the Leads
Once you know who you’ll be calling, you should review all your contacts for the day. Do your homework and research the person you'll be calling. Trust us, this will make a huge difference on the call. By knowing something about your contact, you can ensure that you ask the right questions and engage in conversation that could result in a meeting.
Since cold calling frequently comes off as impersonal, it must be presented as a human experience. Always make an effort to establish a personal connection when speaking with a potential customer. Whether it be a shared interest or a previous affiliation with the same company, adding that personal touch can go a long way. A simple sales pitch will not result in a deal, but engaging in an authentic conversation might.
Use a Sample Call Script
Before the call, it’s important to have a cold calling script ready to go. An effective cold call script will come in handy for even the most skilled salespeople and marketing professionals. No matter what industry you’re in, you can adjust a cold calling script to your prospect's needs. Our top-notch sales script at SalesHive will serve as the ideal model for your company's internal scripts.
Plan a Voicemail Script
The likelihood of the cold call ending up on voicemail is high. Have a few scripts on hand that are tailored to various prospects. Find a connection you have in common with them so you can mention it in your voicemail to increase your chances of getting a callback. Monitor the number of callbacks to determine which is most effective.
Keep Records of the Calls
It's important to note who you called and when you called them. Include the details of what was said, how long the call lasted, and the call's results. This will give you the chance to assess your progress and look back to identify any mistakes that may have been made. Even though the call might have seemed unsuccessful, you can still get beneficial feedback from it.
Try to Relax
This crucial step in the cold call checklist is frequently overlooked. Try some breathing exercises to unwind before your call, or practice your pitch in front of a mirror. You could also use a tape recorder to help you assess how you sound on the phone. Another tactic is to conduct the cold call while standing rather than sitting down because doing so will foster a more laid-back atmosphere and help you come across as more approachable.
On the Call
The first step of the call is the introduction. Try keeping the cold call introduction short and sweet, preferably around 1 to 2 sentences – ideally, no more than one or two sentences. Here is a great introduction cold calling example:
“Hello, is this “prospect name)?
My name is (caller name) with (company name), how are you today?
Describe Your Core Competencies
Cold calling can be difficult because you will be speaking with a complete stranger who knows nothing about you. For your prospect to understand exactly what you do, you should give a 15-second explanation of your company's mission and clientele in simple terms. Put emphasis on the advantages they will experience from using your product or service.
Get Information from the Prospect
On a cold call, the client should always be doing the majority of the talking. This will make them feel listened to, which will make them want to talk to you more. During the call, ask open-ended questions rather than attempting to pitch your product or service right away. You can be more specific in your questions, especially if they draw attention to the issue that your proposed solution addresses.
By first learning about the needs of your prospect's business, you'll be able to better tailor your pitch. Here are examples of some questions you can ask:
I was just curious how (insert Company) developed points of contact for sales meetings.
I was wondering how (insert Company) is getting in front of its target market for its sales team.
Qualify the Prospects
Your time is valuable, and you don't want to waste it on unqualified prospects. You must determine if they are a qualified lead by asking if they are the person who can make the important decision or if you can use them as a referral. If they are a qualified prospect, you need to propose an action.
State the Problem Your Product Solves
Once you’ve asked the right questions and know they could be a potential customer, you need to focus on what problems your product solves and how your product works. To keep them interested, keep your pitch brief, clear, and concise, and provide three to five facts. Stick to the basics and explain how your product or service can help them.
Consult, Don’t Sell
Always adopt a more consultative strategy than a push strategy. The majority of people hate being sold to, and if they sense that they are, they will probably hang up the phone. If you keep it consultative, you’ll come across as a friend and a trusted source.
Maintain a conversational style and an upbeat demeanor while strategically using pauses. Two excellent ways to keep the conversation lighthearted is by using the mirroring technique, where you take the words the prospect uses and use them yourself, or repeating back phrases to them.
Ask if They’re interested in Your Product/Service
Directly ask your prospect if they would benefit from your offering. The majority of the time, being direct about it is the best way to close a deal. Here are a few questions you can ask:
Does this opportunity sound like something you'd be interested in?
Would you like to explore this topic further to see how we can add value to your business?
Ask for a Follow-up Call
When a prospect expresses interest and claims that your product or service would benefit them, it's time to discuss the next steps. This might be an in-depth meeting or a product demonstration. To set up an appointment that will result in the sale being closed, ask them to check their calendar. You can say:
“Do you have your calendar available to schedule a meeting? It would be great to schedule another call where we can discuss this further.”
Prospects might be hesitant to agree to a meeting right away, but they frequently are open to looking at their schedules.
Leave Your Contact Information
In case your potential client needs to check their schedule and get back to you, be sure to give them all of your contact information. They might have to consult with someone else about their availability if they are not the main decision-maker. Leave your name, email address, and mobile number. Leave your company's website as well to give them a chance to learn more about you.
Send the Lead to the Sales Team
For deal conversion rates to be as high as possible, leads must be passed from marketing to sales at the appropriate time. The last step in the cold call checklist is to notify the sales team as soon as your prospect has been successfully qualified as a lead. The sales team will turn these leads into customers.
Cold calling is one of the oldest strategies for generating leads and boosting sales. Although it may be difficult at first, this cold call checklist will give you the confidence and tactics you need to succeed.
Benefits of Cold Calling
Reach New Customers
Making cold calls to potential clients can help you expand your customer base. It allows you to connect with potential clients who you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to discover. Through cold calling, you can get in touch with people who fit your ideal clientele and inform them of the services your company provides.
Master Your Pitch
When making a sales pitch over the phone, it can be difficult for sales representatives to sound relaxed and confident. Cold calling is the most effective method for honing your sales pitch and becoming an expert at it.
Receive Instant Feedback
A fantastic way to get feedback from your prospects is by cold calling. When you engage in a conversation with your prospect and have developed a sense of trust, you can ask for their opinions regarding your product or service. Once you receive this feedback, you can further customize your product or service to better meet the needs of your target audience.
Form a Human Connection
You are a real human being, not a robot. Making cold calls to potential customers demonstrates to them that you are a real person and allows you to connect with them on a personal level. Over the phone, you can learn about your prospect's needs and establish a long-lasting relationship with them.
Without a doubt, cold calling improves conversion rates. The information you gain from cold calling allows you to better understand the needs of your prospects' business and develop a solution for them. Naturally, ensuring that your team has the necessary training and skill set to increase conversion rates is the key. With the help of the above cold call checklist, your team will have all the tools required to do so.
SalesHive: Your Go-To Source for Cold Calling Services
If your internal team lacks the necessary expertise to conduct effective cold calls, SalesHive is here to help. Our professionally trained calling services team knows how to recruit and develop successful cold callers so you can close more deals.
Our sales team has one job: make phone calls to book meetings. They are skilled at getting through to the decision-makers and are eager to start making calls for your business. Compared to the typical internal sales development rep, our sales teams make 10 times more phone calls.
Are you ready to boost conversion rates and reach your target market? Click here to learn more about our B2B sales outsourcing services!