Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 3.50.59 PMWe know SDRs put in a ton of time and effort chasing down leads so, “I’ll have to pass this on to someone higher up,” is a statement we’re all a little too familiar with.

If you get this response, it’s because of one common mistake: you haven’t properly researched the potential customer beforehand. Knowing the needs and skill levels of a potential customer is key when making a cold call.

You save a lot of time and effort when you know in advance whether or not a prospect is worth meeting. Think all that research isn’t worth it?

5 Benefits of Cold Calling

  1. Identify targets: Cold calls help you learn who handles the problem your business solves for at a prospective company. This is what we use mapping calls for. The goal of the call is simply to speak to a human and learn one piece of information: who manages the issue your company solves?
    n
  2. Gain insight: Why your response rates low? By using campaign messaging calls, you can often figure out why you’re not getting the response you intended. If a cold email campaign isn’t returning replies, your best option may be to call a sample of the recipients (at least 40) and ask why they didn’t respond. Their explanations can give you a great deal of insight: maybe you’re reaching the wrong people or perhaps your messaging was confusing or irrelevant. Either way, you can pinpoint the problem and take steps to move past it.
    n
  3. Master your craft: It can take a while to become confident and comfortable speaking to prospects over the phone while delivering your value proposition in a compelling way. The best way to practice is not on your reps’ first “Are We A Fit” call though, it’s on cold calls. New reps should make 250+ cold calls before moving on to AWAF calls. By this point, we think they’ll be ready.
    n
  4. Appear human: You’re not just a series of keystrokes; you’re a real human being! Polite voicemails show your prospect that you’re an actual person too; this is one of the best ways to increase reply rates to emails.
    n
  5. Increase conversions: Pick up the phone and call every prospect as soon as you receive a reply! When you have a prospect’s  attention and are top of mind, an immediate call is often the best time to capture interest, qualify/disqualify a prospect, find the decision-maker,or book a demo, leading you one step closer to that sale.

Cold-Calling FAQs

– How can I better prepare? What info should I look up? It’s always better to be over-prepared. Research not only the company, but the contact you’re reaching out too as well.

– Should I take any notes? Yes! You want to remember all the key details so you can  outline clear next steps later. Even better: record the call to ensure you capture everything. Listening to the recorded calls also helps show how you can improve on future calls. Just be sure to let the person know you’re recording.

– Is this the right time to review high-level objectives? Are you just finding the correct contact? Or do you already have them on the line? Depending on what type of call you’re on, you’ll have to determine the level of detail you go into.

– What is the ultimate goal of the call? Have a goal and stick to it. If you leave without achieving it, you’ll likely have to spend a lot of time tracking the person down again.

– What do I hope to know when I hang up? Much like having a goal, go into the call knowing exactly what you need to have when you hang up. Maybe it’s clear next steps, maybe it’s a verbal “yes”—either way, know what you need and don’t hang up without it.

3-Step Prep

  1. Arrange an agreeable time to chat. Get the prospect’s permission to have a conversation with them and make an appointment.
  2. Outline the conversation. Brainstorm the paths you’re going to take to reach each goal. Include things like conversation openers and responses to possible objections you might hear.
  3. Research your potential lead. Nothing too strenuous, just a quick search to get an overview of who you are calling.

Key Questions To Ask On A Cold Call

Research? Check. Prep? Check. Now, how are you going to keep your prospect interested? Here are some questions to help you tell whether a prospect is interested and worth a follow up:

– What role do you play in the decision-making process?

– We’ve been noticing that a current trend or problem in your industry is _____. How has your company responded to this?

– Are you satisfied with your current service provider?

– What features of XYZ’s product/service appeal to you?

– What do you wish you could add or change? Under what circumstances would you be willing to buy/switch products?

– Can I set up an appointment with you so we can discuss _____ ?

– How does your company make the decision to buy?

– What can I do to make your job easier?

– Who else in your company should I be following up with?

We work in a competitive business market and salespeople have to develop skills that open up new opportunities for growth and connection. Preparation and practice are the keys to cold calling success and keeping the above in mind, cold calls that once seemed daunting can become effortless.