The first rule you probably learned as a sales representative was that cold calling is a huge pain and can be ineffective. Cold calling was what people did back in the 1960s, when the customer had no access to additional information and the salesman controlled the situation. Today, cold calling can get you blacklisted by a potential client. Some even think it’s unprofessional. But is that really true? Are there really no benefits to cold calling?
In an ideal situation, you have a prospect who has looked around your website and has already downloaded some resources, then you can follow up with that lead based on the level of interest they show. But, sometimes, you just need to get your foot in the door. This is where cold calling comes in; it can be used as a tool to warm up a potential prospect and up your chances of having a meaningful conversation with them in the future. You just need to use the right strategies before making the call.
Here are a couple of ways you can use cold calling as an effective sales strategy:
Do Your Research
The better you know your target, the more effective your cold call will be. Who is your target? How big or small are they? What kind of position do they occupy in the industry? Who are their competitors? What do you have in common? What exactly can you help them with? Study your prospect and make a note of these details. And, of course, you need their contact details, including their office address, phone and email address to make it easy to follow up with them if the call goes well.
Have a Plan
Decide who you are going to contact, when you’ll contact them and how you’ll contact them. You have your day-to-day prospecting and pipeline activities to complete, so set aside a definitive amount of time and give yourself a timeframe to make your cold calls. How many people will you call in a day? When will you call? And how will you contact them? If you do your research, you can get some ideas about how best to contact them and how you might be able to warm them up for a sales conversation.
Make a Connection
You are calling this person out of the blue, so apart from introducing yourself, try to make a personal connection. You may discover you share an alma mater, a previous employer or a friend. Maybe you attended the same industry conference or trade show, but never met. Social media and LinkedIN are great places to look for connections of this sort. You may discover a connection or common point of interest during the course of your conversation, too. This is why it is necessary to spend some time talking to the person during a cold call before getting to what you are selling.
Most importantly, keep track of those cold calls if you want them to convert! Remember:
- Who you called
- How many of those calls led to appointments
- How many of those leads converted to sales
Even if some of those cold calls do not result in a sale, make a note of it. Each conversation gives you more information about the company or individual you are talking to. By keeping track of conversations, you can better understand how to approach the same prospect for a fresh sale.
Cold calling gets more effective when you have Salesvue by your side. Our call-logging system enables sales reps to make a note of each call and how it went, in just a few simple clicks. Salesvue also simplifies and automates follow up tasks so that sales teams can make an average of 50% more calls, which means that you can make each and every connection count and not let any lead slip through the cracks. Plus, Salesvue’s in-depth reports show you how well prospects are interacting with your sales team, so you can manage the message better in order to close the deal. Contact us today for a demo.