12 Business Days of Salesforce: 4 Calling Tips for Sales

 12 Business Days of Salesforce: 4 Calling Tips for SalesLet’s face it — the idea of the true “cold call” is dead. There’s an abundance of information about the person that you’re calling, like on LinkedIn, so the cold call has gotten much warmer. It’s no longer out of the blue with no referral, information or relationship that’s already in the works. 

But the plethora of information found online hasn’t left the phone null and void. Picking up the phone is still one of the best ways to connect with customers and an important tool in any salesperson’s arsenal. 

So for the 4th day of the 12 (Business) Days of Salesforce, we decided to take a hint from the original line in the song — 4 calling birds — and bring you 4 calling tips for sales conversations that are still useful in the modern era. 

1. Do your research

Your prosepcts expect that you’ve done your homework before you picked up the phone: not just your product pitch, but on the company that they work for and even on themselves. With the detailed information about roles and duties within a company, there’s really no excuse for placing a call that targets the wrong person. If you do so, your credibility is shot and you can’t expect that they will feel you’re qualified enough to pass your name along to the right contact. 

The best prospecting teams build extensive “personas” to discover who may be the best fit for the product. Aside from the basics like title, company hierarchy and industry overviews, you need to go much deeper for complete persona. This could include a prospect’s motivations, day-to-day job functionality, mentality and — most importantly — the biggest business pain points they have. Without being able to rattle off most of these pieces of information about a prospect, you really shouldn’t be picking up the phone. 

 12 Business Days of Salesforce: 4 Calling Tips for Sales

2. Flex your muscles

So you’ve done your research, but how do you prove to the prospect that you know your stuff? By having pre-existing offers ready, or even developing a special offer just for them, you can demonstrate the time and energy you’ve put in before even trying to get in touch with them. This could include webinars, e-books, an ROI calculator, a white paper, or an analyst report. Having these ready to suggest and reference makes it clear that you understand their business and what they would find useful.

3. Measure, measure, measure

There’s no way of knowing how to improve without numbers and data to draw on. But what sort of analytics are applicable for calls? Here are some examples of numbers you could track and look for improvements: 

  • How many calls do you make? 
  • How many voicemails do you leave?
  • How many discussions do you have with non-gatekeepers? 
  • How many meetings do you set up? 
  • What times of day yield more discussions than others? 
  • How many referrals do you get?

Once you have the numbers you can start tweaking your approach — and then track the results.

4. Perfect your voicemails

Let’s face it, you’re going to be sent to a lot of answering machines. But this isn’t a dead end; a voicemail is still a great opportunity for you to recite a well-practiced, seamless message. The ideal voicemail should: 

  • Be between 8 and 14 seconds long
  • Provide enough information to spark an interest to return the call, but not too much for them to make a decision off of just the voicemail.

In order to get there, you need to practice, practice, practice and (as painful as it can sometimes be to listen to your own voice) play the voicemails back to yourself — with a stopwatch in hand. 

Sites like LinkedIn don’t mean that phone calls are dead — they are tools that you can use to make your phone calls more effective (and warmer) than ever before. 

Keep an eye out for the other posts in the 12 Days of Salesforce series!

Want to learn how to accelerate your sales performance with 7 tips to success? Visit our website or download the free e-book. 

 12 Business Days of Salesforce: 4 Calling Tips for Sales

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