Despite the growing trends of multi-channel marketing and sales automation, one thing remains a pillar in marketing—sales calls. Although some might consider it outdated, there are potential customers who will still pick up calls from sales reps they haven't interacted with. It’s also an excellent way to cement relationships with existing customers and introduce new products or services.
But sales calls aren't an easy task at all. They take time to carry out and sometimes you won't even reach the targets you want to speak to. This is why it's essential to ensure that you make your calls as productive as possible when you get through.
To be more effective and productive in your sales calls, you need to put yourself in the place of the person receiving the call on the other side. How would you like to be handled in a sales call? Customers never want to feel inconvenienced by calls, nor would they want you to waste their time.
This article shares six essential tips and techniques to help make your sales calls more effective and productive. Over time, your productive calls will help improve your conversion rates, and eventually, your revenue.
What are sales calls?
Put simply, sales calls are phone calls you make to gain business. Their purpose is to create a relationship with a prospect and eventually sell them your product, service, or brand. There are several types of sales calls: cold, discovery, scheduled, warm, and follow-up calls.
Making sales calls productive
Since sales calls remain an essential marketing strategy, you need to have the proper methods in place to make it effective. One of the basic rules in sales calls, particularly cold calling, is making as many calls as you can to raise the chances of making more sales.
You can do this with the help of a reliable phone system such as Power-Dialer or other dialing systems that allow you to call more prospects. This helps you maximize time, which is the resource you need most. But more than the high-volume calls, you also need to focus on quality. Here are tips to help make your calls more productive:
1. Install a reliable phone system and calling software
To make productive sales calls, you need to have a proper phone system in place. When you think of sales calls, this might not come right on top of your mind, but a reliable system will make things easier for you and your sales team. Investing in high-quality call and dialing software should be first on your list. (1)
Research on the best dialing software that can allow you to be connected to both landline and mobile devices. This will give you the freedom to work from anywhere, which will increase your team’s productivity. For example, the Call Cowboy Dialer and similar software with multiple call features can help you make more calls, connect to mobile and desktop apps, handle multiple calls and carry out other advanced functions.
Some of the features you need to look for in a calling software include call recording, forwarding, predictive dialer, and auto-dialer. It should also be compatible with your CRM system for easy integration. Being able to call on good quality devices and software enhances call quality, which increases the chances of your prospects listening to you.
2. Do your best research
Preparation is a critical factor in making productive sales calls. Before you call a prospect, do proper research and learn as much as you can about them. Knowing your prospect's background can make the difference between being productive and just making another sales call. It draws the line between converting or losing a lead.
When you have an idea of whom you're calling and why they might need what you're offering, you'll have the best way to break the ice and customize your call so they feel it’s personalized. Gathering as much information as possible before making a call also adds value to the call. Research helps your sales team not to make calls just for the sake of it. You’ll be able to follow better leads, make more productive sales calls, and subsequently increase conversion rates.
This works regardless of the type of call you're making, whether it's a cold, scheduled, or warm call. In the case of follow-up and discovery calls, ensure that you're ready with answers to questions that a prospect might potentially ask. You can do this by gathering information from other team members who've previously had contact with a prospect or reviewing customer information from your company's customer relationship management platform.
3. Embrace technology
In sales, you'll encounter a lot of repetitive tasks such as data entry. These tasks can take up a lot of your productive time that you could otherwise use to make calls to your prospects. The best way to go around these tasks is by automation so you can allot more time to work on what really matters. Statistics show that automating tasks in sales can help improve sales and marketing. (2)
Using a sales CRM is one of the ways you can automate and streamline processes while making tasks much simpler. You can automate data organization and management as well as administrative tasks that take up large portions of your time and energy. This allows you to focus on reaching out to leads and creating meaningful relationships with your prospects.
In addition, these tools help you store and retrieve valuable data on your prospects and leads more effectively. This means you'll have useful data ready when preparing to make sales calls. For example, you can review previous marketing campaigns and how the audience received them to curate your calls for better engagement.
4. Consider using a sales call script
Making sales calls, particularly cold calls where you're dealing with someone you haven't had any prior contact with can make anyone nervous. It's more challenging for new sales reps, but it can also be a daunting task even for the seasoned ones. When anxious, you can find yourself unsure of what to say, talking too fast, or forgetting important points.
These issues will affect your ability to make productive sales calls. The prospect won't easily understand what you're trying to say. In worse cases, they might hang up on you and you may be left talking to yourself. Forgetting crucial points will cause you not to give a complete pitch to your prospect, which can cause you to lose a good lead.
It's difficult for a prospect to say yes to your brand, product, or service if you only give them half the picture. When you use a sales call script, you give yourself a better chance to pitch the important details you need to tell a prospect.
However, script use doesn't mean reciting and sounding unauthentic and robotic. It's just a guide to help you share what matters in an organized manner. Don't let your prospect know you're using a script with the tone and flow of your words. Always keep a cheerful and inviting tone throughout the call. According to research, your tone can determine the fate of your sales call. (3)
5. Communicate your value clearly
As much as customers may want an option that saves them money, it's not all they need to hear about your offer when you make a sales call. You need to show that they'll get value by engaging with your brand. Indicate in your call how your offer can solve their pain points. The best way is to use real-life examples and case studies that demonstrate how your offering has solved similar problems for other customers.
You want your prospect to get motivated to pick your offering over that of your competitors and get to see the value it brings to them. Ensure you're well prepared with tools that enhance the conversation by giving you access to the information you need to communicate the value of your product or service.
6. Record and review calls
One of the worst errors you can make in sales is repeating a mistake. The best way to ensure that you don't end up with more calls but a low conversion rate is by recording and reviewing your calls. This can help identify and create exact examples of grave mistakes in their sales calls that, if not noticed, can be repeated over and over.
To master the art of sales calls, have each of your sales team members record all calls, including video conferencing calls. When you review these calls, it becomes easier to identify learning opportunities and improve weak points over time.
Otherwise, you may find your team making a high number of calls that have little or no positive effect and outcome. You can have review sessions with your sales teams and managers to collect suggestions and feedback. Make each call a chance to learn and improve.
Sales calls remain a top way to create new contacts with prospects and enhance existing relationships with customers. Regardless of the type of sales call you're making, ensure you're using the right tools and technology, do your research, and prepare to communicate value to a prospect. Be confident, calm, clear, and use a natural tone to communicate. Hopefully, these tips will help make your sales calls more productive in the future.
Stephen Davis is a retired Operations Manager with decades of experience in the customer service industry. He currently works as a consultant for a BPO company while enjoying more time traveling the world with his family and writing informative write-ups on his free time.
1. “How Call Recording Software Can Make Your Sales Team More Productive and Successful”, Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/call-recording-software
2. “Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing:, Source: https://hbr.org/1989/01/automation-to-boost-sales-and-marketing
3. “In Sales, Tonality Matters More Than You Think. Here's Why”, Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/tonality-in-sales
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