B2B Sales Cold Calling Techniques for 2021
According to LinkedIn research only 2% of cold calls result in a meeting. They’re long odds. You wouldn’t be the first to say they dread cold calling.
Consider this. With better sales cold calling techniques, your chances of success dramatically increase. It may not be your only or first time to reach out to a prospect but any salesperson should be equipped with the knowledge on how they can positively impact a cold call and use it to improve your win rates.
If like most people we know, you find you and your team face good days and bad, successes and failures, wins and losses then you’re probably human. We’re here to reveal how to cold call for sales, providing insights on the best time to make a sales call and the key to sales strategy and cold calling success.
How to cold call for sales?
Let’s assume you’ve done all your research and tracked down key information that gives you the insight to make a meaningful connection.
You know lots about the prospect, the company and their recent press, etc.
You might consider writing down a few prompters beside you when you make the call.
We aren’t fans of set scripts as they often come across impersonal. It’s better if the conversation feels natural. However, it’s good to remember the key things you need to include. Sometimes if you don’t write it down you can be distracted in the moment and forget.
Here are a few things to include in your cold calling introduction:
- Remember to introduce yourself
- Write down your prospects Company Name and Prospects Name
- Highlight the main reason for your call
- Bullet point a checklist of qualifying reasons
Have you practiced introducing yourself to your team? This can be a great exercise to do for new reps and nail early on in sales training.
Practicing in front of the mirror or audience can increase your confidence to pick up the phone. Remember to tick off those four points - and to tick them off quickly. According to an article by Forbes you only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression before people will consider hanging up.
Try refining your cold call introduction with;
1. What to say
2. The tone you say it
3. The speed you talk
4. The body language you use
How to be successful in sales with cold calling?
Anyone who has been successful in life has had some bumps along the way. Being resilient and determined goes a long way when you are often hearing the word “no”. Overcoming objections and rejection and staying motivated is key to help you survive and succeed in this game.
Factors to consider when you are hearing “no” more than you you want
1. Pick the right moment (for both of you) to make the call. We call it your cold call sweet spot.
Don’t make a call when it’s their busiest time of year eg. in the midst of a product launched as it will be difficult to get their attention. Picking the right moment eg; with a company expansion could be the right time!
Do make a call when you know you’ve connected with the right person.
Don’t make a call when you haven’t done your research or prepared your notes.
Do make a call when you are feeling good and focused.
Don’t leave it too long to self reflect over the call.
Do learn from any mistakes and try to rectify them in your next call.
- Present a memorable pitch to hold your prospect’s attention.
Don’t rattle on for too long talking about things that aren’t relevant.
Do think about the most important things your prospect should hear.
Don’t speak too fast or hijack the meeting. Remember to breathe.
Do encourage a two-way conversation. Give the opportunity for the prospect to ask open-ended questions.
Don’t forget to summarise the conversation.
Do ask them if they have any takeaways from the meeting.
Remote working and cold calling tips during COVID-19
The pandemic continues to challenge sales teams in all industries, all over the world. Sales tactics and processes need to be trailed, tested and adapted to survive and prosper (if possible) during and after the crisis.
Discuss with your sales and marketing teams any offers like free trials, deferred payments, extended trial periods to pitch in your cold calls can grab your prospects’ attention during difficult times.
Depending on the market you’re working in will determine what is appropriate. Thinking of the long-term in brainstorming leads can help weather the storm and hopefully win you a flurry of successes when we return back to “normal”.
It’s not just COVID-19 that has changed the way we go about cold calling
The digital era has changed our sales processes. A cold call isn’t really a cold call now as due to social media and platforms like LinkedIn, CrunchBase and Google Search tell us so much about the person on the other end of the line before we’ve ever had a conversation.
Remember your prospect may well be spending some crucial minutes at the start of your call checking you out! Making sure your social media and professional pages are up to scratch. It’s so important in presenting yourself.
I asked Becky Butler, Senior Account Executive at Jiminny, for her take on this subject;
Becky believes it’s crucial to have a strong and appealing LinkedIn profile that appeals to her prospects. She makes sure her profile is company branded and she is easy to contact. She uses LinkedIn for building her work brand and keeping in touch with the people she used to work with to follow their career journeys.
Becky’s LinkedIn 3 Top Tips to build your LinkedIn brand:
1. Make sure your profile image looks good. It helps to set the scene. Her previous company got all their staff to have professional photos taken for this reason.
She views her profile as “your own personal real estate”. Making sure it's slick and professional and highlights your personality.
2. Use LinkedIn to your advantage. Share links about what you’re selling. Post interesting articles. These will come up on your LinkedIn page and build up your credibility. On Becky’s own LinkedIn page she links a recent sales course that she attended that will be of interest to other sales leaders and indirectly advertises the product she is selling.
- Grow your network with 500+ connections and keep them relevant. This is social proof that gives you credibility. If you have any 2nd connections with your prospect perhaps bring this up in the cold call.
Reviewing cold calling with analytical call tools #self-coaching
Assessing how your call went to help us learn and grow is crucial to helping salespeople succeed. Analytical call data takes our own bias and emotion away and lets us review the call in a better way.
Data where you can categorize which cold calls moved onto the next step are great for pinpointing the successes and failures of your pitch.
Talking these metrics through with your sales team during coaching sessions may help you figure out strategies to turn your losses into wins.
Sharing the cold call with your sales manager can give you insightful feedback and consider ways you hadn’t thought of in your own self-reflection in which you can improve. For more about this read this blog here
Challenging yourself to frequently track and analyze your data and share it with a sales coach can turn things around in the cold calling process.
4 Inspiring quotes of encouragement from business leaders
"I knew that if I failed, I wouldn't regret that. But I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying." -- Jeff Bezos
"Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress." -- Seth Godin
"I never dreamed about success, I worked for it." -- Estee Lauder
"Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEOs point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. The great CEOs tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers: They all say, 'I didn't quit.'” -- Ben Horowitz
See for yourself why customers love using Jiminny for their sales teams here
Best, Jodi @ Jiminny