6 Strategies for Telephone Sales Success

by blackwoodimpact

Phone calls are an inevitable part of the sales process. Even if cold calling isn’t one of your primary strategies, “follow-up” and relationship maintenance calls are essential in influencing prospects to make a purchase with you eventually.  According to The Brevet Group, 92% of customer interactions happen over the phone.

As sales strategy practitioners, Blackwood Impact Group has years of experience implementing best practices for sales teams. In this article, we want to give you a few strategies to make your calls more profitable. Whether you have a call center, a group of B2B salespeople or you are a solo entrepreneur who needs to follow up with warm leads more effectively, these tips are for you.

Strategy #1 – Set Time In Your Schedule For Making Calls

Cold calling and warm calling can be scary to many people. Some fear rejection while others feel as if a phone call might be a bother to the recipient. As a result, many salespeople can be hesitant about making calls and will even put off the task. Some might say they need to be “in the mood” to make calls.

But phone calls are necessary for the sales process. Consistency in this area is critical. If you want to meet your monthly sales goals successfully, it’s best not to wait for inspiration. Don’t let procrastination, other responsibilities, or fear stop you. Be disciplined. Set a time for making your calls daily or weekly and commit to it. If you are making cold calls, keep this other statistic from The Brevet Group in mind: the best time to cold call is between 4 pm and 5 pm.

Strategy #2 – Avoid Calling on Mondays

Monday is a busy day for most people. They are coming back from the weekend and often are tied up in meetings or putting out fires. Instead, Monday can be a great day for you to prepare for your calls for the week.

Make time to identify who you need to call. Refresh yourself on where they are in your sales cycle. Prepare answers to questions they might have asked or concerns they might have expressed in your previous conversations, emails, texts, or social media messages. It’s also an excellent opportunity to perform strategies #3 and #4 and take notes.

Strategy #3 – Conduct 30-second Research on the Person You Are Calling

It is vital that the person receiving your call feels like you either know them or took the time to learn about them. Especially if you are cold calling, this can help warm them up instantly. No one wants to feel as though they are just another number on your sales hit list.

Make an effort to understand your prospect and try to assess what some of their current business or personal concerns and needs are that your product or service can fulfill. Search through their company website. Look at their LinkedIn or other social media profile. See if there are any recent media pieces on their company or industry. They will feel as though you are concerned about them if you work what you find into your conversation.

Strategy #4 – Know What You Will Say Before Hand

One of the fears people have about calling prospects is not knowing what to say. It is easy to forget to share or ascertain important information during a conversation if you don’t know where you want the discussion to go ahead of time.

Avoid awkward pauses by using a script. Some companies provide scripts for their salespeople. If so, great. Just personalize it with the information you gathered in strategy #3. You can also create your own script.

Feel free to keep it simple or just have notes which bullet points the topics you want to discuss. You should also prepare questions to ask so that it can help you ascertain where they are in the buying process.

Strategy #5 – Don’t Rely On Just One Phone Call

Your follow-up and nurturing process with prospects and key business relationships should include a variety of tech points in different mediums. Use a combination of email and calling. If texting or social media is one of your prospect’s preferred methods of communication, put that into the mix as well.

Your goal should be to be prepared to create multiple touchpoints. According to Salesforce.com, it takes 6 – 8 touches to build a viable lead. According to The Brevet Group’s statistics, it takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. They also share that while 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after a meeting, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up attempt.

Strategy #6 – Persistence Is The Name Of The Game

Prospects today are bombarded with information. So now they block ads on their computers and mobile devices whenever they can and prefer to reach out only when they are ready. Besides, as you can see from the above statistics, one phone call or email won’t cut it in today’s noisy world.

It’s important to note that not only are you trying to edge out other companies in your space, but you are competing with your prospect’s own sense of priorities. You and the products and services you offer just might not be a top need or want for them at the time you are reaching out. So persist if you don’t get a response to your first or second call or email.  Continue reaching out until they ask you to stop. You may not be the right option for them now, but maybe in a few months or next year, the timing will be right for them to say yes.

Final Thoughts

When you are conducting sales calls, your goal should be to pique their interest in what you offer, in order to get them to commit to a next follow-up meeting.

At Blackwood Impact Group, we offer sales training for individuals and groups. We can work with your new hires or provide reinforcement or recertifications for your team. We share the latest sales strategies and techniques that are working in today’s business market. We also help companies develop sales strategies. Contact us today at 770-502-6295 or info@blackwoodimpactgroup.com to learn more about how we can help you grow your revenue through effective sales management.