5 Steps of Designing And Conducting Effective Sales Calling

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

42% of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before making a call. In this age of fierce competition, you simply don’t have the right to be generic, especially when research opportunities are so huge.

In the article below, we will show you what steps you need to take before picking up the phone and how to look more professional, caring, and convincing during the call.

#1 Research the prospect demographics, firmographics, and technographic

Demographics are about people, firmographics are about companies and technographic is about the tools and technologies companies use. Before the sales call, you have to collect information not only about the person but the company goals and problems as well.

While it’s important to know who you are talking to – his job title, seniority level, name, it’s essential to see the big picture and understand what company you are dealing with. You want to know the industry, size, annual revenue, location, growth trends, etc. Technographic details mostly matter to B2B SaaS companies who are interested in offering their software to the client.

Where do you get the information from? Primarily LinkedIn and the company website (Meet the team and About us sections).

If you are making inbound calls (i.e. the prospect has submitted a contact form or downloaded something), check out your CRM. It will show you what pages the prospect visited, what resources he downloaded or what goals/challenges he mentioned on the submission form.

#2 Get familiar with effective sales opening lines

Openers are like subject lines to your emails or the first lines of your social media post caption. If the reader didn’t like it, they won’t read the continuation. If the call recipient feels uncomfortable from your opening line, there won’t be a continuation, either. Below we are listing the opening lines that are widely used:

  • Do you have a minute?
  • I am interrupting you?
  • Did I catch you at a bad time?

Despite their popularity, these openers don’t work and can reduce your chances of booking a meeting by 40%. Instead, you can use any of these opening lines that sound more natural and relevant:

  • The reason for my call is… (gives people a reason to listen)
  • How have you been? and How are you? (sounds friendly and builds personal connection)
  • I was wondering if you could help me out for a moment?

These opening lines will help you grab the prospect’s attention and start a two-way conversation immediately.

#3 Set your call agenda and goals

Even the most experienced salespeople don’t attend a meeting without preparation. Besides researching their prospect, they note what points they are going to cover and what the end goal of the meeting is.

The golden rule of communication says that salespeople should let the prospect do 70% of the talking. And they should be talking only 30% of the time. This rule should be your starting point when deciding how to build your presentation and to handle the whole conversation.

For example, you can allow 1-2 minutes for introduction, 2-3 minutes for making your points, and allocate the rest of the time for Q&A.

Besides, you should have in mind what you are trying to achieve via this call: book a video call? Send an email with additional info? Ask permission for another call? Make it clear for you from the beginning.

If the prospect has booked the call in advance, make sure to send the start/end time and agenda via email.

#4 Prepare questions and predict potential objections

As you remember, your prospect should be doing 70% of the talking. And to encourage him to talk, you should ask questions. Good questions include but aren’t limited to:

  • What business goals does your company have?
  • What challenges is your company facing?
  • What process do you normally go through when considering a new vendor?
  • What do you like and dislike about your current vendor?
  • If you could change something about your product/service, what would it be?
  • How can we become their most valued vendor?
  • What should our next steps be?

You don’t have to ask all these questions during the same call, especially if you are reaching out to the prospect via a cold call. These examples help you understand what “good questions” look like and how helpful they can be in understanding the customer.

As a salesperson, you should also be aware of what objections are typical of your prospects and how to handle them. There are universal objections like price, cost-benefit ratio, etc. But every service/product has its own characteristics that pave the way for unique objections.

#5 Master deal-closing techniques

If you consider using outbound call center services, this is the most essential skill you have to master.

Your B2B lead generation company will research potential leads, contact, and qualify them. And when leads show real interest in your service/product, they will be directed to your sales team to acquire the customer.

Close CRM mentions over 30 techniques and phrases that will help you close those deals faster and increase the closing ratio. Some of the techniques are below:

  1. Now or Never Close (If you commit today, you will get a 15% discount, Only X products are left at the discounted price, If you commit today, you will get a paid service for free)
  2. Colombo Close (When you notice that the prospect is on his way out, use Colombo’s one-liner “Just one more thing” and highlight the most attractive part of the deal, the one you haven’t mentioned before)
  3. The Puppy Dog Close (When people try the product/service, they are more likely to be confident about it and make a purchase. They see the benefits, understand the value in a practical way, and don’t want to live without it)

Final thoughts

Preparation is half the battle. The learning process includes exploring your prospects, their companies, mastering the best selling methods, and the triggers that make people buy. Only with this knowledge and a personalized attitude can you win the prospect’s heart and contribute to your company’s consistent growth.

Author’s Bio:

Michael Meyer is a member of the editorial team at Leads At Scale. His main areas of expertise include business growth, inbound, and outbound marketing & sales.
He is a walking wanderer and a travel enthusiast.