5 Ways to Boost Your Cold-Calling Results in 2019

5 Ways to Boost Your Cold-Calling Results in 2019

Are you unhappy with your cold-calling results from 2018? Know something needs to change but not sure what it is? Here are 5 ways to boost YOUR cold-calling results in 2019!

1. Be CONSISTENT  

Consistency is KEY to your success in this business! I HIGHLY recommend setting aside a specific amount of time EVERY DAY, to make your cold calls. I know that things come up and meetings need to happen so you may not be able to make the calls at the same time every day but make sure that you are making time, every day, for calls.  

The amount of time you need to spend is dependent on your goals. (I will address this formula in an upcoming post.) But studies show that you need to ‘touch’ someone 8 – 12 times before you make a real connection. Keep this in mind as you dial!

Stick to the same script to keep your messaging consistent and you will see results. Remember, NO means ‘not just now’ and every dial gets you closer to a YES!  

2. Stay POSITIVE 

When you are making your calls, think ‘positive’!  

Not only can the person you are speaking with FEEL the positive vibe but getting yourself into a positive mindset can really make the difference between just making calls and SETTING APPOINTMENTS. 

Remember that ‘Attitude Drives Behavior’ and YOU control YOUR attitude.  

Here is a short video with an interesting take on how to stay positive with ‘Inverse Paranoia’ Darren Daily: Inverse Paranoia   

3. Have, and use, a FOLLOW-UP PLAN  

Deals are LOST due to lack of, or poor execution of, follow-up! 

I HIGHLY recommend using a CRM that automatically enters your calls into your queue and having a cohesive follow-up plan. Depending on the outcome of each call, you may be identifying and reaching out to the ‘right’ person or setting appointments – the call is only the first step, be sure you have a clear map to CLOSING. 

Your plan will vary based on your needs and goals but make sure that it also includes a STOP point. You don’t want to OVER follow-up (which leads to burn out on both ends – the prospect AND the salesperson making the calls!)  

If the prospect is not interested after your fourth call, you should take them out of your rotation for a few months before reaching out again. And if they have ghosted you – are no longer taking your calls – you should have an email follow-up that you can send. In that email, ask prospects to clarify where they are in the process, what has changed and to be frank, clarifying if they no longer wish to be contacted.

4. Know and MONITOR Your KPI’s

MAKING a specific number of phone calls is NOT the ultimate sales goal – know what YOUR goals ARE! 

Clearly identifying your goals and monitoring your progress towards those goals is KEY to ACHIEVING them! Knowing YOUR KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will help you stay ON TRACK.   

See our post “Know and Monitor Your KPI’s for Cold Calling Success” for more on setting KPI’s. 

5. On-going education 

Sales tactics, techniques and technology change constantly – you need to be a life-long learner to succeed! Practice WILL get you closer to perfect but staying on top of industry trends and refreshing your skills is VITAL. Educational posts with sales insights and tips can help, as can videos and podcasts.  

We offer training for salespeople of all levels, keeping them up to date with best practices, sharpening their skills and giving them the tools they need to succeed. We make sure that they KNOW and MEET their KPI’s and consistently hit and EXCEED their sales goals.  

If you are NOT seeing the results you need, give us a call – we can help you with your script, train you and your team on your delivery and even make calls for you if needed! Contact us at 908.879.2911 or leads@oneofakindsales.com  

Know and Monitor Your KPI’s for Cold Calling Success

While psyching yourself up to make that first dial of the day may be the most daunting part of cold calling, MAKING the calls is NOT the ultimate sales goal for most organizations. Setting QUALIFIED APPOINTMENTS and CLOSING SALES are what impact your organization’s bottom line. Understanding the full sales process and knowing (and monitoring) your KPI’s will help you meet your ultimate sales goals.

KPI’s are ‘Key Performance Indicators’ – clear, specific actions YOU need to take, during a specified time, to achieve a specific outcome. In the example above, picking up the phone and making calls IS key, but the specified desired outcome is to set appointments with qualified individuals and then to close sales with those prospects.

If you are responsible for making that first call, your KPI might be to make X number of calls per hour, day or week. If the other subsequent metrics are falling or failing to be met, this number may need to be increased.

 Are you responsible for setting appointments? That KPI might track the number of calls that result in an appointment. If this number slips, go back to the initial call script and make sure it is solid. Re-work that as needed to ensure the calls you are making lead to appointments.

The next metric to track would be the number of appointments that are converting to actual sales. If you find this number slipping, you don’t necessarily need to make MORE CALLS (though that may help increase your odds) but you need to work on the delivery and content of those calls so that when you are setting appointments, they are with people who are truly QUALIFIED to close a sale.     Clearly identifying your goals and monitoring your progress towards those goals is KEY to ACHIEVING them! Knowing and monitoring YOUR KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will help you stay ON TRACK to meet and exceed your sales goals.

Are your calls not converting? Need help with your scripts or to tune up your teams’ delivery? Give us a call – our training programs can boost YOUR team’s results.

And if you still need help, WE LOVE COLD CALLING! Give us a call at 908.879.2911 to see how WE can make calls for YOU!

What You Need To Do Before You Start Cold Calling

What You Need To Do Before You Start Cold Calling

People think of cold calling as picking up the phone and continually dialing prospects until you have success. But cold calling is not a random process and you will have much greater success if you set up your process and prepare the right documents before you get started. Successful sales professionals don’t wing it. Cold calling is all about planning and execution. Here’s what you need to do before you start Cold Calling:

 

Research – Compile a list of decision makers and whenever possible obtain their phone numbers and emails. Collect information about the prospect that allows you to engage them in a meaningful conversation.

CRM – Leverage the power of a CRM to set benchmarks, quantify KPI’s, and track your results. This is the best way to collect information about the prospect, to monitor who you have called, where you are in the process and quantify the outcome.

Telephone Scripts – To ensure that you sound professional and your calls are productive, prepare scripts for your initial call, and follow-up calls as well.

Voice Message Scripts – Often you won’t be able to reach your prospects directly by phone. So it will be necessary to leave a brief but meaningful voice mail messages. Have them prepared before you start dialing.

FAQ’s – You want to be prepared when the prospect asks questions. Anticipate and prepare responses to potential objections. Spend some time to document what questions they might ask and what your responses should be.

Training – It’s important that each salesperson is well versed in all the steps and potential outcomes of the process. Role playing is a good way to accomplish this.

Practice – Practice is the only way for you to know your pitch cold and to sound natural on your calls. Your goal is to have a conversation with the prospect, not sell them.

Think of your process as your secret weapon, helping you manage your efforts and more easily achieve your objectives. Need help establishing an effective process for yourself and your sales team? Give us a call at 908.879.2911 or email Leads@OneofaKindSales.com, we can help!

Now’s Not the Time to Deviate from the Plan

Reach the Goal!

According to an Ask Your Target Market survey, 59% of Americans take vacation sometime during July and August.

Certainly not everyone is away and those that are away are not gone for 2 months. Generally, those in the workforce take one or two weeks.

So why do so many people stop cold calling in the summer? This has a detrimental, long-term effect on sales quotas and year-end results.

Instead, use this time to your advantage to keep your plan on target and get a leg-up on the competition.

Stay committed

Just because people are on vacation doesn’t mean that you should be making only a half-hearted commitment to qualifying leads. In a given week, you’ll reach some people and not others, but you can keep the process moving ahead.

You may reach a prospect before they leave for vacation and the process may drag out because of it. When they return, you can pick right back up where you left off. If you need to, adjust your daily and weekly activity goals.

Don’t assume

Just because it is the summer, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. You don’t know if your prospect is away. Engage your usual call campaign, leaving brief messages, following up with emails and calling again.

Use time to your advantage

Because you may have a little more time on your hands, summertime is a good time to reconnect with in-process leads. Review your accounts, check in with them and find out what is new with them, personally and in business. A little interest goes a long way in your relationship.

Call on leads you might have overlooked at other times of the year, opportunities that, for whatever reason, didn’t materialize. As your competitors take a break from cold calling, this is your opportunity to get in front of these folks and build rapport.

Keep your pipeline full

When you take a hiatus from qualified lead generation your pipeline dries up and you have a huge fall-off in closed sales in a month or months following.  There’s a ripple effect in your work flow that can have a substantial negative impact on sales for the year.

Let’s say you stop cold calling July 1st and resume September 1st. What will you or your team be working on at the end of July, in August or in September or October? You’ve created a gap in qualified leads that could last months. You’ve lost the momentum of the campaign.

A cold calling campaign is a process of initial calls, emails and building rapport. Interfering with this process will set you back, possibly months.

The pace may lighten up during the summer, but sales activities need to continue. Stay committed and don’t let your business stagnate.

If you cannot stay committed to your inside sales effort, contact One of a Kind Solutions. We can help.

Why Your Cold Calling Isn’t Resulting in Appointments

nullAs technology permeates every aspect of our lives, we can lose sight of the importance of staying in touch with prospects. Customer relationships are at the core of sales. When you nurture relationships, you endear your customers to your brand and your business. Without this, your leads will go nowhere and sales will fall far short of goals.

Building a relationship and converting a prospect into a sales-ready lead, raises awareness and establishes a 1:1 personal relationship with each prospect. A successful lead generation campaign engages on many levels.

Keeps their attention. Engage and get the buyer’s attention through a multi-touch approach, routinely throughout the year. Response rates rise with each subsequent outreach attempt. But most sales pros give up after less than two touch points. In fact, on average, salespeople don’t even get to a second touch point when reaching out to a decision maker. This is such a lost opportunity!

Cultivates the relationship. B2B customer acquisition isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time to develop a relationship. Cold calling fails when call campaigns are not given enough time to mature. Continuous one-on-one communication using various channels helps cultivate the relationship.

Maintains awareness for when they are ready to convert. A prospect may not convert to an appointment by the end of one call cycle or even four, but that doesn’t mean that the prospect won’t be interested at a later date. Repeat the cycle to keep you and your company top of mind for when they do want to take the next step.

Engages on multiple levels. Being top of mind is one of the best ways to reinforce your relationship and turn leads into appointments. A multi-level effort using calls, voicemail, email and LinkedIn, with sales and marketing working together can be very effective in raising awareness, keeping you top of mind and getting the prospect ready to make the commitment for an appointment and subsequently a sale. The multiple touches and the continuity of the effort are crucial components of lead nurturing. Touch points are opportunities to prepare leads for the final stage in the buying journey, the point of decision-making. The better the experience and the more valuable each of these touch points are to leads, the more likely they’ll be ready to make a buying decision and convert to paying customers.

A successful cold calling campaign is more complex than you may be able to develop yourself. Contact One of Kind Solutions to see how we can help.

Are You Ready for a Cold Calling Campaign?

Your leads have been properly qualified as a good fit for what you are selling. But the leads aren’t getting closed.

When qualified leads don’t turn into sales, cold calling campaigns can be erroneously considered to be root of the problem. The failure to close sales cannot be attributed to the cold calling campaign when other conditions may be in play.

Proper training, preparation and having the right tools on hand will ensure that qualified leads result in closed sales.

Training and role-playing. Often reps are not properly trained to take the call/meeting to closure. The goal of the salesperson isn’t to just make a one-time sale but to position themselves as someone that understands the customer’s needs, someone to be trusted, and someone that the customer can turn to for solutions to their problems. Role-playing techniques help salespeople to become comfortable using this consultative selling approach.

Preparing and planning. When it comes to sales calls, don’t wing it. Prepare by becoming knowledgeable about the company and the prospect you will be speaking to. Have on hand all paperwork, forms, etc. that the customer will need to move forward. Plan by anticipating any objections that might arise and knowing how to respond to them.

Tools. Scripts are a useful tool to guide how the call or visit should go. Base scripts on the ultimate goal for the meeting but be as specific as possible when goal setting and writing scripts. Be sure to include thoughtful questions that will open the prospect to discussion. Leverage rather than read your script to make sure progress is made through the call to reach your goal.

Hiring. There is no training or preparation in the world that will make a rep successful if that person does not possess the need for achievement, an underlying competitiveness and overall optimism. If a rep is still not successful after the proper training, planning and preparation, it’s time to re-examine your hiring process because you are not attracting the right people.

Select people who are suited for the job, and train and prepare them properly to sell and close. Then you are ready to launch a cold calling campaign and turn qualified leads into sales.