Some say cold calling is dead, and some feel that cold calling will stay forever. Of course, the definition and way of cold calling have changed a lot. But still cold calling, in a different way, remains favourite of many Sales & Marketing Managers.
Every business needs revenue. This revenue comes from various sources, sales being the primary one. Companies can upsell and cross-sell to existing customers to increase their revenue and profitability.
But this has its limits. You can only pitch so much to existing customers even if your offerings are subscription services to your existing customers. To stay afloat and thrive, a business must increase the size of its pie, i.e. its customer base and market share.
In this article, we’ll touch on the following topics related to cold calling strategies:
- What is cold calling?
- The Difference Between Cold Calling and Warm Calling
- Tools for a Robust Calling Strategy
- 3 Cold Calling Techniques that Work
- How to Motivate Your Tele-Callers to Succeed on Cold Calls?
What is Cold Calling?
This is a sales technique where callers that represent a business reach out to a list of prospects with whom they’ve had no prior interaction in order to pitch their offerings. These callers (also known as tele-callers) could be in-house or outsourced.
With the advent of social media, instant messaging, and other tools of engagement, cold calling is increasingly providing a lesser return on investment. The Harvard Business Review reported that cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time.
Which brings us to the question: is cold calling dead?
The answer in one word is “no.” While people do find cold calling intrusive and irrelevant most of the times, there’s no denying that the best way to increase business is to find new customers. However, there are proven ways in which a company can improve its returns and increase its revenue from cold calling.
We discuss those points in the rest of this post.
The Difference Between Cold Calling and Warm Calling
We already discussed what cold calling is. Now let’s understand what a warm call is.
What is Warm Calling?
According to Wikipedia, warm calling is when salespeople reach out to prospective customers that may have had a relationship with the business. In other words, these prospects are not complete strangers.
Businesses can connect with prospects through platforms like social media, websites, third-party portals, referrals from existing customers, incoming phone inquiries, and so on. All of these are a result of inbound marketing, where the prospects effectively raise their hands to show some interest in what the business offers.
The benefits of warm calling are manifold. Three of them are:
- Customers are open to speaking to tele-callers and salespeople because of their interest in the product.
- Businesses can identify whether prospects are their target audience and engage with relevant ones, thus improving their productivity.
- Businesses can deploy a good prospecting strategy for their target audience, which leads to higher returns in the form of revenue.
Six Tools for a Robust Cold Calling Strategy
Here are the three essential tools for a business that wants to strengthen its outreach strategy and reap the rewards.
1. Warm Database
Most businesses still engage in the outdated technique of buying leads and calling them. You might get lucky with a sale occasionally, but the drain on resources that this activity causes is not worth the investment.
Building a database that comprises of warm and hot leads requires running Inbound Marketing campaigns – offline and online activities to generate qualified leads that show an interest in the offering.
2. Helpdesk Solution
A Helpdesk solution is a resource that enables agents to provide customers or end users with the information they need related to a company’s products and services. This helpdesk can also be used by the telecalling team to reach out to prospects listed in the database.
An effective Helpdesk solution includes features like an IVR, caller information popups, call conferencing, call recording and monitoring, analytics, and reporting.
To know how Enjay’s Helpdesk Solution can improve the output of your tele-calling activities, click here.
3. Cold Calling Scripts That Work
Lots of callers reach out to cold leads and talk only about their products and achievements every day. And the conversion rate of such calls, according to HubSpot, is a terrible 1%. Is that how you want your business to function?
A good cold calling script is customized to cater to a specific target audience, engage it, and eventually lead it to take some action (preferably a sale but it can also be sharing personal information, referring friends, and so on).
Yes, this script requires work. That work leads you to reap the rewards. If making and using a script was easy, every telecalling team would be making money.
4. Qualified Tele Callers for Cold Calling
The quality of your tele-callers is almost as important as the quality of your leads today. Without the former, the latter will not turn into customers no matter how strong your campaigns are.
Choose tele-callers who can connect with prospects, understand their needs, and provide solutions accordingly. Such agents convert prospects much more than ones who sound like parrots and simply sell all the time.
Yes, you’ll have to pay more for good quality tele-callers, but the returns in the form of revenue speak for themselves. As the saying goes, “if you pay peanuts, you’ll only get monkeys.”
5. Good Telephony System (IPPBX)
If your team has to struggle to call people because the technology used is a challenge, then not only the performance but morale of the team goes down. A good quality IPPBX with call Center functionalities is a must.
5. Integrated CRM Tool
An Integrated CRM system helps Tele-callers in more than few ways.
- Click to call to speed up the Outbound dialling process.
- History and background of the leads so that the caller is well prepared.
- Script popup on the screen helps caller speak in a more structured and confident way.
- Call Logs and recordings, help the manager and administrator to track efficiency and communication quality.
- In the case of Inbound Calling, Automatic Call Distribution or ACD will help a lot to increase efficiency.
Tips for Cold Calling, Techniques That Work
Now that you know the must-haves to enable your telecalling team to achieve its business goals, here are three techniques they can apply to improve their success rate.
Make it about them
Reframe your team’s scripts to focus all their attention and questions on their prospects rather than on themselves and your business.
From “What we do” to “How our products make your life better.”
From “Our achievements” to “Here’s why you can trust us.”
From “Who are customers are” to “This is why we are credible.”
Your prospects will only trust you when you show that you understand their needs and wants. And once you’ve established trust, a sale becomes easy.
Plan questions in advance
The more questions your people get answers to, the more information they get to close a sales call successfully. The right questions will encourage customers to share more details. The wrong ones will make them hang up before another word can be said.
This makes questions an integral part of the calling script. Choose your questions, organise them in a logical sequence, apply them and keep refining until you come across a method that works. Then stick to it.
Create a rapport
Every prospect is cautious about sharing details, whether in an online form or on a call, because of the fear of being sold to. In today’s times, people are selling-averse, and instead, seek solutions.
Not all prospect who gets added in your database will be relevant, nor will they be keen on buying from you. Instead of trying to get a sale, let your callers be friends who want to help prospects and provide them with helpful solutions sale.
You might lose a short-term sale. But you could win a long-term customer who becomes an advocate and gives you referrals as well.
How to Motivate Your Tele-Callers to Succeed at Making Cold Calls
Cold calls and warm calls are almost the same for most tele callers. They’re speaking to prospects they know virtually nothing about, and often feel that the call will end in a “not interested.”
Morale levels often run low for cold callers. But that doesn’t mean you cannot take steps to bring it back up.
1. Empower them with the right tools
A database of warm leads, right quality equipment like headsets, clarity in voice and hearing quality, and information about customers beforehand prove useful for telecalling agents.
This makes them feel empowered to approach their work in the right state of mind and enables them to do the right things.
A good woodcutter needs the right axes to do his work well. Like that, your people need the right tools to perform better.
2. Proper training
It’s not enough to tell your people what to do and then leave them to fish for themselves. Your people need periodic training to improve themselves.
Call recording and monitoring tools are useful for business leaders to identify areas of improvement for tele-callers and train them accordingly. Areas include process knowledge, soft skills, better time management, and so on.
The better trained your tele-callers are, the better they perform when it comes to the real deal.
3. Visualise the end
Visualisation is useful to keep your tele-callers motivated throughout the day.
At the start of each day, implement a practice where the team leaders help them visualise themselves, keeping a positive body language, engaging with customers, and making sales. When situations get tough during the day, they’ll be able to keep themselves motivated.
4. Encourage their ideas
Telemarketers are “soldiers closest to the battlefield”, in war terms. They know how customers are responding, what they really want, and how existing processes and systems can be further optimised.
Encourage your agents to present ideas. Not only does this give you a chance to evaluate ideas that you hadn’t thought of; it also makes your cold calling strategy more efficient and makes your people feel heard, thus keeping them motivated further.
5. Align them with larger goals
People work better when they understand how what they do contributes to the bigger picture.
Make sure you align your performance management with a wider strategy. Show them how their work contributes to business goals and reward them accordingly. Your call centre agents can then see the bigger picture and are more likely to buy in.
Now, tell us. Which were the techniques mentioned above that resonated most with you? And what methods do you follow to improve the performance of your tele callers?
Do leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.