Cold calling has been a staple of the sales environment for as long as salespeople have existed. Some agents do very well at cold calling, while others fail miserably. The key to being effective is knowing what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do so. A few key tips can help put you on the path to success.
Create A Plan
Before an agent begins making cold calls, it is important for him to create a plan of action. If there is an event that creates a sense of urgency for purchasing your business's offering, the sales agent should create a sales pitch that incorporates this event. Maybe your agents want to cold call based on verticals such as companies in manufacturing or real estate that would be most likely to purchase your offering. Whatever the plan of attack may be, it should be strategic. Agents who simply cold call random businesses without a plan risk being dismissed by prospective customers.
Have An Engaging Sales Pitch
What a sales agent says when he reaches the right contact is every bit as important as the journey to get to that individual. Consequently, your sales agent must have a powerful sales pitch to catch the attention of prospects. If your business has helped customers lower costs by 30 percent, this is great information to include in a sales pitch. It creates value and shows the prospect that doing business with your company might be worth her time. Agents should practice and refine sales pitches continuously.
Your sales agents should get right to the point and not waste the prospect's time. Asking about the weather may seem like an attempt to build rapport, but it may end the call if the prospect senses this is just filler conversation. An example of a concise sales pitch may sound like this: "Hi Jane, this is Oneil with ACME Solutions. We've been able to help several businesses in your area increase sales production by 10 percent with our CRM software. Do you make decisions regarding these purchases?" When your agents keep sales pitches brief, it allows for faster disqualification of prospects who are not a good match.
The longer a sales agent entertains a conversation with a prospect who has no intention of evaluating your product or service, the less time he is spending with a prospect who will. Encourage your sales agent to use the cold calling process to eliminate prospects who have no intention of evaluating or buying your business's offering and putting those into the sales pipeline who do. By asking the right probing questions, your agents will be able to determine which businesses are viable prospects and which ones are not. Your agents should understand what the prospect needs, his role in the decision-making process and what the time frame is for making a purchase.