Is cold calling a thing of the past? Picking up the phone to call a prospect can seem like an outdated sales technique given the prominence of digital communication channels and the fact that prospects tend to conduct research independently before contacting a salesperson.
The truth is that outbound calling still works and 69% of buyers answer those calls. Cold calling can become a crucial element of an effective lead generation strategy when it’s done right.
Here are five outbound calling strategies you can use to turn cold calling into a positive experience that generates quality leads.
Use both cold calling and warm calling
Calling a prospect you have never interacted with before and who might not even be aware of your business is generally seen as a nuisance.
Successful salespeople are substituting cold calling with warm calling. A touchpoint before the call allows salespeople to target the right prospects and establishes awareness of your brand and products before the initial sales call.
Take advantage of lead generation channels
Consider exploring several different channels to create touchpoints that precede warm calling:
- Post interesting content regularly on social media and interact with users.
- Join LinkedIn to post articles, participate in groups and answer questions.
- Write thought-provoking and informative articles for your blog.
- Create a series of sales emails that use bite-sized content to deliver information.
Use analytics to figure out which channels and strategies help you generate leads consistently and to identify which channels yield the best leads.
Replace call scripts with conversations
A call that feels scripted will often get in the way of a positive and productive interaction. Your sales team can get better results by replacing scripts with talking points and open-ended questions.
Listen to prospects to identify their pain points, priorities and requirements and promote a memorable customer experience. Salespeople should have some go-to strategies and talking points to keep the conversation going, but the exchange should remain fluid.
Call at the right time
Look into scheduling calls with your prospects. You can also use analytics to pinpoint the best days and hours to call your prospects based on how many of them pick up the phone and how long calls typically last.
You’ll also want to call during the right stage of a prospect’s journey. For example, a prospect who has opened a series of sales emails or downloaded a white paper could probably benefit from more information.
You can use events to time your calls. Calling after a purchase is a great way to nurture a lead, but you can also call just before a prospect is likely to start out on a new buying journey, for instance, after an acquisition or new hire.
Sell with knowledge
Providing your sales team with actionable insights will result in a better experience for your prospects. More than 60% of B2B organizations use prospect data that is between 20 and 40% incomplete or inaccurate, which makes it difficult to deliver a personalized message during the initial sales call.
Acquiring knowledge about your prospects and delivering relevant knowledge about your products will help replace interactions that feel salesy or even pushy with a positive experience.
EagleONE offers comprehensive marketing solutions that drive the customer experience, enhance lead generation and get results. To get your sales program pointed in the right direction, contact an EagleONE team member to learn more and get started today:
CEO Mike Hutzel | mike.hutzel@Eagle1group.com | 513-847-0410
CXO Jim Borum | jim.borum@Eagle1group.com | 513-847-0410