What if your team’s cold call close rate could be 10% or higher? With the right B2B cold calling tips and tricks, that figure can be your team’s reality.
After a while, cold calling can become a task where your team is just going through the motions. Pick up the phone, dial the next number, pitch, get rejected, hang up. Pick up the phone… you get the idea. There are steps you can take to help your team’s cold calling efforts reach their full potential.
As a manager, you’re probably not dialing up a ton of cold calls yourself. That’s why I’ve put together this list of B2B cold calling tips specifically for sales managers. Use these tips to help coach and guide your team to cold call success!
B2B Cold Calling Tips For Managers
As a manager, you might step in to help with cold calling once in a blue moon, but your responsibility isn’t closing those sales yourself: It’s guiding and coaching your team to improve their performance and close sales on their own.
Once a quarter, I ask my team to provide me with a list of the companies and stakeholders they’ve been pursuing unsuccessfully so I can call them myself. Neil Rackham once said, “Don’t buy a dog and bark yourself,” but sometimes a different person with a different title is enough to cause the prospective client to engage. This exercise is also humbling, reminding you of how difficult it can be to get a meeting—while also helping you to glean insights that will help you help your team.
It’s also important to implement performance improvement plans and sales metrics/goals for individual salespeople.
The way to improve the salesperson’s performance is by improving their pitch by providing them with a value proposition for a meeting and increasing their confidence by providing them with the language that allows them to resolve the single objection to a meeting, the prospect’s concern that the meeting will be a waste of time. You should aim for four meetings in ten client conversations.
High-performing teams continuously train their teams. We enable this weekly training through our Sales Accelerator, as it includes a large catalog of talk tracks for every stage of the sales process.
1. Set Team Goals
My first tip is to set concrete, measurable goals for your team. Set team targets for the number of calls, the number of sales closed, the dollar value of sales closed, and any other metrics that are important to your team. Most of us have teams that make cold calls to schedule meetings with prospective clients.
The sales metrics you want to monitor when this is true are the number of dials, the number of conversations, and the number of meetings. Sales teams that are cold calling to start a conversation that is intended to make a sale will need to add the number of deals closed and the revenue they generated.
You should also make team performance accessible to the entire team to foster unity and create alignment among team members. Because your sales team may be spread across a large geography, make the metrics and performance available to everyone to foster an environment where each member is recognized for their contribution, as there are not many things more important to a sales organization than creating new opportunities.
2. Teach Resilience
When it comes to cold calling, rejection is the name of the game. It’s important your team understands they are not being rejected. Instead, the client is rejecting the value proposition the salesperson offered them. The word “no” only means that the salesperson will have to persist, improving their value proposition and ensuring their prospective client understands and believes the meeting is valuable—even if they are not ready to buy.
Help your team get over their fear of rejection and embrace the “no’s” as stepping stones to “yes’s” from best-fit customers. To do this, count the number of “no’s. In the Tour de France, the person in last place has the honor of wearing a red number for being tough enough to finish with the longest time on the bike. Celebrate the salesperson with the most “no’s,” recognizing that it can take time to really master cold calling.
3. Coach The Follow-Up
It takes an average of 18 touchpoints to gain a meeting in enterprise sales. This means you need a sequence of touches designed to result in a meeting. The idea that the salesperson can call a prospective client once every quarter will all but ensure you have no new meetings. A prospecting sequence allows your team to be professionally persistent over time, increasing the odds of booking a meeting.
80% of cold calls go to voicemail. Because this is true, you need your team to leave a message, using the opportunity to explain the value of the meeting they are requesting and that they will call the prospect back in the next forty-eight hours. It is never your client's job to call a salesperson back. Instead, make sure your sales team follow-up.
Follow-up is vital to your team’s success. Ensure you’re training your salespeople in best practices regarding follow-up, and helping to coach them through difficult follow-up situations.
4. Encourage a Customer-Centric Mindset
My fourth tip for crushing your cold calls is to discuss the importance of other-orientation in sales with your team. We just reviewed a number of cold calling scripts only to find they were self-oriented. These scripts had the salespeople suggesting they wanted to sell their prospective client what they just sold their competitor, telling them about the results they created. The value proposition for the meeting was nonexistent, as the salesperson was already pursuing their real agenda.
The value proposition for a meeting requires that you promise them they will be better prepared for the future by engaging in the conversation you are proposing. It’s always about the client. Putting themselves in the shoes of your customers will enable your sales team to focus on the value they can provide to customers.
There is no reason to call a prospective client if you don’t already know what kind of problems they have and what kind of help they might need. This is enough to recognize what conversation would benefit them as they move forward, eventually making the changes your sales team can help them make, improving their results.
Provide value early and often on cold calls. One of the ways you can help your team make it easier to gain a meeting is to share insights that prove that the meeting is going to be beneficial for your contact. Previewing the content of the conversation can increase your team’s conversion rates.
5. Practice Scripts Together
Your sales team needs a script: But you don’t want to sound scripted. Good language is good selling. Poor language is poor selling. There are words that are more powerful and more effective than other choices a salesperson might make.
The solution is twofold: First, use Talk Tracks. Secondly, practice your sales scripts together as a team until it feels and sounds natural. We spend too much time in sales practicing on our clients instead of practicing with our own team. Practicing in a safe environment helps improve both competence and confidence.
This is also an opportunity for team members to learn from one another, and a chance for management to evaluate sales team members. This exercise allows people to acquire new language and recognize how it makes it easier for some of their peers to book meetings.
Implementing B2B Cold Calling Tips With Your Team
Success breeds success.
When your team begins to see results from implementing these B2B cold calling tips, you’ll see increases in motivation and confidence that will create even more success… and on and on the cycle goes.
To reach your team’s maximum potential, you need more than just tips: You need lessons, scripts, and practice. The good news is that I can help you with all of those things. Check out my Sales Accelerator program. Through this program, your team will have access to dozens of modular training sessions and materials that can improve their sales skills, mindset, and more. Look into the Sales Accelerator today to see how I can help your team make it to the next level!