It is officially declared that “B2B Cold calling is dead and buried.”
Yes, it is dead if you adopt 90s methods. The above statement defines that the traditional way of cold calling is dead. These days, cold calling methods are completely different than the early days. Sometimes, it is called smart calling as there are several smart methods for b2b cold calling.
What is business to business (B2B) cold calling?
B2B cold calling is a process of contacting a business person or an entrepreneur to have him/her convinced to use your product(s) and/or service(s). Experts have advocated that cold calling should be part of your marketing strategy as it inflates the sales effectively.
Phone calls are the second-highest way of reaching prospects for B2B businesses.
How do you cold call a company?
A B2B sales call is more challenging than a B2C sales call. In case of a B2B sales call, the target audience is the decision-maker or higher authority person of the company. They have always a tight schedules. When they receive a call from a salesperson, they try to hang up the call though they need the solution for their pain point. Below are the common excuses they give:
- I don’t have time now
- I am about to enter a meeting
- Can you call me back
- Oh, I have heard about you guys but will get back to you
When you hear such statements, it is very difficult to continue the conversation.
But when a prospect comes to know spending $1 will benefit $5, will he hang up the call?
Of course not!
As an efficient salesperson, you need to demonstrate the early value of your product during the cold call.
“The greater the perception of value, the greater the likelihood you gain a commitment that moves you forward together.” – Anthony Iannarino
B2B Cold Calling: Tips and techniques
There are three-step actions for a successful B2B cold call. Having a random cold call is equal to a dead call. In order to make your call effective, plan your call and drive it step by step.
Let’s dive into each step and efficient methods to acquire a new customer.
The pre-call analysis process helps to gain the confidence to talk with a stranger. It is the initial step of cold calling. Basically, this step is taken before a call to shape up the whole sales process.
Once you get your target audience, research on him/her through various probable channels. Commencing the call by asking basic information may annoy the prospects. Therefore, having information on the prospect will reduce your call duration and make the conversation interesting.
Pick any point your prospect likes and start the conversation. When you speak on the prospect’s preferred topic, the conversation will be two-way communication. Once the prospect starts talking, that means they are ready to give you time.
Research is the most valuable technique for cold calling as it develops a good rapport with the prospect.
2. Aim to Generate Interest
During the research step, get all the information ranging from industry vertical to employee size. If the introductory part goes well, then aim to generate interest. Generating interest in thought leaders is not as easy as it appears.
The good way of seeding the curiosity in their minds is by providing the information you have gained through research. This activity will throw the picture that you have done deep research on them and you really know their need and will be able to solve their problem.
When a decision-maker comes to know that the solution of his pesky problem is near to him, he will show more interest to hear from you.
“Practice Makes a Man perfect ”
This adage applies everywhere. No matter if it is for sales or studies or business, but eventually, the perfection appears. Before calling to a prospect, research and aim to generate interest are the two key points for further proceedings. Plan the flow of the conversation based on the above-mentioned steps and practice this action again and again before picking the phone.
Call any of your friends thinking that you are calling your prospect and start the conversation as per your checklist you have prepared. Ask your friend to talk like a thought leader. So that you can gain some confidence during practice call.
4. Overcome the fear of rejections
Rejection is the compulsion in sales. Multiple “No” are going to be echoed in your ear. The perfect way to overcome the fear of rejection is to develop the right mindset. Train your mind that you are going to face lots of rejection and you have to focus on the next lead.
Another effective technique to overcome the fear of rejection is not to consume the rejection but to deal with rejection. When you start dealing with the rejections by asking various questions to the prospect, it will give more confidence and you will present a better version of yourself in the next call.
On-call activity is like on-board performance. This phase is very important in the entire process. Here are a few tips to make the call efficient.
5. Use a script
Most of the sales reps want to go with the flow without using the script. This is a good practice but every time things don’t happen the way we want or expect. Once you get stuck without answering their questions, your brand will be spoiled. Therefore, being careful and go with the flow of the prospect during the call is significant.
In a B2B sales call, prospects ask complex questions. Prepare a script and list down the probable questions they may ask based on the information you will provide. Keep ready your answers in the script and handle the call as an expert.
6. Nail the first 20 seconds
Cold calling is definitely challenging as you are going to deal with a stranger who doesn’t have any clue about you. But the most challenging part is to attract the prospect’s attention for the first 20 seconds of the call. The reason for attracting the prospect’s attention in the first few seconds is to open the way to continue the conversation.
There are a few tips to make your prospect engaged at the beginning of the call.
- Tell them who are you in one sentence
- Tell about them and their industry verticle
- Point out their problem
- Stress on the benefits they are going to get than the product
Try to cover all these points in 1 or 2 minutes and make it short and crispy.
7. Focus on learning, not on sales
Remember one thing that your first call is not to close the deal or sell the products and services. It is for initiating the conversation and building a good rapport. Grab the opportunity to learn about the prospect and observe his/her psychology. Don’t focus on sales from the beginning.
Another cold call technique is to learn from your mistakes. Experiment various methods and if it doesn’t work, learn from it. This practice will give you different ideas to get the customers.
8. Take charge of the call
During the call, listening to your prospect is very essential. Therefore, develop your listening skills to know more about your prospect. Allow your prospect to talk in the call but you take the charge of the call. There are three steps you need to follow to take charge of the call:
- Listen to your prospect – First, you introduce yourself and talk little about the prospect to make the conversation interactive.
- Observe him/her – Allow him/her to talk by asking questions and try to find out his/her problem.
- Talk and take charge of the call – In the last part of the call, take charge of it, convince him/her and fix the next meeting for further discussion
The process of a sales call doesn’t finish after you disconnect the call with your prospect. There are a few steps you need to complete post-call in order to strengthen the effect of the call.
9. Evaluate your call
Spending time on evaluating your call will provide you the feedback to improve and encourage you to apply the new techniques. It will also provide you a picture of the techniques that worked for the prospect.
Once you disconnect the call, listen to the call record and find the points you haven’t covered or you want to add the extra information. Compare your call with any of your colleagues (who is expert) call records and get the points you missed. Notice the tone and language he has used tactfully.
10. Send effective follow-up email
80% of sales require five follow-ups to be closed. After your call, if you send the follow-up emails with the information you missed during the call, it will give the impression that you care to provide more information even after the call.
There are three ways to send a follow-up email.
- Send an email with an understandable subject – As a thought leader your prospect receives a plethora of emails per day. Make your subject line easy to understand and more specific.
- Avoid flagging your email as a high priority – If you send the email with the same information repeatedly, there might be a chance of getting flagged. Therefore, it is very important to use a clear subject line with new information each time.
- Value their time – Maintain the gap while sending the follow-up emails. You can stay away from the list of spam of your prospect by spacing them out appropriately.
11. Watch the duration and time of the call
It is always better to do a cold call at the prospect’s convenient time. Of course, it is very hard to find this out. Note the time when you are calling to the prospect and their responses. From this, you will have an idea of what time you can talk to them.
Watch the duration of your call and how it goes. See the effectiveness of long duration and short duration and relate it to the success call.
No one likes cold calling but as you need to find customers there is no way to escape. If you follow the above-mentioned tips and techniques, such kind of thoughts will leave you and you will start enjoying the cold calling.
When it comes to B2B cold calling, honing your skill will provide you the better result. In B2B calls you are going to deal with thought leaders who have multiple tactful questions and you need to encounter those questions by answering smoothly.
Follow the above steps and see how your cold calling takes a new turn towards the success call. Share your success stories of sales calls in the comment box.