“B2B Cold calling is dead and buried”- the biggest untrue myth for any business-to-business (B2B) venture.
Perhaps, they adopted the wrong method or medium for converting those cold leads. When using the right B2B cold calling tips, you can give your business the most desired break and drive profits for your B2B. It is also the ideal way to get insights into leads for understanding the challenges and requirements of the business’s prospective buyers.
Adopted mostly in the 90s, cold calling is still valid but with a little twist in its methods, completely different from those in the prior days. In today’s time, we tweak up the traditional cold calling with smart methods, addressing it as “Smart Calling”.
In this article, learn about the cold call best practices, how to cold call B2B, and the cold call checklist.
What is business to business (B2B) cold calling?
“B2B cold calling” is a process of contacting a business person or an entrepreneur to convince them to use your product(s) and/or service(s). Experts have advocated that cold calling should be part of your marketing and sales strategy as it inflates sales effectively. Phone calls are the second-highest mode of reaching prospects for B2B businesses.
How do you cold call a company?
It’s evident that a B2B sales call is more challenging than a B2C sales call. In the case of a B2B sales call, the target audience is the decision-maker or higher authority person of the business who has tight schedules. When they receive a call from a salesperson, they try to hang up the call though they need solutions for their pain points. Below are the common excuses they come up with:
- 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
- No thanks, I don’t have time right now
When a B2B caller hears such statements, it becomes arduous 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 first minutes of a 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 Call Best Practices: Tips and techniques
There are 3-step actions to a successful B2B cold call. A random cold call is equal to a dead call. In order to make your call cogent, plan your call and drive it step by step.
Let’s dive into each step and effective methods to acquire a new customer.
The pre-call analysis process, the initial step of cold call best practices, helps gain the confidence to talk with a stranger. 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 for basic information may annoy the prospects. Therefore, gathering 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, collect all the information ranging from industry vertical to employee size. If the introductory part goes well, then aim to generate interest. Igniting interest in thought leaders is not as easy as it appears.
A good way of seeding the curiosity in their minds is by providing the information you have acquired through research. This activity reflects the picture that you have done deep research on them; you really know their need and will be able to solve their problem.
When a decision-maker comes to know that the solution to his pesky problem is near to him, he will show more pull to hear from you.
“Practice Makes a Man perfect.”
This adage applies everywhere. No matter if it is for sales or studies or business, eventually, perfection takes place. Before calling a prospect, research and aim to provoke 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 the checklist you prepared. Ask them to talk like a thought leader. So that you can gain some confidence during the practice calls.
4. Overcome the fear of rejections
Rejection is a compulsion in sales. Multiple “No” ought to echo 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 it. When you start dealing with the rejections by asking questions to the prospect, it gives you more confidence and prepares you to 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 sales reps prefer to go with the flow without referring to the script. This is a good practice but every time things don’t happen the way one anticipates. Once you get stuck while answering their questions, your brand’s customer experiences witness a drop. Therefore, being careful and going 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 based on the information you provide. Keep your answers ready 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 lies to open the way to continue the conversation.
There are a few tips to engage your prospect 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 crisp.
Need help with cold call scripts? Read Here.
7. Focus on learning, not on sales
Remember 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 in the beginning.
Another cold call technique is to learn from your mistakes. Experiment with various methods and if it doesn’t work, learn from them. This practice will give you different ideas to acquire customers.
8. Talk and Take Charge of the Call
During the call, listening to your prospect is very essential. Therefore, develop your listening skills to learn more about your prospect. Allow your prospect to talk in the call but try taking 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 a 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 the call, 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. Self Evaluate Your Call
Spending time evaluating your call provides you the feedback to improve and encourages you to implement the new techniques. It will also provide you a picture of the methodologies 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 an expert) call records and jot the points you missed. Notice the tone and language used tactfully.
10. Send Effective Follow-up Emails
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, giving 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 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. Eye the Duration & Time of the Call
It is always better to do a cold call at the prospect’s convenient time- which may be hard to find out. Note the time when you are calling 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 relating 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, you will begin enjoying your calls with a positive approach each time.
When it comes to B2B cold calling, honing your skill will provide you with a better result. You are going to deal with thought leaders who have multiple tactful questions and you need to encounter those 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 to [email protected]