The Best Sales Tactics of Cold Calling [UPDATED]

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Have you ever wondered with the question: Why authoritative resources such as Gartner, Harvard Business Review, Statista, and McKinsey& Company are constantly indicating the growing revenue in cold calling sales?

Source: McKinsey& Company Research

And it happens despite the jittery times when the economy shakes small and mid-sized businesses. At time offices are shutting down, tax pressure is high, and numerous challenges with the staff, working models, and customer demands. Why is the profit from cold calling constantly growing?

The answer is clear and singing with confidence: contact centers are profitable because of the instant tool in the arsenal – the phone.

For small and mid-sized businesses, this question is even more important than for anyone else. Because these businesses need a constant cash flow, to maintain a business, pay salaries, and they apply only proven and fast ways to increase sales.

Now, take a look at facts on how the phone deliberately makes a difference in achieving new customers and revenue velocity.

What is Cold Calling?

In short, cold calling is the call from a call center to a prospect with the purpose to make a sale or propose services. Here's what it is all about.

What is the main reason why a contact center's sales managers need cold calling? Because it anesthetizes the most powerful factor of customer’s skepticism – the factor of the delay. And adds credibility by talking with the live representative.

At the moment, customers read the advertising, whether in print or on the web, they have a lot of time to consider whether to purchase or not. And only in the case if the advertising is perfect, in a case, the top advertiser wrote it. And it cost tens of thousands of dollars to write. Well, there are more economical ways to hit the audience.

The other sad story about costly advertising is that prospects can accidentally toss it or just make their daily routine and never read or see it. But the phone conversation is different. It adds credibility by talking with the real sales rep, speed, and zero factors of the delay. 

An agent speaks with real people, and only the salesperson either closes or loses a chance to persuade a customer to make a deal. To answer once and for all skeptic's questions about cold calling. Just let them name at least one of the fastest and more credible tools than a phone call. Plus, the tool that reaches any customer in the world. Read on.

Source: Financesonline

Reasons Why Cold Calling Is Profitable And Have A Constant Revenue

Although people are fine with communicating through webchats, chatbots, emails, etc. Without a doubt, these channels are useful to help your main sources of communication. Yet customers wish to speak with live people more. Moreover, the more money involved in the deal, the more likely a customer is to talk to the real sales representative to make sure about the decision.

For example, you sell cars or real estate, and tens and even hundreds of dollars are involved in the deal. Do you think a customer will refuse to receive a call from you to ask specific questions about the car or estate? That’s very naive to think that way.

Another example is when hundreds of dollars are involved when you sell house equipment or whatever. On average, most customers earn a few hundred dollars per day, and they wish to hear from you to make sure they achieve full information about the product slash service.

According to a recent survey, phone conversations remain among the top 3 B2B salespeople’s methods for reaching prospects, taking second place (46% of respondents) after referrals. 

Source: ValueSelling Associates

Cold calling provides your sales representatives with immediate feedback and customers' inclinations: if the client is interested or not. And if they talk to the decision-maker they can figure out if the company really needs their product or service.

They can read a full stack of emotions from a client's voice and decide on how to act. It is preferable to customers as well: another survey shows that more than half of senior-level buyers want a phone call:

“C-level and VP buyers prefer to be contacted by the phone (57%), even more than directors (51%) and managers (47%)”

“69% of buyers have accepted phone calls from new providers in the last 12 months.”

Source: Mike Schultz, Bob Croston, and Mary Flaherty, Top Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report, RAIN Group (2018). 

Everything Depends On The Agent 

Once salespeople reach customers, everything depends on them. Only they have the full power to initiate conversations with the target audience within a click.

Moreover, calling works remarkably with the help of social media, which is one of the most powerful social proofs. For instance, your salespeople can start following and building relationships with prospects with a genuine interest on LinkedIn.

They schedule a call after research of a company or customers. You're absolutely free to follow-up and warm-up calls after contacts with interested customers.

Stand Out From The Crowd In The Ocean Of Advertising

Today, people are overwhelmed by tons of information from TV, radio, digital, and print advertising. Busy executives, businesspeople, and customers usually use social proof such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or others for their tight purposes.

Their attention is so spanned on the numerous activities and daily routines that they hardly notice sales pitches from companies, even if it’s the best shots. 

On the contrary, phone conversations allow everyone to stand out from this ocean of info and concentrate the attention of the customer on the subject, product, or service. 

And that’s the reason why successful companies invest 61.4 billion dollars in telemarketing. They’ve just learned the secret – how to concentrate customers’ attention and profit by that.

Source: Marketing services spending in the United States from 2017 to 2021, by category, Statista Research Department


According to Saleshacker’s research, 44%CxO, 51% VP, and 53% of directors still have office phones. 53% of prospects who share their mobile number said that they react positively to calls on that line. As a result, it’s more likely to achieve an organic response through personal calling, even if it’s cold calling.

Source: The Ultimate Sales Engagement Guide, Sales Hacker

Speed Of Contacting And Attention-Catching Is Everything

As we mentioned above, cold calling grants your company to stand out from the information ocean and make you noticeable. Even if the person doesn't make an instant purchase, the follow-up calls will do the job. But that was only one benefit, here’re others.

By making cold calls, you can hit the ground running with the numerous marketing activities. For instance, successful customer's reach grants to your agents a wide array of cold calling strategies.

Versatile options at your fingertips include initiating a follow-up call, scheduling the callback, asking questions, gathering feedback, informing, and more. As a matter of fact, the more calls you'll make, the more percentage of conversion you’ll get. That’s the old rule of world-class advertising you need to follow. Actually, Fortune 100 companies always follow it.

Phone Call Saves Time Much Better Than Other Sales Tools

You don’t have to wait for a response through email or message on social media. Cold calling allows them to get immediate feedback in a minimum time.

Moreover, you make hundreds of calls to real people, sitting in the office or at home. Is there a tool in the world that can accomplish the same work? 

The Most Powerful Word In Advertising Is The Test, And Here’s How The Phone Helps 

Successful companies save so much time by making their cold calls. You can do the same. Just prepare the strategy or techniques you want to test, create a cold call script and start to earn money. Soon as you start, you’ll find out the words and pitches that work, and money will follow. 

Shock Prospects In A Positive Way

Prospects are 100% unaware of your preparations for the calls. You study these companies and highly accountable prospects. Specifically, you know their most common sales objections.

Feed Your Wallet With The Proven B2B Cold Calling Tips

Now, discover secrets on reaching B2B success that 80% of companies are unaware of. As soon as you start to apply them, you’ll feed your business with substantial cash flow.

Study Your Prospects And Customers Before You Make A Single Call

The most important part of any telemarketing campaign is studying prospects and customers, and now you’ll find out why. Homework for conversation with a prospective customer is 90% of success, and the other 10% is conversation.

What 80% of companies do is they try to persuade people when they’ve known anything about them. They don’t know the preferences of these customers, values, age, mindset, the amount of money spent each month, the area they live or prefer to live in, nothing whatsoever. And calling without knowing all these facts is like shooting with the shotgun instead of the rifle. 

Nail The Call From The First Seconds

Do you remember the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happyness unpaid stockbroker intern Chris Gardner (Will Smith) cold-calls his prospects using only a telephone book?

In 1981, when the story was set, it was hard to do thorough research on potential customers. That made things difficult for salespeople but did not prevent them from achieving success.

Now we have information at our fingertips, so it would be unreasonable not to take that advantage. Any cold calling techniques are irrelevant without deep research.

The next significant step is to nail the first seconds of a call. Frankly, confidence, belief that this particular product is great (the kind of product that you would personally recommend to your family members or peers). And the desire to sell is the main weapon of salespeople. If you want to know more about cold calling confidence and how to nail the first seconds, read our material on this topic.

Call To Interested Prospects With The Right Calling List

When you complete your research, receive your relevant telemarketing list. It is crucial to organize and segment it (for instance, by industry or business size).

Your team should also keep an eye on their activities: highlight those who you've already called, notice which calls were profitable, and those that answered. Afterward, measure your calling results by highlighting the conversion percentage, etc.

These days, all CRM systems have such options. Even the most successful cold calling tips are irrelevant without a telemarketing list. Now, where can you find the relevant list for cold calling?

You can buy it from a list broker. Specifically, this is a telemarketing list of companies that are interested in your product or service. But there are some disadvantages that you should take into account. 

Firstly, relevant lists are expensive, and you need to buy them only from trusted brokers.

Secondly, your team has to pay attention to legal issues in your country or region. For example, if you are launching a cold calling campaign in the US or Europe, make sure your list complies with FTC or EU regulations (in some cases, it is impossible to collect data without the prior subject's consent). 

Here’s our material on the topic of how to comply with agencies, and call safely and profitably.

How To Consider Rejection As Your Advantage?

How can you consider rejections as an advantage? Think about the following words. You made a sales pitch and it doesn’t work. Now the person, prospect, or customer, consciously or unconsciously furnished you with the blueprint of “what you must not say”. Frankly, that means that customers improved your following pitches. Improve your pitches based on feedback and results, try later, and watch the startling results. 

Time of Calling Is Underestimated By The 80% Of Marketers In The World

Many businesses would benefit from a calling at the right and stop calling in the bad time. Marketing experts suggested applying this rule: “It’s no matter what you’re asking from a prospect, it’s when you ask it”. Cold calling techniques that really work must be used in the afternoon. 

Psychologists say that this is the best time for cold calling because your customers have a less objective mindset. According to CallHippo’s surveys, the best days for calls are Wednesday and Thursday.

On a Monday, people are very busy and pressed by multitasking activities. By the middle of the week, people have already settled their working routine and can continue their working process. And on a Friday, they’re tired from a long week and wish to rest. These days are a bad time for calling, so try to make no mistakes that many companies already did.

On Saturday and Sunday, people rest, and to catch them in a good mindset for a sales call is real luck. You don’t have to make calls deliberately on Wednesday or Thursday, yet these days are the best for a sales pitch.

To sum up, calling at the right times of day is like secretly anesthetizing the skeptical part of the person.

Proper Using Of Scripts Is Doubling And Tripling Your Response

Call scripts are valuable both for newbies and skilled sales reps. In the first case, the script should be detailed and rich with ideas for a particular type of call. A new person neither has the time nor the possibility to improvise.

For newbies, scripts are better than any cold call sales techniques. Always include all the necessary information they may need during the conversation as well as all possible objections and ways to overcome them. These sales techniques cold calling scripts are really relevant.

Experienced agents require a little or no script whatsoever. They don’t need details, just crucial pain points to declare during the conversation. 

One of the 5-star cold calling tips and tricks you need to apply is that cold calling is not about selling from the first call but establishing valuable relationships with the prospects. Find out more about the structuring of the cold call script.

These Open-Ended Questions Don’t Waste Your And Customer’s Time

Questions are essential to the success of your cold calling campaign. Relevant questions will give you valuable information about the prospect and help you establish the mood of trust and lasting relationships.

Paying attention to some sales techniques may be very useful while preparing a call script. Read on and find out the most frequent cold call opening statement examples.

CHAMP (Challenge, Authority, Money, Prioritization):

  • Challenge. Start by determining the main pain points your prospect is facing. Questions like “What are the main business challenges that you are dealing with right now?” will help your agent get the necessary information and understand whether your product or service can solve the prospect’s problem.
  • Authority. At this stage, an agent has to ask questions that will help them understand who makes decisions in this company: “Who else is involved in decision-making in your company?”.
  • Money. This is a critical point in the whole sales process. A salesperson has to find out if the prospect can afford your product or service. A question should be like “Are you ready to invest in purchasing our solution?”. It is also important to mention the average ROI for your product and remind the lead why your solution is worth the investment.
  • Prioritization. This stage allows an agent to understand how important and urgent the solution is for the prospect. A question should be like “How important is solving this problem in comparison with other priorities?”, “What may happen if you don’t solve this issue? And how will you measure success?”.

ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money):

  • Authority. An agent identifies if they talk to the right person and tries to find out how the decision-making process works in this company.
  • Need. A salesperson points out that your product or service is the best solution for the prospect’s pain point: “What problems are you going to solve with the help of such software?”.
  • Urgency. Discover if the problem is a high priority for a potential customer. Sometimes it can be a direct question: “When would you like to be up and running with a solution?”.
  • Money. Find out if the prospect can afford your product or service. A question should be like “What budget would you be ready to assign for solving your problem?".

Another recent sales technique you can use is GPCT (Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline). It will help you identify the goals your prospect wants or needs to achieve; find out what their current plans are; what challenges you can help them overcome; and how quickly they want to achieve their results and overcome the challenges. 

The best way to make a sales call is by arming with information and a good plan of calling. Take a look at these sales tactics in our articles “Guide to Sales Qualification” and “Different types of sales”.

Right Calling Process In Your Office Or Home

Every call is a personal act from one human being to another. You need to follow these calling routine processes to ensure 100% effect.

Avoid Distraction While Making Cold Calls

Distraction is the biggest enemy of your campaign. Your salespeople can’t afford to have a span of attention. It would be good to schedule some hours for cold calling only.

Your agents have to mute all the distractions during the calls: keep their phones aside, log out from social media, stay away from noisy conversations, etc. This behavior will increase the cold calling effectiveness by tenfold.

Focus On The First Seconds

A sales representative has only a few seconds to make a first impression. That’s why it is crucial to have a well-planned call script. These first seconds define the success of the cold call.

Never Guess. Apply Only Proven And Tested Sales Techniques

Agents should treat the gatekeeper as their ally and remember some tips on how to deal with them. 

Firstly, a salesperson should always talk politely and sound professional. That will make the gatekeeper believe that they are important and treat them differently.

Secondly, a sales rep must overcome the gatekeeper. Their goal is to get this person on their side and learn more about decision-makers. And last but not least, an agent should build a positive and friendly relationship with them. This will help during the next call.

Build Emotional Rapport First 

The ability to establish rapport is one of the most important sales skills. In the case of cold calling, a salesperson can do it by storytelling. If your company has experience in solving customers’ issues, your agents need to provide facts, dates, time frames, and other relevant info regarding a customer.

Telling a customer the story regarding their needs demonstrates to prospects that you know how to deal with the case. Moreover, you have a lot of experience to provide help. These facts and stories as long as they concern customers will be a crucial factor for a customer in deciding to buy from you or not.

What else is critical while building rapport? Salespeople have to remember about active listening. It means that they should concentrate on the potential customer's problem by asking questions that show their interest.

It is also important to summarize a call. This step will help to sum up the main terms and make the customer feel heard and understood. Active listening is the skill that sets a great salesperson apart from others.

Use Cold Calling Scripts Wisely

As has already been mentioned, the script for newbies has to be detailed as much as possible. An agent has to learn it by heart yet try to add some personality.

The script is just a guide on how to nail conversations with customers to ensure that reps don't sound like robots. And last but not least, they need just read the call script from the screen and achieve vital ideas for the sales pitch. 

Practice And Practice, Repeat

The best sales tips when cold calling you need to apply is a constant shaping of your sales skills in real conversations with customers - is the single most important thing you need. Your cold calling script must be flexible to hit customers in the heart and mind. That's why it's critical to update scripts with tested or more strong sales appeal.

Gather your sales team for training sessions regularly. It is a good way to sharpen their communication skills and to help newbies sound more naturally and confidently during calls.

Additional Tips You Will Profit From

There are additional tips you’ll be interested in, and read this section for more relevant insights.

Never Make This Mistake like 80% Of Companies

Having a local number for your business gives you the trustworthiness and credibility of your prospects and increases your contact rate. When prospective customers see the familiar phone number, they are interested in the question: "Who is calling me?",

You'll double, triple or quadruple your responses using local phone numbers. And everyone is likely to call you back. No expenses on additional hardware, no upfront investments. Just a virtual local number with the help of a suitable VoIP carrier.

Dialers You Can Work With. Yeah With The Speed Of A Click

Let us consider an example from B2C cold calling (numbers for B2B won’t be much different). A team of 10 agents works an 8-hour shift. Each of them spends 1.5 minutes on average talking to a customer.

Dialing manually, an agent can make 100-120 calling attempts per shift. These actions are like a lottery - you never know if someone will grab the phone.

Our data suggest that only 42 (35%) of these calls are answered, so the agent wastes a lot of time on routine actions such as recalling.

So it is no surprise that agent occupancy drops below 20%, and sales conversion reaches only 1% of all dialed numbers. ln total, the team can handle a maximum of 1200 contacts per shift. Only 420 of them are live calls, so their contact rate amounts to 35%.

For instance, the Voiptime Cloud predictive dialing software changes this situation dramatically. It calculates the required dialing speed and places multiple concurrent calls automatically, directing only answered calls to available agents.

Detecting answer machines, busy signals, no answers, etc. Dialer filters them out and schedules retries due to preconfigured redialing rules. Moreover, the intelligent algorithms and statistics of this software calculate the approximate time when an agent is about to finish a call. 

Then it starts dialing the next number. Your agents don’t need to waste time on manual dialing attempts, and that boosts their productivity:

  • Every agent can make 188 live calls per shift;

  • Talk time increases from 63 minutes to 5.6 hours, while agent occupancy skyrockets to 70%;

  • Sales conversion amounts to 2.5% of all dialed numbers.

Therefore, 10 agents process 2500 contacts per shift due to dialing automation. And 1880 of these are live calls, so the contact rate increases to 75%. That is a significant difference between calling with software and without it.

How Much Time Do You Need To Start? 48 Hours

These sales call strategies listed above are proven by tests and really work remarkably. Follow them, and you will see a dramatic change in your response. As you saw, it is still possible to benefit from cold calling, no matter how the economy disturbs businesses all over the globe. Because people still need to purchase products and companies need to sell them. 

By the way, with dialing automation software, your agents concentrate on closing a sale, not on the countless listing of phone numbers and manual efforts. Would you like to try the software and achieve a bundle of money within 48 hours? 

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Originally published in 2018, the last update on 2022-31-01.

Eugene Siuch

Content Manager and Copywriter

Focused on customer service measurement and improvement, SaaS marketing and industry insights, and researching different methods of staff motivation and performance management in the field of customer service providing.

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