The Best Sales Tactics of Cold Calling in 2020-2021 [UPDATED]

Despite disruptions over the globe, cold calling in sales continues to generate billions of dollars each year. The keystone of this activity is grounded on technology, software, and the proficiency of staff. However, a successful cold call in sales is not about luck it’s only a matter of organization, efficiency, and technology.

In this guide you will find:

What is Cold Calling?
A Few Important Reasons Why You Should Use Cold Calling
How You Can Benefit from Cold Calling
Main B2B cold calling tips
How to raise profits this month?

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling is the call from a call center to a prospect with a purpose to make a sale or order a service. The main difference between this type of call among all others that prospective customer not interested or has no inclination to make a purchase. 

The main goal of an agent is to advertise, inform, and compel to order a particular product or service. Compelling prospects in cold calling is much more challenging than in the case of an incoming call.

For small and mid-sized businesses, this question is even more important than for anyone else. Companies that use cold calling for a software company as the motive power to reach customers. Read on and find out why.

Source: Financesonline

A Few Important Reasons Why You Should Use Cold Calling

It sounds human.

People may communicate through web chats with bots but this interaction will never replace real human voice. According to a recent survey, phone conversations remain among the top 3 B2B salespeople’s methods for reaching prospects, taking second place (46% respondents) after referrals. 

Source: ValueSelling Associates

It is no surprise because cold calling can provide your sales representatives with immediate feedback: 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). 

It allows your team to be proactive. 

Without guessing email marketing is powerful, as well as social media and web chats. But all these communication channels bring the factor of delay. Any delays in sales could eliminate profits altogether. In cold calling, salespeople have the full power to initiate conversations with the target audience with agility and preparation.

Moreover, calling empowered by social media and email marketing work much more profitably. For instance, your salespeople can start following and building relationships with leads on LinkedIn and schedule a call later after deep research of a company. Or you're free to follow-up and warm-up calls after mailing.

It allows your company to stand out from the information flow.

Nowadays, people are overwhelmed by tons of information. Customers may never open your email because your clients receive hundreds of them every day. Their Facebook or LinkedIn float with tons of ads as well as corporate messengers.

On the contrary, phone conversations allow your team to establish more personalized contact with leads. And only personal interaction through digital channels grants you a real chance for success. Here the revenue of telemarketing amounted to 61.4 billion dollars annually. 

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

Never think that phones are an obsolete or ineffective thing.

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

How You Can Benefit from Cold Calling

As it was already mentioned, cold calling helps your company to stand out from the information flow. But this is not the only benefit. 

Making cold calls, you can hit the ground with proactive outbound activities. For instance, successful call attempts will give your salespeople a contact pool for sales calls strategies. 

And you remember that the more calls you initiate, the more percentage of conversion you’ll get.

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

It is a good way to check cold calling strategies and sales techniques. That's because this won’t take too much time. Just prepare the strategy or techniques you want to test, create a call script and start. Even the first replies will show you how profitable your strategy is.

Shock prospects in a positive way with your knowledge of their company more than via other communication channels. Prospects are always unaware that you’re fully prepared, with decent information about them and their company. And they’ll be forced to speak with you and find out more about you and how you know all these things. As a result, phone conversation allows establishing more rapid and personal contact with customers.

Main B2B cold calling tips

Find out the most valuable secrets on reaching B2B endeavors and flourish your business with new advantages.

Preparations

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

Nail the call from the start

In the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happiness unpaid stockbroker intern Chris Gardner (Will Smith) cold-calls his prospects using only a telephone book. In 1981, when the story is set, it was very 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 impact of research is irresistible. It gives your salespeople a great chance to learn about their prospects as much as possible and define if this company may benefit from your product or service.

By the way, building an amazing sales pitch is possible only based on research. All other gimmicks and tricks will decrease your chances of closing a sale.

Hit 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 already called and which calls weren’t answered. Afterward, measure your calling results (if there was a conversation), 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).

Consider rejection as a part of your work

Be ready for rejections. Experts encourage to consider rejection as a valuable lesson, and this is one of the most valuable sales tips for cold calling. When the prospect declines your offer from the start, the agent should work out these objections without pushing for a sale. 

The customer’s rejection may reveal valuable information about your value proposition or selling tactics.

Choose the right time

Many businesses would benefit from a calling at the right 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. 

It is the best time to cold call when your salespeople can directly reach decision-makers and have a less objective mindset. The best days for contact, according to CallHippo’s surveys, 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. 

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.

Prepare the script

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 sell from the first call but establish valuable relationships with the prospects. Find out more about the structuring of cold call scripts in our guide.

Ask the relevant questions

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 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 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”.

During the call

Every call is a personal act from one human being to another. You need carefully arrange your calls, and ensure everything working for you.

Avoid distraction while making cold calls

Distraction is the biggest enemy of your campaign. Your salespeople have to be focused while making cold calls. 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, sign out from social media, stay away from noisy conversations, and so on. This improves the cold calling sales techniques and effectiveness by tenfold.

Focus on the duration of your cold call 

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.

Use sales techniques for cold calling to pass the gatekeeper

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 senior. 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 rapport by narrating customer success story

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 solves similar issues, your agents can mention that during the call.

Telling a customer success story shows the prospects that you know how to deal with the challenges in their industry, and your experience is enough to help them. It may become a crucial factor for a customer in deciding on your proposal.

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 script but don’t sound scripted

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 but also try adding some personality to it. 

The script is just a guide on how to nail conversations with customers to ensure that reps aren'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. It is noticeable and makes a bad impression.

Practice your craft

The best sales tips when cold calling you need apply is a constant shaping of your sales skills in real conversations with customers - is a single most important thing you need. Your cold calling script isn’t fixed in stone. It's critical to update scripts by the time to ensure more profitable outcomes

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.

More important tips

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

Use local number

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 think that you are calling from their region.

You'll achieve more responses, and they'll more likely to call you back. However, there’s no need to set up an office in their region. And it's easy to get a virtual local number with the help of any VoIP carrier.

Leverage technology

Technology is your most valuable helper. It can ease the work of your salespeople significantly, especially if it comes to dialing. One of the most critical calling tips for sales purposes is – invest in technology.

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, all 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%.

Our 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 to raise profits this month?

These sales call strategies listed above really work remarkably. Follow them, and you will see a dramatic change in your call center’s profits. As you saw, it is still possible to benefit from cold calling this year. With dialing automation software, your agents concentrated on closing a sale. 

Would you like to try the software and achieve a bundle of money? Click the get the quote, fill the form, and our team will contact you as soon as possible. There are no unprofitable businesses in the world. There are only steps to make it work.

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Originally published on 2018, updated on 2020-08-07, the last update on 2021-10-01.

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