Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Be Smart About Sales Cold Calling

February 24, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

There are few business practices more difficult than cold calling. Perhaps it’s because cold calling, or “telemarketing,” has a bad rap because it was admittedly abused, particularly in the business-to-consumer marketplace. (Constant illegal robocalls and calls to landlines at dinner time didn’t help.) But the truth is that there is still a place for cold calling – it’s one of the best means of finding leads – particularly in the business-to-business (b-to-b) market.

In a recent blog post for VanillaSoft, Genie Parker wrote that inside sales personnel making cold calls simply need to be smarter about the process. The “throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks” method is what gave cold calling a bad rap in the first place. First, consider who you’re calling and where they’re located.

“If your main focus is B2B selling, you don’t want to waste your efforts calling your prospects outside of their work hours or during peak business hours where they won’t be available,” wrote Parker. “Consider your target contacts’ time zone and call them when they’re in the office. Secondly, conduct thorough research and only make calls to vetted contacts.”

The next important step is to be sure you’re calling with a relevant message and you have the right supporting documentation to share. Ensure your pitch is going to apply to the person who may pick up the phone, or you’ll simply be wasting your time and the prospect’s time. Relevant calling requires information before the call is placed. This is where good telemarketing software comes into play. It helps sales professionals warm their cold calls and create a specific game plan for each properly targeted call, according to Parker.

“You can think of it as ‘targeted calling’ not cold calling,” she wrote. “Yes, the contact still doesn’t know the caller, so it’s technically a cold call, but today’s inside sales representative has access to more information about their prospects than their first name and job title.”

When you do connect, show an interest in your prospect’s business. Do some research: what are the company’s products and services? Who do they sell to and how? Where do they operate? Who’s the CEO or CMO, and what interactions has your organization had with the prospect company in advance? If you don’t know these things, you’ll come across as lost, clueless and unprepared, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in a prospect.

Finally, be certain you know everything there is to know about YOUR product or service. If you have kept the lead on the line, you’ve cleared a major hurdle. Fumbling with your own information will lose that momentum, according to Parker.

“Know your product,” she wrote. “Learn as much as you can about your industry, including how your brand squares up against competitors. Think about the questions that will be asked and have your answers readily available. Being prepared will build your confidence and allow your personality to show. You’ll spend less time fumbling for a reply thereby allowing you more time to learn about your prospect.”

Edited by Alicia Young