For most sales teams, cold calling is the key element in creating sales opportunities. Some leads come right to your doorstep but how often does that really happen? Only if you’re really lucky.
So, for the most part, sales teams must find their own leads which is exactly what cold calling does. Cold calling is one of the oldest sales techniques and it’s still around because it is so effective.
Whether you’ve done cold calling before and can use a little help or cold calling is a new sales strategy for your sales team, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about capturing qualified leads through cold calling.
Understand the different types of leads
There are several types of leads that come from different places. Before jumping into cold calling, it’s important to be able to identify one lead from another.
Cold calling is when you call someone who has not expressed any interest in your product or service. Typically, those that you cold call meet a specified demographic such as a location that qualifies them as a potential lead.
Warm leads tend to be a bit less intimidating to the salesperson because the person you are reaching out to has already expressed interest in your product or service, so they already know a bit about your company. Many times, warm leads come from a referral or they follow you on social media or maybe even receive your newsletters.
A qualified lead is your ideal lead. These are the folks who will most likely become a customer. If someone were to Google search the services your company provides, they would be considered a qualified lead because they are interested and have already taken the first step in the sales cycle.
When speaking to a qualified lead, all you have to do is convince them that you are better than your competition. When cold calling qualified leads, you must be able to gather information quickly to learn more about what the prospect is looking for. An experienced cold caller knows what it takes to accomplish this. Here are some of the ways you can get your timid prospects to talk:
Prepare, prepare, prepare
A common misconception about cold calling is the work starts once you get on the phone. However, there is a lot that can happen before that first call.
The more research you do before the cold call, the more meaningful the first conversation will be.
Before cold calling someone, you should always do some research to learn more about the person you’re talking to. In some cases, you won’t be able to do as much research but generally speaking, you will always be able to find a little bit of information.
Some of this research includes checking out your prospect’s social media pages such as LinkedIn or Facebook. There you can learn more about their role at their organization and maybe their interests.
You might even discover that you and the lead share a mutual connection. If so, that mutual connection might be able to make an introduction or share a referral-which would be great! But if not, that’s ok, too.
Whatever you do, DO NOT try and connect with your leads on social media before reaching out to them. The purpose of researching is to learn more about them so you can have a better first conversation. By reaching out to them on social media and then cold calling them, you might come across a bit too strong and they can quickly lose interest.
Use a script
The biggest mistake you can make with cold calling is to be unprepared. Some people think they can just get on the phone and start up a strong conversation. Only a handful of people truly possess those skills where they can completely wing the conversation and win over a customer.
Even the most successful cold callers use scripts. In fact, most people who close deals use some sort of script.
Scripts can be as simple as a traditional fill-in-the-blank script. We can’t even tell you how many times people get on the phone trying to wing the conversation and they end up with a mental block, forgetting everything they had planned to say. A good script considers all the most common directions that the call can take and how to successfully make it through each conversation.
The best cold calling scripts include:
- The ways your services can solve a problem that the lead might be experiencing
- The benefits of your product or service
- The ways your company outperforms its competition
- Common rebuttals and how to overcome them
How to Turn a Cold Call Into a Qualified Lead
You can turn a cold call into a qualified prospect by validating that you have the right person at the right time, with a solution that they are interested in. There are two ways to do so:
BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline)
This sales acronym developed by IBM has been around for ages and its still an effective way to qualify leads on a cold call.
First, you must find out if the person can afford your product or services and if they have the buying authority. If the person has the funds and the authority to make the buying decision, you can learn more about their needs and their buying timeline.
CHAMP (Challenges, Authority, Money, Prioritization)
Essentially, CHAMP is the same thing as BANT, but with different prioritizations. The first step with CHAMP is to identify any hurdle that the prospect is experiencing. Then, you can identify whether they have the authority and budget to make the buying decision.
There are several ways to qualify a prospect, but these two remain the most popular.
Call Motivated Sellers
At Call Motivated Sellers, we have a team of outsourced cold calling experts who will take on all the cold calling for you, so you can focus on cultivating relationships and closing deals. Contact our team to learn more about our cold calling services!