Over the years, I have heard many organisations say “we tried cold calling, it didn’t work” or “we don’t get much from our inside sales team” which has led to many online articles with titles such as “cold calling is dead”.
Any marketing activity that isn’t well planned and executed is always going make that route to market look bad. So here are our top 6 fails and what you can do about them.
1. The callers aren’t prepared and/or in the right environment
Briefing – No matter if it is your inside sales team or you are working with an agency, your callers need to be honestly and correctly briefed, a quick cheat sheet and script normally isn’t enough to get them to have a great conversation. They need to understand the market including the competition, where you have had success and why!
Environment is Key; Particularly if you have a new member of your calling team, sitting them in the middle of a quiet office, where everyone is listening to their every word, is unlikely to produce quality conversations.
2. You read from or memorise a script
Have a conversation that adds value to the prospect. It takes about 1 second of a sales call for a prospect to recognise that they are on a sales call, and this primarily because the caller in reading from a script that adds little value to the prospects life. Change this to free-flowing conversations where you are adding value to the prospect.
3. You are calling the wrong companies or people
Ensure that companies you are calling are realistic potential customers and that you are talking to right decision makers and influencers within the business. Calling a prospect who is not substantially involved in the area your product or service addresses the response will almost always be – “it’s not me” or “we have this covered already”. Ensure that you have the right organisations and contacts in your calling lists.
4. Callers can’t or don’t manage the conversation
Many callers allow the prospect to manage the conversation and normally end up with no opportunity or a request for sending more information. Callers should have a key set of objectives for every call (they won’t be the same for every prospect) a level of value that they can bring to that prospect and a plan for the questions and statements that will allow them to get there.
5. You don’t get feedback, so you can’t refine the calling campaign
Your calling campaigns may be going okay, but of course we always want more. To refine the campaign, you need to be getting feedback on why prospects aren’t or didn’t buy from you. This insight can help to improve the entire marketing and sales function, particularly where are you are following up from other marketing activities such as events, webinars or syndicated content.
6. Callers don’t make enough calls
Particularly for inside sales teams, it is easy to get distracted by other activities (which are often considered easier). Staying focused on making enough calls is crucial to getting good results from your calling campaigns. How many is enough? This depends entirely on your market, the level of prospect and your product and service as well as what effort needs to be put in (company and contact research) to be able to have a successful call.
Taking the above steps will make a substantial difference to the outcomes of your campaigns. If you would like to find out more about how we are working with companies to turn campaigns and teams into success, feel free to contact us today.
If you would like to see more articles covering each of these individual points please comment on which one you would like us to address.
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