Approaching cold call lists for inside sales is like preparing for winter. You can expect cold blasts of pushback, but you can also plan for them.
Just in case you were wondering, cold calling is NOT dead. But you can warm up inside sales cold lists by doing substantial planning before starting calls. With a plan in hand, you’re prepared to react quickly during the call. Here are five inside sales tactics for converting your lead generation and list generation efforts into profitable investments.
1. Plan for Expectations
A little perspective can go a long way. For instance, do you know how you got the lead? Is there any relationship up to this point to work from? Also, a little Internet research never hurts. Check out the contact’s company website and those of similar companies that might be competitors. Set up Google alerts or dig for news articles and press releases about the company.
2. Plan for Warmth
The person on the other end of the line is a person, not just list data. Try to understand how your message might be received by that person. One way to break the ice is to ask for help or to say that you’re still learning (aren’t we all?). It’s a little psychological trick: If you ask a favor of someone, they are more likely to act like a friend.
3. Plan Out the Call
Is the contact the right person? Can they refer you to the right person? Is the person you reach just a “gatekeeper” that you need to get past? Always remember that the goal of the call is to elicit useful information, basics such as: 1) Have they ever used your product or service?; 2) What are they using now?; and 3) What do they think about your competitors?
4. Plan on Being Candid
Honesty is often the best policy in inside sales, so be open about the reason you are calling. The tone of your voice can communicate more than you realize. If you are comfortable and confident about what you’re trying to do, the person on the other end might be more open to a discussion. Instead of asking a question with tension from fear, try asking with gratitude.
5. Plan on Listening
Listen carefully to enhance the conversation. On some calls, try to only ask questions for the first two minutes. Focus on how you might be able to help them with their problems, and don't talk too much about your solution. Find space in your conversations for genuine connections. They might not have the pleasure of a sympathetic ear that often.
Success in B2B inside sales hinges on becoming opportunity creators. Warming up a B2B cold list is about planning to forge long-term relationships. Make contacts feel comfortable right from the start by expressing that intention, and plan out your calls methodically to create genuine connections and warm, long-lasting relationships.