How to Make Outbound Sales Calls

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How do you make successful outbound sales and follow up calls? Proper training, coaching, and preparation: don’t be afraid, prepare for objections, make it personal, cut time-consuming tasks, stay focused and in control, listen, be aware of body language, offer options, choose the right technology, and set goals.

Getting started is often the most challenging part of anything and making outbound sales calls is no different. If you’re a business owner or in a sales leadership position, you’ve likely made your fair share of cold calls and sales follow up calls. You have a clear understanding of how to communicate with your targeted consumer. This blog post will help you take a step back and reconsider what your new salespeople don’t know yet.

15 Tips for Making Successful Outbound Sales Calls and Sales Follow Up Calls

Proper training, coaching, and preparation go a long way in helping your team improve their phone-related sales skills. You can pass these 15 tips related to cold calling and sales follow up calls to your sales development reps during your next coaching session.

Proper training, coaching, and preparation go a long way in helping your team improve their phone-related sales skills. #SalesCoaching #SalesLeaders Click To Tweet

1. Don’t be afraid. Pretty basic, right? The fear of rejection or failure can be demotivating for novice sales reps, but it’s inevitable when making calls since some people aren’t going to be a good fit. Reiterate that it isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t mean they’re a bad sales rep.

2. Be prepared for common objections. You know your industry and the most common objections your team will face, so be sure to educate your salespeople on them. Share rebuttals in your training and your scripts. Our logical-branch scripting makes it easy for a rep to respond at any stage of the buyer’s journey.

3. Use the prospect’s name. People like to hear their names, and it’s a simple, but appreciated, way to personalize outbound sales calls.

4. Focus on the person. Multitasking is not a salesperson’s friend, and neither is a cluttered workspace. Encourage your team to eliminate any distractions so that they can intently listen. Even the smallest detail mentioned could be the critical piece of information needed to close the deal.

5. Pre-record your voice messages. Recording voicemails in advance saves time and keeps the rep on track to make more outbound sales calls. If it takes one minute to leave a voicemail (15-20 seconds to listen to the prompt and 35-40 seconds to say the message), with 50 calls a day (the number of calls top-performers make), assuming less than half pick up, that’s at least 30 minutes that could be spent more productively.

6. Connect with the prospect and get them talking. Before jumping to the pitch, it’s key to build rapport. Reps can teach something or tell a short story about how your product helped someone else. Open-ended questions warrant more than a yes or no response and help to identify if the product is a good fit.

According to the Telfer Study, “for every increase in a minute in call duration, there is six times better odds of success with the lead.” You also want the prospect engaged to open the opportunity to share more about the product or service.

For every increase in a minute in call duration, there is six times better odds of success with the lead. 📈 #SalesEngagement Click To Tweet

7. Stay on track and in control. At the start of the call, the salesperson should reveal the agenda and get “approval” of the plan. This will make the prospect feel like they’re in control while the rep is actually the one guiding the conversation.

8. Keep a natural tone and pacing. If using scripts, encourage your salespeople to study them. They don’t want to sound like a robot or fly through the pitch too quickly.

9. Let the prospect speak. Instruct your sales team not to complete the prospect’s sentence. Interrupting and making assumptions incongruent with how they feel can quickly end a call.

10. Sit up or stand. Even when a sales rep is not visible to the prospect, maintaining the right body position makes the voice clearer. There’s a noticeable confidence in someone who speaks loud and clear.

11. Don’t talk smack about the competition. Spontaneous trait transference makes your audience place whatever bad thing you say about someone else, on you. Make bad-mouthing competitors off-limits.

12. Offer more than one option. Instead of deciding whether or not they want to do business with your company, it changes the question to which product or service option is better?

13. Remember that timing matters. Look at relevant research for your industry to find out the best time to call your target consumers.

14. Embrace technology. The right sales engagement solution will help your team automatically maintain the right levels of speed and persistence via an automated sales cadence.

15. Create goals. I’m not just referring to the overall quota. Break it down into smaller increments and create objectives that aren’t just about ‘X’ dollars in sales. Attaining goals adds a sense of accomplishment and momentum to reach toward more challenging goals – like that end of quarter quota.

Did any of these tips help jog your memory on points to review with your sales team? Many of these sales call best practices are likely second nature to you, but your fresh-faced new hires may need a little training on each of them.

As you work with you’re newbies and old pros to reinforce important sales concepts, don’t forget to stress the value of persistence. Each of these steps alone is not nearly as potent as when they are used to follow up persistently with leads to close sales. Persistence is necessary to be successful in sales, and it’s a skill you must instill in your team to make them achieve both corporate and personal sales goals.

#Persistence is necessary to be successful in #sales, and it’s a skill you must instill in your team to make them achieve both corporate and personal sales goals. 🙌 #SalesEngagement Click To Tweet

Download our eBook, Coaching to Compete, for tips on encouraging salespeople to persevere and keep dialing.


sales coaching

Darryl Praill VanillaSoft

Darryl Praill

Darryl Praill, Chief Marketing Officer of VanillaSoft, is a high-tech marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience spanning startups, re-starts, consolidations, acquisitions, divestments and IPO’s. He has been widely quoted in the media including television, press, and trade publications. He is a guest lecturer, public speaker, and radio personality and has been featured in numerous podcasts, case studies, and best-selling books.

Praill is a former recipient of the coveted Forty Under 40 Award, and has held senior executive roles in leading companies including Sybase, Cognos (now IBM), webPLAN (now Kinaxis), and CML Emergency Services (now AIRBUS). He has raised over $50 million in venture funding across multiple organizations and consulted with world-class corporations including Salesforce, SAP, and Nielsen. He is a Computer Science graduate from Sheridan College.

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