Those of us who’ve had our family dinners rudely interrupted by a sales call know how tiresome cold calls can be. Even the most experienced sales professionals seldom relish the thought of having to pick up a phone to launch into a pitch with a total stranger. No one involved in these transactions enjoys them.
Cold calls are still an integral part of many sales teams. However, they continue to be a source of dread for both callers and callees. This is because these types of prospects have not given any indication that they’re interested in your offer at all. In order to have any success when cold calling, you need to turn these cold leads into warm leads before offering a sales pitch for a product they might not even be qualified for.
We all know that converting a lead into an actual customer is a vital step in the sales process, one that must be conducted with adequate preparation and skill. The process of warming up a cold lead and moving them further along the sales funnel takes commitment and persistence.
Marketing qualified leads make the process to conversion easier by observing key indicators that signify a strong intent to buy. Here are ways to make the process of closing sales more seamless and less frustrating for you:
1. Timing and Targeting are Important
Cold calling cannot be disregarded altogether because it remains one of the most effective means of generating leads. The key to increasing your batting average is in qualifying your leads better.
Create a set of criteria to help you effectively identify your target audience. Take note of their digital footprint and leverage available marketing tools to help you find and reach your ideal prospect.
Call your prospects at their place of business, not during their personal, leisure time. Also, studies have shown that the best days to call are Wednesdays and Thursdays and that the best times to call are in the morning (8am-9am) and in the evening (4pm-6pm).
2. Stay in Touch
Once you’ve contacted a lead, don’t leave them hanging. They’ll forget about you. Today’s digital landscape has provided marketers with numerous ways to stay in touch with prospects, so make an effort to keep them warm.
Send emails to your target audience, and share content that resonates with them. Consider setting up a content marketing strategy that includes sending regular newsletters, blog posts, and other helpful material that entertains, informs, or inspires.
3. Be a Credible Source of Knowledge and Useful Information
Everyone knows it’s critical that you’re fluent in the details of your brand’s products or services. But, not everyone remembers to be fluent in their competitor’s offerings as well. Remain up to date on what’s new in your industry and share it with your current customers and prospects so that they come to see you as credible resource they can turn to with any of their industry-related questions.
Potential customers nowadays have the ability to do their own research, so make sure you can adequately answer their questions and provide credible advice.
4. Be a Solutions Provider, Not a Product Pusher
Don’t force a product or service that’s clearly not right for a prospect. Again, this goes back to qualifying candidates—take the time to learn what their pain points and requirements are. Don’t run the risk of barking up the wrong tree by pressuring someone to buy something they don’t need.
Be upfront about being a good fit, and go a step further by offering good alternatives if your products or services aren’t quite right. You’ll gain their trust and respect in the process, increasing your chances of a future sale.
5. Use an Effective Template for Follow-up Emails
There are three sections to a well-thought out email. First, it has a catchy subject line that resonates with your readers.
Second, the body of the email concisely demonstrates useful information that connects with your readers. Avoid using this space to write about your company or product, and include links to blog posts, articles, or other reputable sites that offer solutions to common client pain points instead.
And finally, don’t forget to include a call to action to direct them to your site or contact details should they require further assistance.
6. Let Them Experience Your Product or Service
Offer a free trial so that clients have a better grasp of what it’s like to use your product. Or you can schedule a demo with interested leads at their convenience. After all, there’s no better way to show them how awesome your product is then by letting them use it first. Furthermore, free trials have been proven to reduce the cost per acquisition for new customers.
7. Do a Timely Follow-up Call with New Warm Leads
Once a prospect has indicated interest, do a timely follow-up call. Remember to refer to your previous conversation or email, and ask questions that engage and interest them.
It’s absolutely critical to respond quickly if you want to improve your chances of converting. Inside Sales conducted a study implying that leads are 6 times more likely to become qualified if contacted within the first hour of expressing interest.
Improve the Sales Process
The process of closing a sale is a lot like running a marathon. Unlike a sprint, it shouldn’t be rushed. You can’t force someone to buy without first going through the necessary steps of targeting and qualifying them based on specific indicators.
There are specific behaviors you must take note of to gauge a prospect’s readiness to convert. Keep these tips in mind and be persistent. Doing so will help increase your sales team’s chances of closing the next time they make a sales call.
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