Cold calling, once a key aspect of marketing strategies of the past, has had to adapt itself to survive in the modern world. With increasingly intelligent customers who now have a wealth of information at their fingertips, blindly calling clients to push your products and services is no longer guaranteed to be effective. With customers more likely to disregard you as a nuisance than a legitimate salesperson, sales tactics have had to evolve and adapt to the customer of today – who wants businesses to be ethical and possess a personal touch.
Does this mean that over-the-phone sales are dead?
On the contrary, targeted sales calling has never been more effective. According to Salesforce, a staggering 92% of all customer interactions taking place over the phone, presenting a valuable opportunity for sales agents to proposition clients to purchase further products from a given company.
What is the key to success? Are targeted sales calls effective? The article below aims to answer all your cold call questions.
The future of sales calling: The targeted approach
With phones continuing to dominate everyday human experience into the foreseeable future, conducting sales over the phone has some time to go before its demise.
However, instead of dialling lists of phone numbers in the hopes your products will be purchased, what’s best is to provide effective over-the-phone follow up and correspondence with existing customers to enhance their customer experience.
Both of these are not just likely to retain your clients, but will also ensure they’re frequent purchasers of your products as well. Data shows that calling your lead 5 minutes after they have filled out a web form on your website, makes it 100 times more likely that they will get on the phone with you.
Nonetheless, if you’re still keen on canvassing new customers over the phone, filtering your call lists to reflect the demographic segments more likely to purchase your products is sure to save you time and optimise your efforts for greater conversion.
However, you also need to prepared to hit your potential customer’s voicemail, with Ringlead estimating that sales representatives spend about 15% of their time leaving voicemails. With the average voicemail response rate as low as 4.8% in 2012, it’s clear that targeted and persuasive messaging is required, in order to get a call back.
How to make sales calling effective
With a disappointing 42% of sales agents feeling like they don’t have enough information before making a call, it’s clear that this needs to change if the cold calling of the future is to work.
Sales reps need to not just know the finer points of the company they represent and what they’re selling, but a deep understanding of their potential customers as well. What this will do is not just position the company as a cut-throat competitor, but also a business that pays heed to their client base, tailoring services and sales according to individuals needs and preferences.
With research showing that individuals opt for businesses that provide a personalised customer experience, sales agents are in the best position to give their clients the services they seek.
By conducting in-depth studies into the preferences, lifestyles, spending habits and purchase patterns of your customer, as well as thorough competitor analysis, you won’t be cold calling customers, you’ll simply be extending your customer base to those individuals with similar tastes and preferences.
Tips for success
- Research is key. Find out all there is to know about what you’re selling and whom you’re calling. Too much information never hurt a sales rep.
- Pitching someone who is a part of your social media channels are likely to be more successful. Make sure your followings and online community is as big as it can be.
- Prepare a well thought out opening statement for your call. This makes you sound prepared and confident, giving your potential customer the impression that you know what you’re talking about (and you should!)
- Having a script for the rest of your call wouldn’t hurt. This will help you avoid awkward silences and save both yours and your lead’s time.
- Be prepared to answer complex and in-depth questions. Customers are curious, if you can’t give them the answer they need, it’s unlikely they’ll move forward in buying the product your selling.
Cold calling isn’t dead, it just needs to adapt to an increasingly competitive business environment. Among the strategies for success, knowing what you’re selling and who your customers are, is key to make the highest rate of conversion.