The art of cold calling is invaluable in B2B sales. It’s the steepest climb for new and aspiring brands and can often test the limits of your sales team. Many service providers can help you develop cold calling scripts, provide list-building services, build client profiles, and provide sales sequences. Still, you need to make that call at the end of the day. You can do several things to crack the cold call before picking up the phone. Here are 5 B2B cold calling mistakes you should avoid.
Speaking More than Listening
One common mistake in the sales team is that they rush through sales calls, often just reading out the scripts. Most people happily tell you their challenges if you set the right tone. It would help if you only spoke to steer the conversation in the right direction and be an active listener. Once you have established authority on a topic, you should let your customers speak their hearts out. You have to be a passive participant to get an active engagement going.
Facing a sales objection can trigger an argumentative reaction inside you or your sales force. It’s advisable to return the energy to the customer with an inquisitive question. For example, whenever you are faced with a sales objection like, “The price of your product is too high.” You can put the ball back in the court and ask what the competitors give them in their price range. As you dig into the competitor’s experiences, you can find shortcomings and iterate your edge over the competition.
Delay in Actualizing Leads
In B2B sales, timing is of great value. Often we get call-back requests from our customers at a fixed appointment time. Without the proper technological support, most cold callers skip a potential sale or delay the call so much that the customer loses interest. Most cold callers also engage in handling multiple calls at the same time, making customers wait without explanation. These delays can quickly test your customers’ patience and make them feel unimportant. Time is the greatest asset in cold calling, and you must respect your customers’ time. Be concise in your cold calling script and make the conversation about the client’s needs instead of product pitching. It would help if you designed your workflow in such a way that prioritizes prior commitments first.
No Product Knowledge
The value of your products/services can never be defined in absolute terms. They can have absolute features and functions, but the perception may depend on the person you’re talking to, their role in the company, their company size, and their motivation towards their organizations.
You should know your products/services and how different clients can perceive them. Before talking with potential clients, map out your products’ value chain and benefits from different perspectives. It may help if you conduct team-building sessions between your sales force on different ways to market a product.
You can also play team games to discover new ways to use everyday objects. It may also help to understand the market competition, your competitor’s products and services, and your brand’s core competencies over your competitor. Having explicit knowledge about your products will automatically increase the chances of closing a sale.
Using a Single Channel
The Channel of engagement varies between different age groups and demographics. Some people may be comfortable with email, while others are more comfortable with phone calls or video conferences. You need to keep different Digital touch points open, so your customers can freely engage with you.
Give your customers the option to engage with you through other channels like email, phone calls, video links, landing pages, LinkedIn messages, review platforms, etc. Ask about your customers’ engagement preferences before trying to pitch your product/service. If you have a holistic communication channel, you can instantly ask for further contact details and immediately give them a response through the new touch point. It will show your brand’s responsiveness and you would gain the customer’s prefered new touch point.
You can take educated guesses on people’s stereotypical preference for touch points. For example, if you target an age group between 20 to 30 years, you may prefer to go with emails and social media. For targeting customers above 40 years, you can go for a mix of cold calling and email. The best thing is to keep trying new touchpoints to see what works best and iterate those strategies for the long term.
No Customer Profiling
Too many cold callers start with the features and functions of their products/services. It does sound robotic to your B2B client because it doesn’t involve their perspective. Instead of pitching your products directly, you can post them with questions like, “Are you falling behind on your annual sales target that you wish to achieve right now? However, suppose you are selling the same product to a company CEO. In that case, you might want to ask, do you want to improve your workers’ efficiency?
One of the central themes of cold calling success is asking the right questions to the right person in an organization. Sometimes you may need to talk your way through the gatekeepers to reach the actual decision makers. If you waste your time pitching your products to people who do not have the decision-making power, it will be a waste of time for both parties. You can improve by asking thoughtful questions or working with a list-building service provider to get verified leads with customer profiling.
Cold calling on B2B Leads can have a steep learning curve. There are no absolute mantras for success. It would help to constantly try new ideas to see what works best for you. As a general rule of thumb, you can improve your cold calling success by following these general guidelines-
● Sort leads for easy prioritizing and cherry-picking
● Understand your products/services through Different angles
● Pique curiosity through your value propositions
● Respect Customers’ time
● Read between the lines for hints
● Review own calls
● Listen more than you speak