Stop Typing and Pick Up the Phone

Why Email Can Never Replace Phone Communication

 

We are all very attached to our electronic devises for email, text and social media communication. But when it comes to relationship building, picking up the phone and speaking to your prospect is the only way to go. Certainly, cold calling takes more effort than shooting off an email. It also takes practice and skill but there are many benefits in using phone conversations for lead generation.

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Quality Over Quantity - The Value of a Clean Prospecting List

A customized prospecting list is critical for your cold calling campaign. Although every element of a cold calling campaign needs special attention, prospect lists need the utmost care. Selecting and cleaning your data can be tedious and time consuming but it will bring about rewarding results in the end.

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Laying the Foundation for a Successful Cold Calling Campaign

Like building a house, cold calling campaigns must follow a process to make them successful. The first step in building a house is to excavate and pour the foundation. Once that is done, floor joists or footings are installed and walls are framed out. The process doesn’t deviate and nothing can be omitted.

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How Suspending Cold Calling Hurts Your Business

It is likely that you, people on your sales team and your prospects will take a week off sometime during July and August. Perhaps a few will take 2 weeks. But does that mean you should stop cold calling during the summer? The impact of suspending or delaying your cold calling campaign will be far reaching.

 

In terms of business activity, the summer months may seem a little quieter. However, suspending cold calling, will impact sales results for months to come. Here’s why. 

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7 Benefits of Outsourcing B2B Lead Generation

Appointment setting is crucial for sales organizations that rely on leads and is a key element of their process. It is considered one of the most difficult parts of the sales process and often a major hurdle to meeting sales goals. If you are looking for better outcomes and less fruitless sales, you might consider outsourcing lead generation. Here are seven areas where you can benefit.

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Convert 78% of Cold Calls Into Appointments

There is a misconception that cold calling doesn’t work. While this has been a topic of this newsletter in the past, it is important to note the data that specifically applies to appointment setting. 

 

It is generally quoted that that only 1-2% of cold calls actually result in a meeting. However, there is strong evidence to the contrary, highlighting the effectiveness of cold calling in today’s B2B market. The reality is that 78% of decision makers have taken an appointment or attended an event as a result of a cold call.*.

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Strategies Designed to Uncover Your Prospect's Pain

Last issue I talked about the importance of uncovering your prospect’s pain and the value that it brings to your sales process. In this issue, I’ll be sharing how to uncover that pain. Talking about your products or services isn’t going to earn you loyal customers. You need to be proactive towards understanding their concerns and constraints.

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8 Ways Uncovering Pain Is Critical in the Sales Process

Identifying pain is a key component in the sales process. There is no sale without pain. Uncovering your prospect’s pain has value to the sales process in several ways. It helps you build trust, establish a relationship and build rapport and provides insights as well.

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Messaging That Will Increase Cold Calling ROI

 

 

 

In my last article, I talked about different aspects of cold calling that can be used to set yourself apart. In this issue, we are zeroing in on messaging. The key to success in appointment setting is saying the right things in the right order so that the prospect will stay on the phone and engage in a conversation with you. 

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Cold Calling Strategies That Will Impress Your Prospect

We all like to think that our company is unique. In reality, there are hundreds of companies just like your own vying for the same business. Perhaps your product or service offering is different in some way. But ultimately what sets each of us apart is our sales approach. Cold calling, like outside sales, requires an approach that will make you stand out from your competition, get you appointments, and lead to closed sales. Here’s how to use cold calling to differentiate yourself. 

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Strategies Designed to Uncover Your Prospect's Pain

Last issue I talked about the importance of uncovering your prospect’s pain and the value that it brings to your sales process. In this issue, I’ll be sharing how to uncover that pain. Talking about your products or services isn’t going to earn you loyal customers. You need to be proactive towards understanding their concerns and constraints.

Read More 0 Comments

8 Ways Uncovering Pain Is Critical in the Sales Process

Identifying pain is a key component in the sales process. There is no sale without pain. Uncovering your prospect’s pain has value to the sales process in several ways. It helps you build trust, establish a relationship and build rapport and provides insights as well.

Read More 0 Comments

Messaging That Will Increase Cold Calling ROI

 

 

 

In my last article, I talked about different aspects of cold calling that can be used to set yourself apart. In this issue, we are zeroing in on messaging. The key to success in appointment setting is saying the right things in the right order so that the prospect will stay on the phone and engage in a conversation with you. 

Read More 0 Comments

Cold Calling Strategies That Will Impress Your Prospect

We all like to think that our company is unique. In reality, there are hundreds of companies just like your own vying for the same business. Perhaps your product or service offering is different in some way. But ultimately what sets each of us apart is our sales approach. Cold calling, like outside sales, requires an approach that will make you stand out from your competition, get you appointments, and lead to closed sales. Here’s how to use cold calling to differentiate yourself. 

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Accurately Measuring Lead Generation ROI

Cold calling is a proven way to warm up leads and secure face-to-face meetings. Lead generation working together with sales will deliver the best outcomes. It is a prolonged journey that focuses on process, vision and long-term goals. Lead generation requires patience. Taking a short-sighted view of lead generation sells it short on so many levels.

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Lead Generation is a Sales Cycle All Unto Itself

Sales leaders often have unrealistic expectations for their cold calling campaigns. They expect appointments will materialize quickly. They can lose patience, get frustrated, and consider the whole process a waste of time when this doesn’t happen. However, meaningful lead generation, where you are producing appointments with leads that are interested in what you have to offer, doesn’t happen overnight. 

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Getting More Out of Your Sales Efforts

Bringing Sales Teams & Cold Callers Together Produces Greater Success

 

Many sales organizations have a team of cold callers who feed leads to the sales team. Often the leads or appointments are simply handed over from one team to the other. Your cold calling efforts will be more effective and provide added benefits when you bring these two sets of people together. Collaboration between cold callers and the rest of the team is critical in order to get the most out of your cold calling campaign. 

  

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There's More To Cold Calling Than Appointment Setting

Often cold calling success is measured simply by the number of appointments made with relation to the number of calls. Some look at cold calling as a panacea for lead generation and expect an appointment for every call made. This is thoroughly unrealistic.  When cold calling is done correctly, several levels of value are intrinsic in every call, even if an appointment is not obtained. 

 

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What You Need To Do Before You Start Dialing

People think of cold calling as picking up the phone and continually dialing prospects until you have success. But cold calling is not a random process and you will have much greater success if you set up your process and prepare the right documents before you get started. Successful sales professionals don’t wing it. Cold calling is all about planning and execution. Here’s what you need to put in place:

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Overcoming The Obstacles Between You and the Decision Maker

Whether you are pounding the pavement to get in front of prospects or on the phone to set appointments, you are familiar with the term ‘gatekeeper’. This is the person whose job it is to screen calls or visits to the decision maker. These skilled individuals make it very tough to get through to the decision maker unless you incorporate the right approach.

 

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Internalizing Cold Calling Scripts

Cold calling is an opportunity to probe, build rapport and set the foundation for a long-term relationship. This involves improvising, asking probing questions and reacting to what the prospect is saying. That said, you still need to start with a script. While you don’t want to read it, you do want to use your script to prepare for the call.  

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Developing Highly Qualified Leads

There are leads, qualified leads and highly qualified leads. Most people don’t differentiate between qualified leads and highly qualified leads but it makes a big difference in sales outcome. 

 

When your lead generation efforts involve sharing a lot of information about yourself and your offering, either by phone or online, and little or no information about the prospect is shared, then it’s considered a qualified lead.  Companies often put a lot of value on this level of leads but the conversion rate can be less than desired. 

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Cold Calling Is More Than A Handshake

In networking, a handshake is used to introduce yourself. It conveys a willingness to engage with someone that we don't know or don't know well. In the course of networking, we've all shaken a countless number of hands. Sometimes it leads to business relationships, but more often than not, it doesn't.

 

Cold calling is like a handshake in that it is a way to introduce yourself to a potential business partner. Like networking, cold calling is the beginning of the sales process. However, the difference is that cold calling is more effective at turning introductions into business.

 

Unlike networking, cold calling, when done correctly, is directed to very specific prospects, with a very targeted message. Cold calling is comprised of a series of specific deliberate questions that engages a conversation about the prospect's pain. Well-developed cold calling uncovers issues and challenges that can be used to formulate a more productive sales call.

 

Cold calling is a no-pressure conversation. It nurtures the relationship, which a lot of hand shaking can't do. It is a means of digging deeper so you can learn more about the prospect and they learn more about you. The cold calling process is more productive in bringing in the highly qualified leads that you need.

 

For most people cold calling is the most avoided part of the sales process. Most would rather have root canal than undertake cold calling, but a well executed cold calling process is more productive than hours of networking and shaking hands. 

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How A Well Defined Sales Process Drives Results

We're all salespeople, at least to some extent. Every negotiation we enter into, both personally and professionally, requires us to convince other people and convert them to our side of thinking. Some are better at selling than others. While we often hear that good salespeople are born, not made, it’s just not true. Selling is mostly a science, not an art. A solid sales process provides the science for anyone to become a top performer.


Successful sales organizations live by their sales process. A best in class sales process is:

  • Well defined
  • Clearly communicated
  • Broadly adopted
  • Reinforced through specific activities & tools
  • Measureable & trainable
  • Constantly improved upon
  • Aligned with the customer’s buying process
  • Reinforced through coaching by 1st line sales managers

 

A well thought-out sales process will help you implement a common sales methodology that leverages the processes used by high performers. You’ll be able to prepare your salespeople for different situations that they may encounter and your team will be able to leverage those best practices in real-time. Your process will make it easier for new salespeople to get on board.


A Process That Reps Prefer

Sales reps appreciate a standardized process because it helps them be more efficient, develop stronger skills through repetition, and spares them from having to reinvent the wheel with every prospect or opportunity. When they come to a roadblock, the process provides them guidance with suggested next steps. Sales reps also gain a sense of company commitment, support, and dedication toward the sales department and their efforts.


Managers Benefit Too

Sales managers and business owners appreciate the sales process concept. Once the process is defined, it is easier to manage the sales funnel and the expectations surrounding sales activities. Managers can determine where in the sales process the sales reps are getting stuck so they can address these issues sooner rather than later. Sales issues are often due to lack of effort or the ineffectiveness of sales methodology. A sales process takes the guesswork out of this, and allows a manager to manage the sales reps behavior and activities accordingly.


The greatest satisfaction, for both the company and its sales reps, comes when they see the true outcomes of being able to handle different selling situations successfully, positioning themselves stronger against competition, communicating their value proposition more effectively and closing more accounts faster. With an effective sales process, goals will be met consistently and achieved without wasting time, energy and money. 

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The Importance of Consultative Selling in Qualified Lead Generation

Consultative Selling in the Pre-Sales Process Pays Off

Most of us as can recall times we have been “sold.” Salespeople pushing product, being aggressive, or being unaware of, or insensitive to our needs, leading to an unpleasant sales experience. Perhaps we walk away feeling that we didn’t get what we were looking for, or walk away without buying anything. We would have been more satisfied with the outcome if a consultative sales approach was undertaken.


Consultative sales is a benefit for any sales process. It entails selling by building relationships rather than pushing product. It involves uncovering the needs of potential customers through a series of questions, getting them to speak about what is important to them and what their needs are, and most importantly building a rapport with them. Once that relationship is established and the customer’s needs known, the salesperson can more easily suggest products or services that would help solve the customer’s problem. Instead of being pushy, a salesperson can be seen as a resource, someone with expert knowledge of what customers need, and how to get them to the right solution.


The consultative sales approach can be applied to every step of the sales process. At the earliest stage, it involves doing research before approaching a prospect, to find out such important information as company size, types of products or services they offer and who their target market is. Armed with that research, salespeople can ask the right questions of prospects, and find out what they really need.

Consultative selling is used throughout the pre-sales process, a very important and highly successful way to gain qualifying leads. According to The Harvard Business Review, a properly executed pre-sales process can increase new business 13%.


Pre-sales involves learning about leads, weeding out ones that aren’t a good fit and cultivating a relationship with prospective customers by engaging in conversation with them and asking questions, and probing for more information.


Another aspect of pre-sales that uses consultative sales to generate leads is cold calling, a process that even many of the most seasoned salespeople dislike. The defining image of cold calling is a prospect hanging up on a salesperson trying to sell a product or service over the phone. However, the use of consultative sales within the cold calling process can actually result in more pre-qualified leads. Using consultative sales in cold calls, engaging in conversation with a prospect on the phone, and learning about a prospect’s needs, goes a long way toward generating leads.


Honing skills in consultative sales and lead qualification can pave the way to better prospects, more productive sales calls, and a noticeable increase in the bottom line.

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How To Use The Presales Process To Improve Revenue

If you are looking for growth, (and who isn’t), it’s a good idea to pay more attention to Presales. Presales is key in obtaining, winning and keeping customers. You may not feel this way now but you’ll change your mind when you have a better understanding of what the Presales Process is and what it delivers.


The Presales Process is comprised of three steps:

Research – In the research portion of the Presales Process a list of prospective “ideal customers” - those most likely to buy the company’s products – is developed. Once those prospects are identified, you’ll collect and study relevant information such as product descriptions, prices, and competitor information. This allows you to begin to understand the prospect’s needs, and their potential as a client.

Preparing for the call – The 2nd step involves creating a call strategy and script. Including prequalifying questions in your script helps weed out those that are not a good fit for what you have to offer.  Each script is customized for each prospect.

Making the call and setting the appointment – During the actual call you are not only introducing yourself and the company to the prospect. Much of the call involves actively listening to uncover the needs and wants of the potential customers, as well as determining if they are a fit for your products or services.

The Pre-Sales Process not only identifies leads. It is an important step in building rapport and establishing the relationship with the potential client. It uncovers important information about the prospect’s business, such as goals and challenges. It is the groundwork from which the sales proposal will be made and the sale will be won. The Pre-Sales Process makes your sales team more efficient and armed and ready to close the sale.

Putting effort into your Pre-Sales Process is worthwhile. The Harvard Business Review sums it up as follows: “Souping up the presales engine can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process.”

The upshot is that a well-run, dedicated Presales Process will improve your bottom line.  If you’d like your organization to take better advantage of the Presales Process, One Of A Kind Solutions can help.

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How To Make Cold Calling Fun & Effective

Most people would say that the only way to make cold calling fun is to have someone else do it. But at One Of A Kind Solutions, we love cold calling. Cold calling needn’t be a chore!  It can be fun if you go about it in the right way.  


Here are some tips to make cold calling fun and effective:

  • Have the right attitude. Don’t think of it as a sales call, because it’s not. You are on a fact finding mission to find out what problems the person on the other side of the phone may be experiencing that you may be able to solve.
  • Take the time to develop a script that focuses on having a conversation and building a relationship - introducing yourself, your firm and your offering, what sets you apart and probe for issues and information.  Customize the script for each prospect.
  • Use the script as a guide.  Rehearse it, memorize it until it sounds natural with the right pace, pitch and tone. 
  • Have a mirror handy.  Do you look happy?  Are you upbeat?  Are you smiling?  Do you have energy in your voice?  Are you enthusiastic?
  • Build rapport and be yourself in conversation.  Listen to how they sound and what they are saying.  By matching the prospects tone and speed of talk you will naturally engage them.  Walk away from the call with a good understanding of the prospect’s needs.
  • If it's appropriate, laugh! A natural conversation including small talk and sharing insights will often lead to humor. It’s OK to “professionally” chuckle.
  • Just do it – make the call and just have a conversation. Celebrate and learn. You did it!  Give yourself credit for making the call. Ask yourself what you could have done differently to make it more effective.

You’ll notice that the word “sales” was not mentioned.  Think of it as a conversation that will lead to a sale and it will be much more enjoyable. If you still get stuck when making cold calls, One Of A Kind Solutions is here to help.

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