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Back To School With SalesLoft: Cold Calling

4 min read
October 5, 2015

We’re well into fall, and that means it’s time to go back to school with some new strategies to optimize your cold calls. If you’re looking to make an A+ on your next discovery call, you’ll need to do some research.  Here are 3 simple steps to get you having better conversations and booking more appointments today.

1. Do Your Homework.

Cold calls are a lot like homework assignments. With on-the-spot objections and limited time to prepare,all SDRs need structure around pre-call preparation. A prospect’s time is limited, and what you say from the moment they take your call is paramount. You have no more than 30 seconds to keep your prospect on the line and intrigue them enough not to drop the call. The key to this is leveraging your pitch in a way that makes you sound knowledgeable around their process and therefore, valuable. You can achieve this by knowing who you’re calling before you do.

Blocking off time to study a prospect isn’t easy for the average SDR. With high prospect volumes, we recommend no more than 3 minutes of research per call. When searching, search smart. Dig into their company websites or LinkedIn profiles for something that shows you’re informed. On LinkedIn, look in the summary section or on their company page. You don’t have to memorize the whole profile, but merely identify something unique and run with it.

A+ material: “Hi Bob, saw you were VP of Business Development and that your translation software primarily targets the education industry. What does your process look like for prospecting such a selective market?”

This shows that A) you know what they do B) you know who they target and C) that you’re not actually cold calling them at all.

Here are a few more profile points to keep an eye out for:

  • Mission
  • Core values
  • Recent Promotions
  • Available Positions
  • Current Customers
  • Funding

2. Use Persuasive Language.

From the moment you get a Prospect on the line, every word becomes crucial to the overall result. Hubspot’s “Want More Sales? Try Using These 13 Influential Words” speaks on the value of using power words in order to influence your prospects. As an SDR, I’ve used these again and again to leverage my leads (on calls and through email).  Check out my personal five favorites and how they can help you have better, more informed conversations:

  1. You
  2. Free
  3. Try
  4. Increase
  5. Quick

All of these power words project confidence and results. The more you use them, the more they will resonate. Try replacing our, I, we  with you whenever it’s appropriate. For example, “You mentioned that…” verses “I noticed that…” shows that your focus is on understanding before selling. Words such as “free” and “try” implicate low to no risk associated with your products/services. And finally, momentum building words such as “increase” and “quick” associate your solution with instant gratification. The more you use these words, the more control you’ll have over the call. Period.

3. Remember Your Mnemonic Devices: KISS = Keep It Simple, Salesperson.

There’s nothing more defeating than working hard on an assignment only to get an F because you turned it in late. In Sales Development, we’re guilty of this time and time again: we talk ourselves out of appointments and lose the prospect on a technicality. On your next call, save yourself the trouble and always be listening for the value prop. Once you’ve identified their pain point, halt. Stop pitching and reemphasize how you can fix their pain. If you keep it going, you run the risk of talking yourself right out of an appointment and losing control of the call. If your prospect has a need and you have a solution, there’s no reason to oversell. Keep it short, keep it simple.

Remember: if you’re calling a particular prospect, chances are that prospect is on another rep’s call list, too. But if you do your due diligence and follow the steps above, you’re guaranteed to stand out. Comment below if you’ve found any other cold calling techniques beneficial to your process.

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