Great cold calling requires three things: enthusiasm, luck and process. Perfecting this combination will convert more of your prospects into customers.
You can’t teach enthusiasm — you either have the ability to happily pick up the phone a hundred times a day, or you don’t. Enthusiasm is making call number 99 on Friday at 5:30 p.m., long after your colleagues have gone home. It’s making follow up call number six when most people give up after three.
Process will take that enthusiasm and turn it into a force to be reckoned with. It will turn 80 dials a day into 150. Here is one process you can consider changing right now:
- Are you still using a hand-dialed land line and then taking notes in your CRM system after each call? On average that will allow someone to make six or eight calls per hour.
- A VoIP soft phone that allows you to cut and paste phone numbers from your CRM or directly from a website will increase your call counts upwards of twelve per hour.
- A Click-to-Dial integration with your CRM system will increase your call counts to 16 or 20 per hour.
- A power dialer using a timed preview mode will automatically dial upwards of 25 times per hour. A predictive dialer will dial multiple lines at once and feed your callers only the calls that get answered by a live person.
Luck comes in to play when you make one of those 150 calls a day at the exact right time. Usually this will be a call to a decision maker or influencer who has just experienced a trigger event. That trigger event could be a meeting where new options were tabled, or shortcomings were identified. It might be a huge event like a data loss or security breach. Perhaps sales numbers were nowhere near where they should have been last quarter and teams are being reorganized. The green light was given to add headcount, or hire a consultant. Whatever that action item, if you’ve somehow managed to make that call before they’ve even started the process of looking for a solution to the problem, you’re halfway to closing a deal.
To a certain degree, you can make your own luck. For example, learning when competitors contracts will be renegotiated, or when budgets get allocated for your product or service will allow you to schedule follow up calls with the appropriate amount of lead time for you to open up a discussion. Process will ensure you remember to make that call at the right time.
Many of you are using CRM systems, or PSA systems with a CRM module. I guarantee you most of you are using only a quarter of the functionality of that system. If you haven’t created processes to automate your workflows and increase the number of connections you can make daily, you’re ignoring a huge opportunity to increase productivity.
Automating your sales workflow will allow you to instantly create tasks and follow ups. Fields can be populated at the click of a button. Call backs can be triggered and timed perfectly based on dates entered into calendars. Adding new reps becomes simple — when everyone is following your sales process, there is no more guesswork on any of your accounts. Forecasting becomes predictable and simple, as everyone on your team understands the stages of your sales cycle and the weight of each stage.
Automating your process eliminates much of the note-taking on a call. You can create templates for emails that get delivered based on a certain call disposition or response. Everything begins to move faster and run better.
If you’re using an outdated system for managing your sales process, stop. If you’re not using your CRM system the way it was built to be used, start. Reach out to your client success manager, find a consultant who specializes in your CRM system, or just RTFM. Enthusiastically embrace process, and start getting lucky more often.
How do you make your own luck when cold calling? Do you believe in luck or do you believe we all make our own luck?