Cold calling isn’t dead. Several companies, from Fortune 500s to startups, still rely on cold calling to bring in fresh leads and drive revenue.
The question you might have had is, does cold calling still work in 2022?
The answer is YES. However, there is a caveat. If you’re still cold calling like it’s 2003, especially with B2B cold calling, you might as well skip doing it.
With 82% of buyers willing to speak to the salesperson who reaches out to them, cold calling is here to stay and will continue to thrive.
In this article, we’ve put together 20 B2B cold calling best practices for anyone who wants to close more sales and find prospects faster.
What is B2B Cold Calling?
B2B cold calling is a type of sales call in which a sales representative of one business calls a prospect of another business with the intention to sell a product or service.
B2B cold calling can either be outsourced to a call center or done by in-house sales experts. It can involve inbound calls, outbound calls, or a combination of both.
B2B sales cold calling helps generate leads and is a good practice for improving business. It can also be highly beneficial for B2B businesses where one sales rep doesn’t know another from a potential client’s organization. B2B cold calling is often an alternative method to marketing when there are too many companies to target or when too many companies are competing for the same set of leads.
Although B2B cold calling can be time-consuming, it is also proven to be highly successful for businesses as it helps your organization to identify the right target, increase conversions, gain deeper insights into the market, and even establish relationships with the buyer.
Why is Cold Calling an Essential Ingredient in B2B Sales?
Regardless of your company’s domain, cold calling acts as a primary tool to build your list of prospects and help you land more deals. According to studies, organizations who believed that cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42% less growth than those who believed otherwise.
Some of the benefits of B2B cold call include, but are not limited to
- Increased conversions
- Identifying better converting targets
- Mastering your craft
- Gaining deeper insights
- Making a human connection with a prospect
How to Cold Call: 20 B2B Cold Calling Best Practices to Close More Deals in 2022
B2B cold calling still works wonders. To help you nail your next B2B outbound call, we’ve put together 20 B2B cold calling best practices to close more deals but quicker.
#1 Do Your Research
A good pre-call ritual is researching your prospect. Understanding and learning more about your prospect before you make the call will help you hold their attention and deliver value.
Leverage tools such as LinkedIn and email marketing to better understand the person and the brand’s identity and map out any issues your solution can help solve.
#2 Pick The Right Time To Call
Timing is everything.
76% of sales representatives agree that having the right skill to engage the prospect at the right time will have a significant impact on the chance of a conversion.
This holds especially true for B2B calls since most executives are occupied during certain times of the day.
According to data, the best time to make sales calls is between 10 and 11.30 AM and then again at 1.30 PM, and the best day to call is on a Thursday.
#3 Use A B2B Cold Calling Script
Write a pre-defined, actionable sales script to sound confident, stay focused on the agenda, and make your point quickly and clearly.
Typically, sales representatives try to recreate their best cold calling scripts for their cold calls. Although this is a good practice, the success of recreating such calls, however, does not completely depend on the script alone but also on how well you use it.
Personalize your cold calling script for each prospect and add a human touch to the call to connect deeper with the client and, in turn, help the prospect be more responsive throughout the call.
#4 Practice Well Before The Call
Spontaneity can sometimes yield wonderful outcomes. However, for consistent results, practice is the way to go.
Cold calling mistakes can result in bad sales. While even seasoned salespersons may stumble sometimes, preparation can help everyone avoid roadblocks and obvious embarrassing mistakes.
This is an area where technology can be a great help. Salesken’s sales performance management software can help you analyse your performance during a call by going back to your previously recorded call to listen to them and learn from their mistakes. You can then iterate and improve performance, create multiple approaches and test out the most effective methods to close any sale.
#5 Gauge Your Prospect’s Emotions Before Selling
It’s never easy to know your prospect’s emotions when you make that B2B cold call. Customers are humans, and you aren’t a mind reader either.
Not everyone will be in the right mood to hear you sell your product to them, so it is absolutely vital and human to analyse this during the call to not overstep.
By leveraging the right technology tools, like Salesken, you can analyze your potential customer’s emotions (be it excited or bored, happy or upset) and pitch your product accordingly.
#6 Utilize The 30-50-50 Rule
An important benchmark for cold calling is the 30-30-50 rule for cold emailing and the 30-50-50 rule for cold calling.
- 30% Reach Rate: You should be reaching decision-makers at least 30% of the time.
- 50% Qualify Rate: At least 50% of those you target should be qualified leads.
- 50% Conversion Rate: 50% of leads should take the next step.
Keep these benchmarks as your starting point for any B2B outreach. Knowing where you stand with these metrics can give you an insight into how successful your cold calls are.
#7 Never Multitask During The Cold Call
Cold calling for multiple hours on a daily basis can get very daunting. Dialing potential leads and hearing the same rejection over and again can be very demoralizing.
It can be tempting to multitask and distract yourself during a cold call, but multitasking while being on a B2B cold call can potentially make you lose out on the sale as your attention is not fully on your client. You will miss out on important questions, lose track of your pitch, and even be flustered. It’ll also take you longer to close, leading to more boredom and distraction. So, instead of multitasking, schedule clear breaks to unwind. But when you’re on call, pay attention, and focus wholly on the call to make the sale quicker.
#8 Ask Open-Ended Questions
Instead of closed questions that elicit ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, asking relevant open-ended questions can help you collect valuable information about a potential client’s organization and better understand their process.
Questions about their current business scenario, future roadmap, and how they are trying to incorporate your product into their business can help you establish a genuine connection with the client.
Asking open-ended questions can also help the client understand that you are genuinely trying to solve their problem and not looking for a sale, thus making the call more engaging.
#9 Value First, Price Later
If your buyers do not see the value in the product you are trying to sell, irrespective of the pricing range, you will not be successful in making the sale.
So, always start the call with a strong opener about your product and help them comprehend the benefits. Once you lay down the value of your product, introduce the pricing. Always be open to negotiating the price and never stick to a final price card.
This approach also helps build a relationship with the client that’ll last beyond just one sale.
#10 Be Okay With Rejection
Rejection is par for the course in sales. Although retaining your current customers is important, rejections shouldn’t stop you from going after new ones.
Know that every cold call won’t magically turn into a successful sale. Rather than personalizing the rejection and taking it to heart, pay attention to the reason behind it, and use that to learn and improve. Brainstorm ideas with your team and find solutions.
#11 Leverage Technology To Pitch Better
Great cold calling goes in hand-in-hand with great supporting software to aid you with your everyday tasks.
On average, a sales rep makes about 52 calls in a day, with 15% of their time spent leaving voicemails. Working smart and leveraging the right technology is one of the most important skills to have.
Sales technology tools such as Salesken can help you minimize and automate your most daunting tasks as a sales rep. With Salesken, you can make calls via the tool, analyze the call performance on your dashboard, share it with your managers, receive real-time cues to handle the calls, and even link your CRM to scale the effort further.
Switching to smart technology for cold calling can help you surpass your competitors to stay ahead of ever-changing trends in a hassle-free, streamlined way.
#12 Take Advantage Of Emails
In B2B, potential buyers always appreciate a prior email introducing yourself and your product to them. Warming up your client before you make that call will help them learn the agenda behind your call. A first cold call might help in some cases, but in some, they don’t.
So, send an introductory email, track its delivery, and set the objective of the connection right. Make the call once the email has been opened by your client, and ensure you send an email after the call too.
This way, your B2B customer journey and funnel become seamless and you can close the deal faster.
#13 Be Human First, Sell Next
Despite the fact that your main objective behind the cold is to make a sale, always be human first and try to empathize with your potential client.
There is no second chance in cold calling– the first impression is everything. If you come across as rude, low energy or not adding value, you will never get a second chance again with the company.
Your opening statement and your tone throughout the call must be friendly and also capture their attention. Use words like “we” and “us” instead of “I” and “me”, and try to relate with the customer.
This simple approach can increase your chances of arranging a second meeting with your potential client.
#14 Leverage the Power Of Three
Salespeople only have about 5-10 minutes to convince the prospects via cold calling. With the listener’s attention span limited, do not try to squeeze in too much information in one call.
When pitching your product on the call, stick to only the most important points– information you absolutely cannot miss. This approach ensures the customer isn’t lost in a sea of overwhelming information and can actually remember what you spoke about. You may also repeat the same points to help them remember.
Save the more elaborate conversations for the demo calls and stick to quick wins instead.
#15 Personalize Your B2B Cold Call
Following a sales script is ideal, but using the same sales script for every kind of call will not result in a successful callback. By researching your prospect beforehand, jot down points that will help you connect with them and pitch your product in a way that helps them connect dots with your solution and their unique issues. This helps you make a connection with the buyer and also retain their attention.
#16 Build Rapport With The Customer
Break the ice with a strong opener. Connect with the prospect by being human and relatable.
Build a rapport by sharing a customer success story (ideally one resolving the same issue as theirs) to build credibility. Pick 2-3 business problems that your product has solved for a client from the same industry and strike a meaningful conversation by highlighting the route taken to solve their problem.
Be a great storyteller and help them visualize the journey they will be a part of if they onboard you.
#17 Listen Closely
A great salesperson will listen more than they speak.
Listening carefully can help you understand the prospect’s problem and suggest an appropriate solution.
Talking continuously without letting the other person get a word in, talking at them rather than to them, and interrupting the prospect can annoy them and ambush your sales process.
As a rule of thumb, listen well, and then speak to never make your prospect feel valued.
#18 Always Use A Friendly Tone
93% of the potential success of your B2B cold call is attributed to the tone of your voice during the conversation. You might be great at pitching your product in a technical way, but if your tone isn’t right, then the entire purpose of the call falls apart.
Don’t be too soft or too loud, as you may come across as aggressive. Aim for just an average tone to sound friendly. Don’t rush through your words; speak at a medium pace so your prospects understand what you are saying.
Be especially mindful of your tone when things don’t go your way. Handle objections and rejections with grace.
#19 Leave Voicemails
On average, a salesperson leaves behind 70 voicemails per day, taking up to 60 seconds each, which approximately adds up to 25 hours per year.
A typical voicemail does not add any value to the listener; the sales rep just rambles with a ton of filler words and wastes the client’s time with no callback number to get back to.
If you’re leaving voicemails, ensure that they spark interest– prepare a clear script and speak with confidence so the prospect is inclined to call you back immediately.
#20 Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
With an increasing amount of sales volume up your alley to target, sometimes it can get daunting to follow up on your prospect.
But after all the hard work and following these B2B cold calling tips, don’t forget to follow up on your prospects to check their decision and the stage they are at. Make use of an intelligent technology tool like Salesken that reminds you to make that follow-up call and makes it easy to do so.
Following up with your prospect will help you understand if the buyer is genuinely interested in your product or not, helping them move further in your sales funnel or letting you focus on other prospects.
To sum it up
Never miss an opportunity again and be a champion of B2B cold calling.
An intuitive sales enablement tool like Salesken can help you increase conversions by improving overall productivity, identifying and fixing loopholes to act upon later, receiving real-time cues to understand how to improve your cold call conversation, closing more deals, and even building personalised strategies with the help of analytics.