Outbound calling is a crucial aspect of many sales and marketing operations. But in the face of increasing regulatory complexity, changing consumer habits, and rapid advances in technology, many teams are finding that their old outbound calling strategies simply no longer cut it.
But to say that outbound calling no longer works couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every day, we see businesses achieve jaw-dropping results and incredible scale on the back of outbound dialing.
So, what’s the secret to their success? What do their outbound call centers have that your team doesn’t?
Find out what your outbound call strategy is missing and the steps you can take to improve below.
5 Top Tips and Best Practices for More Effective Outbound Sales Calls
There’s no single silver bullet for outbound call success. But these call center sales tips can combine to move the needle in a big way for your team.
1. Get There First with Speed to Lead
If there’s one simple rule to live by when making outbound calls, it’s this: don’t wait to call.
(And if there’s a second rule? Don’t use a dialer that makes you wait.)
For outbound sales, there may be no more important metric than speed to lead. The data on this couldn’t be clearer: when you call leads faster, more leads answer the phone—and more of them convert.
In one study, calling a lead in under five minutes meant that calls were 100 times more likely to connect. What’s more, sales teams were also 21 times more likely to qualify those leads.
The key to achieving this all-important speed to lead, then, is having a dialer that can automatically prioritize the warmest fresh leads. But, crucially, dialers also need to have the ability to penetrate through whole lists quickly, maintaining speed to lead even when you’re dialing at high volumes.
2. Give Your Agents the Right Scripts
No matter how quickly you can get to your warmest, most interested leads, your sales pitch is likely dead in the water without the right message.
Make life easier for your agents with dynamic scripting that updates in real time according to customer responses and includes the following key elements.
Craft a Compelling Opening Statement
The opening statement of your call script is critical because it sets the tone for the conversation. A well-crafted opening statement can immediately capture the prospect’s attention and encourage them to engage in further discussion.
Here, a timely offer along with language that addresses pain points and solves problems can be very effective. Adding a personal touch to your opening and reminding a lead of their previous opt-in or request for info is great, too. For example, a pest control script may lead a promotional outbound call with:
Hello, [Prospect Name]. This is [Agent Name] at [Business Name]. I’m calling because you previously expressed interest in protecting your home with [Business Name].
I wanted you to know that from now through the end of Memorial Day weekend, we’re providing free evaluations and lower rates on services for the warm season. We will have an expert in your neighborhood on [Date]. Is there a good time that day for you to quickly inspect your home and walk through your options for affordably protecting your home from pests?
Address Common Objections and Questions
Anticipating and addressing common objections and questions that your prospects may bring up during your call can help you build trust and keep the conversation flowing.
Take the time to research your prospect’s industry, case history, and likely pain points. If you’re dialing a high volume of leads and can’t necessarily tailor your approach to each individual, creating a range of target personas can help you understand your audience.
This process will help you anticipate sales objections and questions and prepare appropriate responses. For example, if you’re selling a marketing automation tool, a common objection might be that the prospect already has a solution in place. You could respond by saying:
“I understand that you already have a solution in place, but our tool has features that can help you increase your ROI and improve your lead generation efforts. Would you like to learn more about how our tool can benefit your business?”
Include a Strong Call-to-Action
Lastly, when closing a sales call, your call-to-action should be specific and compelling to encourage prospective customers to take action. Define simple next steps and don’t forget to follow up with any outstanding requests.
3. Dial High-Quality Leads
When outbound call strategies aren’t working, many teams are quick to point the finger at their leads. And many times they’re not wrong. But the problem often gets compounded when they simply decide to buy more leads of questionable quality.
Ultimately, a fundamental aspect of your approach to making outbound sales calls should be only dialing high-quality leads. Why? Because if you’re set up to effectively convert these leads you’ll easily justify the higher cost of those leads, driving greater ROI.
With speed to lead, effective caller ID reputation management, and the rest of the outbound call center best practices you see here, dialing high-quality leads can actually help you spend less on leads, not more. And when you spend less but close more, you’ll be able to boost call center ROI and scale your operation.
4. Focus on the Right KPIs
To create an outbound call strategy that you can use and, most importantly, improve, your agents’ efforts on the phones need to be measurable.
On the one hand, that means setting concrete, measurable goals for improvement. By tracking progress against these benchmarks over time, you can better understand your growth.
On the other hand, however, it means you need to have the right tools in place. Without robust call center reporting software, you’ll be lacking visibility into key aspects of your operation. Make sure that your dialing solution enables transparency in these crucial ways:
Measure Metrics in Key Categories
In our guide to essential outbound calling metrics, we break down need-to-know KPIs across four key categories: leads, lists, agents, and dialing. From cost per acquisition and contact rate to agent talk time and call abandonment rate, you need to have eyes on multiple metrics in each of these areas of your business.
Download our guide to dig deeper into those critical KPIs:
Track Performance at the List Level
Beyond this overarching visibility, you also need tools with the power to get granular. Specifically, you should be able to measure the effectiveness of your outbound calling strategies on a list-by-list basis over the course of a given day.
With the ability to understand which lists are performing and which are not, you can ascertain whether it’s your strategies or your leads that aren’t working for you—and you’ll be in a much better position to take action.
5. Support Outbound Calling with Omnichannel Outreach
Omnichannel outbound sales strategies are no longer a luxury. They’re necessary for achieving the best results.
In a recent McKinsey survey, 94% of respondents said omnichannel sales were more effective than old models.
Meanwhile, 9 in 10 consumers say they want omnichannel service.
Your choice of outbound dialing software should reflect these consumer expectations. At the very least, your outreach strategy should support calling cadences with well-timed emails and texts. By utilizing other channels, you not only increase the likelihood of conversion but create a more cohesive brand experience for your customers.
Using Email and Texting Alongside Calls
For example, if you are promoting a new product or service, you can send an automated email blast to your target audience with a link to your website. Then, follow up with a phone call to those who clicked on the link, offering more information and answering any questions they may have.
Likewise, SMS drip campaigns can nurture relationships with leads or follow-up texts can be set after calls to maximize your chances of contact.
This omnichannel approach allows you to provide a more personalized experience for your customers, increasing the chances of a successful sale.
Don’t Forget About Outbound Calling Regulations
While many call center sales leaders are understandably focused on the performance aspects of their outbound dialing strategies, today’s businesses simply cannot afford to overlook call center compliance.
Taking a proactive approach to supporting compliance is first and foremost about protecting your business—its revenue and its reputation. But it also goes hand in hand with improving performance.
TCPA Compliance and State Laws
All teams should by now be familiar with the outbound calling regulations imposed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This linchpin of call center compliance requires adherence to the federal Do Not Call (DNC) registry and much more.
Yet while you may have a range of TCPA best practices in place already, you should also be tuned into the rapid developments unfolding at the state level. States like Florida, Oklahoma, and Washington have been quickly implementing their own so-called “Mini-TCPA” laws in recent years. As a result, outbound call centers dialing into various locations around the country need to navigate an increasingly complex patchwork of legal requirements.
Supplement your outbound calling strategies with the input of expert legal counsel to ensure that your call center improves not only its sales numbers but its compliance support.
STIR/SHAKEN, Call Labeling, and Your Contact Rates
Meanwhile, the passage of STIR/SHAKEN has empowered telco carriers to more aggressively block calls and flag numbers as “Spam” and “Scam Likely.” Unfortunately, high-volume calling teams trying to reach customers legitimately have been getting caught up in this web—and, in many cases, contact rates have drastically suffered.
To avoid call blocking and flagging, your outbound calling strategy should include:
- Effective management of call volume: limit your teams to 50 calls per caller ID each day as a rule of thumb
- Proactive steps to show your identity is legitimate: Register DIDs with analytics companies that report to major carriers and use caller ID branding tools to legitimize your DIDs and increase contact rates.
- Smart dialing cadences: Teams can no longer simply hammer away at leads until they reach them. These overly aggressive cadences will lead to more flagged DIDs and lower contact rates. Use more sophisticated dialer software that can automatically rest lists or leads based on intent levels and prior dispositions, then follow a smart redial logic that’s optimized for results.
Behind Every Effective Outbound Calling Strategy Is Better Dialing Technology
Whether it’s speed to lead or granular reporting, omnichannel outreach or compliance support, the best outbound calling strategies go hand-in-hand with the best outbound call center software.
To make the most of your leads, improve ROI, and take your organization to the next level, you need a technology partner that’s well-suited to support your growth.
Dig deeper into the issue of how to choose the right contact center software—or see for yourself how Convoso can help you boost contact rates and scale your business with speed and automation by signing up for a free demo of our leading predictive dialer.