If you want your outbound call center to convert more of your leads faster, efficiency is everything.
But what are the best ways to improve efficiency while continuing to run full speed ahead with your business?
Are your outbound sales team efforts optimized for productivity? If it took you some time to think it through…then odds are your team isn’t working up to their full potential because they’re lacking in key areas.
See just how successful your outbound sales team is by taking our free quiz below – and receive personalized insight into how and what you can do to improve your outbound sales efforts.
Cold calling has often been likened to bull riding. The first eight seconds are the toughest, but if you can get through that period your prospect will calm down and your success rate will increase.
First impressions are critical in sales. In cold calling this first impression happens in a matter of seconds. In fact, according to leading sales author Collin Francis, “Salespeople will generally have between 4 and 30 seconds to make a first impression on prospective clients that will compel them to want to engage.”
Here are seven helpful tips for call center agents to make cold calls more effective.
1. Use a Script
Top performers don’t leave those first few seconds to chance. They (or their companies) invest significant time in designing precisely what they are going to say when they get a prospect on the line, or when they leave a voicemail.
What’s interesting is that average performers are the ones who more often resist utilizing scripts, claiming that they feel better “going with the flow.” While these mediocre reps complain about scripts, it’s really the next two tips that get them.
Call center softwares now offer dynamic scripting. Which has completely changed the game for outbound operations and the way they run their campaigns. Dynamic scripting brings a “mad libs style” to your call center. Your agents will simply enter answers in free form–allowing for more natural and sales driven conversations with your potential customers.
2. Practice makes perfect
A script is only as good as the person delivering it. It’s true in acting and it’s true in sales. Like all great actors, top performers don’t “wing it” on calls. They rehearse their script making it a natural and normal part of their routine. When they connect with a prospect, they move into the script as a natural part of the process.
3. Humanize Yourself
Nobody wants to be sold to. A good script matched with rehearsal allows you to sound like a normal person. When you begin speaking on a cold call, your prospect should feel as though a friend were calling. You should be conversational and sound like a real person.
4. Actively Listen
Believe it or not, your ability to listen (even on the phone) has a dramatic impact on how your prospect will react to you. A good cold call gets the prospect talking early. Your job is to listen – really listen – to what is being said (and what is not being said). Don’t make the common mistake of listening so you can formulate a response; listen for the intent of what they’re saying. You’ll connect with them faster that way.
For call center managers, Convoso’s end-to-end call center software features: “Coaching,” which will allow managers to listen in on agents calls, whisper for help, or potentially barge in when necessary. This will allow managers to assess how their agents are actually performing on call and allow agents to see tangible ways that they can improve cold calling. Thus improving confidence within your sales operation.
5. Script Your First 3 Questions
Bill Walsh, multiple Super Bowl winning coach of the San Francisco 49ers, made the idea of scripting the first plays of a football game famous. Ironically. What makes a good sales rep, is equal to what makes a good sales rep. Like preparation in football, sales reps should always be prepared for their calls with questions that can lead them to a sale.
As we just mentioned above, you need to be actively listening and if you’re trying to figure out the first couple of questions you’re going to ask you won’t be listening effectively. Script your best first questions so you confidently know how to advance the conversation.
6. Be Prepared for Resistance
You know your prospect is going to resist in the beginning of the call, so be prepared for it. Have a question or comment prepared for when the resistance shows itself.
Too often, salespeople are surprised by the resistance they know is coming, fumble for a response and lose the prospect. Don’t let that happen to you.
7. Talk, Don’t Pitch
Lastly, ditch the pitch. The more you sound like a salesperson the less effective you are going to be.
There are lots of things you need to keep track of when managing an outbound sales program. There is, however, one metric that should be tracked above all others.
Qualified Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is a real time metric that indicates the health of your lead pipeline. A positive lead velocity rate indicates that you are consistently growing your qualified leads on a month-over-month basis. A decrease in velocity rate quickly alerts you to a potential problem before it affects your sales pipeline.
“Cold calling? Cold calling is dead!”
“When it comes to sales, it’s all about numbers. More calls, more sales.”
“Salespeople? They all sound the same.”
Does any of this sound familiar? You’ve probably heard some variation on these observations and complaints from competitors in the field, ongoing and potential customers, and even people who just ask what you do for a living. One of the biggest challenges for outbound sales is struggling against outdated or misguided perceptions about what sales staff does.
In the last several posts, we’ve talked about the importance of honing your sales message and respecting the customer’s needs; today, we’d like to talk about the ways in which that message and customer service can intersect with myths about outbound sales methods and goals. Here are 3 commonly circulated myths about lead generation and outbound sales and why they are false.
Have you ever wondered why some companies are more successful than others? Why are some companies able to create and scale lead generation, drive sales and profitability, and grow overall, while others–working just as hard or even harder–are never able to break through to scale, drive and grow?
We recently recorded a webinar and wrote a white paper discussing Unlocking the Door to Successful Outbound Lead Generation. In this blog post, we’d like to give you a brief preview of what the webinar covers. We hope that this post– and the webinar–can start to give you the insight and tools you need to make sure your company maximizes its potential.