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Five tips for making the most out of sales calls

In the realm of B2B sales, encompassing cold calling and CRM, building authentic connections is crucial. Learn practical tips to make each call enjoyable, conduct thorough research, and maintain patience for long-term success.

Just maybe you could be forgiven for thinking that in today’s multi-channel B2B (business-to-business) sales environment, the old fashioned sales call is on its way out. After all, with more and more sales happening on social media platforms or through sophisticated CRM (customer relations management) software, who has time for the phone anymore? Add to that the fact that many of us—including some of your customers—suffer from telephobia, and you’re probably wondering why office phones even exist!

Just maybe you could be forgiven. But in all likelihood, probably not. That’s because even now in our digitally hyperconnected world, telephones and the calls we make through them are still one of the most powerful tools available to us in the world of B2B tech sales. And despite its relatively low conversion rate compared to other modes, even cold calling turns out to be vital for your business. So if sales calls are that important, how can we make sure to get the most out of them?

Why sales calls matter

To find out, let’s first take a moment to dig into the main reason why sales calls are so critical for B2B professionals. When it comes right down to it, a great telephone call is a human connection. And sales? Well as we all know by now, sales are all about human connection. When we can break through all the different platforms and technology and build rapport and trust with another human being, that’s when the magic starts to happen. And as it turns out, the lowly phone call is still one of the best ways to get there. 

Why? It turns out that the human voice has all kinds of magic properties. In fact, when the telephone was first invented, many people thought that the sound of a disembodied voice coming through a wire was so powerful that it was like speaking to a ghost. There was a whole time when telephone technology was really all about trying to connect with the spirits of loved ones

Powerful stuff. Now that we’ve convinced you why sales calls matter, let’s find out how you can make the most out of them!

Tip # 1: Enjoy yourself 

We’ve all heard the saying “smile and dial.” It points to the fact that when we smile, it affects the tone of our voice so that people on the other end of the line hear us as more friendly and positive. But too often, we can find it hard to smile when we make sales calls because deep down, we don’t know how to enjoy them. But here’s the thing: maybe we should learn how to not only enjoy sales calls, but really love them!

As we saw above, sales are all about human connection. So if you’re a people person (and you should be!) then it helps to see the sales call as an opportunity to get to know someone. In fact, sales calls give you a chance to talk to all kinds of different people, and find out what motivates them, and learn about the challenges they face. When you put that up as a goal, it can take the sting out of rejection, while helping you establish trust with the people you speak to. And in sales? Trust is everything.

Tip # 2: Love your research

Great research is the key to effective sales calls. From making sure that you have contacted the right person, to knowing as much as you can about your customer before you call them, research is crucial to sales call success. Before picking up the phone, invest time in researching your prospect. Do the work of understanding their business, learn about their industry challenges, and find what you can about their pain points. You can use this knowledge to tailor your pitch and demonstrate why your solution works.

 But there’s more to love about great research than simply honing your value proposition. If you’re committed to continuous and lifelong learning (and you should be!) then you can start to see developing your research expertise as about boosting your professional skills and career development. And who doesn’t love that?

Tip # 3: Be patient, but persistent

It’s been estimated that up to 80% of sales only happen after the fifth call. This figure alone shows why patience and persistence matters in B2B sales. If your first call doesn’t succeed, that’s normal. Instead of seeing it as rejection, look at it as an opportunity to follow up. Be aware that selling to larger businesses means you’ll have to develop the patience to deal with longer sales cycles. Like all kinds of other skills, we can learn to be more patient with ourselves and our customers through practice.

So what about persistence? Think about persistence as the other side of the coin. Your tenacity matters because it will push you to follow up and get through to the sale when it comes. And from the other side of the sales call, your persistence demonstrates a commitment to your customer and to your product. 

Tip # 4: Go off script to make it personal

There is no question that a great script is critical for sales call success. Your script should be based on the research you’ve done, and should be focussed on your prospect. At the same time, even a great script can sound stale and insincere if it is simply read word for word into the telephone. So how do you overcome this?

First of all, it helps to think of your script as a checklist of the different things you need to communicate. So, instead of writing out everything in full sentences, try putting your key information into bullet points. Secondly, make sure you practice your script as much as you can before you pick up the phone. Read it to yourself while looking in a mirror, or phone a friend or colleague and ask them to listen to your pitch.

Finally, remember that a great sales call is a dialogue and not a monologue. When you learn to see a sales call as an opportunity for a conversation, you’ll be able to personalize your script, and build a great sales relationship at the same time.

Tip # 5: Automate

It’s ironic that in the world of B2B tech sales, many people don’t take as much advantage as they should of tech that can automate the sales process. Think about how often you’ll see sales people using things like sticky notes, or even updating databases by hand! It may feel comfortable, but the fact is that smart CRM solutions can boost your productivity, especially when it comes to sales calls.

A good CRM tool can do everything from scheduling follow-up calls and meetings to recording and analyzing data. It can build an effective and numbers-based call schedule, and even do the dialing!

Upskill for your career growth

When it comes down to it, the best way to get the most out of your sales calls is to keep learning and upskilling. Whether it’s through a program like SalesCamp from Palette Skills, or through an online B2B forum where you can share insights and learning, building your professional skills is the one of the most important investments you can make.

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Eligibility for SalesCamp

To be admitted and accepted into the program, you must be:
  • Be actively searching for work and ready to take on employment opportunities tech sales.
  • Be able to legally work in Canada. 
  • Not be a full-time student.
  • Be a highly motivated individual actively seeking out new opportunities.
  • Have least 3 years of formal work experience in Canada or abroad.
  • Have an English language rating of CLB Level 8, or IELTS of 6.5 overall.
  • Be available for Zoom sessions, many of which will be full-time.
  • Be able and committed to attending networking day events as part of regular programming.
  • Be comfortable using technology and learning online.
  • Live or intend to live in the province where the program is being offered.
  • Have a reliable internet connection, device, and a quiet environment for virtual learning.
  • Be committed and able to join the Canadian workforce full-time immediately following the program.
You may not be eligible if:
  • You do not pass our application and/or interview skills assessment. 
  • You are not actively searching or able to start a job in business-to-business tech sales.
  • You are not able to legally work in Canada.
  • You do not reside in the province where the program is operating.
  • You are going to school full-time.
  • You do not have three years of work experience outside of your studies.
  • You are interested in taking SalesCamp solely for learning purposes, but are building your own business and not intending to work in the field.

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