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15 B2B tips to get super successful in cold calling 2020

Sara Cronsioe
August 17, 2020

As buyer behavior constantly changes, salespeople must adapt their best practices related to their sales outreach accordingly. You cannot rely on traditional outreach methods anymore. Today, B2B decision-makers are flooded with messaging from all channels, and it’s become increasingly difficult to break through the noise to connect with these people. For those reasons, being successful in cold calling is becoming harder and harder.

But don’t get us wrong. It doesn’t mean your outbound strategy doesn’t work anymore. It is still an important part of your sales strategy. You just have to learn how to adapt it correctly. If you want to drive results from your B2B prospecting, you have to build a consistent and personalized outreach strategy that increases sales engagement. But how can you do to become super successfully in cold calling and sales outreach?  

What is cold calling?

Let’s start with a definition. Cold calling is an outbound sales method where salespeople are actively contacting prospective buyers in the hopes of generating new business. When you use cold calling for prospecting, this outreach is cold, meaning that the salesperson has had no previous contact with the prospect.

What are the different channels?

In the past, outbound sales meant door-to-door sales, in-person meetings, and cold calling. With technological improvements, it shifted toward heavily relying on email and other digital channels. Nowadays, there are several different channels you can use to engage with prospective buyers. On the one hand, this is beneficial because you can reach more people, faster. But on the other hand, prospects are being flooded with sales messaging and it has become more difficult to get your message to stand out.

1. Social Selling

Social selling is a relatively new and modern way to develop meaningful relationships. It’s the act of using social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to find, connect, and engage with prospective buyers in a more authentic way. It’s about listening for the right moment to join the conversation so you can present yourself as a solution to a problem. According to HubSpot, instead of a hard closing tactic, social selling more closely resembles lead nurturing. Therefore, it isn’t for sales reps seeking quick wins or a silver bullet.

2. Personalized video communication 

Video is being consumed more than ever because it allows information to be delivered more quickly and with more personality than plain text, which has helped it grow into an unstoppable medium. Video outreach enables your sales team to be more personal, more visual, and it humanizes your team. It’s obvious to any prospect that you haven’t automated the email.

3. Direct mail

The Direct Marketing Association found that direct mail’s response rate is 4.4%, compared to 0.12% for email. You can incorporate mailing to any stage of your sales process. Direct mail provides brand recognition and goodwill before delivering the phone, email, and social touches, thus increasing conversion rates.

4. Real time live chat

Live chat is a technology that provides companies with a way to interact with prospects, customers and users when they visit an organization’s media properties, including, but not limited to, your website. It can be used by different departments (marketing, sales, or customer support) for different purposes, typically throughout the consideration and decision making stages of your buyer’s journey. It allows you to engage prospects that might need a little more help in making their purchase. Read our article on how to use live chat to boost your sales!

Now, let's dive into our compilation of everything you'll need to know in order to nail your cold calling and sales outreach this year.

1. Be who you are, don't try too much

Authenticity is probably the number one factor in building trust. Never try to show yourself as something that you are not. If you are a small business, never act like you are an enterprise. Connect with your customers in an accessible, humanistic way. You have to show your prospect that you genuinely care about them.

2. Personalize your cold calling 

Whether you’re calling your prospect, sending an email or video, make your outreach so hyper-personalized that they can't ignore it. You should make your prospect feel like they’re the most important customer. Never use a generic greeting like, “Hi there,” and try to always recommend pieces of content based on what they share on social media. Go above and beyond your daily job to make them feel valued and special. It’s always about them, not you. 

3. Stay personalized and relevant

Being personalized and being relevant are related concepts, but they are not the same. Being relevant is sharing the right sales content that will likely create engagement with your customer based on where they are in the buyer’s journey. You might not always be fully personalized, but you always have to stay relevant. 

4. Identify a specific pain point 

General statements never resonate well with prospects. Instead, create empathy and identify a specific pain point that applies to them. You can then point out how your product or service addresses that pain point and explain the benefits for the prospect – this might not be applicable depending on where the prospect is in the buying journey, so use discretion when speaking about the product/service.

5. Add value early and often

Try to avoid “just following up” or “just checking in” as these types of messages are annoying to people. Reciprocity is one of the most powerful forces in communication. It's an incentive-based behavioral concept: I want something from you and I offer something in return. It’s even more powerful when what you offer is actually given in advance instead of afterward. 

6. Establish credibility early in the sales process

Your prospects need to feel like they can trust you and that you aren’t just another salesperson trying to pitch them something they don’t need. Incorporate existing customer stories or case studies to help establish trust and try to include something that relates to their company/industry. 

7. Use referrals from your customers 

The ultimate way to usher your messages directly to your target buyers is through a referral from a happy customer. According to a research from Salesforce, lead-to-win conversion rates for leads coming through referrals are 50X higher than leads coming from email campaigns. It’s not hard to understand why, buyers are becoming more and more wary of vendor-generated content.

8. Add humor and make prospects laugh

Most cold calling and outreach messages are straightforward, serious, and boring. Adding a fun twist to your cold calls and outreach helps you distinguish yourself from the competition and makes your pitch more memorable. It might not be easy, but make your prospects laugh. 

9. Create magic in your subject line

Email subject lines can make or break opportunities to connect with cold prospects. There has to be enough reason to click on your specific email. Depending on your audience, it might be a statistic that will grab their attention, or in some cases, an emoji will do the trick. Either way, always use personalization when possible and take a few minutes to really think about what’s going to grab the prospect’s attention. 

10. Keep your message short and sweet

This goes for calls, emails, videos, social, everything. Respecting your prospects' time will also help to build trust. Make sure your message is comprehensive, but doesn’t include unnecessary fluff. A great tip for cold calls is to write an outline of what you want to say – it’s the best way to make sure you hit the right points during your call, and you can get an idea for how long your message will be.

11. Always provide a clear CTA

It's important to be very clear about the action you want the prospect to take and make it simple for them to say yes. Don’t try to over complicate it and avoid multiple call-to-actions. You don’t want to give your prospect too many things and take away their attention from the main objective.

12. Create customer centric messaging

With customer centric messaging, you have to speak their language, while sharing content that is bold, polarizing, and educational. Teach them something they didn’t know about themselves. For example, before reaching out to an executive buyer, try sourcing some insights from lower-level team members or even publicly available insights and statistics.

13. Use sales automation software 

A good start is to automate your sales outreach workflows as much as possible by using email templates and sequences. This will allow you to paint an accurate picture of how your outreach is being perceived, how engaging your content is, and how compelling your call to action is. However, it's important to keep a balance of how automated verses personalized your workflows come across to your prospects. 

14. Track engagement

With today’s technology, you can track not only your emails, but also the documents you send. Tracking activity such as views, clicks, time-spent, and replies are critical to staying on top of hot prospects and measuring the success of your outreach. There are many amazing tools on the market, including GetAccept, that can turn your current outreach activity into an efficiency machine. Learn how to use email and document tracking together.

15. Use a power dialing tool

There are many dialers on the market, but the key is to find one that seamlessly integrates with your sales stack. As you prospect and call, make sure to track calls, voicemails, and conversations to better determine the minimum number of activities to set an appointment or demo.

There you go! 15 tips to become super successful in cold calling and sales outreach. Try some of them out and let us know how it goes! 

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