Some people say that the cold call is dead. We don't necessarily agree.
Although caller ID makes it easier for prospects to ignore sales reps calls, and low-quality call-centers (and robo-dialers) do not instill any confidence in consumers, there is still tremendous value in outbound calling. Consumers today are bombarded with so many emails (both real and junk emails) in their inbox, that a personalized call is often welcomed.
The key to success with outbound calling; however, is creating highly tailored messaging and then executing the calls in a cost-efficient manner.
Before starting an outbound call campaign, make sure you are following these five steps to ensure success:
Step 1: The Script
Historically, call scripts are rigid one-way conversations, built with the sole purpose of closing a sale or making an appointment for a product demonstration. With a rigid script, the person on the other end of the line has a tendency to quickly associate your call agent with one of the thousands of voices they’ve heard already, effectively forming an early negative opinion.
Instead, develop an open call script that allows them to build a conversation that establishes a level of trust with the prospect and enables bi-directional dialog. Successful outbound calling always starts with a quality script.
Step 2: Change the Conversation
Eagerness to close a deal can kill it before the first word is even spoken. Prospects can easily pick up on this type of energy and there is almost no way to recover once they do. Call agents should have a different focus to help prevent unintended signals. Effective call campaigns should qualify a lead or open a conversation to gauge interest before transferring to a specialist to work on closing.
This structure will make picking up the phone easier and the call will flow more naturally, allowing the remaining steps below to work considerably better.
Step 3: Connection
Effective call campaigns have agents which can put themselves in the shoes of the prospects they are calling. How do these folks feel when they pick up the phone? What kinds of expectations do they have? This can be difficult when the caller is in another country, or worse, a robot. Call agent quality is the difference between a conversation and a click, so you want them to understand your target audience.
Having access to callers, not only in the same country, but potentially the same zip code changes the game of the call center. If your caller and callee are getting coffee at the same place, that's a perfect connection!
Step 4: Solve a Problem
Outbound call agents are proposing a solution to a problem that their prospect is likely experiencing. The agent should open the dialog by talking about this potential problem, and hold a discussion in the same way as you might with a friend.
Creating questions around this problem and allowing a conversation to flow between the next target question will build the rapport necessary to achieve your desired result.
Step 5: The Simplest Solution is Usually the Best
Many companies don't use call centers because they can't afford the large scale options and/or dont have the resources to build one in-house. This is what we call a Goldilocks scenario, where you need a "just right" solution.
Typically, call center services require you to purchase predictable blocks of call volume, but this frequently introduces the problem of either not enough capacity when you experience an influx of leads, or too much capacity when lead volume tails off. It is very difficult to balance this equation and also quite expensive.
Putting together a brick and mortar call center, or building an entire inside sales team is cost-prohibitive for most small and medium sized businesses, and managing the ebb and flow of volume requirements can make this model impossible to adapt.
Today, the idea of outsourcing your outbound sales calls to a completely elastic, on-demand service solution has become a reality. Using technology to employ experienced localized sales agents, businesses can now optimize their internal sales efforts and focus on closing high quality leads.
All of the best practices in this article can be easily attained without investing anything in a traditional internal solution, or hiring out a fixed quantity of calls to an established brick and mortar call center service.
For more information on the intelligent sales call software, click the link below and discover how VOIQ can be that "just right" solution for your outbound calling needs.