Bonus: How to effectively find leads.
As a founder of a YCombinator-backed software company that focuses on automating and optimizing B2B sales calls for SMBs and enterprise companies I can tell you that you do not need a sales team to qualify and convert thousands of prospective customers over the phone.
You can leverage smart sales call platforms to build, carry out and optimize the best way to pitch your product to a prospect. Now, if you want to do it yourself, you should take in consideration the following guidelines:
Research Your Target!
Before making a call, research your leads. The more you know about the person you’re talking with, the easier it is to provide them value and have a meaningful conversation. Google their company, look for information on LinkedIn, etc. Then, define the goal of the call and structure the call around it. Do you want to schedule a demo? A second meeting? Identify the decision maker?
You Have 20 Seconds!
The first challenge of every call is to grab your prospect’s attention. You have about 20 seconds to identify yourself and your company, and convince them of a reason why they should care. A two sentence tagline is what you should aim for.
Do Prospects Have a Pain Point?
The goal of sales calls is to identify your prospect's’ pain points and decision making process. Asking the right questions allows you to guide your prospect to uncover their own problems.
Here are some of the questions that you can use:
- What is the problem you are looking to fix?
- What have you done in the past to try and fix the problem?
- What is your timeline to make this decision?
- How does the decision process work with this sort of purchase?
- Do you have a budget for the project yet?
- What other solutions are you evaluating now?
- Are there any reasons why you wouldn’t make a decision today?
Once you have a full understanding of the prospect's needs, introduce your solution through the pitch and customize it to the prospect's unique situation. Make sure to share pertinent industry insights or use cases from your current customers that might guide them while they make their decision.
Objections are Gold; Capture Them.
In sales you’re inevitably going to encounter push backs and will need to develop a plan to address them. First, acknowledge the objection, so your prospects know that you heard them. Then, follow up with a question (Most objections are pretty broad i.e. your price is too high, I already do that internally) to zero in on exactly what the issue is. And last, position your response by incorporating some of the prospect’s expressed concerns.
Close with a Call to Action!
Any sales call needs to end with a call-to-action, which should be based on the objective you defined at the beginning of the call. Make sure to get your prospects involved in the buying process: agree on a timeframe for making a decision, agree on a follow-up call, agree to introduce you to the decision maker.