There is nothing that salespeople hate to do more than make calls. Even the very best salespeople who make this activity a regular and scheduled part of their work week just tolerate it because they have learned over time it is the best way to fill the sales pipeline with new, quality prospects to work.
But making calls is not as simple as picking up the phone, pitching your product, and leaving some notes in your CRM –if you actually do it. Calling is a science; and as any other marketing channel (email, social selling, paid advertising, etc.) call campaigns are essential to build relationships with (potential) customers, generate leads, gather valuable data, and increase sales.
Yet most salespeople don’t know how to do it right. So in the interest of furthering best practices and helping you succeed, in this blog we're going to cover the basic steps of developing a call campaign from the ground up.
A call campaign can be divided into two different basic types: outbound or inbound.
An outbound campaign is when you want to proactively reach out to your leads. These leads can come from shows/events, industry associations, from a LinkedIn targeted list.
An inbound campaign is in response to those leads that have landed on your website from an ad campaign, or an opt-in email list, and filled out some kind of form.
When you’re leveraging on-demand sales reps to carry out your sales calls and qualify your leads for you, you should be able to provide a clear and brief description of your business. A sentence that captures the key characteristics of your company: what your organization does, the problems that solve, and how it helps your clients.
"My company develops ____ that businesses use to ____. This means that your top salespeople can spend time on closing deals.”
Clearly defining your audience makes all the difference when you’re creating a call campaign. Answering the following questions will help you better understand who is it that you’re calling, and determine the objective of the call.
- Are you calling prospects or actual customers?
- What are their demographics, their most pressing challenge?
- Have they heard about your company before?
Every sales call should have a clear goal, and so should your campaign. Defining your call campaign goals helps guide the direction of your campaign, structures the script around it, and makes it easier to measure the success of your efforts.
Here are some examples of a campaign primary objective:
- Schedule demos
- Follow-up on shared content
- Market Research
And a secondary objective:
- Identify the decision maker.
- Gather information about the lead: timeline, budget, mention of competitors, etc.
Before start blindly calling leads, you need to determine the best days and times (& time zones) to call that will actually result in a good response rate. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What type of business I will be calling?
- What is my prospect typically doing on an average day at that time of day?
- Are they mobile or are they usually at their desks?
Call dispositions are labels used to describe the outcome of a call. For example, you may be able to select from “Left voicemail”, “Wrong number”, “Call back at”, “Date scheduled”, etc.
By tracking call outcomes, you can gain valuable information about the call and how to improve your follow-up. Below are 3 different call dispositions and what can be extracted by tracking them:
- Date Scheduled – If you’re getting a lot of dates scheduled, it could mean that you that your team is able to present the value.
- Not in Service/Busy – With busy signals or disconnection messages, it could indicate poor contact data quality.
- Not Interested – What’s important is to capture the “Not Interested” reasons to be statistically trended.
If your campaign’s objective is to set appointments, you need to consider your internal team’s real calendar availability.
Finding a mutual time for you and your prospect to meet is one of the biggest roadblocks in appointment setting. By syncing your team’s calendar, you make it extremely easier for the caller and the prospect to agree on a time and schedule it live without leaving the call.
Though reading directly from a script is never a good idea, making an outline of key points to cover is often the big difference between a successful, professional call, and a scattered one.
A call script should have:
- Opening: who are you and what you do in a sentence.
- Adding smart tags helps personalize the conversation.
- Questions/Qualify: learn about your prospects' needs. Define if they are a fit.
- Choosing question types facilitates the flow of the script (multiple choice, date/time selector, open text field).
- Test close: discover price sensitivity, decision timeline, etc.
- Next steps
Don’t forget to include skip logic to your script to make it more responsive.
Leaving a brief message hitting a few talking points from your script is a good practice to let your prospect know you will be calling back at a given date and time, unless they prefer to reach out to you. This allows to set up expectations for a future call.
Make sure to include a list of common concerns or questions that your prospects might have about your offering, any product feature, integrations, etc. Not only the callers will be better equipped to address these questions, they will also come across as more confident and knowledgeable.
Prepare a list of objections you’ve heard before and write some rebuttals, especially those that have worked well in the past. When a prospect raise an objection, the caller will have a response at the ready and will be able to push the conversation forward.
You're all set to start with your first call campaign! Remember that your email, content AND now calls are part of a larger, homogeneous and consistent marketing and sale strategy, whose purpose is to guide prospects throughout their buyer’s journey.