I am often asked if cold calling really works or when to bring cold calling in-house.
Business owners can get meetings with potential clients through a variety of sources and many channels such as introductions from business partners and customers, using social media and LinkedIn. When I speak with business owners I always confirm to them that all of these strategies and avenues are great and that cold calling enhances and ensures that you approach your whole target market in a systematic way. A systematic way needs to cover all bases: getting all of the personal introductions that you can, working on your social media sourced opportunities, and at the same time, creating the list of all of your target market and starting to qualify good leads. When you create such a system you can make sure that your pipeline is always full with warm qualified leads.
How do you get started on cold calling? Start by finding and hiring the right inside sales people and creating the right bonus plan for them to achieve results (always pay a base salary plus commission so that your calling team can feel secure and meet goals). In addition, you will need to create the right tool box with all the information that needs to be sent out when a potential target shows interest. Successful cold calling relies on a strong database list, managed on a well-defined CRM program. Verify that you periodically provide your cold calling team with good updates and that you keep adding to the lead list as needed. Tracking and using a large list of well targeted leads including all recent contact with each of them is the key.
To make good of use of your time and effort you will need to understand who is the right person and the appropriate decision maker, in the target organizations that you are calling. Use this focus to structure a cold calling system and define a protocol, spend the time and generate your own training doc info. This should include:
• Phone scripts
• Typical Q&A
• Competitive data
• Email to be sent after the call
• Marketing info to attach to emails
• Qualifications – What will make a good meeting (you don’t want to waste the sales team’s time and energy on improper opportunities)
As calling starts, be sure not to send emails from a non-company email and to leave phone messages only after many attempts to reach the potential target. Always respect leads and nurture a relationship with the executive assistant.
How to choose the right outsourcing company for your cold calling:
• Make sure that you are the owner of the data base and that all notes taken during calling and nurturing leads have been updated.
• Speak with the callers that will represent your company and not just with the company owner.
• Can they provide you flexibility of number of meetings more/ less meetings?
• How do they work with your team?
• If they hire new person to work on your account do you need to train that person?
• Ask to speak with their costumers and ask the right questions.
When is it right to have our cold calling team in house or to outsource?
For every company the answer will be different but the first question is whether you will be able to manage the inside sales team? Have you done it in the past? What will be your ROI doing it in-house versus outsourcing?
There are no short cuts for getting meetings with your target market but when it is done in the right way, you will meet your target market and your costumers will be ones that you choose not just the ones that choose you. All you will need after this stage is a strong sales person that will know how to convert those meeting into sales… and this will be discussed in a different article
This article written by Dafna Rolls Owner/founder Leads2deal