9 Expert Tips To Make a Better B2B Sales Call in 2020
A phone call or a pre-arranged face-to-face meeting between a salesperson and his/her prospect, lead or customer with the purpose of selling something is known as a sales call. The phone call might be the first one to the prospect (cold calling) or a follow-up call.
It is the sales calls that make people think twice before starting their careers in sales. Sales representatives hate making the calls as much as their prospects hate receiving them. However, these calls are an indispensable part of selling. Research shows that 92% of sales interactions between a customer and a sales representative happen over the phone.
Thus, we know how important it is to call your prospects, leads or customers, no matter how much you dislike it. However, you must be wondering how to make a sales call effective. Therefore, we researched and found these 9 best practices to follow while making a B2B sales call to a prospect, lead or customer effective.
9 Best Practices to Make an Effective B2B Sales Call
1. Start on a Positive Note
Sales calls are already boring and unsolicited, sometimes even when the buyer is interested in closing the deal. Thus, it is good to start your phone call or meeting with a bang. Starting your sales call with positive language is important because that way you will engage your prospect, even without discussing your product.
Positive language has the power to grab the attention of your prospect with just a simple – It is such a lovely bright sunny day. Such days fill you with a lot of enthusiasm to work.
You can start with anything like good weather, a nice movie, a new place that you or your prospect has recently visited, fun weekend plans, etc. However, try to avoid controversial topics like politics or religion.
2. Have Confidence
Your confidence can be seen, heard and even felt by your customers. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you are on a phone call or in a face-to-face meeting. The most crucial thing that you need not only to make a sales call but to excel in anything that you do is to have confidence. Wear it on your shoulders.
In addition, you also need to have confidence in the product that you are selling. If not, your customer can see that in your eyes. Believe in your product and make your customers believe that it is really going to solve their problems and challenges. Work on making your confidence contagious.
3. Focus on Body Language and Tone
According to the combined results of the two pieces of research of Mehrabian & Wiener and Mehrabian & Ferris in 1967, 55% of the total communication is body language, 38% of it is tone and just 7% is the actual words.
This means that you need to pay more attention to your body language and tone of your speech rather than your words. On the contrary, most of the sales representatives run behind getting the right phrase to say to strike the right chord of their prospects. If you want to know how to make a sales call, you should work on your speech modulation and body language.
While on a phone call, smile before you speak. Your prospect can sense your smile even through a phone call. It also adds on to your positivity and confidence. During a face-to-face meeting, give a firm handshake to your prospect.
Read about the culture of your prospect. Know what etiquettes are expected from a salesperson. How much physical proximity is acceptable in your prospect’s culture? Does your prospect expect just a formal meeting or a meeting followed by drinks and dinner? Read as much as you can about the business etiquette of your prospect.
Top sales performers know how to make their sales calls effective by emphasizing the right words and phrases. This kind of speech modulation increases their articulation skills and makes them sound more confident, passionate and convincing. Prospects love to associate themselves with people who are zealous and optimistic.
4. Structure Your Call
Being a sales representative, you need to get in touch with hundreds of prospects in a month. Hence, it is better to prepare structured scripts for cold calling, follow-ups, appointment fixing, etc. This will help you systematically articulate your thoughts. Most top sales performers prefer this way.
However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that never sound like you have crammed up something in front of a prospect. Nothing can cause more harm to your deal than this. Have a structure in mind so that you don’t miss out on important details and your pitches don’t sound like a haphazard rollercoaster, but at the same time, keep your conversation two-sided.
5. Know your Customer
With all the business intelligent tools in the market and the CRMs that can track most of the activities of your prospects over your content, it is quite possible to contact only those prospects who need your product. Do not start dialing a number just because you got one somewhere.
Additionally, do not call your warm leads without knowing anything about their organization or their industry. Do your homework. Research about the company, the industry it is operating in, its history, its success stories, its challenges, its goals, etc. Most importantly, prepare yourself to answer the most frequently asked question – How is your product going to solve our problems?
6. Talk About Your Value Proposition
Whether it is a cold call or your first face-to-face meeting with your prospect, your pitch should primarily focus on your value proposition. The key to making your sales call effective is to make your customers realize within 30-50 seconds of your interaction as to why they need your product to overcome their challenges.
Even your sales presentation should move around your market differentiation strategy and how it can benefit the prospect, you are talking to. Additionally, make your sales presentation customizable for each prospect according to their industry, requirements, and challenges. Do not let your customer feel as if he is just another prospect for you.
7. Let Your Customer Control
Customers do not like it when they are forced or pushed into a conversation or a buying decision. If you want to involve your prospects or customers happily in your sales call, try to make them feel that they are controlling your sales call.
A good sales representative knows how to make a sales call the way he wants, but make his prospects believe that they are directing the call. To implement this, you can intimate your customer about the agenda of your call or meeting and then ask him if he or she agrees to it.
For example, instead of saying – I would like to discuss XYZ with you today through this call, say – I would love to walk you through XYZ today. Later, we can discuss your queries that you might have. Does this sound good to you?
However, always direct your conversation smartly in a way to keep your focus on your customer and your value proposition.
8. Select the Best Day and Time
There is a time for everything. When you select the best day and time to make your sales call, your probability to succeed increases manifold. Select the best day and time depending on the industry of your customer.
Generally, as per a survey, the best day to call your customers to generate sales is Wednesday and the best time is between 4 PM to 5 PM. The second best time when you are likely to be heard attentively by your customer is between 11 AM to 12 PM.
Additionally, it is also important to follow up with your prospects or customers regularly. The minimum number of attempts before marking a prospect as frozen is 6 times. Most salespeople leave their prospects too soon. However, more than 50% of all sales happen only after the fifth call.
9. Prepare a Voicemail
Your phone call is not going to be answered every time. It is quite likely for your call to go to the voicemail of your prospect. Many sales representatives make a mistake by not leaving any voicemail for their prospects or customers. However, it is important not only to know how to make a sales call effective but also to prepare an effectual voicemail for your prospect.
Remember to make your voicemail efficacious enough to compel your customer to call you back. Do not forget to include your sales pitch in your voicemail to make your customers realize how they are missing out by not buying your product.
Whether it is a cold call, follow up call, call to fix an appointment with the customer, the final negotiation call, or face-to-face meeting at any point, every interaction with your customer is an important milestone. It is essential for each sales call to leave an impact on your customer.
A B2B sales consulting firm can help you big time in making each of your sales calls leave a mark on your customers. Their expert teams have thorough experience in making your sales strategies and processes outwit the other market players. They can not only help you in preparing effective sales plans but also in implementing them.