Sales talk tracks have been around for decades if not centuries. But even if you have a great training program, reps can’t be depended on to remember what you trained them to do during conversations with buyers and customers. And yes, reps should still be making cold calls (as long as they’re using the right cold call framework). Cold calling has a conversion rate of 6.3%, making it a vital part of your team’s sales strategy.
We live in a world with a lot of distractions. During calls, reps might be receiving messages, searching through emails, parsing through CRM records for insights and more. It’s all too easy for reps to forget the essentials. To have successful calls, reps need guidance, and that guidance needs to be dynamic. After all, even if reps follow a script, it doesn’t mean that customers will.
Instead of talk tracks, we recommend using a guided cold call framework. This proven outbound prospecting call framework includes examples of how to integrate dynamic guidance into your conversations.
This powerful cold call framework starts with a strong introduction, where you briefly introduce yourself and your company. This sets the stage for building rapport and trust with the prospect. From there, the framework guides you through a series of discovery questions to uncover the prospect’s pain points and needs. These questions help you understand their current challenges and position your product or service as a solution.
Next, the framework emphasizes the importance of active listening and demonstrating empathy. By actively listening to the prospect’s responses and showing genuine understanding, reps can build a stronger connection and tailor your pitch accordingly. The examples provided in the framework showcase how to respond effectively to different scenarios, ensuring that the conversation remains dynamic and engaging.
Lastly, the framework includes a clear call-to-action, emphasizing the importance of scheduling a follow-up call or meeting. By ending the conversation with a specific next step, reps increase the likelihood of moving the prospect further down the sales funnel.
Opening a cold call with a greeting is paramount for establishing a positive tone and creating a favorable impression right from the start. A well-crafted greeting sets the foundation for a successful conversation by signaling professionalism, respect, and courtesy. It acknowledges the prospect’s presence and demonstrates that you value their time. Moreover, a strong opening greeting can capture the prospect’s attention, making them more receptive to what you have to say and increasing the likelihood of a productive conversation. And remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Example: “Hi, this is Danielle from calling on a recorded line…”
At this stage, prospects might mention that they are already using one of your competitors. If so, you can use real-time guidance to display competitive battle cards to help reps speak about why your solution is superior.
When making a cold call, it is indeed important to acknowledge that the call may be interrupting the prospect’s day. By mentioning this upfront, the rep shows understanding and empathy towards the prospect’s time and the potential inconvenience. The seller demonstrates respect and allows the prospect to feel heard, increasing the chances of a more receptive and engaging conversation.
Example: “I’m probably catching you in the middle of something but…”
As reps are beginning important conversations, AI-powered guidance can remind them to keep their voice energy high. After all, reps make a lot of cold calls during the day; it’s easy for them to forget to pick up their voice energy once they connect with someone.
Stating a clear and compelling reason for the call is a crucial part of the cold call framework. It provides a purpose and context for the conversation, ensuring that the prospect understands why the rep is reaching out to them. By clearly articulating the reason for the call, the rep can convey the value or benefit that you can offer to the prospect. Whether it’s a solution to their pain point, a potential opportunity, or a valuable offer, providing a concrete reason for the call gives the prospect a tangible incentive to engage further. It demonstrates that the call is not a random interruption but rather a valuable opportunity for them to explore.
Example: “I’m calling about…”
If the rep goes on too long without getting to the point, AI-powered guidance can remind the rep to mention why they called. This notification can automatically trigger about 30 seconds into the conversation if it detects that the rep has failed to mention the reason they’re calling.
By seeking a prospect’s permission, the seller establishes a foundation of trust and demonstrates professionalism. Instead of launching into a pitch or assuming the prospect’s availability, asking for permission sets a positive tone from the start. This simple act acknowledges the prospect’s autonomy and gives them the opportunity to decline or schedule a more convenient time if needed.
Example: “Wondering if I could steal a quick moment to ask about…”
At this point in the conversation, it’s common for prospects to surface an objection. Real-time guidance can easily offer strategies for the specific objection mentioned during the call. For example, if the prospect says to send them an email, the rep receives a notification telling them to ask to learn about their pain points and needs for a couple minutes so that you can customize the email.
In order to grab a prospect’s attention, sellers should present a frustrating scenario that the prospect is likely dealing with. This part of the cold call framework should be based on the prospect’s role, industry and other attributes. Personalizing this scenario to the specific prospect will show them your team knows what they’re talking about, increasing the likelihood that they will want to keep speaking with your company.
Example: “Okay humor me, have you ever dealt with…”
You may want to use real-time guidance to provide reps with a list of ways that your solutions solve key pain points. A best practice is to trigger a notification based on custom Salesforce fields such as Role and Industry.
Using active listening and empathy during a cold call is crucial for building rapport, understanding the prospect’s needs, and establishing a meaningful connection. Active listening involves giving your full attention to what the prospect is saying, not just waiting for your turn to speak. It demonstrates genuine interest and respect for their perspective. By actively listening, reps can pick up on important details and cues that can guide the conversation and help tailor their problem statement to the prospect’s specific needs.
Empathy, on the other hand, allows you to understand and relate to the prospect’s challenges and concerns. It shows that you genuinely care about their success and are there to offer support. By expressing empathy, reps create a safe and comfortable environment where the prospect feels understood and valued. This can lead to a higher level of trust and engagement, ultimately increasing the chances of a successful outcome from the cold call.
Example: “I hear that every day…”
AI-powered guidance can automatically detect when a rep goes on long talk streaks and surface a reminder to focus on active listening.
Qualifying a prospect is of utmost importance in a cold call framework as it helps to identify whether or not the prospect is a good fit for your product or service. By asking targeted questions and gathering relevant information, reps can assess their needs, pain points and budgetary constraints. This process allows you to determine if your offering aligns with their requirements and if there is a potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. Qualifying prospects saves time and resources by focusing on those who are most likely to convert into customers.
Example: “Really quick, how many people on your team are…”
Set a time-based reminder if the rep goes too long without asking a key qualification question.
Ultimately, the goal of every cold call is to book a meeting, yet it’s amazing how often reps can forget this vital step. Make sure your team knows how to point to the value of the meeting for the prospect. Essentially, sellers should always pitch a meeting by emphasizing what’s in it for the prospect.
Example: “Would you be open to learning more about how our customers are achieving…”
In order to make sure your reps always remember the main goal of the cold call, set a time-based reminder if the rep goes too long without mentioning the word “meeting”.
To get your hands on the best cold call framework for high-intent inbound leads, download our resource here.
Heather Bakire is the Content Marketing Manager at Revenue.io, the complete RevOps platform for conversation guidance, sales engagement, and live call insights and analytics. Heather loves a good story, and she is passionate about international travel and all things outdoors.