Why Your Sales Reps Hate Cold Calls and What You Can Do About It
As a sales rep, one of the most dreaded phrases uttered is “cold call.” Sure, a great cold call may result in a lead, but the likelihood of this happening often is – well, to put it mildly – low.
According to the book, “The Challenger Sale,” if your sales reps hate cold calls, then there is one, specific reason for this – they are doing it wrong. This is your opportunity to step in and do something about it.
According to the book, “53% of customer loyalty is driven by the overall sales experience, NOT the brand, service, price, or even the product.” This means that it doesn’t matter what is being sold, the interaction a sales rep has with a potential customer – regardless of if they are derived from a cold call or not – is the main factor in whether or not a sale (or new lead) is made or found.
If you are ready to dive in and figure out what you can do to help your sales reps, you are in the right place. With the landscape of the sale environment constantly changing, it is imperative you take action to do more and encourage your reps to improve their skills. In the long run, this will help everyone.
How to Be a Challenger
According to the book mentioned above, in order for your sales reps to gain the confidence and competitive edge they need to turn a “no” into a “yes” they have to have the ability to do three things very well:
- Take Control
Learn about each of these concepts here.
1. Teach Customers Something Valuable and New about Competing in the Market
According to The Challenger Sale, “The days of solution selling are gone,” and this means that customers aren’t going to spend time helping reps figure out what their needs are. Instead, the rep has to offer a valuable perspective, providing ongoing advice and educate their customer on new issues.
2. Tailor Each Sales Pitch to Resonate with the Most Pressing Issues a Decision Maker Has
When you begin a pitch, it is critical that your audience fully understands and also relates to the story being told. This is done by tailoring their problems to the way they see the world. If you want to win organizational support for your pitch, you have to create one that resonates – far and wide.
In addition to tailoring the conversation to something that resonates with them, you have to be personable. For example, look on LinkedIn or another social channel to see if you have anyone or anything in common. According to Anna-Vija McClain, President at Piccolo Marketing In 2018, even if you don’t have anything in common, you have an option. She stated, “Try using the free extension Hunter (for Google Chrome) to find their email address and send a warm-up email a few days before your call. Even if they don’t answer the email, you can reference it on your cold call, making the respondent more inclined to listen because they ignored your previous message.”
Checkout Datahug’s New eBook
B2B Sales Operation PlaybookLearn more
3. Take Control of Discussions around Pricing and Challenge a Customer’s Thinking Around the Problem
When you take control of a sale, it means that you are able to provide a firm position on value, not competing on price, and keeps the momentum going during the entire sales process.
Keep in mind, just because you are a Challenger, and you use the Challenge process, it doesn’t mean you won’t receive pushback and tension. In most cases, price pushback can be mitigated by focusing on the value that is provided.
Always Be Prepared
Teach your sales reps that before they go on any sales call, regardless of if it is cold or warm, they should be fully prepared. This means they know all the possible objections and angles that may be taken. By being prepared, they will have a way to respond to any issue that is heard and help move the lead further down the funnel, eventually leading to a full, hot lead, or a sale. After all, this is the ultimate goal.
Keep in mind, there is always a “fear” factor going into a cold call. According to Mark Gray, Head of Sales at ContactMonkey, you have to face that fear and embrace it. He said, “This is more philosophical but realize that there’s a chance you will get a f* you during a cold sales call. Embrace the fear of not having a good encounter with a prospect and learn to move on.” This is good advice and something all salespeople should embrace.
Making a Successful Sales Call by Setting Goals
In addition to your team utilizing the process that teaches them how to be a Challenger, they also have to understand the importance of setting goals. Without something to work toward, your reps will never know whether or not their efforts were successful.
Keep in mind, in the beginning, the best goal may not be to get a sale or even a new lead. Perhaps the first goal should be to get further into a sales call by providing an insight into the value offered and reducing the pushback from the potential lead. From there, you can begin setting new and more extensive goals for each of your reps based on their prior success. This will help your reps see what they are doing, what works, and what needs to be changed for more success in the future.
Always Be Willing Learn and Adapt
The world of sales is one that is constantly changing. Consumers are altering the way they buy products and do business. As a result, you and your sales reps have to be dedicated to moving forward, adapting to changes and willing to learn new skills and processes.
The Bottom Line
Not everyone is a born salesperson. However, today, with the technology, methods, and lessons available, anyone can learn to sell and be successful at it. If you have noticed that your sales reps hate cold calls, then it is time to do something about it. By changing their perspective and helping them learn new skills, they can become confident about these calls, leading to better results in the long run.
Looking to turn cold calls in to warm connections? Take a look at the Datahug’s prospecting tool, which maps connections through your employee’s relationships.