How to Drive a Productive and Engaging Sales Call – Tips From Top Sales Experts

How to Drive a Productive and Engaging Sales Call – Tips From Top Sales Experts

Have you ever found yourself repeatedly searching for “sales call tips” or “cold calling tips” online, only to be disappointed by the lack of actionable advice from real sales professionals?

Your quest for effective cold-calling strategies stops now.

We have compiled insights from top sales experts in various SaaS companies across different industries and target markets. Our research delves into the proven techniques these successful salespeople use in their cold call outreach efforts.

Let’s get started!

Tips From Top Sales Experts - Jason Bay

In a recent webinar, Jason Bay, CEO of Outbound Squad, provided valuable insights and strategies to help sales professionals enhance their cold-calling effectiveness. Let’s explore his expert tips and how they can transform cold-calling efforts for better results.

1. Replace Your Sales Call Pitch With a Priority Drop:

When initiating a conversation with a prospect, SDRs often launch into their sales pitch immediately. However, Bay suggests taking a different approach by focusing on the prospect’s priorities and challenges from the outset. By starting the conversation by discussing the prospect’s needs, pain points, and goals, SDRs can establish a stronger connection and demonstrate genuine interest in helping the prospect find solutions. This approach shifts the focus away from the SDR and towards the prospect, creating a more engaging and productive dialogue.

2. Use Permission-Based Openers:

Traditional sales openers often involve diving straight into a pitch without considering whether the prospect is receptive to engaging in a conversation. Bay advocates for permission-based openers, which involve seeking permission from the prospect before proceeding with the conversation. This can be done by asking a smart question or making a statement encouraging the prospect to engage further. For example, you can start with, ‘Do you have a few minutes/ seconds before your next meeting?’. It steals away their ability to say, “Hey, I am in a meeting right now.”

By seeking permission to continue the conversation, SDRs show respect for the prospect’s time and demonstrate a willingness to engage in a dialogue rather than delivering a one-sided pitch.

3. Add Context to Your Questions:

One common mistake sales reps make is asking vague or open-ended questions that can be difficult for the prospect to answer. Bay emphasizes adding context to questions to make them more specific and relevant to the prospect’s situation. For example, instead of asking a broad question like, “What is your account executives’ biggest challenge now?” SDRs can provide context by framing the question within a specific scenario or context. This makes it easier for the prospect to understand the question and give a meaningful response, leading to a more productive conversation during the call.

Tips From Top Sales Experts - James Buckley

4. Always set up your next shot

“Always set up your next shot,” mentions James Buckley, reflecting on his approach as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). He admits to initially relying on the law of averages, which yields some successes but requires significant effort. However, despite his efforts, he observes that most of the opportunities he forwards don’t ultimately result in closures.

Upon reflection, he recognizes his shortcomings. He acknowledges that he isn’t effectively setting up the next steps in the sales process. He realizes the importance of obtaining discovery, qualification, and timeline information from prospects rather than solely focusing on generating interest and rushing into meetings.

“Spend 5 minutes per account to research” – Nikita Solberg

5. Allocate Limited Time for Research

To enhance the efficiency of cold calling, it’s essential to avoid getting lost in extensive research on prospects. Nikita Solberg, a high-performing SDR at Deel, recommends dedicating only five minutes per account to research. Setting a timer, Solberg quickly skims through available details and engagement history in the sales engagement platform. Then, they swiftly gather key company information such as market share or recent funding news from online resources like SalesIntel and RevDriver.

Tips From Top Sales Experts - Joel Thomas

6. Adopt an Educational Approach During Cold Sales Call

Joel Thomas, an Enterprise SDR at Almabase, highlights the importance of educating prospects rather than trying to convince them. Thomas distinguishes between two types of prospects: those aware of the problem but inactive and those unaware of both the problem and its solution. Attempting to persuade prospects directly with a sales pitch is ineffective, as individuals tend to resist being told what to do. Instead, Thomas suggests explaining the solution’s benefits and allowing prospects to make their own decisions. By presenting the value proposition clearly and objectively, SDRs empower prospects to evaluate the solution on their terms.

Tips From Top Sales Experts - Tom Slocum

7. PAQ Method to Effectively Handle Objections 

The P.A.Q method, as advocated by Tom Slocum, is a structured approach to handling objections from prospects during sales calls. It means Pause, Acknowledge, and Question. When confronted with an objection, rather than reacting impulsively or responding haphazardly, the P.A.Q. method encourages sales professionals to follow a deliberate process:

A. Pause

Take a brief pause of 1 to 1.5 seconds before responding to the objection. This pause serves multiple purposes:

    • It allows the prospect an opportunity to elaborate on their objection or even provide their own solution.
    • It gives you time to collect your thoughts and respond confidently and clearly rather than appearing flustered or unprepared.
    • It enables you to fully comprehend the objection and its underlying concerns rather than jumping to conclusions or becoming defensive.

By pausing before responding, sales professionals can effectively manage objections, engage in more meaningful conversations, and ultimately, increase their chances of overcoming objections

B. Acknowledge

The next step in the P.A.Q. method is to “Acknowledge” the prospect’s statement or objection. Regardless of the nature of the objection, it’s crucial to acknowledge what the prospect has said. 

For example, if a prospect requests to be contacted again after six months, the sales professional should acknowledge this request by affirming understanding and agreement. This acknowledgment demonstrates respect for the prospect’s input and ensures their concerns are recognized and addressed.

Failing to acknowledge the prospect’s statement can create friction and hinder rapport-building. You maintain a positive and respectful interaction by acknowledging the prospect’s perspective, even if it differs from yours. This approach fosters trust and openness, making it more likely for the prospect to engage further in the conversation and reconsider their objection. Acknowledging is crucial in effectively managing objections and moving the sales process forward.

C. Question

When faced with an objection during a sales call, it’s important to dig deeper to uncover the underlying reason behind the objection. This is where asking a question becomes crucial. Rather than accepting the objection at face value, the sales professional should inquire further to understand the prospect’s true concerns or motivations.

For instance, if the prospect requests to be contacted again in six months, the sales professional can use questioning to delve deeper into the prospect’s reasoning. After pausing and acknowledging the prospect’s request, the sales professional can express empathy by acknowledging the prospect’s busy schedule or other commitments. Then, rather than simply agreeing to follow up in six months, they can politely ask a question to uncover the root cause of the objection. For example, they might ask, “I understand a lot is happening for you right now. Could you help me understand what might change between now and then?”

By asking this question, the sales professional prompts the prospect to elaborate on their objection and provides an opportunity to address any concerns or hesitations.

Tips From Top Sales Experts - Aamir Sohail

8. The 3-Minute Call Strategy

Aamir Sohail, a seasoned sales representative at Vervotech, has perfected the art of conducting sales calls within a concise 3-minute timeframe. With a daily quota of 40 to 50 calls, Sohail achieves an impressive 80% response rate, leaving a lasting impact on potential clients. Here’s a breakdown of his effective 3-minute call strategy:

A. First Minute: Engaging Opener

Sohail kicks the call with an engaging opener tailored to the prospect’s engagement level. He swiftly references the content for those who have interacted with his emails, prompting immediate recognition. Alternatively, for prospects unfamiliar with his outreach, Sohail introduces himself and Vervotech as a leading travel technology company specializing in optimizing hotel mapping services.

B. Second Minute: Qualification Phase

In the second minute, Sohail qualified the prospect through targeted questions. This crucial step allows him to gather essential information about the prospect’s needs, challenges, and potential fit for Vervotech’s solutions. By engaging in meaningful dialogue, Sohail establishes rapport and uncovers valuable insights to guide future interactions.

C. Third Minute: Clear Next Steps

As the call concludes, Sohail ensures clarity by outlining the next steps. Whether scheduling a follow-up call, sending additional information via email, or arranging a product demonstration, emphasize the importance of a defined action plan. Setting clear expectations for the prospect’s involvement maintains momentum and facilitates seamless progression in the sales process.

Set Yourself Up for Success with Intent Data 

Buyer intent data provides valuable insights into potential prospects’ online behavior and activities, enabling sales professionals to tailor their outreach efforts precisely. By leveraging intent data, sales reps …. 

  • Focus their outreach to accounts showing interest in their product or solution
  • Gain a deeper understanding of prospects’ interests and pain points
  • Create more personalized and targeted interactions

One effective way to access buyer intent data is through Chrome extensions like RevDriver. RevDriver empowers sales professionals to gather comprehensive information about prospects directly from their browsers. By seamlessly integrating with popular platforms such as LinkedIn and Salesforce, RevDriver enables users to uncover valuable insights about prospects’ job roles, firmographic and technographic data, and even direct dials.  Additionally, RevDriver provides access to intent data, revealing buying intent signals such as website visits, content consumption, and engagement with marketing materials.

RevDriver+ Use Case: How to Prospect on Regular LinkedIn from SalesIntel on Vimeo.

Time to Elevate Your Cold Calling Game With Tried and Tested Advice

These cold-calling tips from seasoned sales experts offer invaluable guidance for maximizing success in your outreach efforts. By adopting strategies such as careful planning, concise communication, and proactive qualification, sales professionals can enhance their effectiveness in engaging prospects and driving meaningful conversations. Embracing a mindset of empathy, education, and empowerment enables reps to build trust and rapport with prospects, ultimately leading to increased sales opportunities and stronger customer relationships. With these expert insights in mind, sales teams can confidently approach cold calling, knowing they have the tools and techniques necessary to excel in today’s competitive landscape.