What does a successful sales call look like? How can you ascertain whether or not a sales call was successful?
Not all sales calls are going to look the same. In fact, they shouldn’t—B2B sales calls should be about the prospect, not the caller. Experienced callers find themselves spending more time listening rather than talking. This allows prospects to elaborate and steer the topic of discussion, so every call will be different based on prospects’ experiences.
With each call being unique, it can be difficult to determine the answers to these questions and know what to focus on for a successful call.
However, after years of experience in the business of B2B sales calls, qualifying leads, and establishing successful connections for sales opportunities, we know that when these three criteria are consistently met then you are likely to have a qualified lead with real potential.
These further resources can help you prepare for memorable and effective sales conversations:
- B2B Sales Calls – Unscripted Does Not Mean Unprepared
- 4 Ways to Improve Listening Skills & Increase Your B2B Leads
1. You get the right person on the phone.
The definition of the “right person” will vary depending on the industry you are calling into. In most cases, the right person to reach will be a decision maker, who are often identifiable by their titles. Leaders with titles like CIO, CTO, and CISO tend to be decision makers. Confirm the titles of who you are aiming to speak with and whether they have the authority to make decisions with the company.
Sometimes a key influencer is also a viable target—VPs, Directors, and Managers often oversee responsibilities covering the topic you are calling about. Those in senior-level positions can be just as important as a decision maker as they have the ability to drive opportunities within the organization.
Identify the target person you’ll ideally speak with ahead of time and set reaching them as your top priority. Before reaching out, determine your threshold and put in the work to reach that ideal connection—otherwise it is a waste of time for all parties involved.
For help with reaching the right person, check out our additional resources:
- B2B Telemarketing: How to Reach the Decision Maker
- Sales and Voicemails – Best Practices for B2B Cold Calling
- Why Do Some Cold Calling Programs Fail?
2. You’ve had a meaningful interaction.
A meaningful interaction is key to effective sales calls. Similar to finding the “right” person, defining a meaningful interaction will also look different for each connection. Generally, an interaction is elevated from standard to meaningful when the person you are contacting is willing to take the time to discuss how they’re handling their work today and share their thoughts on the topic you are currently discussing with them.
JMS Elite believes that six critical areas must be addressed to properly qualify leads for its customers, as follows:
- How does the prospect currently handle the business problem?
- Pain points and business drivers: Why is the prospect considering options? Why is the prospect dissatisfied with its current solution?
- What will be the process to identify a new business solution?
- Timeframe: When will a decision be made? When do they plan to acquire a solution or engage a partner? Where are they in the process?
- Does the prospect have a budget? How much? If not, will they be able to get a project financed?
- Decision-makers and key evaluators: Who is the sign-off person? Title? Who are the other team members that will be involved in identifying and evaluating new solutions? Titles?
For additional guidance on how to establish meaningful interactions, check out our resources:
- B2B Lead Generation – Three Elements of a Successful Sales Call
- 3 Ingredients of a Successful B2B Sales Call
- Golden Rules for Successfully Engaging a Prospect on Your Next B2B Sales Call
3. They agree to take next steps.
If a prospect agrees to next steps—setting up a meeting, call, demo, or a combination of these actions—then you can truly say that you executed an effective sales call. Next steps involve setting a concrete time and date on their calendar, and does not include a request for information.
Requests for information can still be valuable but are not considered a next step.
For more information on how to handle requests for information, view our resources:
Are Your Sales Calls Successful?
Take time to evaluate your calls and review your lead sheets. Is there one of these areas where you are falling short? Are you reaching the right person, hosting meaningful interactions, and setting up next steps after every call?
Pinpoint the areas where you need to improve and work towards meeting all of these criteria every time. When you are able to achieve all of these goals during a sales call, you will truly find success.