Cold Calling for Complex B2B Sales
Complex B2B sales require making a quality connection with a key decision maker. That quality connection must establish trust and be solid enough to carry the business relationship through a long and complex sales cycle. It is why cold calling is an extremely effective method for B2B lead generation.
In order to engage a decision maker in a meaningful interaction and gain an understanding of their business needs, there must be an opportunity for a salesperson to listen intently, ask the right questions, and draw out qualifying lead information.
Phone calls and peer-to-peer conversation provide this opportunity, in a way that content marketing and other methodologies cannot. As a result, cold calling still holds a significant place in a successful complex B2B sales strategy.
Peer-to-peer conversations will quantify where a prospect is at and whether or not they’re worth pursuing. It is the decision makers that know the challenges that the company is facing, the timeline for which they can make a purchase, and the amount that can be spent.
Creating and nurturing a business relationship of trust with a client provides them with the encouragement they need to commit to a significant investment of time and money.
Not all cold calling programs are the same, and it’s important to understand the elements that make up a successful cold calling program before investing in it as a strategy.
Putting the Best in Front of Your Prospects
When speaking of success in any B2B cold calling program, it is imperative to understand that who is making the calls is what will determine success.
Unlike with social media marketing and targeted emails, putting an experienced caller on the phone with a decision maker ensures that you are putting your best in front of your prospects from the very beginning of the sales cycle.
This is not guaranteed with other types of sales efforts; often it can be the third or fourth encounter before a prospect is engaging with high-level sales or marketing reps.
While others may be abandoning cold calling entirely, putting good callers on the phone to reach out and qualify leads will set you apart. There is an opportunity to start a relationship at the outset- once this happens your company is inherently different from the competition.
What makes good cold calling stand out, and be successful, is the quality of the caller, their business acumen, and their knowledge and understanding of the field or industry into which they are calling.
Building trust with your prospects is an essential element to successful B2B lead generation. Effective cold calling is the best first step to build trust and establish a solid business relationship from the very beginning of the sales cycle.
Cold calling is the optimal way to connect if your goal is to listen, uncover business pains, and find the right solution for your prospect.
Establish trust with your prospect on a cold call through your own knowledge and preparedness. Understand not only the information about the product, service, or solution you are representing, but about the company and industry into which you are calling.
Expect that you will get follow-up questions and be prepared with the right industry knowledge or examples of similar businesses that you have helped.
Do your research, know where you are calling, to whom you are speaking, and focus on establishing trust and taking the long-term approach that is required for complex sales.
Unscripted But Prepared
Many people shy away from the idea of cold calling because they have memories of bad cold calls; scripted, stilted monologues from entry-level callers who do not have the experience or knowledge to have a conversation.
For complex B2B sales, there is no place for scripts or sales pitches. Good cold calling will provide an opportunity for the prospect to talk more than the caller, allowing them to reveal and discuss business pains or problems.
A good B2B cold caller will do more listening than talking.
Knowledgeable sales reps will not need to rely on a script to make successful calls. However, being unscripted does not mean being unprepared.
A best practice for call preparation is to create a clear plan and vision for how you want the call to play out, what talking points you want to cover, and what questions you can ask that will help you get a quality conversation started and allow a prospect to do most of the talking.
Keep a list of open-ended questions at hand that you can refer to if the conversation begins to stall. Consider what elements your call needs to be successful and keep the conversation moving towards those elements. Additionally, make sure you are prepared to offer options for next steps so you can schedule something that works best for the prospect before the call ends.
Making Cold Calls Better
There is an ongoing argument that cold calling is no longer the most effective way to market and sell solutions, products or services.
If the answer was simple and obvious, there would be no more arguing and no more cold calling. The truth is that good cold calling is a very successful method of sales, and when done properly, is a top performer in the B2B lead generation sector.
How do you ensure that your cold calling program is good? As a company that specializes in outsourced B2B lead generation, we have a lot of experience and knowledge about making cold calls better. If you’ve arrived here you are most likely a believer in cold calling and seek to make it better.
Below are a collection of blogs we’ve written to help you do just that:
Four Ways to a Better Cold Call – Revisit the fundamentals of a successful cold call.
When Cold Calling Works And How to Make It Better – A list of popular blogs with tips and advice on how to quickly warm up a cold call and leave effective voicemails.
3 Business Problems Solved by Outsourcing Your Outbound B2B Cold Calling Efforts – Common sales problems that can be solved by hiring a quality B2B cold calling firm.
The Secret Sauce to Teleprospecting Part 1 and Part 2 – Best practices for cold calling garnered from decades in the business. From curating a great prospect list to using navigating your way through an organization to the perfect timing.