6 steps to a successful sales phone call

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when conducting sales calls, with all the prospecting, pitching, talking points, and closing. Still, these interactions are a vital component of successful sales strategies and, thus, necessary to carry out. And while it’s difficult to predict the exact course of such contacts, there are proven techniques that can maximize their effectiveness. With that in mind, if you want to know the steps to a successful sales phone call, you are in the right place! As the team behind the ConvertMore callback widget, we will guide you through the entire process!

What makes a sales phone call?

Generally speaking, a sales call is just like a regular phone call. Only its ultimate goal is selling a product/service. Furthermore, its recipients aren’t typically aware that someone would ring them before an alert pops up on their devices. In nature, sales calls can be directed to customers, in which case they are called B2C (business-to-customer), or they can be directed to other businesses, which is when we are referring to them as B2B (business-to-business). Business-to-customer sales calls involve direct communication between a customer and a salesperson trying to sell them a product/service. On the other hand, B2C calls are characterized by an interaction between a decision-maker at another company and a salesperson trying to propose a business partnership.

Two businessman shaking hands after the salesperson has gone through the steps to a successful sales phone call
B2B sales calls are typically conducted to form a partnership.

What types of sales calls are there?

On top of distinguishing B2B and B2C interactions, it’s also important to know that sales calls can be divided into:

  • Cold calls
  • Scheduled calls

Cold calls

A “cold call” is a sales call made to a possible customer without any prior contact being established between the two parties. This is also known as an “out of the blue” call. While making cold calls, a salesperson must have a compelling sales pitch. Otherwise, they risk losing a potential customer too soon in the process.

Scheduled calls

When a salesman has developed a rapport with a potential client, they will call them at a prearranged time. The sales representative will use the scheduled call to present the company’s services or products, thus potentially helping you, a business owner, to increase sales on your website. While cold calls require a persuasive pitch at the outset of the interaction, the same isn’t true of scheduled ones. Nevertheless, salespeople still need to know their stuff to close the deal.

What reasons lie behind sales calls?

Multiple reasons lie behind sales phone calls. A couple of them include:

  • The desire to sell – Sales reps will use sales calls to educate prospects and, hopefully, close the deal at the end of the conversation. Most are driven by nothing but sheer need and desire to sell.
  • To encourage people to talk about a product or a service – To close a deal, you must pique the potential customer’s interest. They may not be in immediate need of your product or service, but they may know somebody who is. Getting them to talk to others about it, in turn, will help you convert more leads.
  • Securing a consequent call – You can’t expect always to finalize a purchase the first time you have spoken to someone. Chances are the other person isn’t yet ready to make a purchase, or it isn’t quite the right time to talk. Should either be the case, the next step would be to set up a follow-up call in person or through video chat. This is especially important in B2B discussions, where, more often than not, the other party may require additional details before committing.

Six steps to a successful sales phone call

Whether calling someone for the first time or setting up an appointment, the following six steps will ensure your interaction is an absolute success!

#1 Research your prospects

Before anything else, take the time to analyze lead generation efforts of your business. Then, conduct thorough research on your prospects. Failure to do so will earn you nothing but a firm ”no” at the beginning of the interaction. Think about it this way. How can you present how your product or service can help the other person if you don’t know whom you are talking to? You aren’t aware of their interests or pain points and are, therefore, unable to appeal to them how you should to ensure a sale.

A person conducting research on a laptop
Prospect research is one of the most important steps to a successful sales phone call.

#2 Set up the call before the call

This is particularly important when cold-calling your prospects. But what exactly do we mean by this? Well, we are referring to something like breaking the ice. So as not to sound too cold, you may want to familiarize the individual with the topic of the call before the call itself. Typically, an email containing a brochure, catalog, newsletter, or any other form of communication will suffice.

#3 Catch the prospect’s attention right at the start

In cold call situations, you have around 15 seconds to persuade the potential customer to stay on the line. In that short period, after a lead calling software establishes the connection, you need to communicate the benefits of your offer effectively. Greet them with a warm opening and ensure your tone is friendly. Scheduled calls, on the other hand, should open with small talk, followed by the pitch.

#4 Turn into the person you are speaking with

According to research, most people prefer interacting with those who share similar values. For example, a retired person is more likely to converse with another former employee than a single mother. Of course, the chances that you and the prospect will have the same interests are slim. However, the very least you can do to entertain them is talk about the topics they like and use similar words and phrases as the ones they do.

#5 Don’t give up so easily

Even if the prospect isn’t ready to buy immediately, keep trying to sell. Check with them if it would be possible for you to call at a later time. Alternatively, ask if they are comfortable with you sending them an email with additional information. Suppose a prospect says no; chances are they mean no for now. Once they have learned more about your products/services, they may want to try them.

Employees writing important data down
Please take note of the potential customer’s feedback; it can help you improve.

#6 Make a script

And that brings us to the last step to a successful sales phone call – creating a sales script. You don’t want to go into a call without knowing what you’ll say or the direction it will go in. While writing a script, emphasize the main features and benefits, listing them in order of importance. You’ll also need to prepare counterarguments to some common issues potential customers may bring up. For instance, if a prospect says your product/service is costly, explain how it could save them money in the long run. You should also have all the essential information about it at your fingertips. Lastly, keep a piece of paper close by to write down the prospect’s feedback. Whether you learn something good or bad from a call, it can help you improve in the next one.

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