Your cold calling scripts are failing you, but not for the reasons you might think...
For the last umpteenth years, sales has been all about getting down the right pitch, then identifying opportunities to pitch, and pivoting to the right product or service as quickly as possible.
You probably have a script, so your sales people don't screw it up - and rather, generate results using a system you know works...
You may have several scripts.
But they're not generating the same results as they used to, so you're here trying to update your messaging in order to generate better outcomes on the sales floor.
The problem is that new cold calling scripts isn't the answer... People have evolved... and in their minds they are no longer dependent on your sales pitches to know whether they need your products or services.
Replace your cold calling scripts with these steps, and take control of your sales outcomes like never before.
Improving sales outcomes in 2020 and beyond requires a shift in culture. And, updating your sales culture isn't as simple as updating your sales scripts. Your salespeople need more than words - they need to change their mindset around how to sell - regardless if you're providing cold or inbound leads.
There are three main components to this culture shift:
- Sales process
- Inbound leads
THEN we can talk about cold calling and voicemail scripts.
1: Align sales & marketing
Alignment is all about getting everybody on the same page. We create definitions for ideal buyers, success, and deal stages, design and organize your accountability standards, and develop your core targeting strategy, which feeds your sales AND marketing investments.
... all of them.
The benefits of a fully-aligned sales and marketing unit are HUGE - and doing it first is mission critical.
- Buyer persona development (ideal individual)
- Buyer profile development (idea company)
- Deal stages
- Lead hand-off procedure
- Connect call script
- Voicemail script
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
- Lead hand-off procedure
- Deal Stages
- Sales response time
- Messaging & follow-up cadence
I find that the most exciting part about alignment for sales is the persona exercise. We develop them by collaborating with your sales team, you, and marketing leadership. Phase 2 is talking to actual customers through a conversational interview, so we can fill in the gaps.
The discoveries are often revelatory.... You learn about what your ideal prospects consider important, what pain is to them, and where they go for information... all of which should prove useful to a hungry salesperson.
Deal stages make it easier for salespeople to organize their pipelines, while providing better visibility for you. Some software programs like Hubspot Sales Pro (see the full review here) enables management to force their salespeople to input certain data points as they move a deal from one stage to the next.
You may already have something to this extent, but adoption is lacking.
Well... adoption is key.
Other important sales strategy tools do actually involve updating your scripts, which I will discuss further under the subsection "Revised sales process."
2: Revise your b2b sales process
Cold pitching doesn't work like it used to.
We all know this... but how does one revamp their sales process to reflect a more consultative approach?
1 - Create research protocols
There is nothing stopping your salespeople from doing a little bit of research on their prospects except you and your high call quotas.
2 - Get a 12-point touch plan
I like to hit leads with multiple types of sales activities. Calls aren't enough. Emails aren't enough. Social media interactions aren't enough. And, one or two touches DEFINITELY aren't enough.
Here's a nice framework highlighting inbound selling best practices:
Week 1: 3 calls + 3 follow-up emails (6 touches)
Week 2: 2 calls + 2 follow-up emails (4 touches)
Week 3: 1 call + 1 follow-up email (2 touches)
3 - Update your sales scripts
Calling by itself isn't enough. You need a plan, and each call should be different, and adhere to your overarching strategy.
Here are some messaging concept examples:
- Call & Email 1: "How can I help?"
- Call & Email 2: Value proposition 1
- Call & Email 3: Value proposition 2
- Call & Email 4: Case study
- Call & Email 5: Value proposition 3
- Call & Email 6: Timing is off
- Touch base with articles & content, or mention you saw their name in lights...
Each script should reflect the nature of the call, so your salespeople aren't leaving the same voicemail over and over and over and over again... (learn more about the inbound sales process here)
3: Update your technology
There are many ways to equip your salespeople to achieve the highest probabilities of success... and a good technology stack is right at the center of them all.
While I understand that your average salesperson hates the idea of updating your technology, they also probably hate the technology you currently have deployed... and very likely don't even use it. So, as painful as this sounds, it's for the better.
Your CRM is a time suck.
It's also a fun suck.
But if you deploy a modern tool (like Hubspot Sales Pro), you'll make tracking opportunities a lot easier, and best of all, you'll be able to elevate important insights to your sales teams when and where they are most relevant.
A good technology stack is particularly important when dealing with inbound leads - leads that are generated through your website vs being purchased off of a contact database.
Your tech stack will help sales see engaging buying activities AS THEY ARE HAPPENING for one... They'll also provide context to their struggles, and provide one-click research tools to generate a solid foundation for contact in mere minutes.
4: Generate inbound leads
Inbound leads are leads generated through your website using the following steps:
- ATTRACT: Bring visitors to your website through PPC, blogging, SEO, and social media
- CONVERT: Create leads by giving away content in exchange for their contact information
- CLOSE: Close more customerst through email nurturing and live sales alerts (see technology)
Website lead generation brings engagement right out of the gate, so when your salespeople pick up the phone and call them, they know about your business, and have already given permission to make contact. Better yet, they come with context (all of their website activities), and your salespeople are able to engage in conversation while their eyeballs are still pointed at your brand.
NOTE: Inbound leads very likely won't respond positively to your existing cold calling scripts.
Even withouth inbound leads, you can warm up your salespeoples' pitches with the 3 other steps outlined in this article.
Need help in doing so? Check out our inbound sales coaching services: