How is your sales force approaching cold calls with prospective clients in the process automation industry? An overwhelming 82% of B2B buyers think sales representatives are unprepared, 87% do not believe sales representatives understand their needs, and 42% of sales representatives feel they do not have accurate information to make a successful cold call (Zendesk). Therefore, it is vital for sales representatives to prepare for a phone call with a potential customer by conducting thorough research on the prospective company prior to reaching out.
- Be knowledgeable, know your audience, their pain, and their business
You can best learn about your prospect’s company by browsing the organization’s website, social media accounts, and reading industry news. Find out the major initiatives their organization has been involved with, such as implementing Industrial IoT, so you can reference this in your call to better connect with the prospect in a meaningful way. Appearing knowledgeable about the company during the initial call will help build rapport and trust with the prospective client to convert the prospect from a lead into a sale.
- Discover the true client need and communicate your solution
Determine ways your company can alleviate the prospective company’s problems through offering innovative, cost-effective solutions. While on the call, the most important point of discussion is to discover the prospect’s pain points. What is the biggest challenge for their company? How is the current solution for the given problem working for them? Asking thought-provoking questions will allow you to obtain in-depth knowledge about the specific needs of their company in which you can provide a personalized solution.
- Identify the decision maker and reach out at the right time
Be sure to identify key decision makers during your initial call. Is the prospect you reached out to the ultimate decision maker? If not, ask the individual to refer you to or provide contact information of the person with decision making authority. Getting to the appropriate decision makers is vital as these individuals are responsible for overcoming complex situations by finding solutions for the company that most benefit the organization in the long term. “Research from Stanford University says that good decision-making happens in the morning when serotonin levels in the brain are at their highest. This, they say, makes it easier for people to take risks” (Tenfold). Therefore, it makes the most sense to reach out to prospective clients in the first half of the workday. It is important to be aware that major decisions may involve multiple stakeholders. Identifying the main decision makers will help you avoid spending too much time trying to persuade the wrong person to purchase your goods or services.
- Present the most relevant information based on the customer’s current buyer journey stage
It is also helpful to establish where the individual is on the buyer’s journey to best determine the type of information to present to them after the call. The buyer’s journey is made up of the following stages: awareness stage, consideration stage, and decision stage.
- Enter notes in a CRM system for future reference
Following the initial cold call, sales team members should document notes about the customer interaction in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Effective notes to document include important discoveries during the call, insightful client needs, and actionable items to address. Recording notes in a CRM system will help optimize client relationship building and allow sales representatives the ability to review notes prior to future calls with the prospect.