3 Tips to Get Better at Cold Calling – Backed by Research

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3 tips to get better at cold calling

If you feel like you have room to improve when making calls, you are not alone. That’s why we dug into the research and found three ways to help you get more conversations and book more meetings within 48 hours.
But before we jump in, let’s take a look at some numbers that highlight the importance of cold calling. While the average success rate for cold calls is around 2%, businesses continue to see some of their larger deals coming from this channel. According to RAIN Group,

  • Roughly 50% of decision-makers prefer to be contacted over the phone
  • 71% of buyers say they want salespeople to reach out when they’re researching ways to boost their business
  • Up to 50% of sales go to the business that reaches out first

This is great news for all SDRs looking to make an impact in their org.
Now let’s dive in. Here are 3 tips for mastering the phones and booking more meetings.
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
We’ve seen that confidence goes up the more you are prepared. Being prepared starts with knowing your prospect, what value you bring to them and what you will say at the top of the call.
Gong analyzed over 90,000 calls and found that one of the most effective opening lines is “how have you been?”  Focus on rehearsing your call openers – this is something that you can control.
It’s also essential to prepare common objection handling responses. Most sales objections fall into a few common categories.  Learn them, practice them and be ready to handle them when they come up.
Practice with your manager, your teammates, and by yourself. Listen to call records and be intentional while you practice. This is a sure way to get ready for when that executive picks up the phone.
2. Work on your communication skills
Great communicators tend to have an advantage in sales. Luckily for you, we’ve seen two areas that you can work on that will change your calls overnight.
Practice asking open-ended questions:
Let’s start by focusing on mastering the art of asking open-ended questions. These questions move away from a Yes or No answer while nudging the prospect to open up and share more details as we engage them on the call. Open-ended questions usually start with ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how.’ Improving your question-asking skills also benefits you because the person asking the questions is generally the one controlling the conversation.
Practice active listening:
After you’ve mastered asking the right questions, you can now focus on active listening.
Active listening is not about being silent and waiting to respond. It’s about being attentive to what the prospect is saying while trying to understand the emotions behind the words. It’s a form of listening that involves asking clarifying questions. Key ways to improve include; listening with the intent to understand; avoiding the temptation to interrupt; and repeating and paraphrasing what you heard to move the conversation forward.

3. Call at the correct time

It’ll be pretty hard to work on improving your calls if you aren’t having any conversations. Calling at the correct day/time is one of the best ways to increase your connection rate.
According to Yesware’s research on over 25,000 sales calls, weekday afternoons are the best time to make cold calls. The research shows that most calls that last over 5 minutes occur between 3:00-5:00 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
There’s a time and day that works for your prospect. Look at the data in your sales engagement platform and work to iterate from there.
We hope these three tips help you book more meetings. Take 15 mins today to work on these three tips. Start here and keep testing. Keep improving!

Found this helpful? Hundreds of companies turn to Tenbound to discuss SDR/BDR strategies and best practices. Learn more here.

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