Sales is a tough business. And it's only getting tougher. The rules of the game keep changing, and you have to be constantly evolving with them if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the importance of cold calls and call mapping. Even in today's digital world, cold calling is still one of the most effective ways to land new customers and close deals.
In this blog post, we'll discuss 5 tips for making your cold calls more effective in the 21st century.
There’s a lot that goes into closing the deal.
A contemporary salesperson must be a jack-of-all-trades with experience using new tech tools like email automation.
CRM, sales intelligence, and data-driven personalization while also being comfortable with ‘old-school' ideas such as networking, product knowledge, developing rapport, and drop-in visits.
Yes, they are still useful in today's fast-paced, largely digital sales environment. The list of characteristics and abilities is long and ever-changing, but knowing how to use the phone is still a highly valued skill.
The phrase might be interpreted in a variety of ways. I purposefully used the term blueprint earlier. Mapping is comparable to calling.
Essentially, you must map out your call, including the stops along the route (the goal for each call), as well as what you want it to accomplish (the main talking points)
It's a sketch of the intended discussion ahead of time.
Whether it's a discovery call - to learn further about a business, their needs, and whether you may be able to assist them - a follow-up call, or a closing call, they all need to be planned. It's not the right time to go flying without a plan.
A Word on Call Mapping
You may also come across the term mapping call (which should not be confused with call mapping).
A mapping call is a cold contact made to “map” a company's organizational structure and hierarchy.
These usually follow the same basic structure: begin at the top, be brief and polite, use the "lost lamb" approach, and work your way down through transfers and referrals until you reach someone who can help you.
But that's for another day; let's move on to call mapping.
Step 1: Make Use of Insights Gather and Utilize
To map the discussion you want to have, you'll need data and specifics.
Turn to industry blogs, trade publications, services like Upstream, social media profiles (both for the company and individuals), corporate websites, and so on to get the information you require to be an expert in prospects, their organization, and their requirements.
Find out everything there is to know about them: their business accomplishments, difficulties they're experiencing now...and more.
In the first 30-60 seconds, a successful cold contact needs to grab and maintain their attention.
You're not attempting to sell them at this moment. However, it's still too early for that. The best salespeople will make an individualized elevator pitch for each prospect based on their previous findings of them.
It's concise, direct, and might be represented by a thought or word bubble.
Focus on your target audience. Make it memorable, informative, and engaging. An effective elevator pitch may be molded and modified to meet the requirements of each project.
Finally, after you've gathered all of your knowledge and data, set a precise and clear goal for the call.
It's more likely to be a transaction if they're sales qualified, but it could also be setting up a meeting to iron out the finer points.
They might say they'd review some product literature you'll send them and then chat about it again over the phone.
Whatever it is, obtain a firm commitment. Don't settle for vague promises such as "we'll connect later" or "maybe in a few weeks." The secret is to plan ahead of time.
That is, map the call.
Step 2: Verify the Lead
But don't dawdle. It's either theirs or yours.
This is the stage where you'll do most of your mapping.
If you've done your research, your elevator pitch should catch their attention and allow you to qualify the lead. Complete a questionnaire with questions like these: Do they require your product? Can they afford it?
Is this individual capable of pulling the trigger? Map out questions that include follow-up queries based on responses.
What are the most important points we need to cover in this call? Make a list of key talking points for your mapping. What questions will elicit what answers will lead to those statements?
The second-best quality leads you can create are prospects who have been qualified by sales rather than marketing.
What is the process you use to determine if a lead is qualified? It's not uncommon for businesses to stifle innovation in order to protect their market share.
Although prospecting isn't simple, it is not difficult.
To determine whether you have a qualified or unqualified prospect, all you have to do is ask questions and guide the discussion.
Is there a demand for what you're selling? Is there any desire to acquire authority? Ability? Interest? That's a good lead.
Do you need permission? If not, move on. Ideally, you should be able to filter these leads out before making the call.
Regardless, as soon as it's clear there's no requirement, thank them for their time and call them goodbye. There isn't any authority?
Inquire about who to contact with regards to that issue if you don't know who they are and ask politely for a referral.
Do you have the skills required?
If you don't, ask questions to find out why. Is it the price, the terms of service, the length of the contract, or something else? Know what reasons might be possible ahead of time so that you can do call mapping in a proper manner.
You may still make this work and qualify the lead. What's wrong with your prospects doesn't just relate to their abil
They're unwilling to invest any money in advertising at all because they believe they will not get any results or value from doing so.
Step 3: Summarize
Finally, at the end - even if you've decided they're an unqualified lead – summarize and iterate everything you've learned.
Demonstrate that you've paid attention and comprehended by acknowledging and demonstrating this.
Step 4: Schedule the Next Step
The goal isn't to close the sale on this initial contact. You'll want to set up the next stage - a longer follow-up call, an email with more information, a face-to-face meeting, or a demo - with qualified leads. best-case scenario?
You receive a firm commitment before the end of the conversation. If they're hesitant and only provide a general promise, best salespeople don't push straight away. They may try one more talking point that has been prepared in advance
They contact them using their email marketing solution to send an invitation with a particular date and time. Their message is customized and linked to automated follow-ups. It's nothing more than educated guesses and anticipating hurdles.
Mapping keeps the sales department on the same page, removing all uncertainty and creating uniformity and consistency across all channels.
And, in the end, call mapping may significantly decrease your leads' business development lifecycle and expedite their passage through your funnel. As the Boy Scouts advise: be ready. And sell more goods.