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Sales best practices

Sales call tips: 3-step guide for peak performance

July 28, 2020

Pedro Guimaraes

The first call with a potential customer is one of the most important stages in a sales funnel. It’s a unique opportunity to make a great first impression. At Amplemarket we approach our cold calls and warm calls with the same seriousness.

Taking a few minutes to prepare your calls is one of the most important factors when it comes to closing. Remember - even when you're talking with warmer inbound prospects, you should always aim to make a great first impression.

Check out out sales call tips for cold calling, keeping conversations flowing, making video calls, and responding to inbound leads below.

And don't miss out on the exclusive cheatsheet at the end of this blog!

 Sales is not an art. The best salesperson is the one who studies the company, listens to the customer and is able to leverage his preparation.

How to master the art of cold calling: top sales tips

Despite the rise of cold email, cold calling is still the bread and butter of lead generation for many sales teams.

The key to cold calling success is to abide by a consistent strategy so you approach every lead with the same thoroughness.

The first step is: preparation
 It’s crucial that you learn about the company and the prospect at the same time.

For instance, when we’re learning about a prospect company at Amplemarket we try to understand:

  • How big their sales/growth teams are
  • How much money did the company raise (if they have raised)
  • What recent news there are about the company

Whereas when we’re learning about the prospect we usually visit their LinkedIn profile and try to get insights from it. It’s valuable that you show your prospect that you have spent some time doing your research.

Note: While checking the prospect’s LinkedIn, perhaps you will find connections or interests in common, or even similar background education. This can make you two easily connect during the call.

The second step: the call
 This is the time to actively listen to your prospect’s pain points, ask questions to get all the information you need about the prospect and the company.

1- Start by building rapport. After setting a nice tone, make it all about them. The time you spend talking on a sales call has a significant impact on your chance to close the deal. In fact, top sales performers are known for consistently letting their prospects talk about 60% of the time, so it’s your prospect who should be talking the most. We often get surprised by the amount of information prospects share when we ask open-ended questions.

2- Make sure your research is well informed. Try to get answers to your questions and have your prospects verbalized their pain points before you start pitching.

3- Give your pitch. Once both of you have acknowledged your prospect’s pain, you will now be better informed to give your prospect an adapted pitch about how your product solves their issue.

💡 Insightful Note: If you’re not able to find any good arguments that could make your product useful to the company, maybe it’s because it doesn’t qualify as a potential user. You should acknowledge this and since it’s very unlikely that you would be getting a deal from here, avoid wasting your time trying to sell and focus rather on creating a connection they might be a buyer in their next company.

The third step: next steps
 Keep your lead moving further along the sales funnel by making sure you have well defined next steps.

For example, if you want a follow-up meeting to do a demo, make it so that you book it at the end of the call. Or if you want to involve other decision-makers, make sure you know who they are at the end of the call.

When you see you only have 5 more minutes in your calendar, you should schedule the next meeting step before you finish the call and your prospect has to leave unexpectedly. It’s also important that you know if there are other people to be involved in the deal and your prospects know exactly what to do next.

Note: If you fail to schedule the next steps, you may end up losing a client because the prospect couldn’t find it easy to schedule a next call with you or your proposal lost relevance after they had a call with another competitor which already gave them a trial version they are enjoying.

Tips to enhance your sales conversation techniques

The following sales call tips are about striking the right balance between talking and listening. The best sales calls are those where the prospect does most of the talking, helping you understand their needs and pain points better.

  • Build rapport: start conversations by finding common ground.
  • Listen actively: Encourage prospects to talk by using open-ended questions and summarize their comments to confirm you're on the same page.
  • Sell your solution: Focus on how your product/service solves their specific problems.
  • Have a closing plan: Be clear and confident about your next steps.

Tips for video sales calls: leveraging technology for effective sales communication

With the increasing rise of remote selling, video sales calls have become a central part of sales engagement. The dynamics of video calls are different, and understanding how to present yourself and your product effectively through this medium is critical.

Here are some of our best tips for video sales calls:

  • Arrange a professional setup: Ensure good lighting, clear audio, and a neutral background. Test before you call to check everything's working as you expect.
  • Pay attention to your body language: Maintain good posture and eye contact, and talk as you would normally face-to-face.
  • Keep things engaging: Use screen sharing or presentations to keep the call interactive and provide the prospect with takeaway resources.
  • Choose a distraction-free environment: Ensure you’re in a quiet and interruption-free zone. It doesn't hurt to have a back-up space in case things don't go to plan!

Tips for warm sales calls: capitalizing on inbound sales opportunities

Warm calls require a slightly different approach. Unlike cold calls, which target new or unengaged prospects, warm calls focus on capitalizing on a prospect's existing interest; for example, when an inbound lead has requested a callback. Understanding their pain points and showing that you've already done your homework before pitching your product is vital.

Our top sales tips for inbound calls are:

  • Respond immediately: Respond promptly to inbound inquiries. Chances are that your prospect has reached out to some of your competitors too, so make sure you get back to them ASAP!
  • Don't neglect your qualification: Quickly assess if the caller is a qualified lead. Even if they were an inbound lead, they might not be the best fit for your solution.
  • Assess their real requirements: Ask questions to understand their needs thoroughly.
  • Offer a personalized solution: Tailor your pitch to the prospect's needs. If they've already expressed an interest in your product, don't waste time on features they don't want!

Proven tactics for generating leads on sales calls: your 3-step framework

This cheatsheet is a result of an iterative process of several hundred calls by our sales team. We tried to distill best practices and want to provide insights into what we have seen work and not work.

The main thing we know that works is preparation & training!

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It wouldn’t be possible to gain so much experience in calls if we weren’t using Amplemarket! With our tool, we are able to increasingly schedule more calls and our AEs have the time on their agenda to really focus on what’s most important, delivering an outstanding sales experience to our customers.

Feel free to sign-up here to see how this could work for you too.

We have also prepared a cold call and demo cheatsheet for you, reach out to team@amplemarket.com to receive the 3 cheatsheets in your inbox and keep posted on our latest blog posts.

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