Most people tend to look at call centers or contact centers as merely customer care systems. Yes, that is definitely the case since call centers directly deal with the customers of any company and are in charge for providing the necessary solutions. Modern and elaborate contact center software solutions help the agents in solving customer issues immediately and effectively.
But come to think about it, a call center is also equally used for increasing the sales and revenue of a company. When a call center calls up existing or even prospective customers of the company, they are essentially pitching the product to the customers in hope that customers might switch to their brand. If they succeed, who benefits from it?
It is in this respect to the functions of a call center that we need to discuss cold calling. Most would claim that cold calling is pointless today. Yet, statistics show that this is still one of the most popular sales tactics used today. In a nutshell, cold calling entails calling up prospective customers who have had no prior experience with your brand and convincing them to give you a try.
To many, cold calling may seem a lot like fumbling about for something in the dark. Yes, while that is true to some extent, it really can help improve your sales. Simply tending to your existing customers will not help you enhance your sales.
Now an important part of selling using a contact center is understanding how cold calling really works. You simply cannot call up random people and ask them to try your brand. No one would even give you a second look. You need to take special precautions to ensure that your calls do not go to waste. You shouldn’t try cold calling unless you’re absolutely sure of your capabilities. Even then, you could do with some help including trained agents, good infrastructure and tools such as the outbound contact center software solutions that you use. That’s why we have come up with a total of fifteen pointers that could help you out.
Things To Remember While Cold Calling
• When it comes to your sales calls, you should always have a sales script handy. You see, a sales script isn’t just an ordinary piece of text. The script has been devised by the pros after hours of research and tests. Based on the results, the script has been crafted in such a way that it strikes the right chords in the hearts of the customers. The moment you’re successful in appealing to your customers is the moment when you have won them over. That’s precisely why you need to stick to this script while making your calls to customers.
• Before you make the call, you need to have a clear idea of how you want the conversation to turn out. It shouldn’t be all that hard to understand since you would be having a sales script with you. You need to keep with you a blueprint of the conversation and how you want it to pan out. Of course, you cannot afford to generalize the customers and must realise that each customer is unique in his or her own way. As an agent who is trained and equipped with a solid knowledge base, you should be able to identify the customer and handle the call accordingly.
• Usually, when it comes to handling contact center crm software or making sales calls, there are three objections that the agents face. For example, the customer may ask you to send more information. Or he or she may tell you that they don’t have time for you or that you should check with them next month. In such cases, you can’t bear down on them or push your services down your throat. But you should know the accurate responses to these objections and your comebacks should seem compelling but never too forceful.
• This is a pretty common thing that happens during your sales calls. You call up a customer, all ready with your compelling speech but you’re greeted with a “Why don’t you send me some more information?” This is indeed quite disheartening because simply sending a mail containing relevant details will not win you over. The key is following up. Once you’ve sent the customer a detailed mail, you should follow up the very next day. That would show the customer how eager you are and they might just consider you.
• One of the rookie mistakes in the field of customer care would have to be pitching prematurely. Yes, your sales calls are meant to have a pitch. But you should know when and how to work it into your conversation. If you do it too soon, you’re rushing the customer. If you wait too long, you would be losing the interest of the customer. You should never jump right to the pitch without first understanding and analysing what the customer even wants. Once you do, you can make modifications to your pitch accordingly.
Making the Best Sales Calls
• To ensure that you make effective sales calls, you should be able to grab the attention of the customers. When you’re calling your customers and you just keep on describing the product or the services you provide, most customers tend to get bored and they barely listen to what you have to say. You have to really grab their attention and hold on to it till the very end of your calls. Most agents are trained in such a way that their voice possesses a certain showmanship or a definite charisma that immediately strike the customer.
• You should never multitask during your sales calls. Remember, if you are distracted, your customers are perceptive enough to understand that you’re distracted or simply disinterested. Every customer, especially when you’re pitching a sale to them, wants to feel pampered and would love to be the sole focus of your attention. If you have something important to do or some pending tasks, you can do it between calls but never during your call. That would simply distract you from your motive and would take a toll on your calls.
• Bad sales calls are common. They happen a lot, and they happen to the best of us. You need to get over it, pull up your socks and move on. In the field of customer care, you’re going to encounter some challenging customers. You might even make mistakes during your calls and mess it up. But that’s how you learn! For instance, when you first stepped into the business, were you completely thorough with the contact center software? You learned with the passage of time. The same principle applies here.
• If you’re working in sales, you’re sure to dread the sales voicemails. On an average, each sales rep makes about 70 voicemails per day. Now simply putting, these voicemails are ineffective. Most agents would be using unimpressive phrases like “um” or even pausing in the middle of sentences. That definitely ruins the whole thing and comes off as unhelpful. If you’re leaving a voicemail, make sure you have a plan in mind. You could even write it down if you want to. Your voicemail should be forcing the customer to get out of their seats and call you back.
• Talking of voicemails, why don’t you just switch to pre-recorded voicemails? The best part about voicemails is that you would be leaving the same message to each customer. Instead of wasting time on actually recording a new message each time and then worrying about how it wasn’t good enough, you could just pre-record it. That way, you would have one perfect little, compact and impactful message all set for you. It would reduce the hassle and would also attract more customers.
Some Tips for Better Sales Calls
• Have you tried using cold calling metrics? Most modern and effective software for contact center usually encourage the use of such metrics. These metrics would be analysing the number of calls you make, the kind of calls you’re making, the number of successful calls and so on. Based on that, you would have a fair idea of where you’re standing. That way, you can decide for yourself if you need to increase the number of calls or if you need to work on your quality. If you want to implement cold calling, then these metrics are a must.
• It might so happen that you call up a customer but they turn out to be busy and ask you to mail them instead. Now most call centers use specialized customer contact center software that allows you to track opened mails. That means you would be able to see if the customers have actually opened your mails. Some customers might totally ignore your mails and not even open them. But remember, simply opening the mail doesn’t guarantee the fact that your customer has read the mail. That’s why you need to follow it up with a phone call.
• Don’t stress on price more than value in your calls. When you’re making a pitch to a customer, you’re going to have to deal with him or her strategically. Of course, you’re going to have to talk about the prices. But that shouldn’t be the focus point of your call. The focus point should be how valuable this product could be for your customers. You should focus more on how the customer would benefit from it and how it would add to them. As a matter of fact, you should try steering the conversation the moment you fear that the customer is going to ask about the price.
• This is probably the worst thing you can hear as a cold caller- “I don’t have time right now.” That’s just the customer’s way of subtly telling you to stop calling them. Usually when this happens, the caller gets all nervous and panics and loses the customer further. The trick would be to keep your nerves calm and deal with the customer effectively. You should have an eye on the bigger picture and then get right down to point. Stop beating around the bush and get to the pitch right away. That would get the customer’s attention.
• Dealing with issues within a contact center including its contact center reporting software, hostile customers, and aggressive targets everyday can be a taxing job. But you should be able to make the most of it. The trick is to offer your customers that human touch. Most customers you call are tight lipped and unwilling to talk. They would listen to your ramble on for a few minutes and then politely hang up. You’re the one who’s going to have to make them talk. You’re going to have to find the right triggers and give it all you got. Also, you might encounter certain hostile customers who seem to get on your nerves. However, you’re still going to have to find a way around them.
The Case Study
All companies, irrespective of their size, today have their own sales team. A sales team is the key to seeing a surge in your revenues and expanding as a whole. All the members of the sales team are trained in such a way that they are able to handle any kind of sales cold calling. Here we have provided you with a case study which shows that cold calling remains just as effective till date. ZS is a financial corporation which is responsible for providing financial solutions to their customers. Now just like any other business, reaching out to customers was an issue in itself. Simply catering to the existing customers wasn’t enough for ZS. There was a dire need to reach out to more and more customers.
At present, the field of business is becoming highly competitive. It is becoming increasingly difficult to reach out t potential customers or even the ones who make or break a business. Simply having a unique selling point or USP would have sufficed even five years ago, but not anymore. Cold calling, a sales tactic dating back at least a few decades, has made a comeback in a big way. That’s mainly because companies like ZS are desperate to reach out to more customers than ever before. Let’s take a look at how it worked out for them.
The Final Outcome
Now as it turns out, ZS made use of its best contact center software to track down the high prospect leads in their field. As it so happens, there aren’t all that many. That meant ZS would have to reach out to each and every one of them and leave a lasting impression in their favor. How else would they be bringing in more business? So this is what ZS did-
They used contact center management software to come up with call algorithms that would help identify the right customers, what they essentially want and when would be a great time to call them. They also trained their sales team members to understand their customer needs better and used the latest sales tools to grab the attention of the customers.
Soon after having implemented these changes, ZS noticed a remarkable change in their sales and the way the sales team functioned. Not only ZS, numerous other corporations have also benefitted from these tricks- and you could be next!