The Ultimate Sales Cold Call Template
Cold calling has been a part of the sales process for years, but many teams still struggle with finding the right approach. We wanted to share an overview of cold calling and give you a workable template to help your team improve its cold calling capabilities today.
What is cold calling?
The term cold calling has certainly been around for a while, but sometimes determining what a cold call is can be confusing.
Let’s start with the basics…
Cold calling is a sales technique where an agent reaches out to potential customers who have had no prior interactions with that agent. That means that these “cold” leads have not previously expressed an interest in a company’s products or services.
This is different from a warm call, in which the sales lead has already expressed an interest.
How effective is cold calling?
There are a plethora of opinions out there on if cold calling is still a viable sales technique in 2021. Lasting an average of 80 seconds, how valuable can a cold call be?
Let’s take a look at some of these statistics. They may surprise you!
- According to RAIN Group, 69% of buyers report that they accepted one or more cold calls.
- Cold calling success rates are around 2.5% according to the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
- The Bridge Group reports that there is a correlation between having more conversations each day with a higher quota attainment.
- Around 1 in 18 cold calls made will actually become a potential lead, according to Gartner.
Amazing cold calling benefits
While it may not seem like a high success rate, consider the numbers involved. When the average call only consumes 80 seconds of your agent's time and knowing that more calls yield better results, it’s easy to see why it makes sense to spend time making numerous outbound cold calls.
Cold calling leads directly to some impressive benefits, which may be why it is a practice still heavily used today.
- Extend your business reach: Cold calling by definition is reaching out to consumers who haven’t already expressed interest. Even if the call doesn’t generate a sale or meeting, it's never a waste of time to expand the number of people who are familiar with your brand.
- Gain valuable insight: During a cold call, regardless of the outcome, you will often hear valuable questions that you may not even know consumers could have. Taking notes of the most common questions and tension points can help you learn important information that can be used in various business applications.
- Ready...set...go approach: When you train your agents in cold calling, rest assured that they can take that training and run. Compared to other sales methods, your management staff doesn’t have to be as hands-on in the everyday handling of cold calls. This can free them up for other important tasks and give your agents greater independence.
And more! There are so many other benefits to cold calling such as enabling flexible working, allowing you to perfect your sales skills, and better understanding prospective customers. Regardless of why you want to take advantage of cold calling, it makes sense to take the necessary steps to ensure you are set up for success.
Set yourself up for success (what to consider before getting on the phone)
- Reframe your mindset
Going into a cold call expecting a negative response, or being generally unenthused by the task, will be noticed by the person on the other end. They may interpret that as your lack of excitement about your product or service, or that you aren’t being genuine in your pitch. Before each call, recenter your mindset to focus on the attitude you want to bring to the next call.
- Access the proper tools
When taking advantage of cold calling, it makes sense to equip your team with the right tools to ensure success. That includes having an intelligent business phone system, CRM, and other tools to support your cold calling efforts.
- Conduct pre-call research
While your leads may have no prior exposure to your brand, position yourself to understand your leads before you pick up the phone. Take the time to conduct quality pre-call research to give yourself a better chance of success.
- Utilize a template
A template or script can enable better prepare for upcoming cold calls. A template can be thought of as an outline for what will be said. This is different from a fully formed script. A template allows for more natural conversation, while providing guidance on an active call.
How to create the ultimate template
Building your own template can be easy as long as you keep these tips in mind. Create a custom template that your entire sales team can utilize or take advantage of a personalized and individualized tool.
- Understand your tone
The tone is crucial when building your own template. Your agents must have the flexibility to present your business message in a way that feels natural to them while keeping the overall tone in line with your brand identity.
For example, if your brand identity stresses professionalism, it makes sense to create a polished template that utilizes precise language. If your brand identity wants to convey a neighborly image, it makes more sense to use warm and conversational language.
Whatever your brand image, make sure that it is clearly defined and conveyed to your agents when creating a cold call template. That way there will be a consistent tone across agents, leading to a more cohesive image.
- Use discovery questions to identify good-fit prospects
When creating your template, leave room for your good-fit prospects to thrive. You can do that by including questions that help evaluate if a prospect is a good fit for your specific product or service.
Discovery questions will help you learn more about your cold call prospect at the moment and will help you understand if they are a high-quality lead. Asking discovery questions will also prime your prospects to be more receptive to the purpose of your call.
- Leave room for customization
While having a consistent tone across your business is important, it makes sense to let your agents customize a general template to best fit their personalities. This will help the cold call feel more natural for the people on both sides of the phone.
Customizations can include shifting around the general structure, including more familiar word choices, and finding the discovery questions that best fit each agent’s goal.
Sample Template Structure
- Reason for call
- Convey your benefit/value proposition
- Include open-ended discovery questions
- Prepare responses for common objections
- Give your CTA or objective for the call
- Leave room for questions
A workable template for your team
Hi [prospect’s name], this is [your name] from [your company’s name].
Here at [your company name], we work with teams like yours to help with [value proposition]. We can start doing that today by [objective for the call (example: setting up a meeting to create a customized business plan)].
I wanted to reach out today to help you see what a partnership between [your company’s name] and [prospect company’s name] could look like.
That sounds great, let’s get started!
Great! [This is where you begin your open-ended discovery questions or start working towards your objective for the call.
Here are some sample discovery questions to help you get started brainstorming:
- Are you experiencing any specific challenges in regards to [area in which your business operates]?
- What roadblocks exist in addressing those challenges?
- What would your ideal situation look like?
Remember your goal for reaching out to this particular prospect. If you are trying to set up a demo call, arrange a meeting, or have some other goal, tailor your open ended discovery questions to work towards your prospect seeing the value in that goal.
I don’t know, I don’t have the time right now.
I understand completely. Is it okay if I send you a follow up email to review at your convenience? Then I could check in with you [give a reasonable time period]?
When taking this route, it is crucial that you follow through on your end. Have a document ready to go that you can send to your prospect and set a reminder to follow up!
I currently have another provider for [your company’s service/product] that I’m happy with.
That makes sense, and I’m glad to hear you have a provider you're happy working with. We aren’t asking you to leave them behind, and [objective for the call] may be a great way for you to reaffirm your choice. It also might shed some light on where you could gain even more from a partnership with [your company name]. Would you be open to learning more about what else is out there?
Give your prospect room to consider their options and accept that they may be happy with their current provider. However, if they agree to learn more, consider following the tips under Potential response 1.
Final template tips
When creating your own ultimate cold call template, it can be helpful to include a couple of variations of each heading. For example, have different value propositions written out so that you can select the one that best fits the call you are currently having.
Utilizing a template should be dynamic in stark contrast with a cold call script. A template can be a great guiding tool with options of go-to phrases and questions to refer back to.
In the end…
Cold calling can be a highly effective tool that can lead to great business benefits. If you are looking to improve your cold calling, make sure your team is set up for success with both the training and tools that they need. Provide your agents with a cold calling template or give them guidance on how to create their own.
And if your business phone communication could use a refresh, make sure you have the right tools to support your team. With effective cold calling, you can greatly grow your client database for future marketing purposes as well - always a good thing!
Olivia Maier is a member of the Yodel.io team, which provides an intelligent business phone system through cloud-based technology. She specializes in creating resources on how to leverage your business phone system.
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