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Selling Over the Phone Explained: 10 Call Sales Tips

The article discusses the types of sales calls, techniques, and features of sales call software. It provides 10 call sales tips and explores the factors that make a difference in the sales call process.

Agnieszka Włodarczyk

Types of Sales Calls

Sales calls are essential to the sales process, allowing your representative to connect with prospective customers, generate business, and build relationships. There are several types of sales calls, each with its purpose and approach. Let's discuss them in detail.

1. Cold calling

A cold call is the first step a salesperson takes to approach a potential client with whom they have no prior relationship. Cold calling is a technique used in outbound sales. It relies primarily on the salesperson's ability to engage the prospect and make a compelling pitch. The call sales tips in this article will help you prepare a convincing sales pitch.

2. Discovery calls

A discovery call is the first interaction between a salesperson and a prospect who has shown interest in their product or service. It’s an opportunity for the salesperson to gather information, understand the prospect's needs, and determine if their solution is a good fit. A discovery call aims to qualify or disqualify the prospect and establish a strong positive impression.

3. Traditional sales call

Traditional sales calls are between the salesperson and existing customers. This type of sales conversation can be used to sell new products or services to existing customers or address any problems or concerns. Depending on the structure of the sales team, it is common to establish a separate customer success team devoted to attending to the needs of customers.

4. Sales appointment

A sales appointment call is made when the sales rep has convinced the prospect to buy the product or service and needs to meet with them to close the deal. The salesperson must ensure they’re well-prepared and have all the necessary information and materials for a successful sale and signing a deal.

5. Follow-up call

A follow-up call is made after the sale has been completed to gather feedback from the customer and address any issues or concerns they may have. Follow-up calls are essential for building customer trust and loyalty and identifying additional sales or referral opportunities.

Each type of sales call serves a specific purpose and requires a different approach.

Understanding the different types of sales calls and their advantages and disadvantages can help salespeople plan and execute their successful sales call and strategies more effectively.

How to Prepare For a Cold Sales Call

It's crucial to have a plan and be well-prepared. Here are some sales call tips and steps to help you prepare for successful sales calls.

1. Research the prospect

Gathering information about the prospect and their business before the cold calls is essential. This will help you tailor your sales pitch and understand their needs and pain points. Look for information such as their industry, competitors, recent news or events, and any challenges they may be facing.

2. Set clear goals

Determine the purpose of the sales call. What do you want to achieve? Whether scheduling a follow-up meeting, getting more information, or closing a sale, having a clear goal will help you stay focused during the call.

3. Prepare questions

Prepare a list of questions for the prospect during the sales call. These questions should help you gather more information about their needs, challenges, and goals. Open-ended questions are beneficial as they encourage the prospect to provide detailed answers and insights. Also, have in advance a few questions in the intro of the call. That will engage your potential client in conversation.

4. Anticipate objections

Consider the prospect's potential complaints or concerns and prepare responses in advance. It's essential to focus on one pain point during the sales call but be prepared for the conversation to veer off course. Prepare answers for potential questions and rebuttals, and have questions ready for the prospect. The better you listen to their responses, the better you will understand their pain points and what they need.

After each sales call, take the time to analyze and evaluate how it went. Reflect on what worked well and what could be improved for the next call. Analyzing calls made will help you learn from each and continuously improve your sales skills and techniques.

What's The Best Time to Make Sales Calls?

Having a consistent calling schedule and determining the best times to make your calls is essential. While there is no universal “best time” to call, studies have shown that certain times and approaches are more suitable.

For example, a study analyzed 25,000 sales calls and found that good sales calls lasting over five minutes occurred between 3:00-5:00 PM on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

A vital factor to consider is response time. According to market research done in a study by Dr. James Oldroyd, the odds of connecting with a lead are 100 times higher if called within 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. Another survey by Drift found a 10x decrease in the odds of making contact with a lead after the first five minutes. Therefore, It's crucial to respond quickly to leads, even if they come in outside your work hours or on a Friday afternoon.

Mainly, Wednesday is often considered the best day for cold calling. Mondays can be busy for many people as they catch up on emails, attend meetings, and deal with urgent tasks. Therefore, there may be a better day for cold calling. Similarly, there may be better-scheduled call days than Fridays as people's minds may already be focused on the weekend. 

While there are general trends and best practices, it's essential to consider the individual preferences of your target audience. Some people do deep work early in the morning and don't receive calls. Others prefer to have the most critical calls behind them first and start doing tasks. Every industry and audience is unique, so experiment with different days and times to find what works best for your specific situation.

Key takeaways:

  • The first five minutes after the lead shows interest is crucial.
  • Avoid Mondays and Fridays for calling.
  • Experiment with different days and times to find what works.

What Are The Most Effective Ways to Improve Sales Calls?

Call recordings

One effective technique to improve your phone call performance is listening to your calls. It can be hard to hear your voice, but it leads to better performance. Analyzing your conversations can help you identify areas for improvement and adjust your approach accordingly.

Practice mock sales calls

Mock calls may not be the first thing you want to do to increase your skills. But they will help you develop self-awareness, track your progress, and reduce stress as you grow more confident in your tactics. Practice your cold calling skills with colleagues or mentors to refine your approach and improve your performance.

Use technology to eliminate tedious tasks

Take advantage of sales tools and technology to streamline your sales activities and make them more efficient.

End calls with a CTA

Always finish your sales calls with a call to action. This allows you to push the prospect further down the sales funnel by creating actionable steps they can achieve under your control. Experiment with different CTAs and note which ones work best. Match the CTA to something the prospect mentioned during the call to make it more relevant.

What’s the Best Way To Keep Track of Sales Calls?

The best way to keep track of sales calls is to use sales call software. It allows businesses to monitor and analyze phone calls, providing valuable insights into sales teams' performance, marketing campaigns, and customer interactions.

It offers several benefits, including capturing leads from the website, qualifying them, and improving lead response time. Most sales call software allows for integration with CRM for better sales performance. 

Here are some key features and functionalities provided by sales calls software:

  • Automatic call recording can be used for monitoring interactions, enhancing training methods, and maintaining records.
  • Sales call tracking and analytics provide insights into call duration, call sources, and details about leads, helping businesses make data-driven decisions.
  • Interactive Voice Response. An IVR system allows callers to interact with a menu to route their calls to the appropriate department or agent, improving call handling efficiency.
  • Virtual phone numbers provide a cost-effective solution for businesses. They eliminate the need for expensive equipment and installation fees.
  • Call distribution. Call tracking software can distribute incoming calls among available agents, balancing the workload and reducing wait times for callers.
  • CRM integration. Seamless integration with CRM systems ensures all customer interactions are logged and easily accessible.

Businesses can optimize their call-handling processes and improve overall customer satisfaction. The cost of sales calls software will depend on the features and functionalities included. Various options are available in the market, such as HubSpot, CallPage, or Salesmate.

READ ALSO: 15 Best Sales Call Software Solutions for 2023

10 Call Sales Tips for Selling Over the Phone Like a Pro

We've compiled a valuable list of 10 practical tips backed by science-based behavioral psychology. By incorporating these techniques into your sales calls, you'll be able to build more genuine connections with potential customers and make your conversations feel effortless and natural

Start making successful sales calls right away!

#1 Qualify leads effectively

As you embark on the sales call process with a prospective customer, It's essential to invest time in research beforehand. By delving into the lead's LinkedIn profile, you can uncover valuable details about their current role and business and gain insights into their interests and concerns.

Furthermore, exploring the lead's business website allows you to gather essential contact information and stay updated on their latest news and product launches. With this knowledge, you can ask highly effective qualifying questions during the sales call, facilitating a more productive and tailored conversation.

Consider an implementation of a lead scoring model. It's based on prospect engagement and gives an overall which leads you should focus on first. Assign scores based on interactions with your brand to identify highly engaged prospects ready for contact. Tailor your cold calls to address their specific needs and pain points.

#2 Make an effective introduction

You may not get enough time to make a good first impression, so connecting quickly with your lead during your sales call introduction is important. People often feel apprehensive when receiving sales calls from sales reps.

Break free from the stereotype of being a pushy salesman. Keep in mind that someone seeking solutions to grow their business is on the other end of the line. Approach the conversation with empathy and a genuine desire to help. Remember, you're both striving toward success!

Immediately move to the reason for your call, emphasizing “what's in it for them.” Follow up with a couple of easy-to-answer questions to get the customer talking. Remember to focus predominantly on your prospect, not on your product.

#3 Focus on the actual value, not the features, of your product

It's essential to focus on your service or product's benefits. As Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt once said, 

“People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

Customers are interested in what they can get from a product rather than just its features. When pitching a product, it's crucial to emphasize its concrete benefits and how it can solve the customer's problems or meet their needs. By doing so, sales reps can create a more compelling sales pitch that resonates with customers and leads to more successful sales.

#4 Be confident and dial down the level of politeness

Being a confident sales rep involves being mindful of your tonality and avoiding an excessively friendly demeanor. Customers can detect insincerity in your voice, potentially leading them not to return your cold calls next time. It's recommended not to appear overly helpful or eager to please everyone. Instead, adopt a more professional and assertive approach.

Remember that you're there to solve the customer's problem, not to be excessively nice. When speaking with a potential customer, you know how to help them. Your certainty should be 100% because you have already qualified and identified them as a great fit. Your confidence should surpass their doubts or uncertainties.

This confidence should be reflected in your tonality during the conversation, as the person with the most conviction will likely make a successful call for the sale.

#5 Avoid triggering fight-or-flight mode

It's important to ensure the prospective customer doesn't perceive you as a threat during the sales call.

Being overly ambitious or pushy can trigger the flight or fight response in the customer's brain, making it difficult to progress in the sales conversation. Instead, focus on creating a sense of calmness and comfort, allowing the ideal customer to feel at ease and open to your sales presentation.

Ensure that your words are clear and easy to understand. Speak at an appropriate volume, enunciate your words, and avoid speaking too quickly. Varying your tone, pitch, and pace can make your communication more engaging and captivating. A monotone voice can sound disinterested, so practice modulation to keep the listener engaged and interested in what you're saying.

Although you may not be able to see your prospects during a phone call, your body language still affects your tone. Stand up with your shoulders back and chest out to project confidence and energy. This will translate into your voice and make you more confident and excited.

#6 Appeal to both the rational and emotional brain

Previously, we emphasized the importance of showcasing the value proposition rather than focusing solely on its features.

In sales calls, It's crucial to appeal to your customers' rational and emotional sides. If your prospect is already familiar with the values and benefits your product brings, it taps into the emotional aspect and addresses their needs on a personal level.

To satisfy the rational brain, It's vital to provide solid evidence that supports your claims. Incorporate discussions about the features of your product during the final stage of the sales call process. Choose the most appropriate moment to showcase your product's characteristics and technical parts.

When preparing a sales call script, combining emotional appeal, rational validation, and informative discussions about product features should be considered. That allows you to create a compelling sales strategy that resonates with customers on both logical and emotional levels —ultimately increasing the likelihood of successful sales calls.

For more insights like this, be sure to check out our e-book: NeuroSales: The Brainy Guide for Mastering Sales

#7 Be empathic

Chris Voss, a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, is well-known for his negotiation tactics, particularly his emphasis on empathy. So If it's the best approach to convincing a kidnapper, empathy can be no different in sales.

One of Chris Voss's most notable contributions is his philosophy of tactical empathy. This approach involves detecting the emotional states of those you're negotiating with, labeling their emotions, and then being silent. The goal is to make the other party feel understood and create a collaborative atmosphere.

Mirroring is another technique used by Chris Voss that involves subtly imitating the other person's body language, tone, or pacing to establish rapport. Labeling, however, consists in acknowledging and labeling the other person's emotions or concerns to show empathy and understanding. These techniques can help salespeople build rapport and establish a connection with prospects.

Chris Voss's philosophy of empathy in negotiations can be highly beneficial in sales. By using his techniques, salespeople can understand prospects' new customers' needs and ultimately increase their chances of closing deals.

#8 Change your attitude toward rejection

Don't let a few rejections discourage you from pursuing your goals. Remember that rejection doesn't always mean “never.” People may not accept your sales pitch for reasons that haven’t something to do with you. It could be bad experiences with a previous sales team rep or timing issues. Incorporate an ask into your pitch to return later when their reason for rejection resolves.

Persistence is vital in sales. Don't let rejection keep you down. Remember that success in the sales cycle comes from making more cold calls and continuing to pursue opportunities. Persevere and keep pushing forward. It means your product or service is needed to fit the prospect better.

#9 Use a CRM to keep notes during the call

Take notes about vital sales information instantly.

Jot down every vital point your potential client mentions on the sales call. Be selective in deciding what should be included in your sales notes. Focus on capturing the pertinent information that will help you progress the sales.

Make sure your sales notes are readable and organized. Use a consistent method to make notes, such as using a diary or the note-taking feature in your CRM. Use your sales notes wisely. Don't just create and ignore the notes. Refer back to them when needed and use them to guide your next steps in the sales process.

#10 Make multiple attempts to reach leads

Research shows that making approximately nine attempts to reach your potential customer can lead to closing a deal. Many salespeople only call once or twice and then give up, but persistence can make a significant difference. It enhances the exposure effects, also known as the mere-exposure effect or familiarity principle.

This psychological phenomenon reveals that people tend to develop a preference for things simply because they're familiar with them. Utilize the exposure effect by engaging potential customers through multiple channels such as calls, emails, LinkedIn connections, and sharing some infographics. It’s creating familiarity and increasing the likelihood of a successful sales call.

Selling with Confidence — Summary of Call Sales Tips

In the sales world, achieving better results during calls is a skill that can be honed through diligent preparation and the ability to adapt. Through continuous practice, the sales rep can increase their confidence levels, directly contributing to their effectiveness.

A crucial aspect of successful calls is finding value in the product or service being offered and presenting it as a solution that addresses the needs of potential customers.

Good luck!

Learn how CallPage can help you in your daily sales activities

The CallPage widget lets website visitors connect with your company through four contact methods. With this convenient feature on your website, you no longer need to struggle with call chaos.

Additionally, CallPage offers an analytics dashboard where you can manage your leads effectively. You can have your own PBX with a virtual number and track your calls. Listen to call recordings and make notes for every lead.

You can try CallPage for free. You can also talk to one of our consultants if you'd like to learn more about how to get the most out of our solution.

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