To grow your business, you need a plan. And every business plan starts with how to find and reach prospective customers. Once you’re established, you may find the best new customers come from direct referrals of existing customers. In lieu of direct referrals, cold calling is arguably the most effective way to jumpstart any sales enterprise you’re launching. Cold calling is the art of contacting someone you’ve never met to gauge interest in a product or service.
Business-to-business or B2B lead generation produces pre-screened potential business customers for your company. Qualified hot leads often convert to lucrative business deals. And while you may enjoy the spaghetti-on-the-wall approach to conversion — basically, throwing enough of it at the wall to see how much of it sticks — figuring out which calls can be converted into sales requires a modicum of insight into the psyche of human behavior.
Sales Funnel Fundamentals
You need to identify certain criteria when creating a sales funnel. Review the customers you’re trying to attract by considering what you’re selling and who may want or need it. Then, determine your target sales goal. Once you identify who you should be targeting, you can create your sales funnel specifically for your business. The sales funnel phases include:
- Generating awareness — B2B lead generation
- Qualifying your leads — prospect identification
- Developing interest — social media and email marketing
- Gaining a commitment — appointment setting
- Making your pitch — solution presentation
- Addressing concerns — obstacle elimination
- Closing the sale — mutually beneficial transaction
You must keep re-evaluating your efforts at every phase. Only then can you reap the maximum benefits from your sales funnel strategies.
How Cold Calling Fits into Your Sales Funnel
In any social or business setting, an introduction grants you an entrance into the conversation. Cold calling provides that introduction. Cold calling allows you to introduce yourself and explain what your particular brand is all about. Cold calling puts the human touch on your sales process.
In sales, introductions are how you get from awareness to interest. Cold calling can generate awareness, qualify your leads and develop interest. For B2B companies, cold calling delivers B2B lead generation. If your products or services solve a problem for the person you’re calling, you’ve found someone who’ll listen and ask questions.
Your sales funnel can benefit from a successful cold calling campaign. Hot B2B lead generation attains your appointment setting goals. Those connections aren’t sales yet, but they’ve entered your sales funnel. Now it’s up to the closers in your company.
On the Hunt for B2B Lead Generation
With the internet at your fingertips, B2B lead generation is possible through a number of techniques, from email marketing to blogging. But cold calling doesn’t involve waiting for interested prospects to come to you. B2B lead generation is produced by approaching prospects directly. Since most people are uncomfortable calling strangers, cold calling companies like Pereus Marketing can take the burden off you and your team.
The cold calling team at Pereus Marketing knows that a successful cold call depends on a variety of techniques and skills, including:
- A warm tone of voice
- The perfect script
- A knack for natural conversation
- Asking questions that make the listener more receptive
- The ability to handle difficult people
- In-depth knowledge about the brand
- The skill to overcome replies like “I’m busy” or “Can you call later?”
From Cold Calling to Sale
Once a cold call becomes a qualified lead, you must follow up, sometimes many times, to generate interest and win an appointment setting commitment. Researching the prospect helps identify the needs and maybe even the path to a successful sale. When researching potential clients:
- Get the full name and title of the person in charge.
- Keep your calls concise and to the point.
- Find out what information they might need before making the call.
- Always push for distinct commitments, whether for appointments or sales.
Cold calls don’t always lead to an appointment or a future business deal. But every failure brings success one step closer. Successful businesses know how to use cold calling and other marketing techniques to keep the sales funnel full of leads.
Appointment Setting Strategy
If you can keep leads in your sales funnel long enough, you can eventually connect with them. Steps to make the appointment setting phase go smoothly include:
- Pick a time and place that’s suitable for your prospect.
- Send a reminder the week and the day before your appointment.
- Make the appointment process easy to set up.
- Keep all the documents and product information handy for easy reference.
- If the lead comes to your office, make sure everyone knows.
- Give the lead one contact name to avoid confusion.
With appointment setting out of the way, you can concentrate on your presentation. You must persuade your lead that your brand offers the best solutions to their issues. Make a lasting first impression to earn a sale now and to develop a future business relationship.