Cold calls and other approaches to phone sales might not be considered as vital as they once were, but many businesses still rely on this method for customer acquisition. That’s all well and good, as long as sales team members aren’t making any critical mistakes while engaged in this sales activity.
Here are common phone sales mistakes to watch out for:
Failure to send email alert for the upcoming call.
Let’s say a salesperson has arranged an upcoming phone call with a prospect. Assuming the prospect will remember the prearranged time, the sales rep neglects to send an email reminder about the call.
Considering how busy CEOs, business leaders, and other decision-makers are, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the prospect forgets about the call and schedules some other engagement. A wasted opportunity!
Coming on too strong.
Believing enthusiasm is the key to winning sales, some reps jump in with an overly passionate greeting at the start of a phone call. That can turn some people off.
It’s preferable to “try a more genuine and low-key greeting,” according to HubSpot. Prospects “won’t be expecting it, and you’ll get them to stay on the phone longer—increasing your chances of setting a sales meeting.”
Not focusing on what’s in it for the prospect.
Salespeople are usually great at extolling the value of the company they represent, but that’s not precisely what a potential customer wants to hear. As we have noted before, a sales rep should never embark upon a sales call “without a comprehensive understanding of what your company’s products or services can do” for the potential customer. Be prepared to “answer any questions to the prospect’s satisfaction” and specifically address how it meets a prospective customer’s needs.
Reading from a script.
Sometimes, busy salespeople find it easier to employ a generic sales script when making cold calls. Big mistake! Prospects know someone’s “reading from the manual” when they hear it, and quickly tune out.
Instead, encourage your sales team to thoroughly research the prospect and his or her business before making that all-important first call. At the very least, notes Copper Chronicle, begin “with an assessment of their company website,” then find out “who’s in charge, how long they’ve been in business, and how they might use the products or services you’re offering.” There are plenty of online resources, such as social media, “that might help you get to know the people you’ll be talking with.”
Lacking comprehensive knowledge.
Sometimes, a sales rep may decide to “wing it” when calling a potential new client. That can lead to trouble, if they’re asked a question to which they don’t have the answer.
Every member of your sales team be thoroughly educated on what your company does, the particulars of your products or services, and all other facets of the organization. Why? Because that individual represents your business with every phone call and sales transaction they make—and when someone asks a question, they fully expect to receive a comprehensive and accurate answer.
Forgetting to outline the next step.
The initial phone call to the prospect is just the beginning of the buyer’s journey. But if a sales rep neglects to outline what happens next, a valuable sales opportunity might be lost.
Remember, a prospective client “is not likely to spend a great deal of time and effort researching the next steps they will have to take,” notes InsightSquared. That’s why the sales rep must “do the work for them and make these next steps abundantly clear.”
Want to learn more about how you can boost your sales team’s performance? Register for our free TAB Boss Webinar, “Why Your Sales Team is Underperforming.”