In 2017, salespeople need to change the way they approach prospecting.
First, work your inbound leads. Let your marketing team work the top of the funnel. You don’t have to call all the leads who are just looking for information or education — those leads need to be nurtured, and Marketing is the right team to do it.
But what if you don’t have enough inbound leads? You still have to keep your pipeline full, so how do you create net new opportunities if your inbound leads are running dry?
You warm call.
What Is Warm Calling?
I consider warm calling to be connecting with a company that you’ve proactively identified as a good fit although they haven’t demonstrated an interest in your product or service yet. Based on your knowledge and experience, they fit the profile of your successful customers.
It’s okay to reach out to good fit prospects who haven’t converted on your website yet. You just have to do it correctly. The key to warm callingis to be efficient, effective, and add value in the first 15 seconds. That’s right — only 15 seconds.
12 Tips for Effective Warm Calling
1) Identify good fit companies.
The best prospects are the ones that look like your best customers. They’ll have similar pain, which means they’ll be easier to sell to and have higher retention rates. Study your buyer personas and learn to recognize your ideal buyer quickly. Review your customer base and identify key similarities between your most successful clients so you have a finely honed sense of what to look for.
One caveat: Don’t just focus on the whales. While it’s important to identify your largest target accounts as early in the year as possible, whales don’t come around often. Concentrate on understanding your business’ bread and butter — the type of customer that buys again and again.
2) Research the company.
Preparation is essential in warm calling — after all, you can’t deliver value if you don’t know what your prospect cares about. I use LinkedIn to read a bit about the company and collect specific information.
At a minimum, you should know how many years the company’s been in business, the number of employees, their location, and their value proposition. This may sound obvious, but knowing these basics is important. It helps you determine the type of problems this business is likely to face and tailor your introduction. A 10-person company’s business pain is very different from a 500-person company’s pain.
3) Research the company’s executives.
I always do research to find out if I know any of my prospective companies’ senior executives or am connected to people who do. I want to find any information I can that’ll make it easier to connect — for example, whether he’s a Midwestern football fanatic or she’s a San Diegan surfer.
I dig for educational background, I examine their LinkedIn photos for clues to their personality and try to determine the most critical problems an executive in this role would have.
4) Perfect your opening.
Calling an executive is theater. You have 15 seconds to capture their attention and demonstrate value.
My call opening is: “Hi Chuck, this is Dan from HubSpot.” Then I’ll pause and wait for them to respond.
It’s important to sound powerful and in control. The prospect may not have any idea who you are or what your company provides. It’s crucial to sound assertive — prospects are more likely to respond to someone who’s confident and authoritative than a rep who’s clearly nervous.
5) Be human.
A sales rep’s secret weapons are voice tone and a sense of humor. Your voice tone can put people at ease or on edge, and an ability to make people laugh will go farther in making them trust you than any sales pitch.
Prospects are extremely busy, so be as pleasant as possible and show that you understand the demands of their positions. Smile when you’re warm calling (they’ll be able to hear it!), especially if it’s early in the morning.
6) Prepare your talking points ahead of time.
Referencing a piece of specific, non-generic information and asking a great question establishes a level of trust and opens the door for a professional conversation.
The key is to get as detailed as possible on a topic with which the executive is familiar. For example, here’s a talking point I could use:
“I saw that you posted a blog article last week on cybersecurity at your company with a really intriguing title. I read it twice, and the paragraph about X strategy was really interesting. I thought I’d pick up the phone to talk with you to see if it was successful.”
Do you think she’s ever had a call like this? This hyper-tailored opening changes the game. It compliments the prospect, engages her right away, and leads to follow-up questions about why the company chose this strategy, whether it succeeded or failed, what they plan to do next, and how you can help.
Okay, thats half, so head over to Hubspot for the rest of this brilliant article.