Wouldn’t it be great if making a sales connection was as easy as following a recipe? You gather your ingredients, you mix them together, and just a short while later, you’re rewarded with the fruits of your labor.
Unfortunately, sales efforts don’t always offer that immediate gratification. However, there’s one thing they do have in common: There are probably a few secret ingredients and techniques that can make your results stand apart from the rest.
Just like your grandma’s perfect lasagna (you guessed it – the secret’s in the sauce), there are a few methods you can take advantage of to make outbound calling work for you.
#1: Timing Matters
What’s the difference between a perfect grilled cheese and heap of charred, oozing bread? Just a couple of superfluous minutes under the broiler.
Time is of the essence when it comes to making outbound calls, too. Research shows that salespeople who call within five minutes of initial contact are 100 times more likely to qualify the prospect. That’s impressive, and it’s worth it to make sure you have team members available to immediately make those contacts.
An outsourced sales team can serve as your invaluable support system when it comes to making those calls. Your in-house team has other responsibilities and can’t drop everything to make a callback, but an outsourced team has members immediately available to make a call and take advantage of the lead’s ripeness and readiness.
#2: Cleanliness Matters (when it comes to data)
You wouldn’t start mixing up a cake in a bowl you’d just used to make meatloaf. So why would you spend your time making contact with prospects from a compilation of dirty data?
Data decays quickly. Two percent of your data is rendered worthless each month because of common occurrences like job changes and attrition. When you spread that out over time, it means by the end of the year, a good 20% of your database is probably outdated.
By working with an outsourced team, you can put tools and processes in place to make sure your data is sparkling clean and usable.
As an example, Matrixcare, a healthcare technology provider, was able to work with their outsourced sales team and a marketing automation system to clean up their data and ensure their time was being used efficiently when contacting prospects.
As a result, they were able to feel secure in the accuracy of their database and generate 15 new, highly-targeted and specific leads.
Secret #3: Develop Your Call Techniques
Just like bread dough has to be pounded and kneaded regularly to create that perfect texture, you can’t just create your sales plan, then let it run on autopilot.
The best outbound calling methods include working with your team members on a regular basis to “knead” their performance into shape.
Taking advantage of Quality Assurance reports is one way to formulate success. Thorough QA processes can help you find crucial patterns and data that can impact your success.
Your QA team will observe communications that are taking place with prospects, and provide feedback on how to transform their calls. For example, some small tweaks, like building confidence in the representatives making calls or sharing material, can yield big results when it comes to getting to 'yes'.
Secret #4: Too Many Cooks Won’t Spoil the Broth
Sometimes when people have a favorite family recipe, they can be a little stingy with the details. However, when it comes to outbound sales, sharing information can only be a good thing.
Working with an outsourced sales firm is like making that famous lemon pie recipe available to all your cousins. You’ll get more opportunities and better results from sharing.
Your outsourced sales team can take the burden of the many calls that need to be made and alleviate those responsibilities from your in-house team.
One caveat when it comes to the too-many chefs: make sure roles are clearly delineated between your in-house team and your outsourced sales team. Otherwise, you may lose some efficiency because multiple people are unknowingly handling the same task.
Secret #5: Use Feedback to Your Advantage
Great chefs are always looking to try something new and searching for ways to improve and make their recipes better.
Similarly, creating a feedback loop between your sales and marketing teams can help you to improve your processes. For example, your marketing team can create content that drives interest to your website, social channels and chat platform.
However, every piece of content won’t resonate with every user. As your outbound sales team makes their calls and has conversations with prospects, you can use the insights gained from their responses and successes to tweak your communications accordingly.
Secret #6: Start With a Great Recipe
Remember the Friends episode where Rachel made half an English trifle and half a Shepherd’s Pie? Even with all the effort she put into it, her results were ghastly and inedible, because she didn’t have the foundation of the right recipe.
Good writing is a foundation of your outbound calling success. An exceptional content writer on your team can create call scripts that capture benefits, anticipate objections and make it easy to say 'yes'.
Combining good writing with useful data and training can elevate your success even further.
Many buyers want a demo or want to plan a demo in the first call. A good writer will create a CTA that anticipates that desire and makes it easy to say 'yes'.
Secret #7: Serve It Warm
Isn’t there just something about a warm chocolate chip cookie that you can’t get from the same cookie after it’s cooled? In the same way, making a “warm” outbound call can yield better results than a traditional cold call.
Researching and understanding your prospects can help you create content and communicate messages that resonate with them and their needs.
Using tools like sales chat can help you increase the opportunities for warm contacts. Sales chat allows prospects to connect with you on their terms and research when they’re in market for your product.
Following up a chat session with an outbound call gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the prospect’s interest and appeal to their desire for immediacy. And, partnering these channels together creates efficiency because you’ll be able to ensure the prospects you’re reaching out to have an interest in your services before spending time trying to connect on a call.
There are plenty of ways to make that warm connection happen. Social selling can be a great way to open doors, connecting with potential customers via social media, then following up with a call when they indicate interest.
Secret #8: Make Perfect Pairings Happen
Grapes are delicious on their own, but pair them with cheese and they take on an additional level of flavorfulness.
Likewise, another secret weapon when it comes to a successful outbound call is to have a perfect pairing ready to follow up on your call.
For example, if a sales representative has a fruitful outbound call and discusses common pain points that occur during their processes, a perfect pairing might be offering a case study about how your product helped alleviate that particular pain point for another client.
The extra time and effort used to provide your prospects the information pairing that works for them can pay off. In fact, nurtured leads convert more often (a 20% better conversion rate) and spend more (typically making 47% larger purchases).
Practice Makes Perfect
All great cooks know practice makes perfect. Just like no one makes a perfect souffle on the first go-round, it’s rare to make that sales connection on the very first outbound call.
It’s not always easy to connect. It can be difficult to get plugged in to people’s busy schedules; in fact, it’s estimated that it takes 18 tries just to reach your contact with an outbound call. But that doesn’t mean the conversations aren’t worth having.
With an outsourced sales team by your side, you’ll have the resources to be efficiently persistent and make the connections that will lead to successful sales.
What is your secret to outbound calling success? Have you gotten any other ideas from this list? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below: