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The 5 Things You Need to Do on Every Sales Call

Many sales reps have developed their methodologies for a successful sales call and are happy to share them. With so many voices, it's hard to know which techniques are essential.

So we've decided to collect advice from our SDRs at Cognism and found the most common methods.

That's how we've come up with the 5 things to do on every sales call to make it successful:

  • Know your potential customers
  • Define the call's objectives
  • Qualify your potential client
  • Handle sales objections
  • Use a script

Let's dive into the details now!

1. Know your potential customers

When you pick up the phone to make the sales call, you should know who you're calling. A lead list that matches your ideal customer profile is a good start. But you can improve it by learning more about your leads.

You can manually research leads' LinkedIn profiles, company pages, or recent events in their industry. Take note of anything that will help you on a call, e.g., their recent activity, groups they belong to, the types of customers they have, etc. 

Researching potential customers is the best thing you can do before every sales call because it reveals prospects' authority levels, pain points, goals, and aspirations. This information guides the sales pitch and helps you deliver value.

You will feel more confident and sound more professional, which increases the conversion rate.

If you're using Sales Navigator for prospecting on LinkedIn, you can enrich your prospect lists with actionable contact data and export it directly to your CRM for sequencing follow-up emails and calls. All you need is access Cognism database and Cognism Chrome extension.

See it in action 👇

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2. Define the call's objectives

When you're on a sales call, it's essential to know what you're looking to achieve from it. Keep the objective in mind, whether it’s closing the sale or qualifying the prospect. For example, if your goal is a prospect's needs analysis, don't ask questions about their buying process.

To not stray from your objective, make a list of key topics you want to cover during the call and key topics you want to learn by the end of the call. Don't waste time asking irrelevant questions that don't support your sales call goal.

No time to read? Watch the 4-minute video sales cold call dos and don't Cognism's SDRs recorded for you! 👇

3. Qualify your potential client

Another thing you should do on a sales call is to find out if the person you're speaking to is a good fit for your product or service. You will save a lot of time if you can establish early that the prospect is not ready to buy.

Ask open-ended questions about their budget, authority to make the purchase decision, needs, and time (BANT criteria). You can disqualify leads that:

  • Can't afford your product
  • Can't approve the purchase
  • Don't have a problem that you can solve
  • Can wait to address the issue

Qualifying prospects is the most important thing to do during a sales call. Remember, you don't have to sell to everyone. If you can't qualify the prospect, move on to the next. 

4. Handle sales objections

SDRs and sales reps' inability to deal with common sales objections is one of the most common reasons why not every sales call ends in a deal, even though it’s normal for prospects to have doubts about your product or service. 

When prospects express objections, it doesn't mean they aren’t interested. It's quite the opposite! They want to understand your offer better! Challenge yourself to handle objections on every sales call—

Find out what the objection is and try to overcome them. Don't just dismiss them. Analyze the most typical cold-calling objections and prep yourself (e.g., follow a script or have case studies at hand). 

Listen to Feargal McDonnell from Salesforce sharing his take on objection handling 👇

5. Use a script

One thing that will help you on every sales call is a well-thought-out script. It guides the conversation and helps you start the call, get past the gatekeeper, pitch your product and close the conversation.

You should develop your cold-calling scripts to sound natural. But how?

Don't plan and write out every word of your call. Prospects will spot that from a mile away. Instead, focus on giving your cold calls a framework. An outline that will help schedule the interactions and convey the message you want. But make sure you leave enough space for improvising, humor, and your personality.

Watch a tutorial from Ryan Reisert on designing scripts that work on every sales call 👇

Key takeaways

The truth is there are more than 5 things to do on a sales call to make it more effective. 

But for this article, we've asked seasoned reps to share their techniques and approaches to cold calling and boiled them down to just a few points.

It's a good start, but if you'd like to take your B2B sales and cold calling to the next level, visit the Cognism blog or check out some of these resources:

Alternatively, get a copy of our cold-calling playbook for free. It doesn't matter if you're starting out or have been working in sales for years. The playbook will work for anyone who calls on business owners 👇

B2B Cold Calling Handbook


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