B2B Sales Cold Calling Scripts: 5 Templates For 2023
By: Ilse Van Rensburg
Sales, Cold Calling
It’s Monday morning, and you have 100 cold calls to make before close of play.
You know you need to smile and dial, but… What do you say?
If only you had a cold calling script…
Luckily, help is at hand!
We’ve put together 5 of the best cold calling scripts for B2B sales with tips from Charlie Beale, Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Cognism.
These 5 sales call scripts are the heart of our sales strategy - without them, we wouldn’t have gone from $0 to $4 million in ARR and 0 to 300+ customers in under two years.
What is a cold call in sales?
A cold call is an outbound sales technique B2B sales reps use to contact potential leads for the first time. These prospects won’t have interacted with the business before and aren't likely to have heard of the brand. Having scripts for these sales calls is a must. Otherwise, you stand a chance of losing the interest of a prospect.
The B2B sales cold calling script: training video
If cold calling without a script gives you anxiety, you’re not alone.
Cold calling fear is a problem a lot of sales reps have. Especially at scaling companies where the B2B lead generation process might not be working effectively, and the market isn’t aware of your product.
To help you do cold sales calls right, Cognism's Brand Ambassador Ryan Reisert shares the cold calling script he uses to engage with buyers for more hot calls - press ▶️ to watch:
Now, let’s get dialing! Scroll for our five cold call script example templates 👇.
5 samples of the best cold calling sales scripts
When it comes to making better sales calls, it’s not just down to your cold calling script, although it plays a big part!
You’ll need to research your prospect before a call, establish a goal for what you want to achieve, and practice your elevator pitch for each call.
Because every prospect is different, and targeted leads come from well-thought-out, strategic calls.
We’ve collected our best telemarketing scripts for the five most called demographics in B2B.
Give them a read and practice them to help overcome your cold calling fears and discover your best cold calling techniques:
1. General sales script example
Getting past the gatekeeper is one major cold calling pain point a lot of reps have. We’ve found the best way to start a cold call in this scenario is to be confident and honest:
Rep: Hi, it’s Charlie from Cognism. Is (first name) available?
Gatekeeper: What’s this regarding?
Here you can say one of many reasons - your company’s main selling point or new business or if it’s a sales follow up call - “Oh, I’m just following up on an email I sent to (first name).” / “I’m just chasing up on some emails. They’ll know what it’s regarding.”
Transferred to prospect
Rep: Hi, it’s Annie from Cognism. How are you?
Rep: Great! Look, (first name), I’ll keep it brief as I appreciate you’re busy. I came across (company name) online and I can see you do (B2B sales/marketing/other). Have you got 30 seconds for me to explain the nature of my call?
Prospect: This isn't a good time.
Rep: I understand this may not be a priority for you right now, or maybe you don’t see the value. I’ve had a few people say the same, but once we got talking they were thrilled to learn more. Give me two minutes of your time, and if Cognism isn’t for you I won’t call again.
Prospect: Okay, two minutes.
Rep: We provide companies like yours with direct and accurate contact details for key decision-makers in your target industries and locations. Ultimately saving you an abundance of time prospecting.
Follow up with a question - “How are you generating new leads?”
Prospect: All my sales team manually find their leads.
Rep: Your sales team find ALL their leads MANUALLY? Imagine if you could free up to 63% of their time?
Prospect: 63%! That’s amazing. That’s more time they can use to focus on making cold calls.
Rep: Exactly, and Cognism can help you do that. Now, (first name), I appreciate this is a lot to take in over the phone. It would be great to show you the tool and run some live searches for you. Have you got 15 minutes free later this week?
Prospect: Could you send me some more info first, pricing that sort of thing?
Rep: Pricing is based on the needs and size of your business so we’d need a more lengthy discussion for that. I can send you more information, but by the time you’ve read through it, I could answer the questions you have. Would you like to know anything else?
Prospect: I’ll need to look at my calendar, but for now an email with some product information would be beneficial.
Rep: Of course, I’ll make sure to do that. In order to tailor the demonstration as best as possible, so you get the most out of it, I just need a few details. Please can you tell me about your target (industries/job titles/locations).
Prospect: I really need to go, but I’ll provide all that in reply to your email.
Rep: Of course. Thanks a lot for your time today (first name). I’ll send that email over right away.
2. Tech sales script example
Pitching to tech companies can be daunting, and many reps think you need a good cold call opening line for an effective cold calling script.
While that can be the case, a simple “how are you?” or “is this a bad time?” might be all you need to nab an appointment:
Rep: Hey [name], Adam from Cognism here. How are you?
Prospect: Hi Adam, I’m well thanks and you?
Rep: Great thanks! I appreciate that I've called you out of the blue. Is now a bad time?
Prospect: I’ve got a minute, what is this about?
Rep: I just wanted to give you a quick call as we’re currently doing lots of work with [tech/software company of a similar size], as well as a variety of other tech companies like you guys. We help our clients by giving them a tool which they can use in-house to generate direct contact information for key decision-makers within their target markets.
Rep: I can see that you target [industry/industries]. How are you finding targeted leads from within that sector / those sectors?
Prospect: It’s not bad, but it could always be better.
Rep: The good news is we can help with that. May I ask how you generate your leads?
Prospect: We use a combination of cold outreach and LinkedIn messaging templates.
Rep: Interesting, and are you using a sales intelligence tool to help with LinkedIn outreach?
Prospect: Not at the moment. We looked at (competitor) once, but the data wasn’t accurate.
Rep: I see. Well, Cognism offers Diamond Verified Phone Data® where a contact is phone verified by our team. So you don’t need to worry about that on our side. Can I ask what your target market is in terms of job title/location/company size?
Prospect: We’re targeting SMB and enterprise HR Directors in Europe.
Rep: Fantastic, we have a strong, GDPR compliant european database, which you can segment to find an extensive list of HR directors working in the tech space…
Rep: So, [name], to give you a little more context, Cognism is the world’s largest GDPR-compliant database consisting of over 400 million B2B profiles. How it works, is you would run highly-targeted searches for [target market: e.g. HR Directors in European tech]. This would generate a list of contacts, and for each individual, we would provide you with data points relevant to them based on the lead sources they use: e.g. if they only use emails because their outbound consists of email marketing campaigns etc.
Prospect: And I can use this on LinkedIn?
Rep: Of course, we have a Chrome extension for LinkedIn prospecting. Our clients have actually moved away from [current process: e.g. LinkedIn] is because [explain how our solution can add value].
Prospect: Sounds promising.
Rep: We’re actually working with [similar client] right now. They managed to achieve [result] in [time frame].
Prospect: I don’t know. It sounds good, but how can I be sure I’m not locked into a contract with a data provider I don’t find value in?
Rep: How about you see the platform for yourself? Are you free for a 15-minute demo over Zoom this week? We can run some personalised searches for you based on your target market and show you the quality and quantity of data that we have.
Prospect: Sounds great, let’s put it in the calendar.
3. SaaS sales script example
Software as a Service is a fiercely competitive industry. You’ll need a B2B cold sales script that stands out from the crowd.
That doesn’t mean it needs to be filled with confusing business terminology and corny one-liners. We’ve found that quick, direct calls get the best response in this industry.
Here’s an example of a great cold calling script for SaaS sales that gets results:
Rep: Hey <name>, this is <your name> with <company>. Do you have three minutes to talk about <the core benefit of your SaaS solution>?
Prospect: Good thanks, I suppose I can spare three minutes.
Rep: So I noticed your company is struggling with <challenge>. I'd love to help you out by <how you solve that issue.>
Rep: Have you tried a solution to solve this issue in the past?
Prospect: Not really.
Rep: Alright, well a little more context, (company) is (explain company in two sentences or less). I'd love to schedule a demo so I can show your team more about how we can help. How’s next Tuesday?
Prospect: I don’t know I need to speak to a few people about this first.
Rep: I understand you'll need to take this to your team. Can I send you a case study that will help you make your presentation stronger?
Prospect: Yeah, that sounds good. You’ve got my email?
Rep: I do, just to confirm it’s (email)?
Prospect: That’s it.
Rep: Great, I'd love to include some other information too. Can you tell me <who your target audience is, etc.
Prospect: We’re targeting SMB, HR Directors in the UK.
Rep: Fantastic, I’ll send all this info over now. Have a lovely day further. Bye.
4. CEO cold calling script example
Even the most seasoned cold calling pros get cold feet when having to call a CEO.
But never fear; remember, they are people too! Plus, we’ve got the cold calling script to help you ace that next call:
Rep: Hi (first name). We’ve never met, but I’m hoping you can help me out for a moment. Do you have two minutes?
Prospect: Okay. What are you calling about?
Rep: I’m looking to schedule 10-15 minutes for an introductory conversation sometime early next week. Would you have 10 minutes on Thursday afternoon at say 1 pm?
Prospect: Could you tell me what you want?
Rep: I work for Cognism, the B2B data provider. I’m curious about how your team generates contact data for your key prospects. Typically speaking to CEOs like yourself, they say their teams have mixed results with outreach by not having enough mobiles and emails not always delivering. Does this resonate with you in any way or am I a million miles off?
Prospect: Yes, that resonates with me.
Prospect: So, what do you guys do?
Rep: We have a tool that generates verified mobile numbers and email addresses for contacts in your ICP. Our client (company name) was having issues generating the data they needed, but since they started working with us, their reps have cut hours off their prospecting time.
Rep: Would it make sense for you to see the tool for yourself? Would Thursday afternoon at 1 pm work for you?
Prospect: No, I’m not interested.
Rep: Let me ask you a question: if I could show you how you can generate verified leads at scale and even save you (time/money), wouldn’t you be happy you took a few minutes to take a look?
Prospect: I guess.
Rep: Great, I’ll email over a meeting request to confirm Thursday afternoon at 1 pm.
Prospect: Alright, see you then.
5. Enterprise sales script example
The biggest and most high-profile accounts can be the most intimidating, but our GTM cold calling script has engaged and converted decision-makers inside the world’s largest companies.
Rep: Hi (first name), this is Paul calling from Cognism. For full transparency at the very beginning, this is a well-researched B2B sales call. I appreciate I’ve called completely out of the blue. Is now a bad time for a two-minute chat?
Prospect: Sorry, what do you want?
Rep: I noticed that you work with some B2B clients like (company name) in the (industry name) sector. We work with many similar companies such as (company name). After speaking with a lot of (job titles) at the moment like yourself, I’ve found they’re experiencing challenges with…
Prospect: Yeah, we actually have been experiencing challenges with…too.
Rep: I’m sure we can offer you a solution. Can I ask how you currently generate new business?
Prospect: We use LinkedIn and email campaigns.
Rep: Alright, and what's your target market in terms of job title/location/company size?
Prospect: We’re targeting HR Directors in the US.
Rep: Okay, and out of every 20 InMails you’re sending, how many responses do you get?
Prospect: Maybe half. I’d have to speak to the team to get the exact number.
Rep: Not a problem. I believe we can help you increase those responses (name).
Prospect: How exactly?
Rep: We have a tool to help you find people in your ICP and increase your matched audiences. We would act as a repeatable source of net new data in your sales funnel, so you can actively deliver your content at the optimal times. Would you like to take a look at the platform?
Prospect: Okay. I’m free Wednesday at 3 pm.
Rep: Fantastic! Just a few final questions so we can set the demo up. Are you the key decision-maker in this process?
Prospect: Yeah, it’s me and Jane. Email me and I’ll CC her in my response.
Rep: Great, and is there anyone who would feel left out if they didn’t see the platform with you?
Prospect: Our CMO, Hilda will need to be present. I’ll CC all relevant parties.
Rep: Amazing, I’ll email all this through now. See you on Wednesday!
Remember, practice makes perfect! The best responses come from cold call scripts that are well-rehearsed and human. So speak the way you speak rather than trying to fit into someone else's cold calling mold, and if that doesn’t help, watch this video on how to nail l the first 30 seconds of a cold call:
How to create a cold calling script in 5 easy steps
You can use one of our tried and true cold calling scripts, but the best scripts are ones tailored by reps for their target audience. Most of the sales scripts reps are using don’t work because the tone doesn’t reflect the company, and the words come across as…well, scripted.
To create the best cold calling script that actually works, you’ll need to follow these six expert tips straight from Charlie:
First of all, your cold call script needs to follow a set structure. Break it down into five segments:
This structure isn’t an absolute rule. Rather, it’s a guide to help reps flow with the conversation.
This is an important part of the sales process, as not every rep will use the same language as another or convey their messaging the same. Find your own individuality. Otherwise, you’ll come across as robotic.
And, the last thing any prospect wants to hear is someone reading robotically down the phone - that’s the surest route to cold call failure. When it comes to cold calling, one size definitely doesn’t fit all.
Your opening is the very start of your sales call, and more often than not, it will be answered by a gatekeeper.
Especially if you’re calling a senior-level prospect.
You can afford to get a little creative to get past the gatekeeper, just as long as what you say makes sense with your offering.
Options SaaS sales companies like Cognism use are:
- “New business.”
- “Your client acquisition process.”
- “How you find new clients.”
If it’s a follow-up, try:
- “Oh, I’m just following up on an email I sent to (first name).”
- “I’m just chasing up on some emails. They’ll know what it’s regarding.”
When speaking to the gatekeeper, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It could make the difference between being put through to the prospect or never having your message passed on.
One great tip from Charlie is to always sound senior. If the gatekeeper thinks you’re a management-level peer rather than a salesperson, they’re much more likely to transfer your call.
Assuming your call is transferred, and the prospect picks up, you’ll want to establish rapport early on in your sales cold call script. A good way to start an introductory call is to acknowledge that the prospect’s time is limited and ask for their permission to continue.
Worried about how to start off a cold call? ▶️ Watch our video with Josh Braun for more tips to add to your sales script.
Once you’ve got the all-clear from the prospect, it’s time to pitch.
Again, the pitch isn’t something that’s set in stone. It can change depending on the SDR and who they’re talking to. But, when it comes to your cold call sales script, there are three things it must be:
- Clear - your prospect must be able to understand your pitch. Make sure you adapt it for each person, so it stays relevant for them and their industry.
- Concise - think of it as a springboard to further the conversation; you don’t need to reveal absolutely everything about your business. One good tip is to think of your pitch as a tweet - what can you convey in 280 characters or less?
- Easy to remember - you don’t want to get tongue-tied or lose the flow on your cold call. Keep in mind 2-3 facts or stats and use them every time.
A cold call example of a sales pitch would be:
“We help companies like yours prospect and gain new clients by giving you access to our lead generation tool that contains over 400 million B2B profiles.”
4 - Questions
Once your pitch is delivered, it’s time to move on to what’s arguably the most crucial stage of your sales calling script - questions.
By this, we mean answering and asking open-ended questions that encourage conversation. Questions that require simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers stilt the flow of conversation.
In any cold call, the prospect must do 70% of the talking, while the salesperson should do only 30%.
Because the more the prospect talks and feels they’re being listened to, the more likely they’re going to buy. In a recent study by HubSpot, 69% of buyers said that the one thing they wanted from sales reps was to “listen to my needs.”
Open-ended questions are a great method of showing the prospect you’re a good listener. They open up the conversation, allowing you to gain vital insights that’ll help you in the last stages of the call.
Here are some examples we give to our new SDRs for their cold calling scripts:
- “How do you currently go about finding new clients?”
- “What does your outbound sales process look like at the moment?”
- “How are you generating new leads?”
- “What are your frustrations with your prospecting data currently?”
These types of questions usually work very well with senior-level prospects, as they are focused on common pain points for a business - finding new customers, lead generation, and data quality.
Get inspired when creating your sales call scripts - Morgan J. Ingram and David Bentham take cold calls from a live audience in this episode of Revenue Champions 🎧.
5 - Conversation
This is where your B2B cold call script could go one of two ways:
The prospect could hang up, or they could be very much open to a conversation.
It’s your job to keep your prospect engaged, and there are four good conversational methods to do this while getting the most out of your conversation:
The way you speak and the sales jargon you use with potential customers is very important. You should always sound excited and enthusiastic, especially if the prospect is blunt and unresponsive.
A lot of times, the prospect will be doing this on purpose to see how you react.
Keep in mind that you’ll often be calling people who are B2B sales professionals in their own right and know all the tricks of the trade.
2. Pauses and hyperbole
A little bit of drama in your cold call scripts goes a long way.
But we don’t mean that fight between Kelly and Shelly in accounting. Nope, we mean embracing pauses and hyperbole to emphasize certain points in your sales call.
Here’s an example of what we mean:
“Our lead generation tool gives you access to 400 million B2B profiles...globally.”
Using a simple pause will ensure that important points are quickly highlighted and are more likely to stick in the prospect’s mind.
Doing this can lead to great results on your cold call. All you have to do is keep your ear out and listen to how the prospect speaks and the words they use. Then, imitate the way they talk.
It’s as easy as that!
What’s the purpose behind this?
It’s proven to be an effective way of building rapport and increasing the odds of being “accepted” by the person you’re talking to. Plus, it relaxes the prospect so they’re more comfortable talking to you.
One of the best tactics to utilize in any cold calling script is repetition.
For instance, try to repeat what the prospect says in a questioning tone. You’ll be surprised how much they’ll reveal when questioned like this.
For example, if the prospect says something like…
“All my sales team manually find their leads.”
You should then respond with…
“Your sales team finds ALL their leads MANUALLY?”
Repeating their words back to them acts as a guide, leading them towards revealing more about their business - what the process looks like, how long it takes, and the number of resources they put into it.
These are further pain points that you can then address one by one, steering them ever closer to the final stage in your cold call and prospecting script.
You’ve addressed all the key pain points, and the prospect has shown interest in seeing your product in more depth - it’s time to go in for the close!
However, this close to the end of the call, you might encounter some objections and obstacles to overcome.
But don’t be discouraged! Where there’s a sales objection, there’s a way to handle it.
One of the most common cold calling objections that’ll crop up at this stage is:
“Please could you send me some more info first?”
Some good responses to add to your cold calling sales script are:
“I could send you some more information, but by the time you’ve read through it, I could answer the questions you have. What would you like to know?”
“It would be quicker and more useful to show you the platform. How does (day) at (time) sound?”
You’ll need to instill an element of judgment, say, for instance, the prospect is on the move or very busy at the time. Pushing harder for a demo might irritate them, so you’ll need to judge whether sending them a cold call follow-up email would actually be easier.
In this case, a good option is to find out exactly what information they want in the email. Like this:
“What would you like me to include in the email?”
This will get the prospect to reveal their concerns, which you can then address on the phone - eventually leading them back to the close.
Try out the above two strategies for handling objections and persuading a hesitant prospect to agree to a demo. Before you do so, though, first gauge the receptiveness of the prospect.
When you get to the close, always make sure you qualify the prospect further before you let them go:
“Great! In order to tailor the demonstration as best as possible so you get the most out of it, I just need a few details. Please can you tell me about your target (industries/job titles/locations)?”
This will help the BDM or account executive to personalize the product demo to exactly the prospect’s needs, increasing the chances of a sale.
Then, when that’s over, it’s time to end the call.
“That’s great. Thanks a lot for your time just now (first name). I really appreciate it. Do you need anything else from me, or would you like me to include anyone else on the call?”
Another way of ensuring the demo stays in their mind is to repeat the agreed time of the demo back to them.
“That’s great. Thanks a lot for your time today (first name). I look forward to seeing you on (day) at (time).”
And that’s it, your cold calling template, and hopefully, your first call of the day is done! Only 99 more to go… 😜
Looking for more tips on how to make a cold call? ▶️ Watch this unique live on-air cold call training session with Ryan Reisert and Josh Braun!
💡 P.S. You might also want to learn the 5 things to do on every sales call.
The latest and greatest cold calling tips - in one guide!
Put your new and improved cold calling scripts to good use and discover the best way to cold call with Cognism’s “B2B Cold Calling Handbook” - a guide brimming with the latest and greatest cold calling tips including:
- How to open a cold call
- How to pitch your product and build rapport
- How to handle sales objections
- How to close a call
- A list of tools to help you become a champion cold caller
Click 👇 to grab your ungated copy now!
💡 P.S. You might also like these articles on cold email templates and voicemail scripts if you're struggling to reach your prospects.
Cold call with confidence
With Cognism, your reps can cold call with confidence - with or without a B2B cold calling script!
This sales intelligence software is the number one toolkit for a scaling B2B sales team allowing you to:
- Power your cold calling strategy with quality GDPR-compliant data.
- Discover contact details for target leads, including verified business telephone numbers and direct dial data for the USA.
- Take advantage of event-based triggers that let you know the best times to cold call prospects.
- Cut the time your team spends on manual data entry and updating by integrating Cognism into your company CRM.
- Spend less time prospecting and more time calling!
Interested? Click 👇 to book your demo.