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How To Refine Your Cold Calling Process

Cold calling is like marmite.

Some salespeople love it. Some salespeople hate it. 

Now, opinions aside - cold calling works. But only when it’s done correctly. 

And what sales leaders and reps are realising more and more, is that doing 100 dials a day isn't what makes you a ‘winner’. It’s about the quality, strategy, and approach that someone has during the process. 

Ryan Reisert sat down with Kevin Hopp, Founder of Hopp Consulting Group, to talk about this topic. 

This article will share the key insights, so you can keep improving your approach to cold calling. 

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Why is it important to refine your cold calling process?

A salesperson’s work is never complete. 

It’s good practice to always think about how things can be better.

Kevin said:

“As a sales rep, if you want to take fate into your own hands, there are two major levers you have to think about. The quantity and quality of the activity.” 

Kevin said it’s important for SDRs to think about the number of calls you make, versus whether the calls even connect or go somewhere. 

We’re also seeing a recession looming on the horizon, which means that SDRs have to adopt a mindset shift when it comes to their goals. 

Kevin said:

“We’re seeing layoffs a lot. And that means that many SDRs have to make the most of the opportunities at their disposal.

They have to remind themselves: ‘Oh, I could get laid off tomorrow. So to make sure that isn’t the case, let me focus on calls that are actually going to get me somewhere.’ This is going to be in the back of every salesperson’s mind, as they start their day.” 

The quality vs quantity of calling activity

Here’s the deal. 

Calling the same leads over and over again doesn’t make the quality of them any better. Chances are, they’re not even relevant. 

Kevin has identified that this trend correlates to the size of the organisation a sales rep is in. So, the bigger the company, the less structure and strategy for the rep:

“For example, there’s a big question mark for a lot of sales reps about what to do with the 2pm slot in the day. Reps lack a game plan.” 

So, what’s the right approach? 

It’s about asking questions like:

  • Am I adding value by understanding the prospect’s business challenge(s)?
  • Am I following up in the right way?
  • Am I building a relationship with the prospect? 

He added:

“You can’t just do 1,000 dials in the hope someone’s ready to buy.”

Kevin said that many reps fail on the quality side of things because they put too much faith in how prospects are going to react:

“Reps tend to think the best in their prospects. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Just because someone opens your email five times, doesn’t mean they’re inclined to or interested. An open doesn’t mean a yes.” 

Want to avoid the biggest mistakes in sales? Press play for tips from SME Ryan Reisert! ▶️

 

The importance of a common tech stack

Improving a cold calling process or sales process shouldn't be the sole responsibility of the salesperson. 

Kevin said you need the right technology too. 

So, if you’re a team manager or sales leader, what are you waiting for? 

Invest in this common tech stack:

  • CRM e.g. Salesforce
  • Data tool e.g. Cognism
  • Productivity tool e.g. LinkedIn Navigator
  • Dialling solution

Having this basic framework in place helps set up sales teams for success.

The concept of the false negative on phone calls

Kevin said that many reps fall into the trap of negatively endorsing whatever someone’s doing in the first 15 seconds of the call:

“When a prospect says ‘Not interested’, the rep is immediately put off thinking it’s not going anywhere. And there are two causes of this: dead air and pitch slapping.” 

“Remember, the goal of a cold call is to have a conversation: a call and a response. This is what separates us from telemarketers - all they have to do is call and read a standard script. Whereas salespeople need to engage in a two-way dialogue.” 

The takeaway here? 

Learn from your mistakes, and don’t fall into the false negative trap. Take each cold call as an experience, and do better next time. 

Listen to the podcast 

Listen to the full episode with Ryan and Kevin below. 

Press play to get started. ▶️

 

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