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Outbound prospecting: cold calling

June 10, 2020

Saif Khan is one of Cognism’s success stories. Since he joined the company in June 2019, he has smashed every target put in front of him.

As an SDR, Saif generated more sales-qualified leads in one quarter than any rep in Cognism history. Now a BDM, Saif has already produced more than £10,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

Saif’s secret is his mastery of the cold call. Many salespeople are nervous about picking up the phone and pitching to a stranger, but when you get it right, it’s the most powerful B2B prospecting tool out there. We sat down with Saif to find out how he does it.

5 cold calling tips 

1 - Research the prospect

Before you pick up the phone, know who you’re calling. Research the prospect and their company during your LinkedIn prospecting. Take in as much information as you can about them. Look for a connection or a possible angle you can use in your pitch.

After that, it’s time to get dialling. The first thing you must do on your call is ask for the prospect’s permission to continue. It shows that you’re empathetic and respectful of their time. 

During the current coronavirus lockdown period, it’s great to show empathy. People usually never want to say ‘no’.

Once you’ve got permission, it’s time to go into your pitch. This part should be no more than 30 seconds long.

2 - Ask questions

The best approach is to list out the prospect’s pain points as you see them. Ask the prospect if they recognise them. If they say ‘yes’, ask for more information. The more info you have, the more successful your B2B cold call will be. 

Asking questions creates a back-and-forth dialogue and helps you build rapport. However, your questions must get to the heart of the matter. Every question you ask must identify a pain point - for example, ‘How much time do you spend finding new business?’

3 - Offer solutions

Once you’ve identified the pain, you can begin to position your product as the solution.

Another example - if the prospect mentions that they use Salesforce, you can say ‘We integrate with Salesforce.’ Then, you can show them the impact your solution can have on their existing process.

Need help resolving objections on your cold calls? Saif Khan has more tips for you - watch the video below!


4 - Make an assumptive close

After you’ve sowed the seed in your prospect’s mind that your product can be the answer to their problems, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Make an assumptive close to your call. If your goal is to get your prospect to book a time for a B2B sales demo, make it clear that they will see more value from seeing the product in action rather than having you explain it to them over the phone. Then, ask them ‘Do you have time to see it?’

5 - Do your admin

You’ve booked your demo and you’ve ended the call. Well done! However, it’s not time to strut around your office high-fiving your sales rep colleagues - it’s time to do your admin!

Log your demo notes in your CRM straight away. Make them as detailed as you can - every piece of information could be useful in the future.

You must also follow through on anything you agreed with your prospect. If you agreed to send them an invite, do it straight away.

Then you can do some high-fiving!

Bonus tips

Here are Saif Khan’s extra tips for cold calling success:

  • Take handwritten notes during your cold call. You won’t remember everything, and you’ll need all that information for the rest of the sales process. Also, you can refer to your notes during your call if you need to.
  • Record your cold calls and listen back to them. You might discover a nugget of information you missed at the time. It will also help you refine your technique.
  • Use your mobile to make cold calls. Connection rates are often higher from mobiles.

Get more B2B sales insights

Thanks to Saif for sitting down with us and sharing so many B2B lead generation tips!

If you’re looking for more B2B sales insights, then you’ll need to download our eBook B2B Outbound: Building predictable growth.

We wrote it in collaboration with top sales leaders in the B2B/SaaS industry. Discover how to build, scale and measure a B2B sales strategy - including templates, infographics and complete sales cadences!

Click 👇 to get your copy!

B2B Outbound Building Predictable Growth