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Sales Leader Cold Calling Script: Prospect to Sales Leads

For any SDR, speaking to a sales leader can be nerve-wracking.

But we’re here to help! 

Scroll 👇 to see our ultimate cold calling script for sales leaders.

What do sales leaders care about?

The truth is, there’s no one size fits all approach. It does depend on the service you’re selling.  

But there's one universal thing that unites all sales leaders:

Solving their pain points and helping them hit their revenue goals.

Ultimately, B2B sales leaders are focused on revenue. Everything needs to tie back to that.

There are two main categories of sales leaders: those who enjoy hearing sales tactics and those who don’t. 

Some don’t like it because they know all the tricks, while others respect salesmanship. 

Why cold call sales leaders?

It's a no-brainer: sales leaders are among any company's top decision-makers.

Brad Norgate, Cognism SDR, told us:

“If you spoke with a Chief Technical Officer, their response would probably be - I’m pretty sure we have a solution in place; I’ve not heard too many complaints.”

“Whereas with a sales manager, you'll be able to dig in with them.”

Relevance or personalisation?

Before we jump into the script, here are some tips that’ll guide you to success.

During outreach, there are two routes you can go down: personalisation or relevance.

Personalisation looks like this:

“Hey, I saw on LinkedIn that you’re a McLaren F1 supporter. Forgive the awful joke, but I’m racing to the top of your inbox to tell you…”

Personalisation is about tailoring your outreach. Often it’s based on clues on your prospect’s LinkedIn profile.

Relevance looks like this:

“Day in, day out. I speak to sales leaders, and they tell me that their biggest problem is x. We help them solve it by doing x, y, and z.” 

“Am I a million miles off with that?”

Relevance is about understanding their job title well. Thinking carefully about their goals and responsibilities, then applying the product to that.

There’s a bit of debate happening on LinkedIn about this at the moment. Which is better - relevance or personalisation?

Brad is on the side of relevance. He explained:

Sales personalisation can come across as superficial. A lot of it does not reference why they’re reaching out.”

“Rather than showing you’ve done 30 seconds of LinkedIn research - take it a step further and show you understand their goals and problems. Think about how you could fix them”

Dave Bentham, Cognism's Director of Sales Development, added:

“I don’t want the tricks and hooks - I want to cut to the chase. I want it to be direct because I’m direct in my nature. Best practice in sales is to mirror.”

How to talk to sales leaders

Speaking to sales leaders can be intimidating for a lot of SDRs. They often start their cold calls with the wrong mentality.

What are they getting wrong?

It’s best to view your prospects as equals, even if they're pretty senior. 

Brad shared his thoughts:

“You’ve got to back yourself and go in confidently. Understand that the prospect probably has an issue, and you’ve probably got a solution.”

“Go in there knowing you’re not an inconvenience. You’re trying to find a solution to their issues, and no one’s better than the other!”

The sales leader cold calling script


There isn’t a perfect way to open a cold call with a sales leader.

But there is a trick for keeping them on the phone.

Admit right away that it’s a cold call!

You’ll always have people who say, “No, I don’t take cold calls”.

If you admit it, then you’re on a level playing field. They know what they’re walking into; it breaks the tension. 

For this reason, Brad opens with the following:

“Hey, it’s Brad from Cognism. I realise I’ve caught you out of the blue, do you have 30 seconds for me to explain?”

He follows this with a hook, usually in the form of a ‘typically’ statement. Like this:

“Typically, when I speak with heads of sales, they might tell me they’re frustrated. They’ve got the tech, and they’re just not speaking to as many decision-makers as they could be.”

Then he follows up with a few common pain points. He'll throw them back to the sales leader and say:

“I don’t suppose any of those resonate?”

Dave validated this approach:

“Hook them into the conversation by talking about the pain point you solve or the value you can add. Then you can open up a discussion.”


The body of the call is all about discovery

Ask question after question that’s relevant to their responses. 

The key here is active listening rather than a scripted list of questions.

Dave explained:

“This is where you need to uncover pains - challenges and goals specific to the prospect.”

What’s the biggest mistake SDRs make?

They only focus on features. Usually, it looks like this:

“Our product can do X, Y, Z - what do you think?”

With this, you’re not helping them. You’re just giving them a migraine!

So, what is the best way to get someone to understand the product’s value?

Instead of talking, ask questions. Having a curious mindset is the way forward. Brad said:

“If you’ve done everything well, they’ll think - why shouldn’t I have this meeting? They’re able to solve the problem we’ve spoken about.”


This is where you hook in the sales leader and get a meeting booked.

By now, you should know their pain points.

For Brad, this is the best way to close sales leaders:

“If I said that Cognism could solve those issues. Is there any reason you’d be closed off to looking at what we can do?”

It's a tricky question to say no to! 

But it's vital to get the tonality right. You must be assumptive and confident. 

What does that mean? 

Assume the sales leader wants the meeting.

It’s the difference between “would you like to book a meeting?” and “do you have your calendar in front of you?”

Want to polish your cold calling technique? 

Each month, we host cold calling live workshops on our Revenue Champions podcast.

Previous guests include Josh Braun, Ryan Reisert, Morgan J Ingram, and Dave Bentham.

Click 👇 to listen to some episodes.

Listen to Cold Calling Live!

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