October 15, 2020
Does the idea of cold calling make your blood run cold? 😱
When you think of cold calls, do you think of guys in smoke filled-rooms, making promises they have no intention of keeping?
Cold calling gets a bad rap.
And it's easy to see why. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a crappy cold call, you know how frustrating it can be. Maybe you think that email is better than cold calling, so you've thrown in the towel?
The truth is cold calling still works, and it doesn't have to be sleazy.
In fact, 69% of buyers have accepted phone calls from new providers in the last 12 months, making phone calls one of the most effective methods for cold calling — but only if you do it right.
Here's the thing — 57% of C-level and VP buyers prefer to be contacted by phone. You aren't bugging most people when you call; they want to hear from you.
If you’re ready to learn how to create a cold calling script for SaaS that actually works, you’re in the right place!
But there's one caveat — this is less of a script and more of a guide.
Why? Because successful cold calling is about relationships — and you can't build a relationship when you're reading a script.
That said, there are some benefits of having a script for SaaS sales. It gives you confidence because you won't worry about forgetting an important part of your call.
Our advice? Read this article and make notes. Use it as a guide; customise our script to fit your business and your audience.
Start scrolling to get some top cold calling tips! 👇
A smooth introduction to your outbound sales call is the most crucial step.
If your introduction flops, you won't get past the first few seconds. Keep this brief, but try to generate a bit of curiosity about who you are and what you do.
Keep it simple with something like this:
"Hey <name>, this is <your name> with <company>. How’s your day going?"
It's nothing fancy; it gets the conversation started. But you can get a bit more creative. How about...
"Hey <name>, this is <your name> with <company>. Do you have three minutes to talk about <the core benefit of your SaaS solution>?"
That three minutes part? It's crucial.
Why? Because most people don't want to get stuck on the phone with a pushy salesperson for an hour — especially when they should be focused on preparing for a meeting or answering emails.
By leading with the three minutes, you’re reassuring the prospect that you aren't going to take up too much of their time.
You've already promised to keep it short and sweet, so there's no reason to beat around the bush.
Tell your prospect how you can help them do something better. Not what your tool does — how it makes their lives easier or their business better.
Ideally, you already have a decent idea of what type of challenges they face — either by researching them on LinkedIn, reading their blog, or digging into other content they've produced.
If not, lead with a stat and then talk about how your tool or service solves that issue.
"So I noticed your company is struggling with <challenge>. I'd love to help you out by <how you solve that issue.>"
"We've found that 89% of SMBs are struggling with <x,y,z>, which is why we want to help you <solve a specific problem> by <how your tool helps>."
Here's another reason why true scripts don't work — your call should be a conversation.
You need to adjust your pitch, your tone, even your questions to each specific call. Otherwise, you'll sound like a commercial.
Ask open-ended questions that require more than just a yes or no answer. This helps get the prospect talking — which creates a bond and gives you more information about their challenges, which you can use to personalise your pitch.
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
The best open-ended questions start with who, what, or how and keep the conversation going.
Ideally, the final step is the close — they’re so amazed by your product or service that they’re ready to sign on the dotted line.
In reality, though?
It's usually not quite so simple. Which is why you need to make it clear exactly what the next steps are. Here are a few examples:
"Great, I'm glad to hear this will help you solve a problem. I can get you set up for a free trial so you can start seeing results today."
"I'd love to schedule a demo so I can show your team more about how we can help. How’s next Tuesday?"
Or, if they aren't ready to commit quite yet, you can try:
"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?"
Be clear about what the next step is — whether that’s signing a contract, presenting a demo, or providing them with more information.
Get some more cold calling tips from Cognism's SaaS sales team! Watch our sales training video below.
If you're still doing cold calling like it's 2005, you might as well quit now. The truth is, too much has changed in the last few decades for older strategies to work.
Which is why we’ve put together three of the best cold calling tips for SaaS teams who want to make more sales.
Traditional B2B sales tips often say you have five to ten minutes to make your case — I'd argue you have much less.
Most people don't want to be on the phone, they want to be focusing on their work (or maybe playing Candy Crush on their phone!)
You have to hook them fast.
The best way to do that is to make sure you know who you’re talking to, before you ever pick up the phone.
So, how do you do this?
Hit up LinkedIn and view the prospect’s profile. Learn who they are, what type of content they share or even write. Are they into anything like cars or sustainable gardening? Use a lead generation tool to see if anyone at their company has visited your website, and find out what pages they visited.
This information will give you the insider knowledge you need to build an actual connection.
You'll need to solve customer pain points to close the deal. So, what do you do when your prospect has an objection? Here are a few ways to overcome them.
"Sure, send me an email."
If the prospect says this, ask a basic question to qualify them. If you can keep them on the phone, you might not need to send an email at all.
"I'd love to but so I know exactly what to include in my email, can you tell me <who your target audience is, etc."
"I don't have time."
Say to them:
"No problem, when is the best time to schedule a quick, two minute conversation? I want to see if our tool is a good fit for the challenges you have before I take up any more of your time."
This lets them know you only need a few minutes, and they might just stay on the phone once they realise you'll be quick. Try not to be overly pushy — if they need to go, offer to follow up another time.
"I can't make a decision right now (or I need to talk to my boss, board, etc.)"
Don't let them off the hook — find out when the meeting is, who will be involved, or what they are worried about
Entrepreneurs often struggle with cold calling. Maybe you hate calling people or you don't like feeling pushy. The feeling of rejection stings, and feeling like a nuisance sucks.
So, try this.
Instead of setting sales goals, or even a goal for the number of calls you want to make, set a goal for the number of rejections you want to get in a day or week.
Make a spreadsheet, draw a pie chart on a poster board; whatever makes you feel motivated.
Each time you get rejected, mark the occasion. Celebrate it — you are one step closer to your goal.
Overtime, those rejections will start to sting a bit less, and you'll see your sales numbers start going up.
Cold calling is not dead, and anyone who says otherwise is just bad at it. There is no one size fits all script for selling in SaaS — but the outline above will help you create a customised script of your own.
Did you know that Cognism has published an eBook for SaaS sales teams? It’s a complete manual for the 21st century salesperson - including more cold calling scripts, outbound email templates and social selling tips!
Download The Outbound Prospecting Playbook today! Click below. 👇
Anna Crowe is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Head of Content at Leadfeeder. Over the last 10+ years, Anna has successfully been running her own SEO and content agency working with brands like Moz, Kissmetrics, Dollar Thrifty Rental, Hearst Magazine, Mailboat Records, Philip Morris International, Bloomin' Brands, & many more. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).