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Webinar recap - Cold calling: a 2020 masterclass

Cold calling has been documented since 1873, and as much as technology has progressed, it remains a fundamental sales skill. 

Cold calling sales professionals will be familiar with rejection, which can be off-putting. But, like a chef’s knife, cold calling can be your most reliable just have to know how to use it!

In our recent webinar: ‘Cold calling: a 2020 masterclass’, Cognism’s Inside Sales Director, David Bentham, asked a panel of seasoned sales veterans for their thoughts. To hear more from:

Scroll 👇! 

Key takeaways

1 - Cold calling scripts: friend or foe?

When presented with the idea of building an ultimate cold calling script, the participants reacted unanimously. 

“As far as scripts go, I prefer more of a framework approach. We run a personalised approach here at Gong. It shouldn’t sound like you could pick up the phone and say the same thing to everyone.” - Madison Gress

Madison’s findings here are based on Gong’s analysis of over 3 million sales calls. 

Alex Olley and Evie Crossland both shared Madison's sentiment. Alex has a 7-step sales strategy for his calls, allowing him to keep a structure. Evie believes that scripts limit your ability to “build a rapport and mirror their personality.”

When asked how he’s able to improvise on the phone, Alex replied: 

“You’ve got to be prepared on every call for someone to pick up. There’s no excuse.” 

Before any cold call, Alex will learn 3 things about the prospect, which he’ll then log. If they don’t pick up, the information will still be there next time.


2 - Build a laser-targeted contact list

The first thing any sales team needs before they start hitting the phones is a great list of contacts. Having access to great leads is a sure-fire way to keep motivated

“Obviously we are very lucky at Cognism because we have all of the leads we need” - Evangeline Crossland

By using Cognism’s B2B lead generation platform, you can access up to 16 data points on over 400 million profiles. Once you’ve accessed them, the next step is narrowing down your search to create a targeted contact list.

Alex Olley usually targets leads who have recently changed company, in industries that are currently doing well.

“The elephant in the room right now is which industries you should be looking at. At the moment we look at job changes, these people want to make their mark. We also look at funding as a key trigger.” - Alex Olley

Our advice is that you should consider people that you’ve had success with recently, then run a Cognism search to find similar leads. Cognism also provides B2B direct dials, but if you’re unable to find one, Evie has a great trick for finding them!

“You’re never going to get a direct dial for everyone in the world. If I don’t have one, I put a lot of emphasis on other ways I could reach out to someone. It’s about being a little bit more creative with your technical outreach to get their attention, then igniting a situation in which you can say, shall we jump on a call later? Do you have a number I could contact you on?”


3 - Proactively accelerate your growth

Interestingly, while all of the panellists have achieved excellent results, their advice for personal growth varied.

Alex Olley placed great emphasis on the importance of understanding your customer.

“Hang out where your buyers hang out. Attend the webinars they attend, read the things they read. This will help you to understand the person you’re speaking to.”

He was also keen to stress the importance of sharing your achievements with the rest of your team.

“From a management point of view, you need to create an environment of sharing. You need to have a Slack channel where you share all of the wins. Develop together, buddy up.”

Madison Gress, true to her interest in B2B data and analytics, cited the importance of setting specific goals and working towards them.

“Get really specific about your personal goals and where you see yourself down the line. There’s always so much more to learn about your industry, your product, cold calling. Set really specific metrics, and as you look towards your future, look at what you need to be doing to take the next step.”

Evangeline Crossland believes that development comes from understanding and confronting your weaknesses.

“The minute you realise that you’re not the finished product, you can start to grow. Nobody will ever know everything there is to know about sales. We do a lot of training at Cognism and even though I’m not a new starter, I always learn something new. It’s so important to consistently want to improve yourself. There’s always room to grow. If you understand that you will never be stationary, you will consistently grow.”


4 - Cold calling top tips

The panellists were asked to provide a final piece of advice for anyone wanting to up their cold calling game. 

“Don’t overcomplicate it. The more you think about it, the more you will get yourself worked up.” - Evangeline Crossland

“The best advice I was ever given is very simple. Surround yourself with the smartest people you can. If you know who the top-performing rep is, find out what they are doing and do it better than them. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” - Alex Olley

“One good thing to remember. We don’t all enjoy cold calling, so make yourself do it anyway and get over the hump and fear. Set yourself a goal and do it.” - Madison Gress


Listen to the webinar

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to hear about the following topics:

  • How to speak to gatekeepers.
  • The value of taking your time on sales calls.
  • How to get yourself mentally prepared for cold calling (featuring a particularly interesting technique from Alex Olley!).
  • How to keep someone on the phone for longer.
  • Leaving voicemails.
  • How to increase the attendance of your booked calls.

Simply click the button below to listen to the full version!

Listen to the full webinar

Get access to great B2B data

As mentioned by the panellists, having access to high-quality data will make the cold calling process far more fruitful and enjoyable.

Cognism’s B2B sales solution can provide you with high-quality direct dials, email addresses, mailing addresses, and far more. These can all be pushed directly into your CRM, for a truly seamless prospecting experience.

To see if this solution could work for you, speak to one of our experts. Click the button below to book a demo today!

Request your demo now

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