01 Jun Don’t forget your P’s and Q’s in B2B sales calling
As a C-level exec, business unit lead, or a senior sales and marketing director, you accept the fact that lead generation counts for very little if it does not lead to conversions. In order to achieve results though telephone etiquette has never been more important. Today, an approach centered on ‘polite persistence’ should be high on the agenda at all times in B2B sales. While embracing new technology to facilitate internal and external communication is a key step of modernising your company, the telephone is still an immensely successful tool – when used correctly.
B2B sales calls can be made through traditional lines or VoIP technology. Either way, valuing the importance of patience, persistence, and professionalism throughout every stage is crucial.
Why sales calls?
In a world where communication and correspondence can be facilitated through email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Slack, social media, and a host of other channels, it is easy to assume that telephone communication is outdated. The statistics suggest otherwise:
- In the UK, 78% of people prefer speaking to a real human. Telephone is preferred.
- One in five buyers want to speak with a salesperson during the Awareness phase.
- Up to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
- 86% of telephone communication is determined by tone rather than words.
- Over 41% of salespeople state that telephone calls are the most valuable.
Sales calls, particularly in the field of B2B sales is one of the best options available. It opens a two-way conversation while allowing the salesperson to truly sell the value of the company and what the products or services can achieve specifically for the client.
The issues with sales calls
Telephone sales are a great way to engage decision makers. However, many salespeople give up after one attempt despite the fact it requires several to get through to the decision maker.
Moreover, in a world where privacy restrictions have reduced the impact of cold communications, decision-makers often want to hear from companies that they’ve discovered themselves. In fact, 63% of sale representatives state that cold calling is the worst part of their jobs.
The solution is polite persistence
Where possible, dropping or reducing cold calls to focus on gathering intelligence to use in whatever approach is used is the first step to greater success. However, when it comes to making calls, your sales team should be supported by the best tools. Promoting a good link between marketing and sales can ensure that salespeople enter those interactions with the information needed to provide a personalised service – which is something 65% of business decision-makers actively want.
Crucially, you must ensure that the sales team are persistent and polite at all times. The following steps will help;
- When dialling out, start every call by announcing your name, company name, and reason for the call – clearly!
- Ask if it is convenient to talk. After all you are interrupting somebody’s day. In today’s hectic world, people appreciate a bit of courtesy.
- Be honest with how much time it will take and, if now isn’t a convenient time try to find an alternative for later.
- Use active listening to discern if this is a good time or if you are interrupting something
- Following a script can be easily spotted and that is why it is important to personalise your proposition to fit the role or known issues to ensure a good call or definite follow up call
Finally, all B2B business and sales leaders must accept that times have changed and teams may be suffering from sales call reluctance. When this is the case, Incognate is here to help. Get in touch to find out more.