Cold calling is still the most powerful tool for salespeople to acquire a new business with – if done right!
Yet, it is getting challenging for salespeople to stand out and get buyers attention as buyers are becoming increasingly immune to traditional sales outbound methods that are saturated and ineffective. Emails are getting deleted; cold calls are seen as an irritation and thus are ignored. As a result, many salespeople are missing quota and thus losing motivation which results in high employee turnover.
Let’s be honest here if you are in a very competitive market making B2B sales, emailing and cold calling are 2 of your most lethal weapons to generate new business. So why don’t we combine them?
In this article, I will not teach you how to cold call or write an email (you probably master it already after reading our blog). Instead, I will show you handy sales hack that will help you engage with almost any prospect in a very pleasant, predictable and efficient way which will result in closing more deals and keep you or your sales reps motivated while doing so.
Here is the “magic” formula:
Personalized email + email tracking tool + follow up call = 30% more sales (aka the SMART CALL)
Why is smart calling SMART?
In contrast to cold calls that demand a high number of dials, entail a risk of social rejection and anxiety that many salespeople cannot cope with, smart calling drastically reduces all those things and empowers you with valuable data to help you sell better.
Let’s start analyzing each ingredient and how it will help you to maximize the smart call approach:
- Personalized email: Personalized emails have been proven to be the most effective way to get a response from a prospect. In contrast to email blasts that are ineffective and being ignored or worse ending up in spam folders, a personalized email, on the other hand, will show your prospects that you have done your research about them and their company and have something valuable to share that will benefit their business.
- Email tracking tool: Using an excellent email tracking tool like Yesware, Insidesales.com or HubSpot enables you to see what happens to your emails after they are open – all in real time. In other words, a salesperson has much more visibility and data on each prospect, their level of interest and interaction with an email or attached presentation. Insights such as how many times an email was open, what links are clicked on and how often was the attached PDF or PPT viewed and even what pages your prospect spent most time viewing. These are all valuable indicators whatever a prospect is engaged with your email and interested in your value.
“The real-time data received from the email tracking tool will help us to craft a laser targeted follow up call”
- Follow Up call: After seeing the level of prospect’s engagement with your email, craft a personalized pitch minutes before your call (or use a premade template). The idea here is to follow up when they are exposed to your value proposition. Having all this data helps you to craft a highly tailored follow-up call that results in a smooth, more productive and engaged sales conversation.
Let’s start with the smart call hack
First, let’s look at some prospect email engagement levels to better understand their level of interest and how to follow accordingly.
Low level of interest – Email has been open once or twice but no response (within 24 hours since you sent the email).
What does it tell us? There are a couple of reason why a highly personalized email didn’t get a reply. Let’s look at the most common ones:
– Your prospect is on holidays – when your email is open your tracking tool shows you the location of your prospect.
How to verify this? If you see that your email was open from Hawaii but your prospect’s office is in LA – Follow up again in a week.
– Your prospect is on the way to work and opened your email on his phone to have a quick glance or he is checking it after working hours.
How to verify this? Always check the current time in your prospects country. For example, if you’re located in Europe and you sent an email at 09:00 AM to a prospect who is in LA and your email was immediately opened, he was probably checking it on his iPhone while laying on the bed and thus didn’t reply – follow up in 2 days during local working time.
– Your prospect is not the right person – if your email was opened only ones within 48 hours than you probably reached out to the wrong person. Read our blog on how to find the right sales prospect via LinkedIn – Follow up in 2 days and kindly ask to direct you to the relevant one.
– Your email didn’t catch the prospect’s attention (was not personalized enough/ your value was not clear enough) and as a result, it has probably landed in a spam folder, or your subject line was not good enough and was deleted.
How to verify this? you didn’t get any notification from your email tracking tool that your email was open (within 48 hours) – Read this post from Luca Mastrorocco about how to write great subject lines. Use LinkedIn to reach out and apply social selling methods.
Medium Level of Interest – there are a couple of scenarios that signal prospect’s medium interest level that will help you to get an idea of what approach to use for your call. Let’s look at the most common ones:
- The email was open three times or more within the first 24 hours, but no links were clicked on.
- The email was open three times or more within the first 12 hours + a link is clicked or/, and the prospect viewed your attached presentation.
In both cases, your prospect is either interested but very busy or semi-interested in your value but don’t see the whole picture yet (how will it directly benefit his organization).
This is the perfect time to follow up with the call and elaborate on your value and how will it help him to do X,Y, Z. Relay as much possible on signals received from the prospect’s interaction level with your email. If your email has external links, look at how many times the prospect clicked on them, was he checking your LinkedIn profile or your company’s website? How many slides he was viewing on your attached presentation and what pages he found most interesting (you can actually see time spent on each slide)?
Time to craft the following call (aka the smart call)
With medium interest level, I recommend calling the prospect 24 hours after he opened your email.
If your email has few views without any further action (scenario 1), follow up with a more generic call such as:
Here is Arvin from (company name), I sent you an email yesterday and just wanted to quickly follow up with you to see if you have any questions? The reason I’m calling is that we’ve been working with many similar companies like (name some competitors) and I would like to see if we could also be a great fit for you and help you to achieve X and Y, do you have 10 minutes?
If there was a bit more “action” by the prospect (scenario 2), you could use a bit more tailored approach. For example, if you notice that your potential buyer was spending most of his time viewing slide 3, 4 (case studies) and 8 (current clients your company is working with) then you can focus your call on highlighting the great value similar companies are gaining by using your solution/service and, as a result, how you see an excellent opportunity to deliver same value to your prospect.
Here is my follow up example:
Here is Arvin from (company name), I sent you an email yesterday and just wanted to quickly follow up with and see if you have some questions regarding it. We’ve been helping companies like (mention some big competitors from slide 3 and 4) to increase/decrease X by Y% so it would be natural for us to approach you too and see if we can also be a great fit, do you have 10 minutes?”
High level of interest – Your prospect is checking your email each hour and you get constant engagement notification from your email tracking tool. You caught the prospects attention and your email tool “tells” you that your email is “on fire.” Now you won’t bore him with old information, and you can quickly call him to fill in any gaps and close the deal or, at least, set time for a sale call/product demo.
With smart calls, you and your sales reps are more empowered, confident, motivated and efficient. Knowledge is power and data doesn’t lie! You’re empowered because you can segment your prospects interest into different levels and confidently follow up with a consultative approach eliminating being salesy and annoying.
You’re creative and thus motivated because you’re constantly using your brain to stimulate creativity in each step of the smart call process. You’re efficient because you’re saving valuable time by engaging only with prospects that are already exposed to your pitch/ USP and demonstrated some level of interest in it which helps you to close more deals.
Go ahead and try smart calling and let me know what your thoughts on this post by commenting below?