With the rise of new sales and marketing strategies, enterprises of all sizes are losing focus on testing different methods to increase their sales. Although newer sales strategies and tools are exciting to try, telesales remains one of the most effective ways to close sales and generate revenue for businesses. This is especially true when for high ticket products and services.
The average telesales teams within companies today are no different from the infamous spam telemarketers. They often use lists and contact information that are outdated and end up calling the wrong prospects with a poor sales script.
This can lead to your business becoming one of the 18,000 complaints filed to the Federal Trade Commission each year.
A well-crafted telesales strategy puts the best telesales practices to use and can take your business to the next level. Here are just a few of the stats around how effective telesales can be when implemented correctly:
- 82% of buyers say they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with sales cold calls.
- 57% of C-level buyers prefer that salespeople call them
- 69% of buyers accepted a call from new salespeople in the past 12 months
These stats exhibit that when telesales is done properly, prospects are open and welcome to receive pitches. In this post, we will cover the best tools and tips to take your telesales operation to the next level. Here are some of the best tips you can start incorporating into your telesales strategy now:
How to improve telesales performance and increase close rates
Table of contents:
- Set clear goals and OKRs
- Qualify your prospects
- Personalized script and pitch
- Leverage Screen sharing
- Use a powerful CRM system
- An authoritative tone
- A concise and compelling opener
- Incentive program
- Note common objections and craft a response
- Pre-recorded voicemails
1. Set clear goals and OKRs
The first step in improving the performance of your telesales team is to set clear goals and OKRs. The success or failure of your team will be dictated by the specific and measurable goals you set as a sales leader. Many sales teams can set ambitious goals and metrics and lose significant morale when the teams fall short. You should set realistic targets based on your team’s market, experience and proposition.
The goals you set for your team should be concise, measurable and assessed on a regular basis. An example goal your telesales team can set can be a specific revenue number or amount of new customers onboarded. To get to that goal, the daily and weekly OKRs for each salesperson should be clearly stated. This will allow you to analyze how the sales team performed in a given time period and what improvements need to be made to improve the next sales cycle.
2. Qualify your prospects
One of the most fatal mistakes that telesales teams make is not qualifying prospects. Making this mistake will lead to wasted time and money for your entire telesales team.
When qualifying your prospect, you should ask a few questions:
- Does the prospect have a problem that your business solves?
- Does the prospect have the budget for your services?
- Are you talking to a decision-maker?
You need to answer yes to all three of these questions in order to have a qualified prospect. When you find a prospect who is a decision-maker, has a pain point you can address and has the budget to do so, you’ve reached your ideal customer.
3. Personalize your sales script and pitch
The sales script you use can have a huge impact on how your telesales campaign performs. The modern customer, especially a B2B customer, has heard the majority of sales scripts and pitches and will likely ignore them. This is why it’s important to do research on your leads to ensure that the call is personal and relevant for the customer. The better you can write and personalize your pitch, the better your prospect will respond to you.
In your sales pitch, you should state your name and where you’re calling from, the reason for the call and your knowledge of the customer and their pain points. Taking simple steps to personalize this information will indicate to the customer you’ve done your research and this will allow you to move forward with the call. You can continue to use personalization in your follow-up calls to build rapport with your customer and eventually close the sale.
4. Leverage screen sharing
There are many software programs you can use to empower your telesales teams, but screen sharing is one of the most effective. More specifically, you’ll need a screen sharing tool for telesales like CrankWheel that allows you to share your screen instantly without the prospect having to download anything.
With CrankWheel, there are no installations or setups, you can display your screen with your sales team or prospects within seconds. This enables you to conduct instant demos, phone conferences and more in ten seconds or less. You can use CrankWheel for free here.
5. Use a powerful CRM solution
In addition to screen sharing, a CRM is a powerful tool you can add to your telesales tech stack. More specifically, you’ll need a CRM that focuses on telesales. A telesales CRM can amplify your productivity by allowing you to automatically log calls, record calls, transfer calls and some even allow in-call coaching by other sales reps.
The value of the CRM solution for your telesales team is that it helps you automate a lot of manual tasks and it provides analytics and insights into your campaigns. Your team needs to have a good CRM strategy to complement your sales strategy. Additionally, CRMs also allow integrations that can allow your sales team to do video conferencing, remote communications and more. You can track all of your KPIs directly on a CRM solution and collaborate with other sales reps in your team to reach overall goals.
6. Use an authoritative tone
One of the best soft skills you can start practicing in your telesales teams is using an authoritative tone. Since telesales is primarily done over the phone, the customer cannot see your body language and will rely mostly on your vocal tonality for a first impression. Even if you are confident in your pitch and product, the tone of your voice will dictate how the prospect perceives you.
Using an authoritative tone in your calls will help in creating a good first impression for your prospect. An authoritative tone doesn’t mean to have a loud voice or be demanding to the prospect; it means using the right volume for your voice, talking clearly and showing you’re knowledgeable about the customer. You can experiment with the pacing of your voice along with the volume to figure out which approach will allow you to sound the most authoritative and trustworthy.
7. Have a concise and compelling opener
In sales, your opener is crucial in letting your prospect know who you are and why they should listen to you. This is even more profound in telesales because prospects have little patience for phone calls. Starting with the generic “Hi my name is from X company” is a surefire way to get hung upon. It’s crucial to create a concise and compelling opener to capture the attention of the prospect and continue the sales call.
Some tips for your opener include:
- Connecting with the prospect: Ex. call them by their first name or congratulate them on a recent achievement they shared on LinkedIn
- Asking a question: Ex. A simple “how have you been” can get the conversation started and you can introduce yourself and your offer
- Experimenting with different strategies: There are many ways to approach your opener and experimenting with the different ways can help you nail down your best-performing openers. Some tactics you can use include:
- Appealing to emotion: Ex. “What’s the most frustrating part of growing your bottom line”
- Share a recent event from their company: Ex. “Congrats on the release of your new product, I had some ideas on how to improve it”
- Mentioning a mutual contact: Ex. “I just told Elon I was going to talk with you today, heard a lot of good things about you and your company”
8. Establish incentive program
In order to maximize the productivity of your sales team, it’s vital to incentivize them to reach specific goals and metrics. Disengagement in sales teams is one of the worst elements in telesales and can lead to underperformance by the entire team. Disengagement costs the economy roughly $400-$500 billion each year and sales reps can be one of the most costly groups of disengaged employees.
An incentive program is a remedy to disengagement and can boost the morale and productivity of the team tremendously. Incentive programs can be monetary or non-monetary and there are a variety of incentives you can use for your team. The most important element of having a robust incentive program is to make it personalized for your telesales team based on their specific wants and needs. As the team reaches bigger milestones, you can increase the value of the incentives for each salesperson.
9. Note common objections during sales calls and craft a response
As your telesales team starts doing a handful of calls with prospects, you’ll start to notice common objections that your ideal customer will have. These common objections can be derived from lack of need, lack of urgency, lack of budget and more. In order to close the sale, your team has to come up with a response for each common objection.
Some strategies that you can start using include:
- Actively listening to the prospect
- Asking follow-up questions
- Leveraging social proof from similar clients and validating their concerns
The better you can validate the objection and propose a solution with your services, the better you will be able to overcome objections.
10. Utilize pre-recorded voicemails
If you’re calling your target prospects within normal business hours, there’s a good chance they will not pick up and you’ll be sent to voicemail. In fact, almost 80% of all sales calls go directly to voicemail. Although many telesales reps know the importance of leaving a voicemail, the voicemails left are generally subpar. This is why using pre-recorded voicemails is a great strategy to get more calls back and close more prospects.
With pre-recorded voicemails, your team can record voicemails in batches. This removes the mental energy needed to think of a script and the name of the prospect each time a call is not answered. Many CRMs allow you to use features like voicemail drops to leave pre-recorded voicemails for your prospects.
Some tips to maximize the effectiveness of your pre-recorded voicemails include:
- Length between 20-30 seconds: Your voicemail should be concise and have the necessary information for your prospect to call back. Leaving long voicemails is inefficient and prospects may choose to ignore it altogether.
- Don’t sell: Since the voicemail is very brief, do not sell anything in your script. Make sure to give the prospect some context about the call to increase your chances of getting a callback.
- Don’t talk about failed attempts: In your voicemail, never make statements like “I’ve tried to reach you several times” or anything similar. The average person gets multiple robocalls and spam calls per day and will think you are the same.
11. Explore using SMS:
Using SMS messages can complement your telesales strategy and improve several KPIs for your sales campaign. Before using SMS, it’s important to note that it is completely an opt-in form of marketing. Do not scrape your contact’s phone numbers using a service and send them unsolicited text messages.
With SMS messaging, you can reach more customers in a personalized way at a very low cost. The vast majority of SMS messaging software and tools are very affordable and you can utilize their features to personalize each text message and qualify your prospects. To succeed with SMS messaging, you’ll need to maximize the number of prospects that opt-in and share their phone numbers with your business. You can acquire phone numbers with email opt-ins, Facebook chatbots, requesting information at checkout and more.
Bonus: Telesales training tips:
Most of the best salespeople aren’t born with a natural talent for sales. Some people are more outgoing than others and have an easier way to engage with strangers, even in cold calling.
Most sales are a numbers game, the more people you reach, the bigger the chance of calling the right people. But the same goes for telesales training. The more people you call, the more at ease you will feel hitting the dial button and carry on a conversation.
You will soon to be able to listen to your prospects and get a sense of their warmth towards the sale. Sometimes it’s better to hang up early and spend time on the next prospect.
Make notes of what is working in your approach and constantly try new approaches. Improve your opening until it’s perfect. And once it’s perfect, try to optimize it even further with small tweaks. You can find countless approaches online, use new ones once in a while but take them with a grain of salt and use your personal approach that you are comfortable with.
Read about our article on cold calling tips from over 30 sales experts.