Your Outbound Sales Reps have a tough job to do every day. They have to call complete strangers and convince them that they want – no, need – your product, and help fill the sales pipeline. This can be a daunting task for some reps, who may be discouraged by the frequent rejection they face from prospects. But instead of managing a team that comes into work each day dreading to make calls, you can inspire them to do more.
Flip the script and help your team find ways to have fun on prospecting sales calls instead!
1. Don’t be so serious
Sometimes, the best sales prospecting technique isn’t a business-focused, by-the-book approach. Instead, encourage your team to catch prospects off guard by joking around and keeping things light at the start of a call. It’s important to remember that many of the people your reps are targeting are being pitched to day in and day out, which can be boring and monotonous. Why would they want to listen to your rep, out of everyone that calls?
If your reps can make the person on the other end of the line laugh or smile briefly, then they’ll be more willing to listen to a pitch. And if reps remain comfortable and relaxed, rather than treating each phone call like a battle, it will also make the prospect more receptive to learning about your product.
Our Outbound Sales Team here at InsightSquared had a few suggestions:
- Admit your mistakes. If you tell someone to have a good weekend on a Tuesday and then laugh about it with them, it creates a connection.
- Find common ground. If the lead is located nearby or across the country, talk about your favorite sports team or joke about the terrible weather.
- Be aware of the situation. Sometimes you really do call someone right before a meeting. Sympathize with how busy their schedule is and promise to call back later.
2. Make it a game
Reps only have 30 seconds, at most, to make a pitch and convince a prospect to listen, rather than hang up the phone. This means your team has to focus on researching good prospects, and then tailor each pitch specifically to the customer’s industry or market. But good research alone isn’t enough – reps also need to relax and sound like a person rather than an impersonal pitch.
Try treating every sales call like a game. Make it a challenge for reps to make the pitch better and better each time, to test new and creative approaches and discard those that don’t work. Reps can count small victories if they establish a connection with the person on the other end of the line. If reps can explain your product’s value simply and clearly, a promising lead will let out an audible sigh or gasp on the phone because your product offers a real solution to their problems. That’s not just a lead, but a highly-qualified lead that could turn into a deal for your company.
3. Ignore the negativity
Outbound prospecting isn’t always fun and games, unfortunately. There’s a reason why the job historically has a high rate of turnover at most companies. It can be extremely difficult to call prospects every day who are annoyed, angry or hostile toward calls. But make sure your team never gives up! This job is vital to your company, and there are ways to be the best each day.
- Stay positive. Remind your team that any anger or annoyance directed at them isn’t personal. Just hang up and move onto the next call.
- Keep energy levels up. Whether a rep needs coffee or a snack, they have to maintain high energy for each and every call.
- Focus on being helpful. If reps can find a real way to help each prospect, they will be more successful in finding leads.
- Take breaks throughout the day. Encourage your team members to take a walk or chat with coworkers, then go back to making calls refreshed and with a clear head.
- Don’t be discouraged. This is a tough job. Your team has to go through a lot of rejection, but remind them that they will find a great customer, maybe on the next call.
Sales prospecting doesn’t have to be one of the toughest jobs in your office. Talk to your Outbound Sales Reps and give them the encouragement they need to experiment with making jokes or trying a different kind of sales pitch. This freedom will help your team start to enjoy their job more and have more fun on prospecting calls every day.