To be successful in B2B sales, it’s helpful to approach your calling campaigns strategically. There are many different B2B sales goals and each will benefit from a different type of outreach in your market.
Trying to accomplish too many things in a single call (or having no objective at all) are two of the biggest ways to sink your sales prospecting campaign.
Before you call, set lead generation goals
Prior to the launch of your outbound calling campaign, follow this process:
- Determine your desired outcome. Having a clear objective in mind will focus your conversation and use your B2B prospect or customer’s time wisely.
- Craft a call guide to support this goal. A call guide keeps business development reps on track. It lists the top questions you want to address as well as key points of information to share.
- Set up your process and metrics. Once you accomplish your goal, what happens next? If you need to track contact information, hand off a lead or follow up, put that plan in place before calling begins.
- Train your inside sales team. Finally, brief your callers on campaign objectives and their role. Provide ample time for practice, questions and training.
Three smart B2B outbound calling goals
Here are a three common B2B calling campaign goals and our recommendations to guide your conversations towards the desired outcomes.
Improve your sales database
At the very top of the sales funnel is one of the most important steps in the entire B2B sales process: building an accurate sales database. Your database serves as the source for future outbound calling, email campaigns and other marketing and sales efforts. B2B data decays rapidly as individuals change jobs, mergers and acquisitions occur and company needs change. That makes database and list maintenance a priority. It’s also an important project when you purchase a new list, target a new audience or enter a new market.
To achieve this goal, keep your conversation short and focus on obtaining only the most relevant information, such as names, email addresses and telephone numbers for B2B decision-makers. Sometimes, you can accomplish accurate sales data without even speaking to a decision-maker, but rather a colleague or administrative professional.
Profile prospects and qualify leads
In a perfect world, every inquiry from your website, content marketing programs, email campaigns, events and other sources would turn into an immediate sale. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works for most B2B companies. That makes qualifying leads and profiling prospects an important outbound calling goal.
Some leads will turn into sales right away; others will convert within a few months if properly nurtured. A third category will never be a good fit and waste your sales team’s valuable time if they chase these unqualified prospects. The purpose of a lead qualification campaign is to sort and prioritize your prospects so you can apply the right resources at each stage and generate sales efficiently.
For these calls, business development representatives should focus on gathering complete contact information and asking questions specific to your industry, such as current challenges, buying timeframes, purchasing authority and competitive systems in use. With this data you can keep your sales pipeline full with a steady flow of qualified leads, and eliminate unqualified prospects from your sales and marketing efforts.
Set sales appointments
Sales appointments are the lifeblood of the B2B sales process. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, sales appointments are one of the only ways to ensure dedicated time and attention with a qualified prospect. However, the process of getting an appointment on a decision-maker’s calendar can be time-consuming and likely not the best use of your field sales or distributors’ skills.
For B2B appointment-setting calls, first determine which stage of the sales funnel is appropriate for setting sales appointments. This will maximize your sales team’s time. Typically, appointments help with more in-depth discussions, product demonstrations or pricing and contract negotiations—activities that occur well into the B2B sales funnel. Next, agree on the appointment format, whether it’s a call, a virtual meeting or a face-to-face visit. Finally, get access to your sales team’s calendars so you can block confirmed meetings directly on their schedules.
Then, craft outbound calling messages that focus on the questions and information gathering that will determine whether the prospect merits a sales appointment. Be sure to speak with decision-makers (rather than gatekeepers or influencers) when making these critical calls. It’s also smart to send a follow-up email confirming the date, time and meeting details of the appointment.
Starting your outbound calling campaigns with clear B2B sales goals will improve your efficiency and keep callers on track. Here are even more types of sales goals where outbound calling can help.