During initial inside sales conversations—those that are very early in the sales funnel—it’s helpful for a business development representative (BDR) to have a set of guidelines. Following these proven best practices for B2B and medtech outbound calling will steer the conversation in the right direction and improve your results.
Call guides versus scripts
What is a sales calling guide? It’s different from a sales script, which includes what to say word-for-word. Scripts invoke the dreaded “telemarketing” mindset by turning your callers into rote readers—and turning off your audience.
Sales call guidelines, on the other hand, provide the step-by-step approach while still keeping the human personality in the conversation. Sales call guidelines allow each BDR or inside sales rep to speak freely and use their own words to convey the point. At the same time, call guidelines ensure that the conversation stays on track and uses everyone’s time efficiently.
Three best practices for BDRs
Here are three important best practices to include in your BDR team’s sales call guide:
1. Address specific challenges
It’s common for business development professionals (and less experienced marketers) to craft a broad sales message. This mistake occurs because the company wants to be “everything to everyone.” However, strong brands know this is impossible and results in a watered-down message that is unlikely to resonate with prospects.
Instead, tell a story that speaks directly to each market segment’s specific needs and pain points. When you produce the call guide, structure this section with examples for each important audience or market segment. This will help your outbound calling team match the message to the situation and improve your call conversion rates.
2. Get to the point
In medtech, B2B, tech or manufacturing, one of the most important things to keep in mind when conducting sales calls is that your prospects are incredibly busy people. If they are receptive to a conversation, make it worth their while and respect their time by being direct. Eliminate lengthy introductions or company background information. (The prospect can research your organization later, if they wish, or you can include that information in a follow-up email.) Above all, don’t waste time with filler dialogue.
Instead, focus on the prospect’s needs and ask questions that will determine whether or not they are a good fit for your solution. Cut right to the chase and try to understand their current way of operating, their role in the sales process and their day-to-day challenges. To support this step in a call guide, introduce a few qualifying and probing questions that BDRs can use to gather information and build rapport.
3. Allow for authentic dialogue
One of the biggest complaints about call center scripts is that sales representatives and BDRs sound like pre-programmed robots, rather than actual humans who can engage in a productive two-way dialogue. If this happens, your audience quickly checks out of the conversation (and may even hang up). Nothing leaves a worse impression for your brand.
A properly trained outbound caller should always have the freedom to conduct a genuine conversation. After all, people buy from people, not from companies. Establishing rapport and building relationships are critical to advancing leads and closing sales.
Part of this skill comes from a sales call guide, which might include tips for handling objections or positioning yourself as a trusted advisor. But, just as much comes from role-playing sessions that allow BDRs and outbound callers to get comfortable with their topic and audience so they can simultaneously get the job done—and be themselves.
Master the sales call guide
Creating sales call guidelines may take time, but it shows your medtech or B2B inside sales team that you’re serious about their efforts and value their results. Using the call guidelines in training and ongoing monitoring also takes the subjectivity out of performance measurement. It’s why we create and leverage an in-depth call guide, customized to each client, for all our engagements. Contact us to learn more.