Hate cold calling new sales prospects? You’re definitely not alone. Picking up the phone and trying to engage a new decision-maker in conversation is not for everyone. But, effective business development techniques—like outbound calling—are vital to generating qualified leads and keeping your B2B or medtech company’s sales pipeline filled.
At Volkart May, we make approximately one million sales and lead generation calls each year. And, we’ve been doing it for over 30 years. We understand the best practices and the sales personalities that make lead generation cold calling a success.
3 ways to improve your B2B cold calling
Here the are elements on our “must have” list—the items we look for before we make our first outbound dial.
1. Well-trained business development reps
People are the heart and soul of cold calling (and any other inside sales activity). The right team of outbound callers will make a noticeable difference in your sales prospecting results. Too often, cold calls are off-putting, with robot-like telemarketers reading scripts and pushing products. Truly effective sales prospecting calls focus on dialogue, listening and establishing genuine rapport.
Here at Volkart May, we hire individuals who are curious, outgoing, energetic and tenacious. Then, we create a culture that promotes professionalism, rewards hard work and values authenticity. Our processes and training focus on the power of human conversation and what it takes to engage with decision-makers at all levels of an organization.
2. Clear sales prospecting goals
Documented goals are the second “must have” for effective cold calling. Few business development reps can succeed without a clear target to strive for. Help your inside sales team thrive by creating a game plan for their cold calling efforts.
Envision what “success” looks like for the program as a whole, then break those numbers down by individual caller and by time period (day, week and month). Be sure to include metrics beyond closed sales or leads generated, because not every call will yield a conversion right away.
It’s important to see progress on an ongoing basis. Consider opt-in emails gathered, contact information updated, “future interest” calls booked and even prospects you can rule out completely as not qualified for your product or service. Every interaction provides some value for your brand.
3. Intelligence on your target audience
A final ingredient to improve your cold calling results is adequate direction on your target audience.
- Who are your business development reps calling?
- What pain points or challenges do they have?
- Why do they need your product or service?
- How can you help them?
This sounds basic but too often, B2B and medtech companies assume the sales team either knows this information already, or will gather it during the initial cold call.
Sales prospecting calls can be a heavy lift for the business development team; arming them with personas, insights and facts about your solution help streamline the conversations. It enables the outbound caller to prepare in advance, to think about probing questions to ask—and more importantly—ways to counter potential objections.
Here at Volkart May, we work collaboratively with our clients to learn all we can about your target market, then develop a call guide to capture the most important insights for the sales team on the phones. Training sessions and role play improve our results even more.
What about a perfect prospect list?
One thing you won’t see among our must haves? The perfect prospect list. That’s because there is no such thing.
Much of the purpose of cold calling is to polish up and improve a medtech or B2B prospect list. Every completed call (even those that don’t reach a decision-maker) has the potential to yield important market intelligence that can build a stronger list for future marketing campaigns, emails and additional sales calls.
Your cold calling sales team needs the best information you can provide, and at a minimum that should include company names, addresses and basic phone numbers. Beyond that, sales prospecting calls can achieve multiple objectives during a single conversation. That includes capturing decision-maker names and titles, obtaining opt-in email addresses and verifying details you already have on file.
Outsource cold calling to generate qualified leads
No matter how good your internal sales team is at cold calling, there may be times when you need additional resources for sales prospecting and outbound calling. Outsourcing to inside sales solutions like Volkart May can supplement your internal team and add more bandwidth to your efforts.
Our outsourcing and lead generation programs help medtech and B2B companies to:
- Generate more qualified leads
- Expand quickly to new markets or sales territories
- Build demand for new products or services
- Keep internal sales reps focused on closing deals
Interested in learning more? Contact us to discuss your project and listen to actual cold calls with B2B and healthcare decision-makers.