After writing my first blog on sales automation, I thought I’d focus on another key element: calling. When people hear the word calling in the sales world, most of the time they’re probably dreading it as its normally telesales or cold calling that they're thinking about. But with HubSpot, you learn an entirely new process and in fact it’s not cold calling at all – it’s warm Sales Leads that you probably didn’t even know were there, approaching you!
Law of Averages
Over the last several weeks, I have been making a lot of calls, I’ve always believed in the law of averages for example, if you make 100 calls, expect to speak to and have 10 good conversations. Leading to the probability of creating 4-6 deals that result in 1-2 closing. You need a good CRM to manage the progress of each potential customer HERES THE ONE I USE.
Even I was reluctant to make this many calls thinking I’m going in with a new range of products and services, trying to have a high-level conversation with someone, who might just tell me to buzz off in less than 30 seconds into the call. However, there are several things I’ve learnt that help me introduce myself and make the call more meaningful and ultimately a potential sale. This, as I mentioned in my previous blog here: 'Sales Automation Tools for the New Age', came from attending HubSpots 'Pipeline Generation Boot Camp'. For anyone that wants a helping hand and a fast track to understanding the calling process, sales advice and just someone to learn from, this is the course for you.
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail!
I start my sales process by doing research into the target business. Working for a business growth company, it is vital you understand their business, who does what and essentially what could be suggested for them to do better. Once I’ve had a look at their website, their social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter etc – I then start to plan who I want to reach out to, to have the initial conversation. I will create a list of companies that match our business matrix and have looked at our content, interacted with us on social, downloaded our guides etc., then start calling.
For me personally, I find standing up, walking around (fortunately, I have a separate office that I can use to work and call and it’s spacious enough to walk around) helps me be more creative and think faster than just sitting down and slumping over my desk. Everyone has their own technique, but I would say make yourself as comfortable as you can because calling can get stressful sometimes, you might make 100 calls and speak to 100 gatekeepers one day, other days you might make 30 calls and have 10 conversations with the person you want.
I try and find a decision maker initially, but that’s not always easy so you can start with the management team and you or they can bring more people in as the conversation develops. From here, it’s ultimately your offering fitting the prospects needs, your sales skills and how you present yourself that will lead to closing a deal and growing your pipeline.
Building Your Sales Pipeline
Over these last few weeks I have been making calls and having some good conversations and my pipeline has grown. I’ve had some good conversations which remain in the sales pipeline, I’ve had one or two that have gone through our deals process but have led to nothing in the end, and most which are at the 'nurture by marketing' stage. The Quattro content team are able to use my notes and company research to ensure the marketing content is targeted specifically for nurturing those leads (read our post on 'Business Acquisition - Content Types for your sales leads' for more info). For me, being a new addition to the Quattro team, I just want to build a pipeline first, this will be my foundation for closing deals and it will just help me to keep track of everything.
Tips to Help You With Your Calls
For anyone who enjoys calling or likes to have a good conversation, I would say;
- Do your homework first. Show the client that you went that extra mile and are interested to see what they do, what kind of products or services they have, and what suggestions you have to help them. This will go a very long way in terms of building an initial relationship and securing further conversations.
- Be human and be natural. No one wants to be sold something on the first phone call and you certainly don’t want the conversation to be you talking and them just listening. The initial conversation is a friendly reach out to simply say "hey, I know your company, we help businesses like yours, I’ve taken a look and I have some tips and ideas to share with you.