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As popular as emails are for B2B communications, an enormous amount of business is still happening over the phone. Sales calls (including both phone and video call) specifically play a vital role in the B2B and SaaS buying process, ranging from cold calls, to booked demos, to ongoing communications to customize and close deals.
There truly is an art to a great sales call, but it’s also like a science, too. And in order to increase your win rate and close more deals, striking the balance between art and science and having the right tools, training, and resources in place can make a world of difference.
So, in this post, we will look at how you can set your team up for more wins by discussing how to make successful sales calls.
I know we’ve got a lot of readers seeing this headline and thinking “sales calls should accomplish sales.” That’s true. Sales are always the end goal.
That being said, you’re never going to actually drive many sales if you’re focused on trying to pigeon-hole customers into a specific product or plan right from the beginning and you start acting like you only want a commission.
Sales calls should, first and foremost, accomplish the following:
In order to be successful with a sales call, you need to understand who you’re selling to and what messaging you’re going to be using.
This doesn’t mean you need to stick to a script (though scripts can be helpful starting points), but it means you need to understand your ideal customer profile (ICP) and common needs, pain points, and motivations.
Make sure your sales team understands what buyer personas you’re most likely to send them. You can use our free persona template to map out your different audience segments and give your sales team something concrete and easy to understand.
Once you do this, it’s also important to determine what product messaging will be most effective. We’ve got a free product messaging template, too, for this exact purpose. This template will help you define exactly what messaging you want to use and how your sales team should position your products.
Keep in mind that consistency is important. Every lead won’t fit neatly into a persona, but having personas and product messaging in place acts as a strong guide that offers consistency to the user experience and some predictability for your sales team. Both can increase the success of sales calls.
Your product and your team does not exist in a standalone bubble. You might have an extraordinary social media management SaaS tool that can meet all of your customers’ needs… but so do ten other companies, each with similar offerings.
Helping customers to realize that your product best meets their needs compared to the competition is a crucial part of the sales process. This means investing in competitive intelligence.
You should understand:
Collect all of this information. In addition to doing detailed competitive analysis, make sure that you’re also asking existing customers why they chose to work with you instead of other competitors— that’s invaluable information you can focus on during future selling calls.
Once you have this information, create sales battle cards for your sales team. These battle cards should have all of the above information, comparing your business to competitors. It helps them to stay familiar with the competitors and their strategies so they can focus on selling your brand’s strongest assets.
Competitive intelligence data should be updated at least once every quarter, and your sales team should be asked to review them regularly.
A crucial part of sales enablement is ensuring that your sales team has the resources and content they need to do their job well.
This content may include:
You’ll often need content for various stages of the sales funnel, along with content for different industries, use cases, and personas.
Conduct a full sales content audit to see what you have, what you need, and what content needs to be updated. It’s possible that some content was never updated after a rebrand, or that you may have some sales content that needs to have its own unique version for different audience segments.
A vital part of sales enablement is choosing the right sales enablement tools.
In many cases, your sales team will need the following tools:
In addition to choosing the right sales tech stack, it’s imperative that you train your team on how to use it. The right processes and tech together will help your team like few other strategies will. You can learn more about finding the right tools in our Sales Enablement Tools Buyer’s Guide.
Sales call scripts can have pros and cons.
They’re useful when used as guiding tools because they can be used to train your sales team. Some team members prefer to have a reference for how a call should go, and having scripts in place gives them all the common talking points right off the bat. If scripts are written by sales managers— and optimized or altered as needed— they’re a great starting point.
You do want to be careful, however. Too-stiff scripts (and sticking to them religiously) can also hinder your team. I’ve personally seen sales people try to redirect conversions to get “back on script” instead of following the conversation where it needed to go. Scripts are almost better left to working like role play as practice and giving you key phrases that can be used at key points of the conversation, like when you’re ready to ask for the sale. No one should use them as a crutch.
Training is a big part of this. Train your staff with the sales scripts, and let your team members work on modifying their own as they see fit (within certain guidelines). In many cases, scripts should include the following:
Scripts should be available for different sales purposes, including:
Make sure that all of these scripts are readily available for your team at all times. Having them clearly labeled in a content management system like Content Camel is a good choice so they can pull up the script at a moment’s notice if needed.
Everyone knows that your sales team’s goal is to sell. That’s the ultimate goal.
But do many times, the goals and expectations are more complex than that. You may have goals like the following:
It’s essential to clearly define your goals and expectations. That way your sales team understands what they need to be focusing on, and it can help motivate them. Explain how performance will be measured (including what KPIs will be reviewed) and what it means for them.
If they surpass expectations, are they up for bonuses or extra commission? And if they fall beneath the quotas, what happens?
Make sure that the goals and expectations are realistic both short-term and long-term for individuals and the team overall. Allow your sales team to give feedback and ask for help if needed.
Training is the key to enabling your team to make successful sales calls. Without proper training, they’ll be left to figure out everything from how to close deals to what types of deals you can offer on their own.
Training should include educating your team on:
Regular, ongoing training is imperative. The following strategies are useful:
You’ll want to build a feedback mechanism as soon as possible so that your sales team can get the help they need when they need it.
This feedback structure should include:
Everyone needs to know what’s working and what’s not. You may discover that your sales taem is struggling because their sales tech stack is working against them, for example, or because they’re not getting the right kinds of leads.
As someone who worked in sales for a year and a half (and who has been on the receiving end of a large number of SaaS and B2B calls afterwards), I’ve seen plenty of common pitfalls that can cause a potential sale to go sideways.
These are the pitfalls that you should make sure you’re avoiding:
While the best way to have successful sales calls is to have strong, charismatic sales team members on one side of the phone, you need to make sure that your team has everything they need to get the job done. Even newer and less-experiences sales team members can be wildly successful and surpass their quotas with the right resources, tools, and training.
Above all else, make sure that your team has everything they need at the drop of the hat. This includes access to training and sales materials for quick review whenever they need them, which is why Content Camel has become a vital part of our clients’ sales enablement strategies. When all the training materials, sales documents, and even marketing resources are right there at your fingertips, the sales team’s job becomes much easier.
Ready to support your sales team with everything they need? Sign up for Content Camel free here!
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Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.