Despite the rise of inbound marketing techniques, many businesses still rely on cold calling and other outbound sales strategies to generate the majority of their revenue. And while some agents are naturally good at cold calling, countless others do not.
As a sales manager, it’s important to remember that many of your agents are only as good as the sales script that you create.
Not sure how to develop an outbound call script that sells itself? Here are our top 5 tips for writing successful sales scripts:
Remember: first impressions count.
What is the first thing that your sales agents say to leads?
If your business is like 80% of your competition, your agents probably start pitching your product or service from the first moment that they get a prospect on the phone. If that introductory pitch is too long (or too short), you’ve already lost a potential sale.
Keep your introduction short and sweet. After all, you want your prospect to do most of the talking so that you can learn more about their needs.
Use open-ended questions to engage your prospects.
An outbound calling campaign is only successful if your agents can truly engage your prospects. This means that your sales script should include an open-ended question within the introduction.
Why does the question need to be open-ended? Let’s see:
Agent: Hi, this is Jon from the #1 Web Development Company. I’m calling to show you how we can save your business time and money with our website development services. Are you the person who handles your web presence now?
Prospect: No, I’m in accounting.
Agent: Oh, I see. Can you connect me with the person who handles your web presence?
Prospect: No, Dave is not in the office today.
The agent in this scenario only asked the prospect yes or no questions. And in response, the prospect replied with short, yes or no answers.
Let’s try this again with an open-ended question:
Agent: Hi, this is Jon from the #1 Web Development Company. I’m calling to show you how we can save your business time and money with our website development services. Who is handling your web presence now?
Prospect: Hi, Jon. Dave handles our web presence; he is our marketing director.
By asking an open-ended question, this agent was able to determine three things at once:
- The person who answered the phone is not the decision maker, so the agent can save his pitch for the right person.
- Dave is in charge of the website, and is probably the best person to speak with.
- The company in question has a marketing department, so they are probably aware of the importance of a strong (and cost-effective) web presence.
See what a difference an open-ended question makes?
Develop a structured sales script.
Many outbound sales managers hesitate to use structured sales scripts. Some are concerned that a script may sound insincere, or that it will prevent agents from truly engaging with the prospect.
But, a well-crafted script can maintain structure (which is important for measuring and tracking success) and leave room for unique, engaging interactions. The best sales scripts follow a basic structure, including a short introduction followed by an open-ended question as well as a variety of potential agent responses to common questions or concerns.
The best way to identify and plan for the questions and concerns that your prospects may have is to listen to call recordings. Most virtual call center software platforms come with a call recording feature, which allows you to review calls and use past interactions to inform your sales scripts.
Never underestimate the value of agent training.
If your sales script is the foundation of a successful outbound call, then your agents are the building that sits upon it. Without teaching your agents how to adopt the right tone, pacing, and attitude, your script will fall flat.
If you’re using virtual call center software to run your outbound sales campaigns, you can use live call monitoring and call recording to create an effective training program. Use call monitoring to let new agents listen in on your top sales agents’ live calls. Call recordings can be used in group training sessions for both new and seasoned agents alike.
Always test your sales scripts.
Sales scripts should be constantly evolving to meet the needs of both your agents and your prospects. Even if you have a strong sales script, it is important to constantly test variants of your script to see what works best. Using these results, you can implement the best parts of every script to turn prospects into new customers.
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