Cold calling training taking place around a desk

Cold Calling Training: 10 Game-Changing Tactics to Improve Sales

Transforming your sales team doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With cold calling training, improved tactics, and a bit of creativity, you can drive better results and enhance your overall sales strategy.

In this article, we’ll share 10 simple yet effective techniques to revolutionize your sales approach from the ground up. From psychological hacks to practical exercises, these tactics are designed to make a significant impact without breaking the bank.

But first, why focus on cold calling training? Why is cold calling important in the first place?

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Why is Cold Calling Training Important?

Well, for starters, organizations that don’t cold call experience 42% less growth than those who do. In other words, those that do cold call experience almost 50% more growth! That should be a helluva reason to get started with cold calling training right away. Also, make no mistake: people still want to be cold called.
B2B buyers who want to buy by phone
Source: FinancesOnline

Cold calling is a skill, not a natural talent. You don’t come out of the womb ready to pick up the phone and make your first sales call. You learn how to do it. Hone your sales skills and practice cold calling techniques to improve your game and make more sales.

To underplay its importance is doing yourself a disservice. There’s a lot to keep in mind when cold calling, but whether it’s worth it or not shouldn’t be one of them. 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who proactively reach out. So long as you come prepared by targetting leads that require a solution that you can provide, you’re golden. 

So let’s get onto the list of 10 cold calling training tactics that you can implement to transform your sales team.

1. Change Your Physiology to Change Your Emotions

Your physical posture is directly related to your emotional attitude. If you’re feeling confident, you naturally stand up taller, your shoulders come back and your chest puffs out a little bit. Similarly, if someone’s depressed, they’ll be hunched over, retreating into themselves both physically and mentally. 

However, there’s a little known tip frequently suggested by Tony Robbins: change your posture to change your attitude. Don’t wait for the attitude to strike, change your posture consciously and the attitude has to tag along.

This is also one of the reasons why laughter therapy is increasing. When you force a prolonged fake laugh, you start to laugh for real at how ridiculous it is, but that laughter is real. It reduces stress hormones and releases happy hormones in your body. It’s basically a shortcut to get the emotions and mindset you want.

It’s a great cold calling training tactic to get into the mindset of confidence and authority before your cold call. Even over the phone, people can pick up on low emotions intuitively.

2. Think From the Buyer’s Perspective

Why would anybody buy from you? What’s going on in the prospect’s head that’s gonna make them purchase your product? At the end of the day, you’re interrupting this person’s day to try and sell them something, so you’d better make it worth it. They want value. And remember, value is subjective.

“Value is not what you say it is; it is always what the buyer perceives it to be.”

A good cold calling training method is to get into the habit of thinking from the perspective of the prospect. In order to do this, you’ll want to do your research on them prior to the call. Why would they be interested in your product or service? Which problems are they facing in their business that requires them to need your solution? 

Approach the conversation with the prospect’s thought process in mind always. Never assume what they want. Ask them. Listen to them. Find out what they want and then amend your pitch to focus on that. It’s sales psychology 101, but it merits repeating: the customer is everything. This leads us nicely into our next cold calling training technique: active listening.

3. Listen, Listen, and Listen Some More

If you’re in the sales game, you’ve heard of active listening. To truly transform your sales team and upgrade their cold calling abilities, you need to train them to actively listen to what their prospect is saying. Not just what they want to hear, but what they’re actually saying. 

The prospect will tell you what they want, what they need, what upsets them, what worries them… All you have to do is ask the right questions and then let them talk. Don’t interrupt them while they’re in the flow. Make sure you leave enough pauses to ensure they’re finished with whatever point they’re making. 

Think of it this way: a cold call is your first chance to build trust with the prospect. You’re never going to make the sale on the first call. It’s there to move the buyer closer to the deal, not to secure it instantly. The best way to do this is to build trust. You want the prospect to feel heard and understood. It requires a personal touch that can only be achieved through actively listening to their story and empathizing with them.

"The salesperson who understands the importance of trust will be very well-positioned for the future."

4. Slow Down Your Talking Speed

One issue that newer cold callers make is talking too fast. They feel like they’re intruding on their prospect and so they wizz through the cold call as quickly as possible to not bother them.

One way sales reps try to counter this is by asking, “Did I catch you at a bad time?”

Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. The stats show that asking this phrase results in a 40% lower success rate from cold calls. It acknowledges the interruption, it builds trust, but it also gives the prospect complete control over the conversation. And let’s face it, most people don’t want to be sold to, no matter how nice you are. It gives them an escape route before the solution to their problem has even been explained.

Instead, during your team’s cold calling training sessions, practice the technique of pushing your foot into the ground whilst speaking. This physical action has a way of helping you slow down and choose your words more carefully. It’s almost a meditative exercise as it allows you to focus on your body while talking, ensuring you don’t speed off and leave the prospect bewildered.

Try it next time you have a cold call!

5. Power Hour Sessions

A power hour is an hour you set aside to get tasks done with 100% focus and zero distractions. While power hours are unsurprisingly an hour long, there’s no rule book that claims you can’t have two or more of these per day. Just make sure you regulate them with small breaks as intense focus for so long can be draining.

This is great for those sales reps that don’t enjoy cold calling. It gives them an hour to call one prospect after the next. Bam, bam bam, get through them all as quickly as you can. After all, it takes 8 attempts to reach a prospect (in 2014, so possibly even more today) so most of those calls are going to be going nowhere. You need perseverance and dedicated focus to really pump them out.

To add to this, see how your sales team responds to suggesting a standing hour. Standing increases energy and alertness and makes a nice change from sitting all day. Remember point #1: a change in physiology can change your emotions. It’s worth running a trial during your cold calling training.

6. Roleplay

Practice makes perfect. One of the most obvious, but perhaps undervalued, cold calling training methods is roleplaying. To do this effectively, you first need to equip your team with effective strategies for the scenario you’re going to roleplay. Overcoming objections is usually the best one to practice as it’s where salespeople tend to freeze up.

Role-play different scenarios and provide constructive feedback to help reps feel more confident and prepared when faced with objections during real calls. They should know all the common objections that may pop up. Price is usually the most frequent across all industries, but your niche may have specific objections that regularly crop up too.

While it’s not strictly speaking a cold call environment, the following video provides a great example of how to roleplay to overcome objections.

7. Leverage Technology

In the modern age, technology is your friend. At least when it comes to work. Research shows that high-performing sales teams use nearly 3x the amount of sales technology than underperforming teams. It pays, then, to utilize sales technology and incorporate learning how to use said technology into your cold calling training. 

There are dozens of cold calling tools that you can use to help you upgrade your sales performance, but some of the most critical to success are as follows:

  • CRM systems. A customer relationship management system is a fantastic way to monitor leads and customers all in one central hub. Look at tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, or Pipedrive.
  • Lead generation tools. Tools like Apollo, Clearbit, and ZoomInfo are incredibly useful for sales teams. They help you get leads that make cold calling far easier.
  • Call tracking and analytics. The best type of cold calling training is self-learning through rewatching your own sales calls. Tools like tl;dv facilitate real-time feedback and foster a culture of continuous learning.

8. Refine Your Elevator Pitch

One of the best cold call training techniques is to refine your elevator pitch through practice and repetition. It needs to be concise and compelling to capture the prospect’s attention straight from the off. The earlier you can grab them, the better.

Encourage your sales team to highlight the unique value proposition of your product or service and address common pain points of prospects within the first few seconds of the call. Practice makes perfect, so dedicate time to refine these pitches regularly.

It’s also important to note that most people have an automatic response to cold calls. That’s because the vast majority of cold calls all start in a similar vein. You want to break this mold. Listen to the wise words of Rex Biberston.

"There is an entire school of thought around using uncommon conversation starters to take the prospect out of his or her standard reaction to cold calls. This strategy is smart and merits testing once you’re ready to focus on improving your call effectiveness."

9. Take Mindful Breaks

Sometimes, people can get so caught up in trying to master something that they forget to rest. Imagine trying to get ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but instead of resting your muscles, you just train non-stop until you injure yourself. Not very wise. The same lesson applies to cold calling training (and any type of training for that matter). Just because it’s not a physical act, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a rest.

In fact, sometimes it is a physical act. Talking to new people all day, trying to convince them that your product will bring value to their business, can be incredibly draining, both mentally and physically.

Encourage your team to take mindful breaks. Let them take a few moments in between calls to rest and recuperate their energy. Simple breathing exercises or quick stretches can help alleviate stress and maintain productivity throughout the day. In the same vein as this, people who sleep 7-8 hours per day are most productive. Ensure your sales team are aware of the benefits of a good sleep, not just for productivity, but for overall health. This is especially true in the sales niche…

"It’s no secret selling for a living is incredibly stressful. What many don’t realize is stress left unmanaged kills you. Hypertension affects 75 million Americans and heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Not only will a mindfulness practice help you be more present with customers, a glaringly obvious plus, but it’s quite likely it will help you stay alive longer."

10. Celebrate Successes

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate successes. It doesn’t matter how small they are, every success should be recognized as such. In addition to this, you can reward achievements to motivate your team and reinforce positive behaviors. Whether it’s hitting a sales target or mastering a new cold calling technique, acknowledge their efforts and inspire continued growth.

This is great for team morale which plays a vital role in sales success. It’s even more important for underperforming sales teams as a small success can lead to a string of further successes if recognized. 

Celebrating successes can also lead to increased productivity. A recent report on employee recognition stats found that 92% of workers are more likely to repeat a specific action after receiving recognition for it.

Start Your Cold Calling Training Today

Transforming your sales team doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. By implementing these 10 (mostly free) cold call training tactics, you can empower your sales reps to excel in their roles and deliver better results.

From mastering the art of pacing to leveraging call recording software for feedback, each of these tips offers practical insights that can be integrated into your team’s workflow right away. So why wait? Start implementing these tactics today and watch your sales team thrive. 

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