But my reps HATE cold calling!
Yea, I know.
No one wants to make endless calls to prospects who might not even answer.
But, cold calling is essential for SDRs to achieve their career goals and succeed in their roles.
It's also essential to your pipeline, your success, and your career goals.
Plus, if your team won't make the calls, your competitor's team will.
Shift Their Mindset
First, it takes a shift in mindset.
SDRs go into sales knowing they have to do the dirty work. They are the ones annoying VPs with random phone calls, leaving irrelevant voice messages, and calling the same person 10 times in 2 weeks.
They are a NUISANCE!
But, they aren't.
These 2022 statistics show that while cold calling sucks for the reps making the dials and the prospects on the receiving end, it is crucial for business development and getting real solutions to businesses who may have never known of those solutions before.
57% of C-level and VP buyers prefer to be contacted by phone. (RAIN Group)
Unexpected cold calls prompted 75% of prospects from various industries to attend an event or schedule a meeting. (ZoomInfo)
75% of CEOs surveyed said they would book an appointment or attend an event based solely on a cold call or email. (Close)
Showing your reps these kinds of statistics can be eye-opening.
If they believe they are pesky little ankle biters annoying the heck out of their prospects, they are going to sound pesky and annoying, or at least, insecure and not confident.
But, if they believe in the effectiveness of cold calling, and that some prospects actually prefer to be cold called, they will do their daily dials with much more confidence.
Another powerful way to shift your reps' mindsets, as it relates to cold calling, is to show them how many deals have been sourced via cold calls on a regular basis, even if the wins weren't sourced by your team specifically.
Example: One of the BDR teams I supported was new to cold calling and hadn't developed a strong cold calling culture yet. However, the AE team was really strong with cold calls and had success every week in sourcing new opportunities over the phone. Sharing the AE's success and call recordings motivated the BDR team to hit the phones too, "if they can do it, you can do it," and from there, BDR attitude towards cold calling and the success that came with it skyrocketed.
Sharing wins and recordings will prove to your reps that cold calling works, and encourage them to lean into it as a tried and true outbound strategy.
One more simple tactic to shift your reps' mindsets around cold calling is to calculate how much money they make per dial and have them concentrate on that number when making their calls.
A rough example of this is:
- Your rep makes $200 per meeting booked
- It takes them 100 dials to book 1 meeting
- $200/100 dials = $2 per dial
With this number in mind, your reps can reinterpret all of the no's, the gatekeepers, and the hangups as wins and money in their pocket, rather than losses and time wasted.
Shift Their Motivation
Related to a shift in mindset is a shift in motivation.
Unfortunately, "do it cause I said so" isn't the best leadership strategy when it comes to getting your team on board with something.
Taking the time to make sure your reps understand WHY cold calling is good for them is valuable.
Here are the two main reasons:
- Performance in the short-term
- Promotion in the long-term
Cold calls are the quickest way to get in front of prospects.
As reps, it is their job to source new business opportunities, and the only way to do that is to get into conversations with prospects.
So, by default, the more conversations they can get into, the more at-bats they will have to pitch interest in a follow-up conversation related to their solution.
Cold calling is also the fastest way to learn about your market and buyer.
The conversations that cold calls lead to are full of questions, objections, and valuable information.
Spend a day cold calling, and spend a day watching content, see for yourself which one is more fruitful in terms of learning and development.
When your reps see that cold calling leads to more opportunities, which leads to crushing quota, they will make more cold calls.
We know that SDRs are looking to move up the career ladder and out of their current role as fast as possible.
"More money, less cold calls, get me the heck out of this role!"
As a leader, you can run from this truth, or embrace it and use it to your advantage.
Sales reps that aren't afraid of the phones will promote quicker than those that are.
As mentioned above, one of the quickest ways to book meetings is to get good on the phones.
Cold calls teach you a ton about your buyers, and once you're used to being hung up on and thrown impossible objections every day, you aren't afraid of anything. There's a certain maturity that comes with a seasoned cold caller.
In the Account Executive role, you may not have an SDR to build your pipeline. Even if you do, why would you put all of your job security in someone else? Experienced cold callers are promoted because Sales Managers know that they will hustle and grind to hit quota, against all odds.
If we can get our reps to see that becoming strong cold callers leads to success and career opportunities, they will be more incentivized to embrace cold calling as a way to accelerate their path to promotion.
By shifting our reps' motivations around cold calling, we can get them to see why it matters, and why, selfishly for them, dialing more will inevitably lead to more success, achieving their career goals, and never having to make 100 dials a day again.
Shift Their Tech Stack
Data Is King
With the right mindset and motivation, your reps can overcome anything they put their minds to!
But, you have a responsibility as their leader to surround them with the best tools and resources available to help them be more efficient and effective.
Cold calling technology ranges from dialers like FrontSpin and ConnectAndSell to AI-based coaching tools like Trellus.
But before you think about tools, you need to make sure your reps have the right data.
If you are asking your team to make 50 dials a day, and they have a 2% connect rate, you are asking them to spend ~90 minutes on the phones to have ONE conversation.
That isn't a good use of your reps as a business resource, and it isn't fun for the reps making those dials every day.
Make sure you are giving your reps good data, whether you are sourcing that data through data tools like ZoomInfo, or using a service like PhoneReadyLeads to validate prospect phone numbers.
Your reps will be more inclined to dial if they know their efforts will pay off.
Make Cold Calling FUN
One of the easiest ways to encourage your reps to dial more is to make dialing a fun and exciting part of their job!
As you know, Sales is a team sport.
Your reps will perform way better if they can learn, grow, and win, together!
If your reps are stuck cold calling all alone at home, they're going to hate dialing every day.
But, if they can do it side-by-side with their peers on a virtual salesfloor, dialing gets super exciting!
Your reps are natural competitors, so giving them an opportunity to show off their skills in front of their team in a friendly, team-oriented environment, will definitely boost the quantity of calls they are making, and because they are able to get live feedback and coaching from their peers, the quality of their calls will increase significantly well.
Virtual salesfloors promote a winning culture and high-performing team, where reps actually look forward to cold calling because they get to do it together!
More Dials = More Dollars
Getting your reps to make more cold calls without sounding like an authoritarian micromanager can be tough.
However, by getting them to see both the short-term and long-term value in becoming experienced cold callers, and giving them the tools and resources they need to be successful, they will be bought-in to the idea that cold calling is good for them, and that cold calling doesn't have to suck when they can do it together!
A simple shift in your reps' mindsets, motivations, and tech stack will have your team well on its way to becoming an elite team of cold-calling savages.