In sales organizations, there is a disproportionate amount of focus on cold calling, reaching out to leads that know nothing about you. However, it is a far more effective tactic to focus on leads that have either already expressed interest in your company or at least that check the boxes for being a likely customer. These are referred to as warm leads, and they should be your bread and butter as a sales company. There is often a bit of confusion here, and they are not to be mistaken for hot leads, which reach out to you with a confirmed intent to buy your product or service. Warm calling requires a slightly different approach to either cold calling or hot calling, yet companies rarely devote enough time to training these practices.
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There are subtle differences in the tactics employed during warm, hot, and cold calls. As a rule, in cold calling, you will not have had any interactions yet with the prospect. Therefore, you need to focus on addressing their pain points (which they may not yet be aware of) and presenting your value proposition. For a warm call, you should focus on being as personalized as possible and building a relationship with the prospect. If you are calling a hot lead, you should mostly be worried about closing the sale and taking them smoothly and seamlessly through the end of the pipeline.
Now that we’ve established some differences between these types of calls, read on for tips that will help you close your warm leads every time.
Research is the name of the game when it comes to calling warm leads. The key to warm calling is to be as personalized as possible, to establish a personal connection, and to make your company stand out for being informed and specific. This is almost impossible to achieve without extensive and thorough research prior to your calls. As a sales leader, you should make sure all your reps are extra prepared before every warm call and that they have a process in place for conducting in-depth and efficient research.
Asking good questions is one of the most essential abilities you can have as a salesperson in general, and it is especially important during warm calls. Since the prospect is probably already familiar with your product or service and with their own pain point, you don’t have to spend time explaining these. You can jump straight into finding out what you can do to make them a customer, and what questions or concerns they might have. The more information they give you, the easier it will be to sell them, so the key is to get them to open up. You already have their attention, so no need to keep them on the phone by insistently talking about their problem and your value proposition. Instead, sit back and listen for the information you need to close the sale.
There are many great questions you can ask at this stage, such as “do you have any questions or concerns?” and “what else can I do to earn your business?” Often if you ask the right questions and give your prospects the space to answer them, they will end up telling you exactly how to sell them! No guesswork needed.
Your prospects are busy, and no one appreciates being kept too long on a sales call. An overlong conversation is also a sign that you are doing too much talking and not enough listening. Since the lead is already warm and knows and values your product, you should focus on establishing a respectful but friendly relationship and taking things to the next step.
A warm call needs to move you forward in the sales process. You don’t want the prospect to be in the exact same place, interested but unsure, by the end of the call. Instead, you always want to be advancing the interaction towards the eventual close.
One of your priorities on a warm call should be to build a relationship with your prospect, whatever his role or authority in the company may be. Building a relationship with a prospect will make them far more likely to ultimately buy from you. This can take many forms but includes being respectful, demonstrating earnest intent to help their company, and building social rapport. This could mean mentioning an interest or something you have in common, for example. This could be anything as trivial as a type of food. It’s called a warm call for a reason! In this type of situation, it’s always important to gauge the prospect’s level of receptiveness to a more friendly interaction.
Following up is a non-negotiable when it comes to warm leads. Remember, they have already demonstrated interest in your product or service or shown to be a good fit, so you don’t have to be too worried about contacting them too many times. We all know that persistence is key in sales, with most customers saying no up to four times before they say yes! You shouldn’t hesitate to follow up, and don’t let too much time go by after a call to prevent stalling.
The more you know about the person on the other end of the call, the easier it will be to engage with them. Warm calling is a great way to reach out and make new connections with potential customers but only if you do your research first. If you’re looking to take your warm calling to the next level, try these 10 tips. Ready to start? Identify some warm leads, research them ahead of time so that you can ask relevant questions without sounding like an idiot, transition to the next step in the sales process once they say no or send you back to someone else at their company, follow up with those who don't respond right away because it's likely they didn't have enough information when they were contacted initially and personalize each message according to the recipient.
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