7 Best Phone Sales Tactics According to Veteran Sales Leaders

Sean Lund-Brown

In the world of phone sales, everything has changed, and yet not much has changed at all. Telesales and cold calling are still major avenues of lead generation for companies today, including everyone from the entrepreneur to the enterprise corporation and all other businesses in between. Companies now are able to outsource their sales outreach in order to get more calls made. Fortunately, there are plenty who have come before you and have worked to master the art that is sales, and you can look to their expertise to get all the insight and assistance that you need. 

We’ve taken the time to research some of the best sales tactics from top sales leaders and professionals around the country and the world. They all offer their own valuable advice and perspective to help you improve your own phone sales, no matter what business you’re in. 

1. Be prepared for voicemail 

Sales trainer John Barrows says that voicemail tactics are a big part of your contact strategy. “If your contact strategy includes quality and relevant messaging each time,” says Barrows, “it increases the chances of someone responding.”

There are some cases where you will inevitably have to leave a message. It’s not the worst thing in the world. It can even be mastered if you take it seriously. Focus on delivering a voicemail that doesn’t sound practiced, but still delivers a simple, direct message for every caller. 

2. Desensitize yourself 

According to Brian Tracy, sales guru and entrepreneur, “If you make 100 calls as fast as you can with no concern about whether or not people are interested, you will start to uncover good potential prospects. You will start to make appointments. You will start to make sales.”

A lot of people in sales freeze up and get discouraged by all the no’s and hang-ups or feel like they’re doing something wrong if people aren’t ready to convert right away. The fact is that it’s a numbers game and you have to desensitize yourself and remove the emotions. Focus on making as many calls as you can. If they say no, you’re clearing dead leads out and that’s almost as valuable as getting a conversion. 

3. Have a plan for every call 

Neil Rackham, a sales consultant, academic, and bestselling author of SPIN Selling, a pioneer in the consultative selling world, says that preparation is key: 

“Before I go out on an important sales call, with all the tools that are available, I still just carry around a little notepad and pencil. I’ll write down 3 or 4 good questions I want to ask, make a little plan, and then tear it up so that I’m not pulling it out in front of my prospect.”

4. Listen to your recorded sales calls

If you ask Neil Patel, SEO guru and co-founder of Quicksprout, Crazy Egg, and more, improving your selling starts by listening to your sales call recordings. Patel says, “The best thing I’ve ever done when it comes to building my selling skills [and that of my team] is listening to recorded calls. Listen to your sales calls and do roleplay. More importantly, don’t do this just once a week or once a month—we do this literally every single day with every salesperson on our team. That’s the reason our team closes so well.”

5. Make the human connection 

Salesforce Enablement Executive VP, Jody Kohner says, “You can’t get to the work, the productivity, and the innovation until you’ve acknowledged the human first — with all the emotional layers we’re living through.” 

She’s referring to the pandemic and life in a different world after the shutdown, trying to revitalize the selling world in a space where both customers and sales leaders have been forever changed—people have been forever changed. They want the human connection above all else. Make that and your sales calls will be much more effective. 

6. You need to befriend data 

Again, Jody Kohner chimes in here, explaining the value of data in the modern world of sales, including cold calling and phone sales. According to Kohner, “Data helps you understand what’s happening and how it’s going to impact people.” If you’re going to make the most of those human connections, and your sales calls, you need to embrace data and prioritize metrics and analytics as a resource for helping improve your sales call campaigns and more. 

7. Set a goal for the call 

Phil Gerbyshak, a sales training expert, says that setting goals and being aware of them for each cold call is going to help you achieve much better results. Gerbyshak offers this simple five-step method that takes less than two minutes: 

  1. Find out the lead’s name and proper pronunciation
  2. Know their role and job title
  3. Understand the company and industry 
  4. Prepare an attention-grabbing intro and a statement or two to handle the brush-off, as well as a memorable voicemail message that’s short and sweet.
  5. Practice the call until it sounds natural. 

If you can follow these steps, you should see much better outcomes from your calls. By taking the time to do the research, you’ll sound a lot more like a helpful hand calling to offer assistance and less like someone calling to make a sale. 

Bonus tip: Enlist the assistance of the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai for outreach and more

At Smith.ai, we know that you’re busy managing your sales team and other aspects of your business. You might not have time to revamp your sales efforts or the team to deliver the volume of calls you need. That’s where we come in—our 24/7 virtual receptionists can provide solutions for outbound sales and support, as well as assist with outreach campaigns, lead intake and scheduling, and so much more. Plus, we’ll ensure that you’ve got a strategy to manage it all and take care of everything along the way. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your outbound phone sales and more. You’ll also find us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Business Education
Sales Tips
Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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