7 Best Phone Sales Tactics According to Veteran Sales Leaders


Once upon a time, telesales and cold calling were part and parcel of most business models. Then came digital technology and everyone thought things had changed. They did, but they also remained the same. The introduction of email marketing, social media marketing, ad retargeting, and all the rest gave marketers new tools to reach their audiences, but they did not replace phone sales.

Today, phone sales still offer a lot of value, although many companies choose to outsource their phone-based sales outreach efforts. For those who haven’t yet, as well as for phone sales professionals offering outsourced services, it’s important to know how to master the art of sales.

Learning from experts who’ve “been there, done that” is always a good thing. We’ve aggregated seven of the most important phone sales tactics from some of today’s most respected sales leaders so you can put them into practice within your own business (or on behalf of your clients).

1. You need to befriend data 

Salesforce Enablement Executive VP, Jody Kohner, explains 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. 

2. 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 role play. More importantly, don’t do this just once a week or once a month — we do this every single day with every salesperson on our team. That’s the reason our team closes so well.”

3. 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. 

4. Know what you’re up against

You have competition. But do you know what they’re doing in terms of phone sales and other marketing? One of the most important parts of your sales call planning should be doing your due diligence when it comes to competitors so that you know what you’re up against when you contact a lead.

According to Chris Tompkins, CEO of The Go! Agency, “A competitive analysis needs to go much deeper than looking at your competitors’ social media or advertising efforts. Look into their history and where they’re succeeding or falling short on selling.” Dig deep and identify your lead’s biggest competitors, then research areas where that competitor might fall short. You can then pitch those as unmet needs or product/service strengths when you talk to the lead.

5. Make the human connection  

Again, Jody Kohner chimes in here and 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. Be prepared for voicemail 

Salestrainer 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. 

7. Set a goal for the call 

Phi lGerbyshak, 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: 

  • Find out the lead’s name and proper pronunciation.
  • Know their role and job title.
  • Understand the company and industry.
  • 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.
  • 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 help 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

Too often, sales professionals forget that the process goes in two directions. Yes, outbound sales calls are critical, but it’s just as essential that you pay attention to inbound calls. Putting them on the back burner is a sure way to lose sales and drive customers away.

At Smith.ai, our 24/7 virtual receptionists can provide outbound sales and support, as well as assist with outreach campaignslead intake and scheduling, and so much more. That ensures that you and your team can focus on areas where your talents are best utilized, while we provide the human touch and constant connectivity that leads and clients expect and deserve.

Go ahead and schedule a consultation to talk about how we can help drive more phone sales success for your organization. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 709-2975.

Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by 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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Affordable plans for every budget.