B-to-B: Make the Call
Another best practice to employ after hiring the right people is to invest in training. Callers must be trained in such a way that they can speak knowledgeably about the value of the product or service they are selling, but also be flexible enough to convince and nurture off the script. It's not possible to script every response, and training must facilitate the caller in building the confidence to effectively hear, and respond appropriately to, spontaneous questions. A key element to nurturing is listening and responding in a natural, conversational manner. This is what creates and nurtures the relationship.
A successful organization will build its training with great detail around the product and/or service. It will also spend a great deal of time in role plays, practice calls and, where possible, in experiencing the product or service to give the calling associates a deep and practical understanding of potential exchanges and the impact on closing the sale.
Metrics That Matter
Finally, when employing an outbound telephone campaign, remember that patience is a virtue. Successful teams do not measure contact rates in a traditional sense. Instead, they recognize that when reaching out to other businesses you will usually get an answer, but the person answering is rarely the decisionmaker.
For this reason, it is important to create the relationship with the first person who answers the phone in order to develop an understanding of who is the right person to call and when is the best time to reach them. There are very talented "gatekeepers" out there; creating a conversation with them that builds trust is the key to getting the opportunity to speak with the ultimate decisionmaker. Thus, key metrics for successful outbound calling should focus on quality of the lead and the data obtained and developed, as well as win rates for the leads nurtured and passed to the sales force.