Category: Sales Calls

Sales

4 Ways Top Sellers Break Through Resistance

As sellers, we must immediately break down prospect resistance by creating a great first impression. Yet most salespeople fail to do so — repelling buyers and making them think, “It’s a salesperson, how do I get them off the phone?”

The best reps know what they’re facing each time they call and have developed repeatable strategies for dispelling resistance. Here we’ll review some of the core causes of sales resistance and look at four strategies you can use to break through it.

Sales resistance is one of the most fundamentally ingrained and constantly frustrating elements of sales. And it can come from a lot of sources — here are a few of the most common ones you can expect to run into during your sales career.

Prospects are skeptical of your offering, your company, or you.

Some sales calls can be sketchy for prospects. Odds are, they’re not going to have an intimate understanding of your business or your solution. And you can’t exactly bank on them trusting you, right out of the gate.

This point is particularly pertinent if your solution is relatively new or unique. Consumers rely on other consumers to validate their preferences and decisions to assume risk.

If you don’t have a solid base of customers to vouch for how awesome, effective, and legitimate your product or service is, you might find yourself in a bit of a pinch.

The idea of being the first customer to boldly go where no business has gone before generally isn’t attractive to your average prospect. So if you don’t have a vocal, enthusiastic base to offer your solution some clout, you might run into some resistance.

Prospects are reluctant to shake things up.

Inertia can be one of the tougher roadblocks to figure out. If a prospect is content with the solution they’re leveraging, what do they need you for? They might have established relationships with contacts who work at your competition. They might feel they don’t have time to learn and implement your solution. Or they might be resistant to change in general.

Prospects who are stuck in their ways are particularly difficult to sway, and when you’re talking to them, you’re at a major disadvantage. It’s not just that you have to convince them that your product or service is the best one for their business — you have to show them that it’s so much better than their current solution that they should go out of their way and fundamentally alter their current operations to leverage it.

People often push back on putting in that kind of effort — particularly when they’re not sure it’s necessary. That can make for some serious resistance from prospects.

Prospects don’t like your sales process.

Sales resistance doesn’t always stem from problems or concerns your prospects have with your product or service. Sometimes, prospects will get testy with you because they don’t like how you’re selling to them.

Your messaging might rub them the wrong way. The frequency of your outreach might be too often or too scarce. It could just be that your company’s approach to certain steps in your sales process doesn’t suit their interests or sensitivities. That makes for a unique kind of resistance — one where the prospect winds up pushing back on you as opposed to your product or service.

Prospects don’t want to choose any solution for fear of making a mistake.

Some prospects aren’t reluctant to embrace your solution so much as they’re reluctant to embrace any solution. This kind of resistance can be particularly frustrating. These prospects are so afraid of making a mistake that they refuse to make a choice at all.

This point can put a lot of sales into a limbo that ultimately turns potential deals into non-starters. Most people are naturally risk-averse, and that tendency gets even stronger when they’re faced with making a big purchase on behalf of their company.

How to Overcome Sales Resistance

1. Cut the clichés

Most sellers open their calls with clichés, immediately turning off their prospects.

These are the most buyer-repellent statements I hear in my coaching work:

  • How are you today?
  • Is this a good time to talk?
  • Could I have a few minutes of your time?
  • I was wondering if maybe you would be interested in …
  • This is (name) and I’m calling to tell you about … (followed by a 2-minute monologue)
  • I’ll only take a minute of your time.
  • I’d like to talk to you about …
  • I think that I can …
  • Are you looking for ways to become more profitable?
  • I have a product that can save you money.
  • I’m in the business of making our customers more successful.
  • I create partnerships with our buyers to help them save money on …
  • I want to show you how we would help you …
  • I know we can save you time and money.

Cutting the sales-y statements will instantly increase your success rate by not naturally generating resistance. This is especially true for the ubiquitous, “How are you?”

Every buyer on the planet has heard that exact phrase at the beginning of a sales call they didn’t want to take. After my clients stop using this question on calls, they typically see a 25% jump in success.

When you call, your buyers are usually busy doing other work — which means you’re 99.9% likely to be interrupting them. Instead of ignoring this fact, use it to your advantage.

Try“Mary? This is Colleen Francis. I know you weren’t expecting my call; have I caught you at a bad time?”

When it comes to receiving a sales call, it’s always a bad time, so it’s a refreshing change when the person who’s making the call recognizes this upfront.

When we use this statement at the beginning of a call, we almost always get the same answer: A laugh or chuckle, followed by either: “It’s always a bad time, but what’s up?” or“Sure it’s a bad time, why are you calling?”

The magic in this answer is that now it is the buyer’s choice that you’re on the phone with them — not yours. When a buyer feels like they’re being held hostage in a conversation, they tune out and start planning their escape. When it’s their choice the two of you are talking, however, they’re far more likely to listen to what you have to say and participate.

2. Let them know you have experience with similar businesses.

In many cases, a prospect’s resistance is born out of suspicion. They hardly know you — if at all. Why on Earth should they trust you? They’ve never leveraged your solution. How can they possibly know whether it’s right for their business?

A conversation with a prospect with those questions at top of mind is an uphill battle. You’re at a disadvantage because they’re absolutely right. It’s perfectly justified for them to be skeptical of what they might feel is some random company on the other side of a sales call.

So you’re confronted with a dilemma: How can you convey the benefits their business — specifically — can expect to see by leveraging your solution? Well, one way is to reference how your product or service has helped similar businesses.

See if you can describe how their industry peers or businesses of similar scale and structure have seen considerable success with your offering. There’s no guaranteeing results for your prospect, but giving them some appropriate context about what they can probably expect as a result of doing business with you is the next best thing.

3. Switch your focus

Sales calls are about the buyer — not about you. If the buyer hears the word “I” first, they think, “Who cares what you want? What about me?”

Your buyer is focused on what’s in it for them, so give it to them right up front.

Try some of the following ideas:

  • If you’re calling because of a referral, use the reference’s name first, as in: “Colleen Francis suggested we talk.”
  • If it’s a follow-up call, remind them what they wanted you to do: “The last time we spoke, you asked me to call today with pricing information.”
  • If this is an outreach call and you don’t have a reference, build a third-party story focused on people like your buyer, such as: “CIOs like yourself have been pleased with the security our product offers from email viruses. They’ve told me that … Is that important to you?”
  • If you don’t know who you should be talking to, try a question, like: Maybe you can help me?” People usually have a difficult time refusing help when they’re asked for it, so make sure you use that word.
  • If you reach the gatekeeper of a client you’ve had a hard time contacting, try:“Maybe you can help me? I’ve been trying to reach Ms. Francis for a week now with no luck. Do you know if there’s a best time to find her in her office?”

4. Drop the assumptions

Be careful about making broad claims — buyers who don’t know you will instinctively poke them for holes.

Many will react with:“You don’t even know me. How do you know you can do that? You have no idea what you’re talking about, so I’m going to argue with you and then get rid of you.”

Replace assumptive language with examples and questions, such as:

“Mary, business owners like you tell me that we’ve been able to save them money on their printing costs. Depending on your printing requirements, it might be possible that we can do the same for you. Can we discuss your printing requirements now?”

Ultimately, you can build a relationship and avoid creating resistance by focusing on two key things going into a call:

  1. The buyer’s needs and goals (versus your own)
  2. Starting a conversation (rather than trying to sell)

These two areas will help you relax and project an open, friendly demeanor. Instead of encountering resistance, you’ll get a warm response.

Sales resistance is every bit as natural as it is frustrating. As a sales professional, you’re bound to run into it at some point. Still, if you can understand where it stems from and some strategies to remedy it, you can keep it from stalling your sales efforts.

Sales

A Straightforward Guide to Precall Planning

The most important skill for sales professionals? Making calls. Cold calls or warm leads, hot prospects or chilly receptions, making contact is critical.

Data backs up this enterprise demand for skilled callers. RAIN Group recently found that 82% of buyers say cold calls were the impetus for eventual meetings, but 63% of sales reps say they don’t enjoy making cold calls.

It makes sense: Going in with no prior history and no way to know exactly how prospects will respond is nerve-wracking, and no one likes hearing “No”.

Precall planning offers the chance to both boost prospect receptivity and reduce sales stress. So, here’s what you need to know about the promise of precalls, the importance of planning, and the steps required to boost precall potential.

Precall planning is all about getting ready; doing the research on your target, their market, their current needs and how they’ll likely respond to your call. This is critical to help frame your eventual sales pitch; consider a B2B contact with department specific decision-making power in their organization.

Understanding their specific role and responsibilities lets you craft a sales call approach that speaks to their experience and authority, rather than aiming above their pay grade, in turn reducing the number of steps between initial contact and eventual conversion.

The Importance of Precall Planning

1. Precall planning increases call confidence.

The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel when making cold calls. This isn’t to say the work is ever easy. Even the best salespeople struggle with creating connections from scratch.

But, armed with knowledge about the company you’re calling, the person you’re looking for, and your goal for the call, you can boost call confidence and make it easier to think on your feet.

2. Precall planning allows you to prepare for potential roadblocks.

Sales calls rarely go to plan. This is the second big benefit of precall planning: preparing for potential roadblocks. Any solid precall plan should include a brainstorming session about how calls could go off the rails.

From in-depth questions about products or services to concerns around privacy, security, or implementation, sales staff can reduce the stress they feel when roadblocks appear. How? Turn to the familiar sales practice of roleplaying potential interactions before reaching out to prospective clients.

3. Precall planning helps you forge new connections.

While closing a deal is the primary objective of many sales calls, it’s not the only objective. Precall planning is critical to help salespeople better connect with potential prospects — even if these connections don’t lead to conversion.

Why? Consider the following cold call scenario: You reach out, make a connection and deliver a masterful sales pitch. Your prospect seems interested and several more calls happen, followed by a meeting. But that’s as far as it gets, and you later learn that budget issues forced your prospect to pass on your product.

Six months or a year later, client revenues have improved and your prospect is still looking for the solution you pitched. Guess who they call first? By cultivating a connection with customers that extends beyond the sales cycle, it’s possible to pave the way for both short- and long-term success.

7 Steps to Improve Precall Potential

While every call and every client is different, these seven precall planning steps can improve your sales potential before you pick up the phone:

1. Do your prospect research.

First up? Know your audience. This includes research on both the company and your connections. What market does your sales target serve? What are some of their pain points? Who’s your best connection within their enterprise? Who’s a good backup?

Much of this information can be found on corporate websites, but it’s also worth checking corporate and personal social media profiles for more specific data that could help improve sales calls.

2. Understand your competition.

Chances are you’re not the only sales team looking to connect with your prospect. As a result, it’s critical to understand your competition, what they bring to the table, and how successful they’ve been in cold-call sales.

3. Define key goals.

What are you hoping to achieve in your first call? Your fourth? Your seventh? While shooting for the moon is ideal for large-scale strategy sessions, individual sales calls need more focused metrics for success.

For example, the goal of your first call might simply be making contact with your prospect and setting a time for your second call. By breaking down calls into specific steps rather than broad generalizations, you’ll be better equipped to deliver measurable success.

4. Practice active listening.

Many salespeople are knowledgeable, gregarious, and talkative. It makes sense, given the job description. And while these traits are ideal for bridging the gap between cold calls and initial connections, they can prove problematic if prospects can’t get a word in edgewise.

So, what’s your best bet? Improve your active listening. Let prospects set the tone of your discussion, ask open-ended questions, and summarize what they’ve said when they’ve finished speaking to demonstrate that you’re not just calling to sell them something you have. Instead, you’re calling to sell them something they actually need.

5. Prepare for pushback from your prospect.

As noted above, even the best-laid precall plans don’t always pan out. From catching your prospect on a bad day to discovering they’ve just gotten off the phone with your competitor, it pays for salespeople to be prepared for objections.

While it’s not possible to anticipate every question or meet every challenge, sales teams can prepare with a list of common objections and go-to responses. Armed with this kind of sales fallout framework, you can avoid misunderstanding and focus on fostering connection.

6. Find a balance.

Practice, practice, practice. The more work you put into precall planning, the better your outcomes, right? Not quite. While it’s critical to lay the groundwork for corporate conversations, it’s also important to avoid overplanning, since calls that feel more like a script read than back-and-forth conversations will quickly go ice-cold.

Think of precall planning like studying for a test. While you won’t know the questions in advance, the right skills and knowledge can help you figure out the answers in the moment.

7. Get SMART.

The SMART acronym is a great way to define sales call objectives: They should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Before making the call, check your goals against the SMART framework. If they don’t stack up, take a step back, make some adjustments, and then reach out.

Sales calls aren’t easy. From making that first connection to delivering the right pitch to closing the deal, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

And while precall planning can’t guarantee conversion, putting in the time and effort before making the call can help reduce staff stress, boost connective potential, and improve overall sales success.

Sales

How to Execute a Productive Calling Campaign in Sales

There are two words that can strike fear into the heart of any salesperson: “cold call.”

But, challenging as it may be, the ability to pick up the phone and create a relationship is a critical skill for any successful salesperson.

While those first few phone calls may cause your heart to pound and your forehead to perspire, a calling campaign can be an incredibly lucrative endeavor for those who decide to brave it.

This task gets even easier when you know how to properly plan and execute a calling campaign for your business. It’s not as difficult as you think. However, it does require some preparation and the tenacity to stick with it no matter how many “nos” you hear.

Here, let’s explore what a calling campaign is, and how to execute your own. Plus, we’ll explore the mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

What is a calling campaign?

Before we dive into the “how,” let’s discuss what a calling campaign actually is.

Throughout the life of your business, you are collecting contact information and buyer data from your customers. For those “customers you haven’t met yet”, there are companies that will sell you lists of potential customers that fit your desired criteria.

A calling campaign is a structured plan of contacting these individuals for one-on-one conversations. It is one of the oldest forms of marketing and, when done properly, can have the best results. These campaigns can be executed for a number of reasons — including telemarketing, audience research, and customer support.

For a sales-focused calling campaign, a company may choose to have their salespeople make the calls or may enlist agents to create “warm leads” before passing them onto the sales team.

What are the benefits of a calling campaign?

A properly executed calling campaign can provide a number of benefits to your business. These include:

  1. Learning more about your customers. Having one-on-one conversations with your customers and prospects allows you to learn about their pain points, understand how they’ve tried to solve their problems in the past, and what they are looking for going forward. It also helps to build trust with your customers who now see you as problem-solvers instead of someone just trying to sell to you.
  2. Improving brand awareness in the marketplace. The more you get your company, your brand, and your products in front of people, the more likely you are to succeed. These calls provide an opportunity to stay top-of-mind with existing customers and individuals who already know about you but may not have done business with you yet, and introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of you.
  3. Keep your sales database up-to-date. In business, your sales database is essential to your growth. A sales calling campaign allows you to check in with your contacts and confirm that their contact information is still usable.
  4. Generate leads. While other types of marketing hope to attract business with blanket statements thrown out to the masses, a calling campaign builds relationships and rapport through tailored conversations. It may be more time-consuming, but the return on investment is much higher.
  5. Close sales. Once prospects have been identified and nurtured through the sales cycle, the ask is ready to be made and the sale completed.

The outcome of a calling campaign will differ slightly depending on your goals and tactics, but with the large variety of benefits offered, it remains a great investment for your business.

How to Execute a Productive Calling Campaign

Now that you understand what a calling campaign can do for you, it’s time to create a plan. A lot of time goes into executing these campaigns, so the more you prepare ahead of time, the better the outcome.

1. Understand your goals.

Before you even think about picking up the phone, decide what you are looking to get out of this time. Are you reconnecting with lapsed customers? Announcing a new product to existing customers? Cold calling potential customers?

Your decisions here will dictate every future step.

2. Decide who you will contact.

Your sales database should be robust and provide all of the information you need to reach out to existing and lapsed customers.

If this is a cold calling campaign, make sure that the contact information you purchase includes people who may need your product and have the ability to buy it. The quality of your list will determine your success.

3. Decide how you will contact people.

Depending on the size of your campaign and how many agents you have working on it, you may utilize your typical phone system, opt for a VoIP system such as Zadarma, or use an app like RingCentral which has the ability to incorporate video.

4. Decide when you’ll call.

This will be based on who is on your list. If your ideal customers are businesses, calling around dinner time will yield nothing but voicemails. If your customers are professional adults, calling their home or cell in the middle of the day may be a waste of time and money.

5. Arm your salespeople or agents properly.

Not only should you have the “pitch” prepared and easy to follow, but you’ll also want to provide the people making the calls with answers to any questions they may be asked.

If the existing or potential customer asks for more information on the product or your company, that’s a great sign. Make sure your agents are prepared to field questions and, if applicable, manage concerns.

6. Record data.

Any contact you have with existing or potential customers should be saved in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This information (even if it did not result in a sale) can help you better serve or sell in the future.

7. Evaluate your plan and switch gears if need be.

If you find that you are having absolutely no success with your calling campaign, it may be necessary to make changes. Your approach may need tweaking, your agents may need more training, or your lists may need to be re-evaluated.

Mistakes to Avoid

An unsuccessful calling campaign wastes time, energy, and money — all three of which are precious resources to any business. Thankfully, there are a few common mistakes you can easily avoid:

  • Not identifying your goals and your benchmarks before you begin.
  • Not having a strong sales database or purchasing a subpar list.
  • Not factoring in follow-up calls or touches.
  • Not understanding your audience or speaking to them using the right language.
  • Not preparing agents to answer questions and have a back-and-forth conversation.

While a calling campaign may be considered “old school” in a world of social media marketing and online sales, nothing will ever beat having a conversation with your existing and potential customers. With good, productive phone conversations, trust is built, relationships are forged, and sales are closed.

Sales

Call Recording Software: Why Your Sales Team Needs It…

Have you ever hung up the phone after a sales call and thought, “Wow, I nailed that!” Or maybe you thought, “I feel as though I could’ve more effectively guided the conversation if I had just said fill in the blank.”?

Either way, a recording of that call would be helpful — it’d provide the ability to learn and pull actionable insights from your conversation with a given prospect. It may also give your team members and new hires pointers and tips for their calls.

But how do you obtain that recording? Enter: Call recording software.

Call Recording Software

Call recording software records phone calls in a digital format via voice over internet protocol (VoIP) — which allows you to make calls over internet connection — or traditional phone. In addition to recording phone conversations, a call recording software may have other capabilities such as call logging, tracking, storing, sharing, and playback.

Benefits of Call Recording Software

There are a number of benefits that come from using call recording software. Here are some examples:

  • Log and save records of all calls and conversations between reps and prospects.
  • Provide sales (and/or service) reps with the necessary information and context from previous conversations with a prospect to effectively follow-up and guide their next interaction.
  • Integrate your call recording software with other sales and business tools, like your CRM, so all contact and engagement data is centrally located and easily accessible.
  • Improve the quality of conversations reps have with prospects by allowing them to listen back to their calls with prospects.
  • Use recordings to train new reps, advise current reps on effective tactics, and get feedback from managers.
  • Reference recordings when improving your sales process and tailoring pitches — or writing scripts — for your target audience and buyer personas.

Now that we’ve reviewed the definition of call recording software and why it’s such a useful tool for sales teams, let’s dive into some tools you may want to consider. .

Call Recording Software

1. HubSpot Call Tracker

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HubSpot’s Call Tracker is a powerful tool capable of more than just recording calls — it helps you prioritize your sales calls based on who your highest-value prospects are. It also places and records phone calls for you, all from your browser (so you never have to pick up a phone!).

Then, all of your phone calls are automatically saved in your CRM for centralized record-keeping and accessibility in the future. Plus, choose if you want to record each of your calls or only specific ones in a single click.

2. Fireflies.ai

fireflies.ai call recording software

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Fireflies.ai is an artificial intelligence (AI)-based meeting assistant capable of recording, transcribing, and searching voice conversations and phone calls. The tool automatically connects to a rep’s calendar so it can join any digital voice or web conference meeting.

It then records and transcribes the conversation and saves that information to the user dashboard. Once in the dashboard, a rep can search for and access that transcription or recording at any point in time.

3. Gong

gong call recording software

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Gong is a remote sales tool and revenue intelligence platform with call recording and transcription capabilities. Gong works with any web conferencing platform, VoIP, or CRM, your team uses — simply integrate the tool and begin recording your calls.

With the automatic call transcription feature, you’ll not only be able to search for specific recordings but also for specific parts of a conversation. The AI behind Gong’s features helps sales reps and teams pull reports and insights that they can use to improve future calls, sales training, the sales process, and more.

4. Jiminny

jiminny call recording software

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Jiminny is a revenue intelligence platform meant for remote sales teams — it includes AI-powered, automated call and meeting recording, transcription, and analytics. The CRM integration allows you to save and access call recordings and data in your CRM without ever leaving Jimminy. Jimminy saves and pairs meeting notes with your call recording so all contact details are organized and easily accessible.

5. CallRail

callrail call recording software

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CallRail is a call tracking and marketing analytics tool with conversion intelligence, a lead center, and form tracking. The call recording feature allows you to access and listen to inbound and outbound calls at any point in time.

The pre-call voice announcement ensures you meet local, state, and federal call recording laws. Call recordings are paired with CallRail’s conversation intelligence — meaning, calls are analyzed and scored in terms of how qualified leads are based on the conversation between the prospect and rep.

6. Wingman

wingman call recording software

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Wingman is a conversation intelligence platform for sales teams — it has sales coaching, sales pipeline visibility, and sales enablement capabilities. Wingman’s call recording feature helps you highlight specific moments from a conversation with a prospect that you can learn from or replicate in the future.

The platform also integrates with a number of CRMs, sales dialers, and video conferencing software to keep all conversations and contact information in a central location, at your fingertips.

7. CallTrackingMetrics

calltrackingmetrics call recording software

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CallTrackingMetrics is an all-in-one call tracking and contact center platform with call recording and transcriptions. The tool makes it easy to refer and listen to previous conversations with prospects — meaning, it’s ideal for teams and reps looking to share, give, and receive call feedback.

8. RingCentral

ringcentral call recording software

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RingCentral is a cloud-based communication and collaboration platform for message, video, and phone. Automatic call recording is one of the many features RingCentral offers — admins enable automatic recordings for all of their inbound and outbound calls.

Record, download, and playback recordings at any point in time via any device. To ensure call recordings are legal, an announcement is played prior to a rep speaking with a prospect to get consent.

9. Twilio

twilio call recording software

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Twilio is a communication API platform made for sales, service, ops, and marketing focused on SMS, voice, and video. The programmable voice feature allows you to place, receive, monitor, search, and record calls from anywhere. Your call recordings are safely stored with public-key encryption so all conversations remain secure.

Call recording software is powerful — it gives you the necessary information to follow-up with prospects effectively and in a targeted way. It also helps you improve your selling technique, sales process, training, and more. Consider the various tools above, choose the right option for your team, and start recording. 

Sales

What’s a Sales Dialer and 11 of the Best…

Administrative and manual tasks take up valuable time during the day — even when those tasks only require seconds to complete.

Think about it… those seconds add up to minutes throughout the day. And those minutes add up to hours throughout the quarter and year. Time-saving tools and software give reps those hours back — as a result, there’s more time to focus on prospects and deals. An example of one of these tools is a sales dialer.

Sales dialers often have other capabilities as well, such as call recording, integrations, transcription, voicemail drop, and call analysis.

Why use a sales dialer?

Sales dialers save reps time — they accurately and quickly dial numbers and often have other features that make tasks more efficient such as call queues which help prioritize conversations with most-valuable prospects first. Sales dialers increase efficiency and offer value in other ways too — for instance, you may integrate your tool with your CRM so all contacts, records, and data are in a single location.

Sales Dialer Software

There are many sales dialer software options on the market today. Here are 11 of our favorites to help you find the right tool for your team.

1. HubSpot Call Tracker

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HubSpot’s Call Tracker allows you to line up an entire day’s worth of calls and prioritize which leads to dial first based on the contact data in your CRM. Not to mention, you can get started with HubSpot for free.

Place and record your calls directly from your browser with no phone required. In one click, you can start chatting with a prospect via VoIP or desk phone — either way, your phone number will appear as the caller ID when you call prospects. Log every call in your CRM to save valuable time and continually add to and maintain contact records.

2. Aircall

aircall sales dialer software

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Aircall is a cloud-based call center software that integrates with your CRM, help center, and other apps. It has a number of features across the phone system, call center, analytics dashboard, and integration library to help with collaboration, productivity, and reporting.

One of those features is the Power Dialer which saves you time by assisting with manual processes like compiling lists of contacts, dialing, and entering contact information into your CRM. The dialer can identify a phone number on a prospect’s website and then automatically add that contact to your queue as well as your CRM.

To ensure you have meaningful conversations with prospects, Aircall populates your screen with relevant context about the specific contact you’re speaking to — this way, you can tailor your pitch to their needs as well as any previous interactions you had with them. Lastly, easily take notes, create tags, and set up follow-up steps in Aircall — all information will automatically be added to your CRM.

Integrate Aircall with your HubSpot for advanced inbound and outbound calling in HubSpot CRM, Sales, Service.

3. Kixie Powercall

kixie sales dialer software

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Kixie is a sales engagement platform with automated calling and texting designed for remote sales teams — some of the most notable features are automated dialing and texting from your CRM, CRM power dialer, auto dialer, integrations, real-time coaching, and sales leaderboards.

The Intelligent AutoDialer feature triggers calls from your CRM and connects a sales rep to a contact when they convert (e.g. submit a form, search your pricing page, etc.). Assign specific reps to the sales dialer and customize the call flow. The tool uses AI to help reps contact leads at the right number when they’re showing interest. It provides reps with context about the prospect they’re speaking to on their screen while they’re calling and speaking to them. Reps also benefit from Kixie’s click-to-call, call recording, voicemail drop, live coaching, and reporting capabilities.

Integrate Kixie with HubSpot for easily-automated calling & texting for your CRM.

4. RingCentral

ringcentral sales dialer software

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RingCentral is a cloud-based phone, message, and video communication and collaboration tool. There’s a Predictive Dialer which uses predictive algorithms and data to connect your team with live prospects. This dialer works for your sales team but also for service and support, market research, and contact centers. There are guided engagement flows that automatically adapt to customer interactions in order to streamline the sales process.

Integrate RingCentral with HubSpot to call, text, and schedule meetings while in HubSpot.

5. JustCall

justcall sales dialer software

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JustCall is a cloud-based phone system for remote sales and support teams. The software offers auto, predictive, and power dialers, all of which automate phone calls. These dialers allow you to upload your contact lists, have the system dial numbers for you, and drop voicemails if a contact doesn’t pick up the phone. You’re able to easily review and read call scripts, take notes, tag contacts, and leave ratings about contacts during and after calls. Analyze and report on rep success with JustCall’s reporting and performance metrics.

Integrate JustCall with HubSpot to add a cloud-based phone system with texting automation to your account.

6. DialPad

dialpad sales dialer software

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DialPad is a cloud-based, AI-powered communication platform meant for collaboration and building connections. The sales dialer, called DialPad Sell, automates data entry for reps so they can spend their time actually talking to prospects.

The dialer tracks call volume and sentiment to help reps identify highly-qualified leads and teachable moments (for themselves and to share with fellow reps). There are other ways DialPad helps reps learn from one another, too — for example, managers can use playlists to share sales call “greatest hits” to teach the reps about the tactics that are working well among their audience. There are also actionable insights that come from post-sales call analytics and reporting.

Integrate DialPad with HubSpot to connect your business phone system to HubSpot and automate activity.

7. Toky

toky sales dialer software

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Toky is a business phone and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system meant for calling or messaging your customers via phone call, app, or desktop. Toky’s power dialer calls customers for you so you can focus on the conversation. Simply upload your contact list and choose the time between each call — then, Toky will dial for you.

The tool automates manual logging and automatically syncs directly with your CRM so all information and data is centrally located. Toky’s power dialer helps mitigate any dialing mistakes as well as monitor your calls so you can review your sales process, support reps, and improve call quality.

Integrate Toky with HubSpot to use your virtual phone system and CRM as a single tool.

8. CircleLoop

circleloop sales dialer software

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CircleLoop is a cloud-based telephone service with a wide range of features across different categories including apps and devices (that you can use the software on), phone system, calling functions, admin, analytics and reporting, and integrations.

There are dozens of call-specific features that come with the phone system to cover all of your team’s needs such as inbound and outbound calling, redirects, call recordings, voicemail transcription, and contact sync. One of the many available integrations is with HubSpot, which allows you to use CircleLoop’s native sales dialer in your CRM.

Integrate CircleLoop with HubSpot to make calls and track client communications effortlessly.

9. CloudTalk

cloudtalk

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CloudTalk is a call center software for sales, support, remote teams, traders, brokers, and ecommerce. There are many features across categories including voice, intelligent call routing, productivity, integrations, reporting, and more. The tool offers a power dialer, a predictive dialer, and a smart dialer.

The power dialer allows you to create sales campaigns using surveys and call scripts to increase the number of calls reps are able to make. The predictive dialer saves reps time when dialing and speaking with contacts by automatically dialing the next call in line when a rep is free to talk. The smart dialer automatically compiles a list of contacts and in one click, it’ll start dialing the numbers for you.

Integrate CloudTalk with HubSpot for an easy-to-use cloud-based phone system with two-way sync, click-to-call, and SMS.

10. Ringover

ringover sales dialer software

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Ringover is a cloud-based business phone system that’s ideal for outbound and inbound call centers, remote work, and small businesses. The software has a power dialer and a smart dialer. The power dialer helps small teams make their outbound sales campaigns more effective and efficient by automatically dialing through a manually-set list of contacts.

The power dialer makes an unlimited number of calls and includes reporting capabilities, call monitoring, and post-call qualification time so reps can take notes and prep for their next conversation accordingly. The smart dialer helps you quickly call contacts and team members to boost efficiency and save time. Simply begin typing in someone’s phone number or name and the rest of the contact’s number and information will automatically appear and dial for you.

Integrate Ringover with HubSpot to use your sales, support, and call center phone system from HubSpot.

11. PhoneBurner

phoneburner sales dialer software

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PhoneBurner is a power dialer software solution that helps reps dial prospects four-times faster than they would be able to manually. Additionally, the tool automatically leaves voicemails and sends emails for you and helps manage your workflows. PhoneBurner is cloud-based so you can access the power dialer via any device or VoIP.

Set a unique caller ID and choose which contacts the system should dial to quickly begin speaking with leads. PhoneBurner also comes with a CRM so you can keep track of your contact lists, filter leads, and create saved searches to highlight your highest-value prospects all via a single platform.

Sales dialer software has the power to increase efficiency by saving reps time on manual, tedious tasks that they can then spend conversing and building relationships with prospects. Think about which sales dialer features you need when determining which option is most ideal for your team.

Sales

How to Respond to ‘Just Tell Me the Price,’…

As a salesperson, you’re bound to be confronted with it at some point — what HubSpot SMB Growth Specialist Vajra refers to as “the most dangerous question.” By his account, it’s the statement that shows “a prospect is qualifying you instead of you qualifying them.

I’m referring to the most quintessential down-to-brass-tacks statement a prospect can offer: “Just tell me the price.”

It’s a frank, no-nonsense concern that can put some of the best sales reps on their heels. So for the sake of any stumped sales reps, we’ve reached out to some of our internal experts here at HubSpot for their takes on how they answer when a prospect asks, “How much does it cost?”

Let’s take a look at some of the tricks they came up with.

The Best Answers to “How Much Does It Cost”

Be totally upfront.

According to HubSpot Senior Account Executive Nicole Bhatia, honesty is the best policy when confronted with this question.

She says, “It’s simple — when someone says, ‘Just tell me the price,’ I just tell them the price. Someone who says that clearly has their guard up. This person likely doesn’t want to be sold. You won’t get anywhere trying to dissuade them from jumping right into pricing. They’ll likely dig their heels in even further and feel like you’re hiding something.”

She points out that you can’t force a prospect into being a good fit for your product or service — particularly when it comes to price. She says, “After six years in sales, I know that no matter how good of a salesperson I am, I can’t work magic. I can’t magically make them have more money. If my product is far outside of their budget it’s better not to waste either of our time.”

Try to get a better feel for a prospect’s circumstances.

When discussing pricing, it helps to have a holistic picture of where your prospect is coming from. You need to understand their situation as best as you can before you can have a meaningful conversation on the subject.

As HubSpot Account Executive Stefanie Ibarguen puts it, “It’s usually not a one-size-fits-all discussion. Each business has different requirements when it comes to contract terms that align with how they operate. I would need to know more about their requirements, what packaging best fits their needs, and other relevant terms to give them a more specific estimate”

Principal Account Executive Anna Rofsky suggests that salespeople take more time to understand the nature of a prospect’s business operations, perspective, and broader circumstances.

According to her, “If a sales rep is really in sales for the right reasons, then they’re encouraged and excited — they’re there to help you figure out what solution is best for you. It’s like walking into Urban Outfitters looking for jeans and asking a sales rep ‘for the price.’ What then? It’s very unlikely they’ll select a random pair and tell you they’re $89.

“No, it’s much more likely they will ask questions around color, style, and any applicable sales. That way, they can point you in the direction toward what you actually want. That’s the role of a salesperson — strategic guidance on what is best for you — not a dollar amount to throw around.”

Push for a more thorough conversation.

As an extension of the point above, the experts we reached out to generally agreed that a prospect’s concerns about price warrant a thorough conversation.

Inbound Sales and Digital Marketing Expert Michael Grinberg says, “Typically when a prospect asks you to just tell them the price, they are asking this question to simply gauge if they should even take another call. With a freemium or a free trial model, an easy way to navigate this objection is to say, ‘[Prospect], as a fellow consumer I understand that you need to know the price to understand if our product is even viable for your company.

“We offer ways to get started with our products for free, and some of our customers are paying us as much as $50,000/monthly. The last thing either of us wants is for you to get an inaccurate quote, so would you be open to scheduling another call where we nail down the use case, and then I can give you an accurate price that most closely resembles your current needs?’

One way or another, it serves you to further discuss both the nature of their needs and how you can best accommodate them. Both sides of that conversation will be helpful and telling in terms of the kind of pricing structure you can present to them.

If you don’t have enough information to offer them a meaningful estimate, don’t just throw out some arbitrary, potentially misleading figure. Push for some more context via a more concentrated conversation — one that can inform a legitimate, accurate “how much does it cost” answer.

A prospect being blunt and hitting you with, “Just tell me the price,” can be imposing, but it doesn’t have to throw you off your game. If there’s anything to take away from this article, it’s that honesty and pushing for more context are the best policies.

Be upfront with them immediately if you can, but if you need more information to present a fair, accurate estimate, ask for it. Try to have a more thorough conversation to understand your prospect’s business operations and the needs that come with them.

Sales

15 Science-Backed Tips for Making Better Sales Calls

Just like in sports, the use of science to develop elite performers also applies in Sales.

In both fields, trainers adopt two key scientific elements — metrics and method — to drive practitioners to break records and set new milestones in their respective games.

In sports, much of the science focuses on the athlete: genetics, biomechanics (i.e. movement techniques and training regimen), nutrition, and psychology (for mental toughness, behavioral modifications, and positive visualizations).

On the other hand, the use of science in sales focuses on two areas: the seller and the buyer.

Like top athletes, sales superstars also adopt:

  • A sales methodology to systematize their gameplay.
  • Proactive sales psychology to prepare for the toughest buyer objections ahead of time by establishing the right mental and emotional state.

But because selling is a two-way interaction, the science behind sales also covers the other party in the engagement: prospects, leads, or customers, depending on the stage in the sales process at which they are being engaged.

In this post, I’ve gathered my best key takeaways and tactics for running successful sales calls, based on my 10+ years of sales experience. As the field moves closer to a customer-centric paradigm, you’ll find that most of the tactics I have included are buyer-focused.

1. Start all sales calls with a bang.

Always start your sales calls in style. One study tried to figure out how to increase room service tips for waiters in hotels. Much to the researchers’ surprise, all the waiters had to do was start with a positive comment. When hotel guests opened their door, waiters said “good morning” and gave a positive weather forecast for the day.

How does this help you? Never start your sales calls or meetings by talking about bad weather, traffic, or being busy. Always begin with a positive comment or anecdote. Think great weather, fun weekend plans, or a favorite sports team winning a game. That kicks most sales calls off on the right foot.

2. Don’t bad-mouth competitors during sales calls.

The biggest self-sabotaging mistake during a sales call is to speak ill of a competitor. Due to a psychological quirk called “spontaneous trait transference,” research has shown that whenever you say bad things about someone else, your audience puts those same traits on you.

If you say your competitor is low quality and unreliable, your potential client can’t help but associate those traits with you, even if they know logically that you are talking about a third party. So no matter what, when it comes to gossip about competitors, always say, “No comment.

3. Use awesome labels.

Assigning a positive label or trait (like having high intelligence or being a good person) to people generally compels them to live up to the label. In one study about fundraising, the researchers told average donors that they were in fact among the highest donors.

Can you guess what happened? Those donors proceeded to donate an above average amount. We tend to live up to positive labels ascribed to us by people we interact with.

When you are with a client or potential customer, give them good labels. Be sure though that the labels are sensible and genuine. Never attempt anything that will push people into thinking that you are inauthentic, fake, or manipulative.

For example, you can say, “You are one of our best customers” or “You’re such a pleasure to do business with.” Having received the compliment, the client will want to be one of your best customers or try even harder to be a pleasing business partner.

4. Set the agenda and stay in control.

When I get on sales calls that I’ve set up from meeting requests, I always like to articulate clear agendas and ask the prospects if that’s okay with them. This way, I can keep calls on track and accomplish what I want to achieve, while making customers feel that they are in control of the conversation.

For example, you might say, “Well, I’m glad we’re able to connect today. I’d love to go over XYZ and then would be happy to answer any questions you might have. How does that sound to you?

5. Stand up.

Allow your passion and excitement for the product to come through in your sales calls. Make it something the prospect can be infected by. In my experience, sales reps can achieve this by standing up and doing sales calls in a main common space, instead of hiding in a cubicle or a conference room.

As former Mattermark CEO Danielle Morrill says, “Speak loud and proud!” I personally prefer to pace around while making sales calls.

6. Use emphasis wisely.

Highlighting certain words or phrases is an effective communication tool that helps you convey your message better. Focus on your inflection, especially on voicemails. Former Bedrock Data CEO John Marcus describes this as “putting makeup” on your calls.

By adding inflection to the right words, you sound more passionate and articulate and, in turn, more convincing.

7. Simplify options.

Too many options can easily confuse buyers, making it harder for them to select, rationalize, and affirm a purchase decision. Unless you are a data analytics engine, information overload rarely delivers a benefit.

When describing your product, reduce the number of options and features you want the prospect to focus on. This way, they can arrive at a decision faster and feel more confident that they are not missing out on anything. Only when the likelihood of attrition/rejection becomes overwhelming should you present countermeasures (i.e., the next tier of options).

8. Adopt smart product positioning.

The way you frame your product often spells the difference between a closed deal and a lost opportunity. Groundbreaking research in behavioral economics confirm that framing matters. For example, saving $10 feels oddly different across varied buying scenarios (purchasing a smartphone vs. buying a shirt, for example) even when the amount saved is exactly the same. In many cases, relative positioning beats pricing in making brands more appealing to consumers.

Packaging the product as a solution instead of just a commodity or service also increases the likelihood of conversion. At the end of the day, you perform better by solving problems than by selling products.

9. Get emotional.

The key finding of behavioral economics is that people rarely hinge their purchase decisions on solidly rational grounds. In the vast majority of cases, people buy stuff largely because of emotional triggers and other hyper-personal, sometimes illogical factors.

Nostalgia, brand loyalty, associative/sentimental attachments to a product, and other intangible benefits can serve as persuasion levers as much as a product’s technical features.

When engaging prospects, probe for the emotional button that can sway their purchase decision. Articulate a product’s value through the use of relevant and powerful storytelling. In some instances, adopting the pleasure-pain dichotomy may work. Depending on the situation, people’s aversion to pain or their deep anticipation of pleasure can be leveraged as powerful selling tools.

Lastly, personal trust — however misplaced — also works in selling, as social media recommendations prove. People will believe an idea or buy a product if these are endorsed by family, friends, or influencers they trust. As a seller, you can pull this powerful string through referrals, testimonials, and influencer marketing.

10. Clarify the product’s value.

Make it easier for prospects to assess a product’s subjective (emotion-based) and objective (fact-based) benefits. Use storytelling and framing techniques to set your product apart from other options available in the market.

Whenever possible, have an ROI calculator or formula at hand to help prospects quantify the benefits of the product when emotional triggers are inadequate to push them towards a firm decision. In either case, clearly demonstrate that the value customers receive more than justifies the price.

11. Empower customers.

People enjoy discovering stuff that makes them feel good or solutions that address their pesky problems. But they resent being forced, wrangled, goaded, or tricked into a purchase decision.

Because business is leaning more towards a subscription-based paradigm, brands aim to build long-term relationships with customers. If people perceive that you are force-feeding terms or tricking them into buying, you’ll lose not just customers but a revenue stream. Hence, give customers enough space, freedom, and power to make purchase decisions they will not regret.

You can achieve this by closely involving customers in developing the solutions they need. Get their feedback and give them a semblance of control in the problem-solving process. But always direct the conversation towards your value proposition.

12. There’s a time for everything.

In life as in sales, timing matters. Depending on your industry and the specific prospect you are engaging, the proper timing for making calls, doing presentations, sending emails, scheduling meetings, and attempting a close exist.

There are a number of studies that pinpoint the specific times within a day best suited for reaching out to your target consumers. Find one for your niche and implement accordingly.

13. Serve hot, not cold

Practically speaking, cold calling is becoming a relic of the past. With business intelligence software, social media, and other digital resources, approaching a prospect without any clue about who they are and what they need has become a grossly desperate if not an outright stupid move to make.

Plan and prepare for each call. Use business intelligence tools, corporate databases, and search engines to profile a company. Probe their social media accounts to discover pain points and other opportunities.

Participate in their conversations and identify the values, thought leaders, and brands they associate with. Know as much as you can about a prospect to make them feel they are important, that you have done your homework, and that you care about their success.

14. Observe, record, and predict.

Much of science involves the careful observation of nature, recording your findings, and making predictions based on your observations. Sales follows a similar framework.

The key is to limit your talk time and listen to what your prospects are saying. When prospects talk extensively about their situation, you have already pulled the right strings. Keep them talking. Observe their behavior. Discern their needs based on their statements. Design and propose a solution that squarely addresses their problems.

Ask the right questions. Probe for relevant answers. And truly listen. That is what top-notch selling is all about.

15. Make it about you, too.

Selling is a two-way street. Even if you take care of customers but neglect honing your skills and attitude as a sales practitioner, you won’t go as high as you could.

Customers warm up to and trust business contacts who are masters at their craft. Train to be the very best at what you do so customers will see that your solutions are peerless and they will lose significant value when they move to another vendor.

Think big and set higher goals to challenge yourself and your team. As behavioral economists suggest, organize your goals into several mini objectives that incrementally increase in difficulty. Perform the easy ones first to establish a string of successes that will give you the momentum, confidence, and motivation you need to beat more challenging goals later on.

Selling Is a Science

Long considered as the art of persuasion, sales has also become a science-driven profession. Business intelligence, data analytics, behavioral modification, and key performance indicators are just some of the elements that systematize the seller side of the dynamic. On the other hand, neuroscience, consumer psychology, and behavioral economics now pervade how smart practitioners approach the buyer side.

Science clearly has a central role in exponentially improving sales performance. With machine learning and artificial intelligence on the rise, the influence of science on the world of sales can only go deeper. The key for tomorrow’s sales professionals is to embrace science-backed selling tactics to transform their gameplay and win.

This is an excerpt from the new book Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High Velocity Sales Machine. It has been published with permission.

Want more? Read our guide for everything you need to know about selling over the phone next.

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