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Lead Management: Five Cold Calling Basics
Blog / For Sales Pros / Nov 30, 2013 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 4600

Lead Management: Five Cold Calling Basics

It used to be that cold calling was the primary method of lead generation itself. It was a do-or-die proposition: those that succeeded at it remained salespeople. Those that didn’t usually found other careers. This was because salespeople were usually “flying blind” not knowing if the person they were calling was even remotely qualified as a prospect.

Today cold calling is normally done as a part of lead management. This calling is frequently done by an inside sales rep to qualify and make the lead “hotter” before sending it to a sales rep who will be going for the close. The lead being contacted is a “warm lead”—someone who has shown some kind of interest in your product or service. They’ve requested more information, or downloaded a white paper from your web site, or taken some other action. In other words they’re not totally “cold” and are to some degree qualified.

Nonetheless there is still a very narrow window in which to interest them, and an inside salesperson must have some basic operating actions and skills to bring prospects up to being “sellable.” Here are five basic tips that will take you quite a ways into accomplishing the purpose of cold calling.

Role of cold-calling in lead management1. Contact the Lead as Soon as Possible

If you think back to the last time you yourself were interested in a product or service, you’ll find you were the most interested at the time you were actually checking it out. As time passed following your investigation you became involved with other things and didn’t think all that much about it. After a long time had gone by, you may have forgotten about it altogether.

Some companies have a policy to contact leads literally within minutes when possible. The person likely still has the issue they’re trying to solve in mind, and you’re tapping right into it.

2. Know How to Gently Persuade

This is a basic sales skill of lead management that is acquired over time, but it certainly can be coached by sales managers and experienced sales reps to get someone off the ground. It is a fine balance between “being pushy” and “being friendly, polite and personable.” You’re gently but firmly persuading someone into taking the next step in your sales process—and the real experts at this leave the person thinking it was their idea.

3. Know Who You’re Calling

The most irritating thing that can happen is when someone gets a call from a salesperson that obviously doesn’t know the first thing about the prospect’s company, the problems they might be encountering or the prospect’s job description. The inside sales rep (or script they are following) may try to make up for it by taking shots in the dark—which is about the fastest way for the inside rep’s pitch to go south fast.

Important part of lead management is take a couple minutes to find out who you’re calling. Look their company up online. See if you can find out what kind of issues they’re trying to resolve that your product or service would assist in. Get ahold hold of your contact’s job description and know something about what they do. And of course go in knowing the method with which they showed interest—e.g. they downloaded a white paper, filled out a form for more information, etc.

Most or all of this information should be available in your CRM solution (see #5 below).

Make sure this kind of information is liberally utilized during the conversation. It adds a personal touch and lets the person know you’re not just trying to pitch a voice on the other end of the line.

Any scripts should be adjusted to take this information into account.

4. Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Many inside reps make 1 or 2 attempts at cold calling a prospect, then leave it and never try again. It has been found through research, however, that sales often occur when someone has been contacted 8 or 9 times.

Along with being gently persuasive, also be gently persistent. Any experienced salesperson will tell you it often pays off.

5. Use Your CRM Solution for Lead Management

If you’re company is utilizing a leading-edge CRM solution, there should be some amount of information about your prospect or prospect company right in CRM Tool. Make sure to look it over so you have all your information complete before making your call. When your call is done, make sure you enter the information you acquired as well as the steps you took into CRM so the next person will be able to see it. If you have done your job well, that next person will be the sales rep who will eventually close the sale—so provide all the information you can.

Cold calling can be done well as part of a successful lead management program. Apply these basics and increase your lead-to-sale conversions.

If your CRM solution is not the backbone of your sales process from one end to the other, you should find one that is. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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