Most experienced reps will pick up the phone receiver the same way they might pick up a coffee mug – by rote, and without the slightest hesitation. After all, it’s something they’ve done a thousand times before. But ask those same experienced reps what it was like when they first started, and chances are most will recall a period of intense trepidation.
The cold call jitters are by no means abnormal for SDRs just starting out, and even more experienced SDRs still feel a certain dread when they turn their attention away from socials and towards the phone.
It used to be that the phone was the preferred mode of distance communication for most young people (and, indeed, most salespeople), but with the advent of SMS and email, young people entering the workforce may lack phone skills compared to their older counterparts. Yet it’s still an important facet of B2B sales, a skill that every SDR needs to learn. With that in mind, here are a few tips that SDRs both new and experienced can use to up their phone game.
Preparation breeds confidence. The more you know in advance about a prospect, the better equipped you’ll feel to project value, address pain points and handle objections. Do some research beforehand on your prospect and familiarize yourself with your script. The latter becomes much easier with the logical-branch scripting of a sales engagement platform, a tool that many savvy sales teams have started to use.
Automate the Process
This is more for the heads of the B2B sales teams who might be reading this: if you want your new SDRs to cruise through their shaky first few weeks on the phone, workflow automation is the way to go. A sales engagement platform, which was just discussed above, can also include auto-dialing software, which either automatically dials the next best prospect (progressive dialing) or pops up a click-to-call box for the caller (preview dialing) – click here to learn more.
Shadow a More Senior Rep
New team members learn by example. If you buffer yourself with other inexperienced SDRs, or – worse yet – isolate yourself entirely during the learning process, you won’t grow as a salesperson. Nor will your confidence have much chance to grow. Shadow a senior rep, actively absorbing the way they handle themselves on the phone: the questions they ask, the silences they leave, and the way they handle rejection. Which leads us to…
You might worry about a rejection hurting your quota. Fair enough, but if you allow that rejection to negatively influence your sales calls going forward, it will only make things worse. Like water off a duck’s back, let that rejection roll off you, and pick up the phone again with renewed confidence in your sales abilities. You may not have the power to reverse a hard rejection, but you do have the power to make the next call a success.
With a little preparation, the right sales engagement software, some guidance from a peer and the fortitude to keep picking up the phone, you can become a bona fide ace up the sleeve of your sales team.