Even if the prospect you’re calling isn’t expecting to hear from you, there are LOTS of ways to turn a "cold call" into a "warm call." It’s not about smiling and dialing (though yes, you should always smile when you’re making a call).
Warm calling means that you’ve researched the prospect first, and are ready to have an intelligent, personal conversation.
It sounds fundamental, but how many calls and voicemails do you get and the person calling hasn't spent a single minute learning about who you are and what your company does? The caller is just working through a list and delivering a script just because they found you on AngelList or Crunchbase.
Let’s not be those people. Remember that whole "do unto others" thing, okay?
It's just way too easy for us to find information about any person that you're calling, especially if you focus your research on three areas:
1 - The Person
That's as easy as hopping on LinkedIn and learning about who that person is – What's their title? Where else have they worked? How long have them been in the industry, and with their company? Have they moved up through the ranks, or hopped from company to company in their market?
Find out what groups and people they follow to see if they match your buyer persona. Are they active in those groups? Are they posting and commenting on LinkedIn?
Find out what conferences they’ve recently attended. Have they been speakers or panelists? Are they considered an expert in their industry for their specialization?
BTW – Outbound Selling Sequences are big part of our "Fill the Funnel" program. "Fill the Funnel" is designed to help you build and implement your startup’s sales engagement strategy so that you can, appropriately, fill your sales funnel in the next 10 weeks and nail your number in 2019.
Whether you’re an early-stage founder doing all of the sales work alone, or you’re building and managing a team of SDRs, the program is designed to give you a quick boost of leads to fill your sales funnel, and will help you build a repeatable, scalable sales engagement system for your company.
If you want some more details, hit "reply" with the word FUNNEL. We’ll ask you a few questions, if it seems like you could be a good fit, we’ll share all the details.
2 - The Company
What is the company's focus and strategy? Who are their customers and why do they sell to that market?
Think downstream – How could you help them increase their revenue or reduce their costs? Could you remove risk from their business processes or increase their efficiency?
If you’re calling on publicly-traded companies, read the "Letter from The Chairman" in the annual report to learn about their 3-5 year strategy. If it’s a private company, read press releases to learn about their products and how they’re positioning themselves in their market to their customers.
The more you know about the company, the more intelligently you can speak to the person about how you can help them, which leads us to...
3 - The Problem
What is the problem that you solve for the person and company you’re calling? Does your target prospect company have the problem you solve, and are they problem-aware? How does this problem affect their ability to execute on their work daily, and for their company to execute on their company strategy?
Then relate the problem back to the person you’re calling – how does that person fit into the problem and how are they responsible for solving it?
The downside to all of this research is the opportunity cost of time. Too often salespeople and SDRs spend too much time researching and not enough time calling. Too much research is usually just procrastination or fear ("I’m doing all this work by researching my prospects!"), and two hours later your reps haven't picked up the phone. That’s another post for another day, but in the mean time, cap their research time per lead, and have them set up "Prospect Research" time blocks, just as you want them to have "Call Time" blocks.
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