How to write effective sales scripts for cold calling

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14 min read
CRM

Cold calling is a sales process most reps dread, and for good reason. It involves contacting people or businesses you think are a good fit for your products or solution, but they’ve shown no prior interest in your company. This means sales reps need to try to say all the right things to capture their attention and keep it.

Since prospects may not be as interested in your services as you hope, cold calling can lead to unpredictable and exasperating outcomes. What’s more, even if someone could use your services, saying the wrong thing or simply reaching them at the wrong time could lead to problems.

To help minimize the variables that go into cold calling, sales reps develop a cold call script that will guide them through common objections and help them keep the conversation on track. Of course, a sales call script needs to be written and perfected based on your unique customers. This can make creating a sales call script daunting, but using these tips and template will help you through the process.

How to write the best sales call script

Using a sales call script is considered far more effective than going in blind. Once the small talk is over and you need to start explaining your solutions, a script can save the day by helping you focus on the customer’s needs and the unique benefits of your solution.

In order for a sales call script to be effective, you must write it with your target audience in mind. You also need to consider your solution and what distinguishes it from alternatives on the market. Generally, this means segmenting your audience based on buyer personas and then going in-depth about the pain points, priorities, and objections each persona may have.

Once you know who you’re talking to, you can present specific advantages of your product and frame them in a way that directly connects to the concerns of your potential customers. Ideally, you’ll have a different script for each of the buyer personas you identify. Additionally, you should create a template that allows you to take common questions and objections and address them in a consistent and direct manner without getting off script.

To summarize, you need to get a few things in order before you start writing a sales call script:

  • Understand your product’s solution and all of its potential use cases.

  • Get to know various buyer personas and the specific benefits that appeal to them.

  • Make note of what distinguishes your product from the competing solutions your leads may be considering.

  • Summarize the unique value your solution offers into a one-line statement for each of the personas you wish to target.

  • Consider your overarching business goals and set sales goals accordingly so that your salespeople know what they’re working towards.

By taking care of this preliminary research and planning, actually writing your sales prospecting script becomes a much simpler and more straightforward process. Following our proven framework will make it even easier.

Sales call script template

When introducing your solution to someone for the first time, you need a pitch that’s extremely engaging and compelling. It needs to flow well from one point to the next, and it needs to make your prospect feel like you’re speaking directly to their needs and concerns. This framework will help you lead the conversation without sounding pushy.

Introduce yourself

Start with a simple and effective introduction. Use the prospect’s name and tell them yours, let them know why you’re calling, and show respect for their time by asking if they have a few minutes. If they say yes, ask them how they’re doing and make some small talk.

The first few seconds of a sales call are always the most vital. If you come across as robotic, rude, or pushy, a person is sure to hang up. Instead, you want to ease their worries by being genuine and straightforward.

By informing them of who you are and why you’re reaching out to them, you can quickly put them at ease that you aren’t calling to scam or harass them. Additionally, by quickly asking, “Is now a good time?” you can show respect for their time. If someone says it isn’t, you can let them know it will only take a few minutes, and if they still say they’re preoccupied, you can schedule a specific time to call back.

Making a first impression that is both kind and professional is the best way to get your foot in the door. Once you get past the initial introduction, you’ll already have much more confidence and eagerness to move forward with the rest of your script.

State your value proposition

Your value proposition is where you reel in the prospect, so follow up your introduction by saying something that piques the person’s interest.

 

For example, you can point out a problem you would like to help them with. If you’re cold calling nonprofits, you could ask them to walk you through their current numbers, and in return, you’ll give them three actionable tips to increase the donations they’re collecting.

By implying that they are going to get something out of the phone call, they will be much more interested in staying on the line and hearing what you have to say. The best part is, offering them this value upfront will leave them with the impression that you are genuine and help you prove your expertise from the start.

Ask qualifying questions

While you have done your research and already think that a prospect is a good fit before you call, there are still certain qualifying questions you should ask before you take the phone call any further.

A common example of a qualifying question is, “Are you currently dealing with [problem]?” If the answer is positive, you might follow that question up with, “What solutions are you currently considering?” followed by, “What would happen if you did nothing?”

These questions will help you confirm that you’re talking to the right person, and many “yes” answers will get the prospect in the mindset that you understand them and have something that would be specifically valuable to them.

Share social proof and success stories

Now that you have a prospect fully engaged in the conversation, you need to take a moment to put any remaining doubts at ease. This is best done through a verbal demonstration of how you have helped similar clients in the past.

Before you start cold calling, it’s worth reaching out to your current customers and getting permission to share their feedback on your product. This is how you can find meaningful statistics that you can share as success stories on your cold calls. Double-check because you might need written permission before you share that information.

For instance, if you were speaking to a nonprofit manager, you could say: “We helped XYZ triple their donations in less than three months.” Social proof like this provides instant credibility, and it gets them thinking about the results they could achieve if they choose to implement your solution.

When describing a success story, make sure to go into detail about a few of the pain points a prior client faced that mirror the pain points the current prospect likely faces. This extra bit of information will make it abundantly clear to the prospect that you understand their business and the challenges they’re trying to overcome.

Explain your offerings

The previous section of the sales pitch will naturally transition into an explanation about your specific products and services and how you can apply them in the prospect’s business to get them desirable results.

This is when you should be prepared to answer various questions, and your script should flow accordingly. For instance, they might want to know about cost, implementation, and risks. The more cold calls you take, the more extensive this part of your script will become as you learn about new objections and questions and how to best handle them.

Make sure that you’re always handling a question or objection by circling back to the benefit of your product. For instance, if someone asks about contract terms, you can explain that you offer flexible month-to-month contracts or a generous cancellation policy.

End with a strong call to action

In an effort to be respectful of the prospect’s time and meet the quotas your sales team has set, you need to know when it is appropriate to wrap up the phone call and move on. This is generally marked by the prospect asking their final question. This is when you need to end the conversation with a persuasive pitch.

For example, you can ask if they would like to schedule a product demo or have you call them back with additional information, like a custom quote. Ideally, you’ll end the discovery call with a firm commitment to the next step in the sales process, whether that’s a follow-up call or closing the deal.

The very last thing you’ll do is thank them for their time and confirm how and when you will follow up with them. You then need to hop off the call and take notes on those details so you can keep your promise. Depending on your company’s sales strategy, you might also collect their email address while on the phone and send them a summary and additional “thank you” message there.

Sales call script example

The above framework can help you easily write a script that makes your cold-calling efforts successful, but what does it look like in practice? Here’s a sales script example that shows how easily you can put all this information together.

“Hello, John, my name is Mary, and I’m calling from Smith Accounting to share some information on our small business solution. Do you have a few minutes to learn how our solution saves the average small business $300/month in accounting fees?”

If the answer is “No,” you can respond by saying: “I would love to walk you through some process optimization tips that your business could implement right away. When is a good time for me to call back?”

If the answer is “Yes,” continue on with the script by introducing your value statement. “We’ve developed a process optimization checklist that helps small businesses begin saving money on their accounting fees immediately. Are you currently spending more than $500/month on accounting fees?”

If the answer is “No,” this prospect might not fit your qualifying criteria after all. You would need to go through your list of other qualifying questions to see if the conversation should be continued.

If the answer is “Yes,” you could follow that question up with, “What solutions are you currently considering to reduce your accounting fees?” Once the prospect has been sufficiently qualified, you will have a greater understanding of their current pain points. They might even go into detail about the solutions they are looking at and what they do and don’t like about them, giving you a great segway.

“We recently worked with Frankfurt Enterprises across town from you, and they were able to reduce their accounting fees by $450/month with our solution. They faced a similar problem, as they needed flexible software capable of supporting custom fields and data.” From there, you can transition into the unique benefits of your solutions.

“Our small business solution provides customization at no extra cost, which would enable you to design a system that perfectly suits your company’s use case without any custom coding. The drag-and-drop interface is extremely easy to use, and you can integrate it with all your existing payments and reporting software. Could that help your business achieve its goal?”

Once you address any questions the client has, you would end the call with a strong CTA. “Thanks for your time today. I would love to walk you through our software so that you can see it in action for yourself. What’s a good time next week to schedule a product demo?”

It’s as simple as that! By adjusting the talking points according to the specific objections and questions a prospect brings up, you can create detailed scripts that rapidly become your favorite sales tool. The last thing you need to do is make sure you sound good on the phone.

Cold calling tips

It’s not just what you say — but how you say it. When it comes to a cold call, one of the most common sales mistakes is failing to sound confident or genuine enough. Following these sales tips will help you close deals more effectively.

  • Deeply qualify leads: If you find that sales calls aren’t going anywhere, it’s possible that your list simply doesn’t contain leads that are a good fit for the solution you’re trying to sell. One of the best ways to maximize your cold calling results is to deeply qualify leads before you contact them. You might also need to change the qualifying questions you use at the start of the call to confirm that you aren’t wasting your time or theirs.

  • Work on your tone: Especially if you’re nervous, it’s easy to come across as terse or perhaps disengaged in the conversation. All salespeople know they need to constantly work on their conversational skills, but cold calls can be intimidating even for seasoned pros. Being especially weary of your tone when you take the first cold call of the day and on any phone calls following a rejection will help you sound better.

  • Get familiar with the product: One of the most compelling things you can do on a sales call is to discuss specific key benefits that directly apply to the prospect’s use case. However, being able to bring up these benefits requires you to have a deep understanding of your solution’s functionality and of the buyer personas you’re working with. Taking time to “study up” before a cold call is always worthwhile.

  • Perfect your voicemails: If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail. Ideally, your voicemail will be under 30 seconds. You should develop sales scripts and “elevator pitches” that you can use in your voicemail so you don’t stumble over your words. You should also develop voicemail scripts for your follow-up calls to keep prospects engaged in case you miss them when you were supposed to reconnect.

  • Build relationships: Even if a prospect is not interested or qualified for your services at the moment, you should still work on building a relationship with them and leaving a solid first impression. This is important for your company’s reputation, but it can also lead to referrals should that company know someone who could use your services. They might also come to you in the future when it’s a better fit.

Cold calling is something you will get better at as you continue having conversations with prospects, learning about their objections, and figuring out what works best when connecting with your target audience.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged just because your first few calls don't go your way. By following these tips and continuously improving your call script, you’ll be able to close more deals and feel like you own sales calls instead of dreading them.

Hone your cold-calling skills

Apart from a sales script, using a Telesales and Telemarketing CRM can help you manage your inbound and outbound calling and improve your lead generation strategy. By helping you prioritize leads, guide you through call scripts, and collect information on the fly, a CRM could supercharge your cold-calling process and make follow-up a breeze.

With FiveCRM, you can:

  • Double your call quota through process optimization and automation.

  • Follow-up with customized email templates to help you engage leads.

  • See your prospects, leads, and deals at a glance.

  • Track your progress towards sales goals with detailed analytics.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with FiveCRM today and see for yourself how our software can maximize your sales and minimize the time you spend chasing down leads. 

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