Telesales is one of the most efficient ways to grow a customer base and increase revenue. Telesales is more than simple outbound cold calls, however: Inbound sales are generated from cold-call campaigns. Telesales is also more than sales: Telesales help businesses gather customer information, feedback and perceptions on products — similar to market research. Telesales campaigns can also overlap with other sales campaigns, introducing market segments to new products or services. Although each campaign has its own objective, basic principles unify all telesales. The following objectives are for call reps and businesses.
Before getting on the horn, identify the purpose of the telesales campaign. Call strategies and tactics are dependent on the market and list type. If the campaign is full of previously generated hot leads, such as referrals, a less aggressive approach is justified. Simply developing rapport and getting feedback on previous interactions may be a primary goal; sales opportunity is a secondary objective. If you're going into a pure sales call, anticipate possible objections. Write them down and generate persuasive rebuttals.
Screening and Interest Opener Objectives
Any successful sales call generates interest in seconds. The combination of an upbeat tone and succinct sales message is critical to getting that attention. The best messages are often questions asking if the lead is in need of a fantastic benefit.
If you're on an aggressive campaign with cold leads, a more aggressive approach is necessary. With an aggressive sales approach, it's critical that you identify the decision-maker in the household. You could persuade and close the entire family, but if you don't speak to the decision-maker, it's wasted time. While you work to identify the decision-maker, glean information about the potential desire or need for the product. Qualify the prospect to ensure he has the necessary means by which to purchase your product or service.
Once you've got the decision-maker on the phone and she seems qualified, go into the sales phase of the call. Find out the lead's needs. Ask open-ended questions about the person's perceptions about the product or service. Avoid too many leading questions: If the person has a need that fits with your product, tell them how. If there's a solid sales match, go into more direct lines of questioning. Good questions to ask are: "Do you feel that would work for you?" and "How do you feel that would solve your problem?" This gives the lead the chance to say no and end the call. If the lead has yes answers, move into the closing phase.
Closing should be a stress-free and natural event. Sales are most often lost in closing when the sales representative feels anxiety. Given the work put into generating interest and finding need, the close should be quick and logical. Always start big and move down. Buyers won't go up from the more inexpensive product or service. Be frank in asking for a decision. Don't change your tone and don't overemphasize the closing question. If the close is successful at a small level, attempt an up-sell by asking if there's a need for an additional particular service or product — a service or product that would ideally enhance the original purchase.
Nick Ruland has reported and written for newspapers and magazines since 2006. Ruland won the Arizona Newspaper Association Sports Story of the Year Award in 2006 and 2007 and was a Hearst Award nominee in 2010. He is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.