Reader’s note: This article was originally published Feb 22nd 2018 and was completely updated on 12th March 2020.
Are you looking for tips on how to convert more callers? There’s no lack of information online, but the downside is that your competitors are probably already using these methods. So, I’ve called upon the help of Nicola Manley, SME Sales Manager at Moneypenny, to share unique phone sales techniques that will help you effectively sell more products and services.
If you’ve landed on this article from Google, you will know that the internet is booming with information on how to execute a sales call.
As effective as these techniques are, it’s fair to say that most of them are already “well-established”.
If you’ve been working in sales for a while, these are all things you should already
know be using.
When I first put this article together, my goal was to list the most unique and advanced inbound sales techniques to help businesses drive more leads.
And to be fair, most of the techniques previously listed still work well at turning inbound callers into potential sales (we’ll get to these soon).
That said, the way consumers communicate with businesses has changed rapidly over the last two years.
Sales journeys are more complex than ever, and prospects will use a mixture of online and offline channels before they’ve even entered the consideration phase.
With that in mind, I felt it was the right time to revisit this topic.
For this update, I wanted to try something different so that I could provide you with the most effective phone sales techniques. The type that will help you get more from your customers and ultimately make more money for your business.
So, who better to help me list the most unique inbound sales techniques than Nicola Manley, SME Sales Manager at Moneypenny.
Moneypenny is a global telephone answering service based in the UK. They currently handle over 13-million customer communications a year on behalf of 13,000 businesses.
With my knowledge of call tracking and Nicola’s call-handling insights, we decided to team up and list our recommendations so that you can effectively convert more inbound callers into high-quality leads.
Some of the techniques we’re going to share you can apply on your next call. Others may take longer to implement.
To help save you time, we’ve added a table of contents so that you can cut through the noise and navigate to the techniques that interest you the most.
As a bonus, we’re going to suggest tools that can help you put these techniques into action.
Let’s jump in!
1. Make Important Information Easy
2. Avoid Putting People on Hold
3. Ditch the IVR
4. Uncover Prospect’s Interests Without Asking
5. Learn From Completed Calls
6. Make Your Website Work Harder & Drive Calls Online
If all of your sales reps have been with your company for a long time and know your products inside and out, then all of the information they need to make a sale is probably housed in their own heads.
There are two types of information sales reps need to know, or have access, to make more sales.
The first is how to respond to common objections.
Naturally, there will be recurring objections that prospects trend toward.
Your best sales reps will have discovered effective rebuttals to those objections.
Record those rebuttals and make them widely available.
The second type of information is the types of questions and concerns common for prospects in different roles and industries.
The things that someone in IT needs to know will naturally be different than the things someone in marketing needs to know.
Document the differences in the types of customers who call in, and make sure all reps have access to that information.
To help piece this information together you could use a tool such as Guru.
Guru is a knowledge management tool that provides all of your sales reps with the information they need instantly.
Using a browser extension or Slack bot, sales reps can search multiple information sources such as, their inboxes, CRM system, department wiki, to find the information they’re looking for instantly.
Don’t know the answer to a prospect’s question about a product? Ask Guru and see how other sales reps have answered the same question before.
Not sure what types of concerns IT executives have about your products or services? Ask Guru to see how other sales reps have addressed those concerns successfully.
Guru basically allows sales teams to combine all of their collective knowledge and techniques, and access that information instantly during sales calls to inspire more conversions.
No one wants to listen to hold music, and too-long wait times encourage prospects to hang up and take their business elsewhere.
But even if you need to use a receptionist or professional answering service, it’s possible to limit long wait times.
Make sure that the receptionist checks in with the caller every 60 seconds or so while they’re waiting.
This lets the caller know that they haven’t been forgotten, and it also provides an opportunity for the receptionist to collect contact information that a sales rep can use to call the prospect back at a better time.
If you receive an influx of calls a day, then you could look into Calendy.
Calendly is a calendar sharing platform that your receptionists can use to book calls on sales reps’ calendars.
Say a prospect calls in but there’s no one to take the call immediately.
Instead of leaving that prospect on hold for who knows how long, the receptionist can offer to schedule a meeting with one of the sales reps.
Using Calendly, sales reps list their availability on their calendars, and the receptionist can book the call during an open slot.
This lets the sales rep know that they have a prospect they need to call and prevents losing customers due to long waits when all sales reps are busy.
Forcing inbound prospects to wander through a complex IVR menu before connecting with a sales rep doesn’t exactly leave them with a great first impression of your company and customer service.
Inbound sales calls should be answered by a human—not a computer.
At the very least, have a receptionist on hand to answer all calls and route them to the right representative, or use an answering service.
Even better, have sales reps themselves answer inbound calls.
Here are some things you can do to get started:
With unique phone numbers designated to each marketing campaign, you can unlock valuable call data that will allow you to allocate marketing budget into the areas that influence the most high-quality callers.
To create custom phone numbers for different marketing campaigns, you will need to invest in call tracking software.
Ruler Analytics Call Tracking Dashboard
This will let you see which of your marketing channels drive the most profitable phone calls. Whilst we’re on the topic, we have a call tracking masterclass which is full of helpful tips and real-world examples to get you up to speed. You can sign up to that here.
Sending your callers directly to your sales representatives creates a great first impression of the type of customer service your company provides and prevents lost sales due to frustrations with an IVR.
You could be thinking, “my sales reps haven’t got the time to sit around and wait for an opportunity.”
And, you’re 100% correct.
The days of sales reps sitting at a desk all day have passed. Today’s sales reps are mobile.
They work in the office, at home, and while travelling.
So, if that’s the case, you could try a tool such as Circleloop which allows team to take calls from anywhere.
It’s a phone system that works just like outdated desk phones, except calls can be answered on a laptop or mobile device from anywhere.
Or, another alternative tool is Pocket Phone System.
This offers you the power of a business phone system, in your pocket.
The concept of 9-5 is long gone; today’s callers want to call you when it’s convenient for them.
If your sales reps work on-the-move, or across multiple locations – then Moneypenny’s Pocket Phone System offers the ideal solution to never missing a call again.
Moneypenny Pocket Phone System
Easily divert calls through to different departments, colleagues, and devices to suit your schedule.
Plus, you can manage your calls and messages through the app.
Giving you and your sales reps complete control of their calls no matter where they are.
But this is problematic because you want to personalise the conversation, and that’s impossible if you know nothing about the person who’s calling.
By connecting your marketing analytics platform with your CRM, it may be possible to gather data on callers’ interests without asking.
It’s actually something we do here at Ruler Analytics.
As we track our callers using visitor level analytics, we can see exactly what pages our prospects looked at and what keywords they used before they picked up the phone.
Ruler Analytics Visitor Report
In the screenshot above, you can see that the prospect landed on a page about attribution modelling through organic search.
On their initial visit they used the keyword “first-click attribution” and converted by making a phone call.
They called back at a later date to find out more about our marketing attribution services.
As their initial touchpoints were previously sent to our CRM, sales knew which marketing materials the prospect had interacted with before calling for a second time.
They knew that the prospect had previously made a phone call after reading up on attribution modelling.
With this valuable insight, they were able to focus their pitch around marketing attribution which helped them persuade the prospect to book a demo of our product.
So, being able to view the research prospects have done before making a call allows you to personalise the conversation without peppering prospects with a thousand questions.
Or, if you’re leading a group of inbound sales professionals, listening to completed calls provides evidence of who’s doing well and who needs additional training—as well as great examples of how to handle difficult calls and questions.
Record all inbound sales calls and listen to them later.
This will help you identify mistakes, create plans for improvement, and document effective practices that can be shared with the rest of the team.
For example, after recording our own calls we discovered that a lot of our clients were using our call tracking numbers which we had set up to entice new business.
Basically, this activity was having a negative effect on our marketing costs.
With this knowledge, we were able to put safeguards in place to help reduce the number of existing clients using our call tracking numbers which were meant for new business.
In a digitally-driven world, it’s easy to assume that your website has all the answers.
But, could your site work harder?
Making sure online visitors can make contact with you quickly, with click-to-call buttons and strategically placed contact numbers, will invite more calls from your online visitors.
Or, consider a live chat facility to guide hesitant visitors in the right direction.
With the right tools, your sales team can overcome some of the biggest obstacles to conversion.
Sure, you’ll still want to have a dedicated greeting and be polite during calls. But to really excel and increase revenue, and your own commissions, adopt techniques and technologies that allow you to stand out with incredible knowledge and impeccable customer service.