Sales is a high-pressure, demanding industry. Your sales reps are constantly faced with competing tasks, all seemingly more urgent than the next. It’s your job to equip your team with the right tools to manage sales calls strategically and productively.
You’ve just jumped off a really promising call with a high-value prospect and have a bunch of follow-up actions you need to complete: updating the call notes, moving your prospect to the next stage in your pipeline, and following up to schedule the next meeting.
Suddenly your phone rings.
You recognize the number, but you need to dig out the contact’s details and previous call notes before you’re ready to talk.
By the time you’ve tracked down the right notes, you’ve missed the call.
And you’ve forgotten the details of your last call to update your CRM and push your critical deal to the next stage.
When clunky sales processes and tasks that could be automated are compromising high-value deals, sales managers need to take action right away.
Sales reps contending with mounds of admin and juggling too many tasks at once will inevitably make mistakes that lead to missed opportunities.
In this guide, we explain how managers can help reps and reps can help themselves.
How sales calling software can boost productivity
A cloud-based phone system has the power to enhance the mobility, productivity and collaboration of your sales team, empowering reps to work more strategically and win more deals.
Don’t waste hours on low-value tasks like logging calls and manually entering contact details. Investing in sales calling software allows the tech to do the heavy lifting, freeing up time to help your reps focus on persuading prospects instead.
Sales calling and sales call management software is invaluable for sales teams when it comes to training and tracking performance too. Call recordings, live coaching and flexible analytics provide essential information to any sales leader who wants to develop the skills of their sales team.
Ongoing coaching and performance tracking will help reduce employee turnover, enhance performance and drive more sales for your business.
The top benefits of sales calling software for salespeople
Sales calling software offers myriad benefits for salespeople, everything from more efficient training, increased mobility and a deeper understanding of prospects and customers.
But in the fast-paced world of sales, there are three standout challenges that sales teams face:
- Admin overload and too many tools
- Risk of human error
- Not enough time to work strategically
The Pipedrive-Aircall integration can help you to blitz these burdens so your team can focus on their most important roles: meaningful conversations and customer conversions.
No more context switching
Jumping back and forth between apps is not only a massive time sink for salespeople, but a huge distraction too.
Integrating your phone system and your CRM eliminates this back and forth, allowing your reps to focus on strategic work and helping to increase productivity and improve conversational ability.
Now your reps can dial a number directly in Pipedrive without ever having to leave the CRM. The integration saves your reps the hassle of jumping between apps to find specific information by keeping a complete customer history within arms reach.
Goodbye human error
Accurate and detailed notes are an invaluable weapon in your reps’ sales arsenal.
But if your sales reps are dealing with manual data entry on a daily basis, omissions and inaccuracies are bound to happen. Incomplete records mean important data can be overlooked and valuable sales deal lost. Plus, time spent on manually entering data is time away from closing deals and a massive energy drain for your sales reps.
The Aircall-Pipdrive integration eliminates the risk of these oversights by automatically logging all call details to the appropriate contact and the associated deal.
Detailed call information is accessible directly within your CRM, automatically updating records upon call completion.
The need for speed
Of course, time spent jumping between apps to log details doesn’t just disrupt your sales rep’s focus and workflow, it also eats into valuable time that could be spent on the next call.
The more calls you can make and the greater your response time to customers, the more deals you’re likely to close.
The Click-to-Dial feature within Pipedrive empowers reps to maximize output, ditch manual dialing and decrease the time from research to outreach. What’s more, your reps can move quickly to the next contact in the queue, knowing a link with all the relevant details has been saved from the previous call.
A simple click can lead them to the full conversation history in Pipedrive, giving them maximum context for their conversation immediately.
If your sales team really want to speed up their outreach, Aircall’s PowerDialer can automatically detect numbers from a webpage and dial in rapid succession, minimizing time between calls.
The top benefits of sales calling software for sales managers
Empowering your sales team with the right tools brings a host of benefits for sales managers too, and sales calling software is no exception.
The main aim of sales managers should be to maximize profit without compromising service and standards.
Cloud-based called software can enable sales managers to achieve this.
One of the biggest attractions of VoIP is the minimal cost of installation, maintenance and setup compared to other phone systems. Cloud-based systems function without any investment in hardware or infrastructure—you just need a solid internet connection.
Users are usually billed on a monthly subscription basis. This means lower costs recurring with more frequency.
Agility and scalability
Cloud-based phone systems are simple to set up and easy to use. This is invaluable for sales managers when it comes to onboarding new call center hires and getting them up to speed on systems and processes.
VoIP solutions are also ideal for scaling sales teams. It’s simple to add new users, with no additional costs and the cloud-based model means your sales reps can work from anywhere, at any time.
Cloud-based call software can be easily integrated with your other sales tools. Instead of expecting your sales team to master multiple systems, your call software can take on the hard work by working in tandem with the rest of your tools.
Intuitive, efficient easy-to-use tools are a sales manager’s best friend when it comes to encouraging sales process adoption and streamlining workflows.
Real-time analytics and performance tracking
Live call monitoring, call recording and real-time analytics allow sales managers to track performance, analyze patterns and make more data-driven decisions.
This level of analysis allows sales managers to easily diagnose what’s working and what’s not, as well as assessing the performance of individual sales reps and their sales team as a whole.
A large part of what makes a successful sales manager is understanding the entire process of the sale, including how many calls it takes to close a deal. Real-time analytics and call recording removes the guesswork and gives you a clear view of where your company stands at every stage of your sales process.
Onboarding & training
A solid induction process and intuitive sales tools are essential if you want to have your new reps ramping fast and hitting targets at the rate you need.
The benefits of call recordings, call result tags, live coaching and flexible analytics cannot be ignored when it comes to training and developing sales reps.
Call monitoring and call whispering are invaluable tools when supporting new reps while they’re learning the ropes. The ability to provide live coaching is important for reps of all levels when critical deals are on the line.
The call recording feature can also accelerate your team’s learning curve by walking through and reviewing real conversations.
Effective onboarding programs and ongoing training are key to boosting confidence, enhancing job satisfaction, and increasing retention of your best sales reps.
Tips on how to script a sales call
Objections, frustrated prospects, a flat out ‘no’—cold calling can be brutal and is certainly a test of any sales rep’s resilience.
While many denounce the sales script for making sales reps sound robotic, when used carefully, sales call scripts can be a powerful way to help sales reps navigate conversations.
After all, sales scripts aren’t something to read off verbatim. They should act as a crutch to lean on to help reps retain information, avoid mistakes, prepare questions and stay consistent across sales calls.
An effective cold calling script will provide reps with the right talking points to keep the prospect on the call and get as much information as possible.
The best scripts will make sure that, even when the prospect says no, the sales rep will have some useful information to move forward with.
Here are our top tips to script your sales calls:
Knowledge is power with it comes to sales scripts. Thorough research of the prospect, their company and their competitors is essential before your sales rep picks up the phone.
LinkedIn is your best friend here. Check out where they went to university, the past companies they worked for, recent promotions, mutual connections and company updates.
Your goal should be to find some common ground you can lean on to build rapport and personalize your conversation.
Structure your outline
A structured outline that reps can easily follow can help steer the direction of the call:
- Introduction. State who you are and why you’re calling.
- Opener. Personalize your opener by introducing someone you know or something you have in common to warm up the call and establish rapport.
- Reason for calling. This is your positioning statement. Briefly explain what you have to offer.
- Value proposition. This is ideally a one-liner to hook your prospect. Include a pain point, how your product can help, and social proof relevant to your prospect. Aim to make your value proposition just one sentence.
- Leading questions. Ask open questions to elicit key information and fill in your knowledge gaps. These questions should address challenges, aspirations and current products or services.
- Close. Be very clear on the action you want to take at the end of the call, be it making a sale, booking a demo, or even scheduling a meeting for five further minutes of their time. Your sales reps should have a close in mind for every conversation they initiate.
Prepare for objections
The more sales conversations you have, the more you can prepare for and field objections from prospects. Sales scripts should always be crafted with objection handling in mind. It’s vital that your sales reps are armed with scripts that cover all common objections to turn them into opportunities.
Practice active listening
Your script needs to leave sufficient time for your prospect to ask questions, voice their opinion and elaborate on their thoughts. Active listening is the practice of listening to a speaker while providing feedback, indicating that you truly hear and understand what the speaker is saying.
Practicing active listening on a sales call helps you gain a thorough understanding of your potential customer and build trust.
It’s important for your reps to understand that they need to tailor the script to the person they’re speaking to and to the flow of the conversation. Their speech should never sound overly rehearsed or contrived.
Call scripts, when used effectively, help to build the confidence and knowledge that your sales reps need to steer their sales conversations with ease.
How to integrate telesales into your business model
Almost every organization faces the challenge of quality demand generation and effective lead nurturing. Customers are increasingly adept at filtering out information, meaning businesses need to work harder, smarter and faster to cut through the noise. Easier said than done!
But the power of the spoken word and human interaction should not be underestimated.
Integrating an outbound sales calling strategy into your business model can help to build human connections, generate leads and nurture customer relationships efficiently and cost-effectively.
Of course, the concept of cold-calling is a divisive once amongst sales teams.
The cons of cold-calling:
- Very few people actually want to be cold called
- Many associate cold calling with a negative stereotype
- Consumers are savvier and like to conduct research into products and services by themselves
- Getting through the gatekeepers and reaching decision makers can be tough
- You risk interrupting and frustrating your prospect
But knowledge is power. Understanding the disadvantages and challenges of an outbound calling strategy allows you to take measures to address them.
When used ethically and intelligently, the humble phone call can be a powerful medium to connect with and convert potential customers.
The pros of cold calling:
- With a careful combination of thorough research, a compelling script and the art of active listening, calling prospects can be an effective means to quickly build rapport
- An outbound sales calling strategy is cheaper and less time-intensive than a traveling, door-to-door sales force
- Sales leaders will have more predictable overheads than with an outside sales force
- It’s easier to reach and engage a larger geographical area
- Provided you include the right questions, sales calls are an effective resource for lead qualification
- The direct connection allows you to learn more about your target audience and how to turn objections into opportunities
- Human conversation is the most powerful method of lead nurturing
Best practices for sales leaders planning a sales calling strategy
Of course, the success of any outbound sales calling strategy depends on the performance of the sales reps, the strength of the systems and the quality of the leadership.
Here are some best practices that sales leaders can take on board to make sure every sales conversation counts.
Choose a solution that fits your business needs
It can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to choosing the right phone system for your sales calls. Whether you opt for cloud-based software or a landline-based phone system, your choice should be determined by your business needs and activities.
More and more businesses are moving to VoIP cloud-based systems, like Aircall, and for good reason.
VoIP systems are flexible for mobile teams, scalable for growing teams, cost-effective for all teams and can be easily integrated with existing apps and tools. You simply need to install the software, establish a reliable internet connection and get dialing.
Create a coaching culture
Good habits and a consistent quality approach need to be established from day one with an airtight onboarding plan. But training shouldn’t stop here. It’s vital to schedule regular team and one-to-one meetings with your sales reps to keep them stimulated with ongoing call center training and development.
This time can be used effectively to practice sales scripts, use call recordings to offer constructive feedback, and identify reasons for winning and losing deals.
Motivating your team to continually improve and grow professionally will result in lower turnover, stronger performance and better morale.
Specify objectives and goals
Clear communication around goals is the key to your sales team’s success. Without clearly defined goals, your reps won’t understand how to benchmark success and could lose their motivation.
Setting KPIs and objectives helps to monitor the efficiency, speed and quality of your sales rep’s performance and the overall success of your outbound call strategy.
Employing an activity-based selling model is key to keeping these goals realistic and achievable. This involves working backward from previous sales performance information to understand the specific individual tasks it takes to achieve a sale. Armed with this data, you can form activity-based targets for your sales reps in the form of manageable and measurable tasks.
Employ a careful pre-qualification process
Cold outreach is never easy, so you want to make sure you are directing your efforts towards the right people.
Developing a clear lead qualification process is an essential step in pre-call planning. This enables your sales team to identify low quality leads early so they focus on reaching out to the right prospects.
Take a look at your existing customers and identify the commonalities amongst those who are most successful.
Here are some data points to consider, most of which can be researched before your sales rep picks up the phone:
- Company size
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue
Track, measure and optimize sales performance
To build a successful outbound calling strategy, you must have the right systems in place to track your sales activities in real time. Optimizing your conversation formula comes down to a deep understanding of historical trends and constant reflection and improvement.
Successful sales leaders are fluid and reactive with their strategy and use data to constantly inform and improve their methods. This is why call recording and real-time monitoring are invaluable tools for sales leaders to repeat and scale the sales processes that drive success.
Keep your sales team motivated
Measuring your sales team’s satisfaction, confidence and understanding of the product and customers is just as important as tracking performance. Regular team and one-to-one meetings should not just focus on performance, but the wellbeing and confidence of your reps too.
Incentives are also a powerful means to keep your sales force driven. Incentives can be everything from daily competitions with small prizes, to commissions based on monthly or quarterly performance.
Empowered, motivated and passionate salespeople are the most important driving force behind a successful outbound sales calling strategy.
Read more about sales call center team management in our article, Call Center Skills: Find the Best Workforce and Tech.
Supercharge your sales calling with Aircall and Pipedrive
Aircall’s cloud software is specifically designed to help salespeople streamline their sales calls.
Adopting Aircall’s technology can shave hours off your sales team’s week by automating tedious processes and helping to build a successful and repeatable sales calling formula.
Even the greatest salespeople can’t reach their full potential without the right tools. In an age where sales teams have more tools and tech to contend with than ever, it’s vital that these tools can talk to one another too.
Enter the Aircall-Pipedrive integration!
Pipedrive has a powerful cross-platform integration with Aircall, with an array of features that allow sales teams to seamlessly manage sales conversations.
The Pipedrive-Aircall integration means sales reps have access to all their contacts on the go and important call data will be automatically stored and linked to contacts in their pipeline.
Say goodbye to manual data entry and the dreaded distraction of switching between apps!
The fully functioning Aircall-Pipedrive integration can be set up in less than a minute, unlocking a host of powerful features to supercharge your sales calling workflows and inspire smarter conversations.
Here are some of our favorite features to enhance productivity at every stage of the sales cycle:
- Direct connection from Aircall softphone to Pipedrive. Make phone calls directly from Pipedrive using Aircall’s functions, so your reps’ workflow is no longer interrupted.
- Click-to-dial. Calls can be launched from Pipedrive with a single click and start talking right away.
- Call activities. All inbound and outbound calls and voicemails can be logged as activities in Pipedrive to eliminate the need to switch between apps.
- Customer information sync. Call details are automatically synced to the appropriate contact and the associated deal in Pipedrive. Records are updated upon call completion so reps never have to worry about the integrity of their call data again.
- Customer information pop-up. Aircall’s pop-up delivers key contact information to sales reps before they answer an inbound call to help personalize conversations.
- Call recording. Calls can be recorded to confirm details, monitor performance, and provide ongoing training for sales reps.
- PowerDialer. Numbers can be automatically detected and added from any webpage so sales reps can make calls in rapid succession and speed up their outreach.
- Phone App. Sales reps can continue making calls on the go with phone apps for iOS and Android.
- Call center analytics. All call information such as tags, call volume, wait times and call recordings are logged in Pipedrive so you can monitor and analyze sales performance in one centralized hub.
- Live Feed. Sales managers can get real-time insight into the performance and activity of your team and individual reps to continuously optimize productivity.
- Call monitoring. Live calls can be monitored to provide ongoing training and boost quality assurance.
- Call whispering. Sales managers can speak to reps who are on a sales call to offer timely advice.
When careful sales call planning, performance-driven sales reps and powerful sales tools unite, an outbound sales calling strategy can nurture relationships and convert prospects into loyal customers.
The Aircall and Pipedrive integration can create this sales calling magic for you and your sales team.