Have you ever met someone for the first time and they overshared personal information about their lives? If so, you probably know that it can be a little uncomfortable and perhaps overwhelming.
That's the way a sales call can feel to an unsuspecting prospect the first time when you offer them too much information and try to pitch them right away.
This is why sales connect calls are important. They give you the opportunity to learn more about your prospect while still offering them help and value one step at a time.
Let's explore how to conduct sales connect calls using these tips, templates, and examples.
What Is a Sales Connect Call?
A sales connect call is one of the first calls a salesperson makes in order to get to know about their prospect. The purpose of sales connect calls is to learn the basics about a prospect without beginning a sales pitch.
During the call, salespeople begin to understand who they are talking to and what they care about, and they discover what they have in common that they can discuss further to create rapport.
Some appropriate topics to ask about when you're on a connect call include:
- What projects they may be working on.
- How their new or current projects fit in with their goals.
- What makes a day tough for them and if you can help.
- Whether they want help or not in the first place.
Sales connect calls give you the opportunity to provide an excellent first impression of your business. First impressions matter, so make sure you present yourself and your business well so they can see you in the best possible light.
The key to the connect call is to be helpful so you can book a follow up conversation, when your prospect is more relaxed and familiar with you during the next call. This is likely to make them more receptive to your offerings when you do start your pitch and demonstration.
7 Tips for Mastering Sales Connect Calls
Review these seven tips that can help you to have great sales connect calls with all of your prospects.
1. Research Leads Before Calling Them.
Connecting with your leads is not the first step in the inbound sales strategy. The first step is to identify who you're dealing with by researching them using their website, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.
When you start identifying your prospects, you should search for ones who match your buyer persona and companies that fit the mold of your ideal buyer profile.
Before reaching out to your prospect over the phone, look into how well the prospect aligns with your persona. Determine if they're a decision maker, how good of fit their company is, the content they have published, and any challenges they mention.
Most importantly, ensure you have a firm understanding of what the company does and what their overall outlook is in their industry. This way, you are prepared to answer questions about the prospect's company if they happen to ask what you know about them.
2. Keep Your Introduction Short.
This isn't a pitch or a tell all about your company and what you can do for them in one breath. A simple introduction is all you need, such as, "Hi, this is Diane calling you from X company."
Make sure you pause after your introduction to gauge your prospect's response or reaction to your company. Can you tell if they are familiar with your company? Are they happy to hear from you? Do they sound like they are expecting a pitch?
This can give you an indicator of what to say next to kick off the call.
3. Offer Help Within the First Minute of the Call.
Prospects will make a decision about how they feel about the value of your call almost instantly. Try to be helpful in no more than 60 seconds to capture their attention.
Use your research to offer one simple tip that they can implement themselves to open a discussion.
They likely won't want to talk to you if they don't believe you can make their lives easier.
4. Use Past Activity as a Connection Point.
Has your prospect signed up for your email newsletter or downloaded a piece of your content? If so, bring it up on the call to open the discussion.
For example, you may mention that you noticed they viewed a blog post about reducing administrative tasks to boost productivity and streamline their processes.
Talk more with them about that article and why they found it interesting. Let them know some insider information if you have it. This may be a pain point for them that they really want to solve so ask engaging questions to gather that information.
5. Gather Context.
Now that you've started to open up the conversation to build rapport, naturally begin to insert some questions about their business services, their role, and some of their immediate goals.
The more context you gain, the better you'll understand the world your prospect operates in. The goal is to visualize as much of their business context as you can to select positioning statements that resonate well with them. This way, you can keep the conversation as relevant as possible.
Some questions you can ask include:
- I checked out your website, and it looks like your business specializes in X. Is that correct?
- What's your role within your company?
- How long have you been there?
- Do you enjoy it?
- What does your typical day look like?
- Does your company focus on selling to a specific industry?
6. Demonstrate Confidence.
It may seem obvious that you should have confidence when speaking to prospects, but we can't stress the importance of actually exhibiting a confident demeanor during your conversations.
The best way to cultivate confidence is to practice various sales techniques. Role play with coworkers or leaders, listen to call recordings, and develop a solid approach using the resources you have. Your knowledge and expertise will help you to feel more confident on sales connect calls.
7. Take Notes.
All the information you learn on the sales connect call can be used later on to add value to other calls and meetings that you may have with this prospect. The notes should help you to tailor your sales approach for each individual prospect.
It can be frustrating for your prospect to repeat things they already talked about in previous calls when you talk to them again. Show them your commitment to their success by using your notes about their company to provide them with value later on.
3 Sales Connect Call Frameworks to Empower Your Team
Here are three frameworks your sales team can apply to their sales connect calls.
Create the Value-Based Customer Story.
A value-based customer story framework focuses on a founding story that helps customers to understand what problems your products solve. Most prospects can relate to a use case of another customer like themselves who was helped by your product.
The idea of using this framework for sales connect calls is to build a value proposition for prospects by learning about their pain points and then using customer examples as a way to build credibility for your company.
This is an excellent approach for finding common ground with your prospect in a meaningful and helpful way.
When using this framework, make sure you use specific stats when you describe the value you provided to previous customers. For instance, you can use the following as a way to position your value:
"We helped Company A two months ago when they mentioned an X percent increase in cancellation rates. We determined this was an issue with onboarding forms. This resulted in low clickthrough rates.
"We did X to solve this problem and boosted conversions by X amount and retained X percent more customers than before."
Assess Fit, Cement Credibility, and Pinpoint Value.
This framework focuses on qualifying questions and answers. During a call using this framework, you should ask value-based questions (VBQ) and give value-based responses (VBR).
The VBQs you ask should collect enough information about your customer to see if they are a good fit for your company. Construct your VBRs to share some knowledge about your industry in a way that educates and establishes credibility.
Dive deep into your customer's pain points to drive value and describe a use case to demonstrate ways you can solve their problems. Validate that you can help them and describe how.
Then, inquire about their objections and concerns so you can understand their decision making process. End this call by setting up a follow up call or meeting for a demonstration.
Connect as a Human, and Lead the Conversation.
This is a basic way to conduct sales connect calls that is not a sales pitch. It focuses on finding out who your prospect is on a personal level.
It is lighthearted and simple. A good practice is to start out with a relatable joke or positive experience. This helps to establish a mutual connection to build rapport right away.
Introduce yourself simply and then mention how you are connected. Try to let them know how much time will be allotted for the conversation so they know how much time you'll be taking. Then, let them know your goals for the meeting.
Set a structure for the questions you ask during the call, and practice appropriate pausing so you can listen closely as you take notes.
5 Other Types of Sales Calls
Here are five other types of sales calls that all sales reps are likely to make.
Warm calls are the calls your sales reps make to potential customers who have already shown interest in a product or service. This may mean that the prospect has taken a desired action on your website, such as signing up for emails, downloading content, or interacting with another salesperson.
Warm calls give sales reps a basis for what to talk about during the sales pitch.
Cold calls are the most popular type of sales call. A cold call is the first correspondence between a salesperson and a potential client. These calls take place when a sales rep and a prospect don't know each other.
When sale reps make a cold call, they have no idea if a customer needs or wants what they are offering.
Sales Appointment Calls
A sales appointment call is made when a sales rep has provided enough value to a prospect to convince them to purchase the product or service they sell. This call is a meeting where a discussion takes place between the sales rep and the customer about the business and to finalize the sale.
This call can make or break a sale. One small mistake can turn off a lead who is interested in buying your product or service. Because of this, it is important to be well prepared for all sales appointment calls.
This is technically not a sales call. Instead, it is a call that a salesperson makes to a customer after the product or service is sold.
A follow-up call is made for the purpose of receiving feedback on the purchased offerings and to provide solutions to fix any problems the customer may have.
This is a an important call to make to build further trust with your customer for future brand loyalty and retention.
Traditional Sales Calls
Traditional sales calls are calls made to existing customers in order to sell a new product or service. This type of sales call is easy for sales reps to make since the customer likely already knows them and the purpose for their call.
The Best Sales Call Templates
Templates are essential for sales teams to properly engage and nurture relationships with their qualified leads and opportunities. Grab your copy of our sales prospecting templates below.
Here are some common sales call templates and descriptions of the ones we created that you can use as jumping-off points for your own sales calls.
Sales Prospecting Template
This template starts off with a quick and clear greeting, the reason for the call, impactful qualifying questions, and finally the appointment request.
Impactful Voicemail Template
Most prospects are likely to miss your first call. This template focuses on a simple and quick way to get an enthusiastic response from your prospect.
Use this to address one specific pain point and offer small detailed snippets about the products and services you offer.
Follow Up Voicemail Template
Don't take silence as a rejection. Follow up with prospects and leave voicemails when they don't answer.
Offer them value in your follow up voicemail. This template calls for you to state the last time you followed up, the reason for your call, and a call to action to set up a date and time for a quick call.
A gatekeeper is someone who is responsible for filtering outreach. They aren't the central decision makers, but you do have to win them over first before you can talk to a decision maker.
This template focuses on a direct approach to getting the information you need. You have to introduce yourself and then ask them for a favor.
The favor is ultimately to speak to someone who is in charge of the target department. If they do accept your message, then it saves you time since you'll only have to pitch to one person instead of two.
Regardless of your industry, you can connect with your prospects over the phone to establish a relationship with them that helps to nudge them down the sales funnel. Use these templates and tips to create your own unique sales connect calls for your business.