One of the benefits of the globally connected economy is you can sell your product to anyone, anywhere: all you need is a phone (and sometimes not even that)! In fact, 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. But selling over the phone presents a unique challenge. You’re not sitting across from someone, which means you can’t read facial or environmental cues, making it harder to connect with the individual and close the deal.
At CallTrackingMetrics, our tools power ad campaigns and unite sales and marketing teams all over the world. Our clients use the data we collect to determine which marketing efforts drove those crucial inbound calls and also to directly communicate with customers over our softphone. The bottom line for many customers is driving sales and conversions for their business, with many of those critical conversations happening over the phone.
We can relate: our commercial team members are picking up their CTM softphones every single day to earn the confidence of new and existing customers. So we reached out to a few of our team members to get their input on how they connect with customers and effectively earn a sale over the phone. Read on for their favorite tips!
What’s your best advice for selling over the phone?
#1: Establish Trust
Your clients need to be able to trust you, so it’s important that you first connect with them, and be clear on why you’re there to help. I try to find the right value proposition, and communicate those benefits in a way that’s clear and easy to understand. Every time you speak to your client, you need to show how your efforts can benefit them. This helps demonstrate that you truly do have a vested interest in their success, and contributes to a really positive relationship. Over time, you can transition from “selling” to being a real partner who supports their ongoing success. Trust is mandatory for business relationships that are conducted over the phone. So, if you don’t actually see how a deal makes good business sense for your client, don’t waste their time with it, or risk losing their trust. — Ken Sylvain, Customer Success Manager
#2: Ask (a lot of) Questions
My first priority is just ask a lot of questions. The caller might have a particular objective in mind they’re trying to solve, but chances are there’s another area in which we can really bring value. I can usually pick out another one of our capabilities that delivers an “a ha” moment for them and gets them thinking about a solution for one of their problems that they didn’t even realize was possible. For example, I might ask questions like, “How are you distributing your calls today? Do you ever engage with customers or prospects via text message?” when the caller originally sought us out for better Google Ad keyword attribution. Just about every time, I uncover an opportunity to solve a problem that they hadn’t considered our software for, and usually hear something along the lines of “I didn’t know you guys could help us with that… and that… and that too!”
To sum it up, I earn a sale by establishing value in areas that our caller didn’t realize we could address. So, if we turn out to be a few cents higher per minute than a competitor’s solution, I don’t have to be concerned, because I’ve demonstrated a ton of additional value we can provide on top of the dynamic number swapping and keyword attribution they were originally shopping for. —Jason Smith, Sales Engineer
#3: Research the Client and Organization
My number one advice for closing a deal is about what happens prior to picking up the phone. Research your client and try to get an idea of who they are as a person, not just as a buyer. I also seek to understand how their company operates and what they stand for, as well as the direction in which they’re evolving as an organization. I’m here to help their business grow and succeed with the tools we offer, and I can’t do that if I’m not truly familiar with them. — Kara Kizior, Customer Success Manager
#4: Align Around Objectives and Expectations
The first thing I need to understand is how the inbound caller’s organization is structured. This is not only to get an idea of whether or not they’re the decision maker, but also how the company works, why they called, and what objectives they’re looking to solve. I’ll even ask questions about their budget, timeline, and other details before providing them with a demo or trial of our platform. Gathering this information is how I’m able to determine whether our software aligns with their objectives, and if so, which features to demonstrate.
That said, I think it’s important to not just hang up the phone once a sale has been made. Once I’ve earned a sale, I always set expectations for what comes next. From my experience, clients feel much more secure about the transaction if I stay on the line to follow up with next steps like new client onboarding, implementation support, and other customer success initiatives we offer. — Mark Nugent, Account Executive
#5: Commit to Actionable Next Steps
My best advice would be to make a commitment to something actionable before hanging up the phone. Get something on the books, whether it’s agreeing to a sign-up date and putting it on both of your calendars while on the phone, or setting up another call to discuss agreement red lines. Relationships with clients are a joint venture, not just a one-way street, so ensuring both parties are prepared with constructive next steps is key. This way, you can keep the conversation productive and moving along, rather than stalling out. — Courtney Tyson, Customer Success Manager
Bonus: Stay positive and upbeat.
I’ve just transitioned from Professional Services to the Customer Success team this week, so I’m not quite sure yet! For now, I’ll go with my sunny disposition. ???? ☀️ — Peter Bacon, Customer Success Manager