phone sales training

Phone Sales Training | The Secret to Making More Sales

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Phone Sales Training – Top question from Google

How to practice Phone Sales?

In order to become better at selling over the phone, it is important to first understand the basics of phone sales. There are a few key things to remember when making a sales call such as: be prepared, be professional, and be persistent.

In order to prepare for a sales call, you should have a solid understanding of your product or service, as well as the needs of your customer. You should also have a well-crafted pitch that can be tailored to each individual customer.

Despite the continued negativity around cold calling and telephone sales, and the growth of the web and social media, the phone remains a really powerful sales tool. This is not just our opinion, we have clients with teams of salespeople, each of which is working the phone all day, every day.

As with any other area of sales, its important to have a sales process that you can follow. A telephone sales process is essential to develop consistency and understand where you are at any point in the conversation.

We believe that learning how to effectively use the telephone, regardless of the purpose is an essential part of your business training for every employee. The very best way to practice after attending our telephone sales course is role play.

What type of sales calls are you making or receiving?

Before making any telephone calls we suggest you first ask yourself “What is the nature of the telephone call your about to make or receive?”. Is it:

  1. Setting an appointment with a stranger
  2. Setting an appointment with a potential client or customer
  3. Following up a proposal
  4. Customer Service with a view to upselling
  5. Account management
  6. Responding to an inbound enquiry
  7. Trying to sell a product or services

In many cases phone sales isn’t about selling, it’s more about starting a conversation.

Is it an Inbound Call or an Outbound Call? As you can imagine, from the variety of different scenarios the strategy behind each call can change dramatically.

Outbound Cold Calling is very different to responding to Inbound sales enquiries. However, regardless of the scenario the art of phone sales is one that can be learned with some good sales training and a bit of practice.

Contrary to what you may believe, you don’t have to be a natural born salesperson to be successful in this field. There are many simple tips that you can follow to boost your confidence, improve your skills, and increase your chances of making a sale.

Use an omnichannel approach to telephone sales

The telephone is a great tool, but equally so are email and LinkedIn. Therefore why limit your sales campaigns to the one channel? Over the years we have learned that using a combination of the telephone, email and LinkedIn is by far the best way to get results when it comes to outbound sales campaigns.

Like everything, your strategy is just as important as the execution so designing campaigns that salespeople believe in is much more powerful than just using a “hit the phones team” approach.

Here’s an example of campaign we put together for a client that where their team reached 23% of the target audience to fill a webinar.

Telephone selling top tips

There are a few key things you can do in order to practice and improve your phone sales skills.  Like everything in sales, you will never become proficient without training, coaching and practice. Training can be provided by the Sales Manager, Team leader or an external training partner such as ourselves.

1. Be prepared and ensure you have all the data, tools, scripts and strategies to hand before you start calling.

2. Track your numbers so you can tell what is working and what needs adjusting. Ideally you need to get to the position of knowing for every 100 calls I make I get to speak with x number of decision makers and from those I get x numbers of meeting/sales/whatever your goal is.

3. Start by warming up your pitch and your voice. Never start with your best prospects. Pick a list of prospects that you have nothing to lose and won’t lose any sleep if you burn through them. Save your best prospects and outbound calls till you are warmed up and ready to go.

4. Use a script at the start of every call followed by a series of questions that will uncover the business pain that your product or services resolve. In most cases the questions should be used to qualify prospects and moving to them to the next step in your sales process.

5. Know your product inside and out. You should be able to answer any question a customer could ask about your product within reason.

6. Practice your pitch. You want to sound confident when speaking to customers, so practice until you have your pitch committed to memory.

7. Stay calm and collected. It can be easy to get flustered when on the phone, but stay calm and think logically about how to respond to the customer in the best way possible.

8. Be polite and courteous at all times. Even if the customer is being difficult, stay professional and polite. Rather that trying to sell, first focus on establishing rapport with the person on the other end of the phone.

phone sales training
Phone Sales Training

Who should I call when prospecting?

Most peoples perception of phone selling is the traditional cold call. Whilst cold calling strangers is still an option there are other groups you should consider calling such as:

  • Existing customers you would like to upsell or cross-sell to
  • Lapsed customers who used to buy from you but have now stopped
  • Old prospects who had expressed an interest but never took it any further
  • Old bids that you never won but know they will be in the market again at some stage
  • Lookalike leads who are simply prospects that fit your perfect prospect profile
  • People who may be able to give you a referral
  • Your professional network to keep in touch and maintain that relationship

How to overcome Phone Fear

When you think about it, making a phone call is a pretty straightforward thing. You dial the number, say what you want to say, and hang up. But for some reason, a lot of people find the prospect of making phone sales calls really intimidating.

Maybe it’s because we’re so used to communicating through text messages and social media that talking on the phone seems like a daunting task.

If you’re one of those people who hates making phone calls, here are a few tips from our phone sales training course that can help you overcome your fear and anxiety:

1. Prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time. This will help reduce your anxiety and make it easier for you to stay focused on your message.

2. Slow your heart rate down. A fast beating heart causes anxiety which can lead to fear. By deliberately slowing your heart rate you will eliminate the anxiety. This takes only 60 seconds and you simply take a huge breath and then try to count to ten as you breathe out. Typically your lungs will be expelled of air by the time you get to number 10. Repeat for 60 seconds and then pick up the phone.

3. Make sure you’re in a comfortable place where you can focus and won’t be disturbed or heard by others.

4. Try to call from a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. For example, if you’re in an open office environment ask to use one of the meeting rooms so nobody can see and hear what you are doing.

5. Set 1 hour blocks in your diary twice per day so you have no excuses not to make the calls.

6. Use a CRM to track your calls – there is nothing worse than calling someone today by accident that you called yesterday but didn’t keep a record.

7. Stop trying to sell to people. The harder you try to sell the more resistance you will receive. Focus on building relationships and moving prospects to the next stage of your sales process. This could be a follow up call, a demo, an in person meeting.

8. It’s not the size of fight in the dog, it’s the size of fight in the dog. Success in telephone selling is as much about mental toughness as it is your ability and selling skills.

What’s included in our telephone sales training course?

Telephone sales training is essential for any company that relies on outbound calling as a means of generating leads or sales. A well-trained staff can make the most of their time on the phone, and convert more prospects into paying customers.

The basics of telephone sales training include learning how to make a good impression over the phone, understanding how to build rapport with potential customers, and mastering the art of closing the sale. Additional topics that may be covered include objection handling, qualifying leads, and using scripts effectively.

It’s important to tailor the training program to match the needs of your company and sales team. Our experienced trainers can help you develop a curriculum for your telephone sales course that will dramatically improve your telemarketing results.

From our own experience your training should include topics like:

1. Confidence and Mindset – this is the single most common point of failure with all sales professionals. The constant flow or rejection, negativity and stalls and objections requires a thick skin and resilient mindset.

2.Telephone selling skills – these would include not just phone skills but off the phone skills like call strategies, call planning, sales process, contact mapping techniques, reducing the sales cycle and CRM management.

3. Building Rapport and how to get past gatekeepers, overcome objections and listening skills. The subtleties of selling products versus services.

Our own Telesales training course which can be delivered both in person via an in house workshop or online, is designed to provide a practical and no non-sense approach to the telephone. The sales training is tailored to the unique nature of every business to ensure your team leaves with not only a competitive edge but a framework for success. The training course can be delivered as onsite training at our clients premises or at one of our open training courses.

All our Telephone sales training courses include live phone selling where participants can watch your trainer making live sales calls, outbound calls and cold calls. These sessions are designed to help boost the confidence of the participants, and help they themselves practice the new telephone selling skills and strategies they have learned.

If you are interested and would like to learn more about our phone sales training, or any of our other great sales training courses for your team, we would love to hear from you.

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Author Bio

Iain Swanston has spent over 30 years in B2B sales selling, training and leading teams both domestically and internationally.  In addition he serves as an Associate at Strathclyde University Business School where he has delivered the sales content for the Masters in Entrepreneurship since 2015.

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