17 proven ways to improve your sales call performance

Are you struggling with your sales calls? Here are 17 proven ways to improve your sales call performance to generate more leads!
Reading time: 8 minutes

Sales reps have one of the toughest yet most important jobs in a company. Interacting with customers through outbound lead generation methods (think cold calling or cold emailing) and closing deals is no easy feat. 

Although salesmanship is an art, it can be perfected with practice and by following a few simple guidelines. 

In this article, we share 17 tips that will help you improve your sales call performance both before, during, and after the call. Whether you are new to sales or you want to fine-tune your skills, these tips will help you achieve success. So, read on and put them into action!

Contents

7 ways to improve your sales call performance before the first call

All successful sales calls start way before picking up the phone. 

There is a lot of prep work involved that will take up more time than the call itself, but you’re unlikely to succeed without it. Here are seven tips to help you be as prepared as possible to make the most of each call.

1. Know your solution inside out

As a sales rep, it is your job to sell the products or services of your company. This means that you need to have a detailed understanding of what you’re selling. You should be able to answer any question a potential customer might have about the product. 

That said, familiarize yourself with the product or service you’re selling inside out. This way, you will be able to build trust with potential customers and close more deals.

After all, if you sound unsure, this reduces your credibility and makes it a greater challenge to convince them to buy from you. 

2. Make pre-call planning a habit

Pre-call planning is essential to the success of any sales call. Yet, many sales reps skip this step altogether or do it half-heartedly. 

Pre-call planning involves research and preparing for each call in advance. This way, you can be sure that you are fully prepared to address the needs of each prospect.

The most important things involved in pre-call planning are:

  • Researching your buyer’s company and industry to identify potential pain points and how your solution can provide value to them
  • Researching their competitors to see how your prospect’s company is positioned in the market
  • Researching the person you’ll be reaching out to
  • Setting clear goals for each call
  • Creating an outline for the call
  • Making a list of common objections your prospect is likely to bring up
  • Making a list of responses to each of those objections

The better prepared you are for a call, the higher your chances of closing a deal or moving a prospect down the sales funnel. So, make pre-call planning a habit and take the time to do it properly for each and every call.

3. Leverage pre-call templates

One of the best ways to ensure that you are prepared for each call is to use pre-call templates.

Pre-call templates are outlines or scripts that you can use as a guide during your sales calls. They help you stay on track and cover all the important points that need to be addressed.

There are different types of pre-call templates depending on the stage of the sale, that can help you steer the conversation in your favor.  

1. Know your solution inside out

As a sales rep, it is your job to sell the products or services of your company. This means that you need to have a detailed understanding of what you’re selling. You should be able to answer any question a potential customer might have about the product. 

That said, familiarize yourself with the product or service you’re selling inside out. This way, you will be able to build trust with potential customers and close more deals.

After all, if you sound unsure, this reduces your credibility and makes it a greater challenge to convince them to buy from you. 

4. Establish metrics to measure success

You can’t improve your sales call performance if you don’t know how well you perform. This is why you need to establish metrics to measure the performance. This way, you will be able to track your progress and identify areas that need improvement.

Some common metrics you can track include:

Choose the most relevant metrics to your business goals and the goals you set for each call. This way, you will be able to see what is working and what’s not.

5. Optimize your timing

If you’re a weathered salesperson, you know that some hours of the day and some days of the week are better for closing deals than others. You can find scientific research studies establishing the best times to make cold calls to decision-makers.

For example, a study by Revenue.io found that “sales teams should consider scheduling outbound calls and sequence actions with top targets during late afternoon windows,” specifically from 3 to 6 pm.

These times are not set in stone and can vary throughout the year and across industries, so it’s important to use your company’s data and any study you can find about sales calls in your industry to optimize your timing.

6. Leverage all available text-analytics data about your prospect/lead

Text analytics is the process of using artificial intelligence (AI) to extract meaning from text data. It’s a powerful tool that can help you understand your customers and prospects better.

In the context of sales calls, you can use text analytics to analyze call transcripts and identify patterns and trends. You can use this information to improve your sales call performance by helping you understand what works and what doesn’t.

For example, you can use text analytics to:

  • Analyze customer sentiment
  • Identify hot buttons
  • Detect areas of confusion
  • Identify common objections
  • Understand buyer behavior

7. Choose the right call management software

One way to improve your sales call performance is to use call management tools to automate, track, and manage your calls. 

There are many different call management software platforms available, each with its own set of features. So, it’s important to choose the one that best meets your needs.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one VoIP business phone system for your small business, Novocall is an excellent option. This cloud-based platform lets you convert inbound leads to sales calls, automate outbound cold call campaigns, attribute your calls, and more.

For a comprehensive list of other VoIP solutions out there, check out our article here

7 ways to improve your performance during a sales call

Besides prepping in advance, there are several tips to improve your performance once you’re on the phone with your prospect. Here are 7 actionable and effective tips on how to do that:

8. Start your calls on a positive note

The way you open your conversation matters, and it matters a lot. It can be the difference between success and failure. 

Studies have shown that using positive language and starting interactions with your customer on a high note is an effective way to increase your chances of closing a sale.

You should avoid talking about traffic jams, bad weather, or anything negative when you first engage your customer. Instead, start polite and find something positive to say about anything you know may interest your prospect.

This might mean sharing some good news you read about a particular initiative you know your prospect invests in (many people like to share their investments on social media). The point is to get them in a good mood from the start.

9. Establish trust early on

Trust is essential for a successful sales call. If your prospect doesn’t trust you, they will not listen to what you have to say or be interested in what you’re selling.

There are many ways to establish trust early on in the conversation — one way is to use social proof. 

You can accomplish this by bringing up any overlaps in your professional network that may have come up during your call planning and research phase (e.g., “I see that you’re connected to Joe on LinkedIn. I’ve worked with Joe in the past, and he’s a great guy.”).

10. Use storytelling and framing techniques to your advantage

Stories are a powerful way to connect with your prospects and get them interested in what you’re saying. They help establish trust, build rapport and make complex concepts easier to understand.

Framing is another effective technique you can use during sales calls. It involves presenting information in a way that’s favorable to your position. For example, if you’re selling a new product, you might frame it as an upgrade from the competitor’s product rather than a completely new purchase.

11. Listening and taking notes can be more important than talking

Some salespeople think that the more they talk during a sales call, the better. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, engaging in active listening is one of the most important skills you can have as a salesperson.

Listening to whatever your prospect has to say will help you understand their needs and pain points. You can then use this information to customize your pitch and increase your chances of closing the sale.

In addition to listening, taking notes is also important. It shows that you’re engaged in the conversation, and it allows you to reference back to specific points later on.

12. Make things simple to understand

An important part of the sales calling process is being able to explain your products and services in simple terms. 

Many salespeople make the mistake of using too much industry jargon or technical terms, which can be confusing for your prospect, making them less likely to understand what you’re trying to sell to them. 

And of course, if your prospect doesn’t understand what you’re even calling about in the first place, we all know what the outcome will be. 😩😩😩

Instead of using complicated language, try to explain things in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Only jump into the finer technical details if your prospect asks you to or they seem to show a great understanding about your product, service, or industry. 

13. Empower your prospect

Your prospect should feel like they’re in control of the conversation. This means that you need to be respectful of their time and not try to force a sale.

Empowering your prospect also means giving them the information they need to make an informed decision. Don’t withhold important details or try to sell them on something they don’t need. Be transparent and let them know exactly what they’re getting into.

14. Build a relationship with each prospect

Treating each sales call like an opportunity to build a relationship will help you stand out from the competition. 

Many salespeople are only interested in making a quick sale and then moving on to the next prospect. This makes you come off as impersonal and insincere.

Building a relationship with your potential customer will show them that you care about them as a person and not just as a sale. This could make all the difference when it comes time to close the deal.

Some ways you can build a relationship with them would be to engage with them on their social media platforms, write them a note on their birthday, or congratulate them on their recent promotion.

3 ways to improve your sales call performance after the call

Don’t stop working to improve your sales calls before and during the call. You’ll still have the chance to improve your performance after hanging up the phone.

Here are 3 ways you can do so:

15. Review your notes and objectives

After each call, take a few minutes to review your notes and objectives. This will help you understand what went well and what you need to work on.

Make a list of the key takeaways from each call and whether or not you accomplished your goals. Also, reflect on any new information you learned about your prospect. Using this information to adjust your pitch for future calls will help you keep your focus and be better prepared the next time you engage that prospect.

16. Always follow up immediately after a call

After each call, sending a follow-up email is a great way to keep the conversation going. It’s also useful to make sure you’re both on the same page about what was discussed, and you can use that email as a reference during your next call or meeting to avoid repeating yourselves too much.

In your email, include a few key points from the conversation and any next steps that need to be taken. This will help keep your prospect engaged and moving down the sales funnel.

To add on, you could send over any relevant documents that can help them come to a conclusion about your product (whether they decide to move forward or reject your offer).

You can also suggest a time in your email for a follow-up call with your prospect. 

17. Identify other follow-up opportunities

Apart from your initial follow-up email, it would help if you also thought of other ways to engage your prospect. This could involve sending them additional information about a feature of your product that may have confused them, connecting them with someone else in your company, or inviting them to an upcoming event.

The goal is to keep the relationship alive and continue providing value even after the call has ended. If you can find ways to do this, you’ll be one step closer to making a sale.

The bottom line

And there you have it! We hope these 17 tips will help you improve the performance of your sales calls so you can generate more leads

Just remember that practice makes perfect. 

The more calls you make, and the more you apply these tips, the better you’ll become at it. Soon enough, you’ll ace your sales calls! 😉

Jordan Bishop
Jordan Bishop

Jordan Bishop is the founder of Yore Oyster and How I Travel, two sites to help you optimize your finances while living an international life. He recently published his first book, Unperfect, an exploration of problem solving.

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