SMARTER cold call goals to boost sales

Cold calling can be a frustrating experience. But it doesn’t have to be if you set SMART cold call goals to take your cold calling to the next level.
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SMARTER cold calling goals to boost sales

Cold calling is the most misunderstood yet effective sales technique. It’s often deemed as spam calling and hence, your sales reps are subjected to more rejection or rude replies. 

And, if they were as bad as people make them out to be, why would 82% of buyers accept a meeting with a rep after speaking with them through a cold call? 🤔

That said, even though they are an effective method to generate more qualified leads, it can still be a frustrating experience for your cold call reps. 

But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to put your reps through bad cold calling experiences if you set achievable and quality sales goals. In this article, we’ll tell you about how you can take your cold calling to the next level with SMARTER goals. Let’s dive right in!

Contents

What are SMART goals?

SMART is a common framework for goal setting. It exists alongside other approaches and theories, like the goal-setting theory of motivation, management by objectives, or objectives and key results.

It first appeared in 1981 when George T. Doran issued the paper “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”. Hence, it has been 40 years since the concept was mentioned for the first time.

Doran’s original acronym stood for “specific”, “measurable”, “assignable”, “realistic”, and “time-related”. The interpretation has slightly changed and is now regarded as:

  • S — Specific

Objectives should cover particular issues or respond to seeable opportunities, and there is no place for subjective evaluations. Otherwise, you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve them.

  • M — Measurable

A telling goal is one that can be figured. It’s up to you what metrics to choose: integers, fractions, or percentages. But there should be defined benchmarks — to plan the general course.

  • A — Achievable 

Thinking big is great, but nothing frustrates people more than unattainable results. Sky-high goals are good for athletes, but for teams, they may cause increasing job dissatisfaction and burnout.

  • R — Relevant

If you’re going to spend time and resources on achieving your goal, be sure you’re on the way to a meaningful result. Although no one can predict the execution with 100% accuracy, an action plan should be reasonable and uncluttered.

  • T — Time-bound

Backlogs, time estimates, and deadlines are fundamentals for goal completion. Because even an exhaustive plan will remain a good intention if it doesn’t include a completion date.

Here are some SMART goal examples:

  • Sales managers: To increase the number of leads by doubling the team over the next 6 months
  • Cold call reps: To increase cold calling by 15 leads each day over the next 4 months
  • User acquisition managers: To increase website organic traffic by 10% over the next 3 months
  • Email marketers: To cut expenses on content production by 20% during the next month

The SMARTER goals approach

5 original SMART goals components were further adjusted with 2 more — “Evaluated” and “Reviewed”. 

This is a so-called SMARTER approach. It foregrounds the importance of feedback and agility. Viewed in this way, a manager who sets the goal should:

  • Review its priority
  • Track completion and timely impose adjustments
  • Provide relevant guidance
  • Encourage collaboration and communication
  • Praise individual performances and team results
  • Point out areas of further development

To build an action plan, use the SMARTER goals template. This may be a single-page table with key areas to take control over, a Kanban board, a Backlog in JIRA, a mind map, or anything you will be comfortable referring to and working with.

Use this table to set SMARTER goals
Use this table to set SMARTER goals

SMARTER cold calling principles

Search for information

Your prospective client receives many typical offers every day and they do not expect a call from your reps. 

At the initial stage, nothing prevents them from hanging up the phone without hearing the proposal. Before a contact, your rep should collect as much information as possible about the business activities and the prospect’s personality. 

Additional information will help you stand out from the crowd of competitors and grasp the prospect’s attention. It will also help formulate an offer that will benefit them.

Respect your prospect

No matter how the conversation unfolds, do not go over to aggression. Leave the opportunity for the prospect to speak. 

Smile while talking. Being kind will also help establish contact. 

Remember that the person did not plan on wasting their valuable time with you, so there is no need to drag out the conversation. Keeping your pitch concise and clear are the recipe for good negotiations.

Don’t be phased by objections

The prospect is entitled to an opinion different from that of the salesperson. An objection is not an outright rejection, but an opportunity to better understand the consumer’s needs. 

They may not be satisfied with the price, delivery time, equipment, number of additional services, etc. 

Many techniques can be mastered by participating in professional sales training to work on cold calling objections. A counter-argument is a sign of interest — It’s much worse when a merchant gets tacit consent.

Setting an appointment

SMARTER goals imply the achievement of a set goal. You need to set the date of the meeting not with the question: ‘When is it convenient for you?’, but with a specific proposal for the date and time. 

It is never convenient for a business person to meet with someone they know little about.

Preparing for cold calls

Here are some additional SMARTER tips to prepare you for cold calling:

  • Thorough knowledge of your product or service is the first requirement for a sales manager. Not a single counter-question should baffle you. It is your responsibility to exude confidence in your own professionalism.
  • Do some “homework.” Your cold calling notebook will contain, at a minimum, the names of organizations, phone numbers, the names of “actors,” and company-specific notes. 
  • Collect as much information about a potential client as you can. The kind of intelligence you provide beforehand will give serious advantages during negotiations, both in terms of confidence and the chance to win over the interlocutor. 
  • Find a way to release tension and relax before calling. As an example, take a moment to meditate. It is not recommended to make calls to anyone in a stressful state. 
  • Another practical tip that everyone should apply is to smile. Although your prospect can’t see your smile, they are guaranteed to feel it. The voice becomes more pleasant and softer, and the conversation is easier and more comfortable. 

💡 Additional read: Top 14 tips to convince customers to buy from you

SMARTER cold calling scripts and algorithm

A cold call script is necessary to prepare you for your call. While you shouldn’t over-rely on a script as it can make you sound robotic and detached, having a script on hand can certainly calm your nerves and act as a safety net for when you forget what you need to say. 

Let’s take a step-by-step look at a cold call scenario: 

  • Determining the purpose of the contact. 
  • Choosing a scenario, how to bypass the secretary. 
  • Access to a managerial position (a person authorized to make decisions). 
  • Diagnostics of the client (drawing up a “portrait”) and their potential interest. 
  • Identifying the needs of the prospect. 
  • Presentation. 
  • Work with objections. 
  • Closing the call (ideally by setting a date for a meeting). 

When composing a SMARTER call script, it is essential to be flexible in thinking and not prepare them according to a template. 

What matters is the specifics of your company, customers, the industry as a whole, and your goals. The script for selling goods will differ from the algorithm for selling ads. In the case of selling services, you will also need special techniques. 

Wrapping up

We hope that this article has helped you in preparing for your cold calls the SMARTER way so you can generate leads and boost sales.

The SMART technology means focusing on current sales and negotiation outcomes. 

Organizations often fixate on past successes or live in anticipation of future ones. The SMART approach helps to see the actual state of affairs, measure the success for today, and not the mythical results of the future. 

For more cold call tips and advice, check out our blog!

Yulia Zubova
Yulia Zubova

Yulia is an outreach specialist at Snov.io.

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