You already know that your prospects are busy people. It’s not easy to catch them at a good time to talk.
And even if you do call at the right time, they’re unlikely to take an unexpected call from an unknown number. Unfortunately, this makes cold calling trickier than ever.
So, although cold calling is a mainstay of sales (especially when it comes to cold outreach for larger clients!), we’re becoming big advocates of warm calling.
Warm calling brings together the best of all worlds—using tried and true sales tactics to turn leads into customers without the added challenge of going in completely cold.
Not sure what warm calling is or how to pull it off? No problem! If you want to learn how to warm up leads and use warm calling to convert prospects into customers, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll start by talking about what warming calling is, the difference between cold calls and warm calls, and then provide some tips that you can use to make your warm calls as effective as possible.
What is Warm Calling?
What’s the difference between cold calling vs. warm calling? It’s easy to get mixed up, especially since the many cold calls aren’t 100% cold.
Unlike traditional cold calling, warm calling implies that you already have an established connection to the prospect. So, rather than putting together a list of cold leads, you’re targeting specific warm leads who have already shown some level of interest in your business or product.
This doesn’t mean you know them personally, but there’s some existing link or evidence that suggests they’re a good fit for your business. There are generally two ways you can find warm leads: 1) existing connections and referrals; and 2) inbound marketing.
Before we dig into how to do it well, let’s take a moment to understand why warm calls are so effective.
What are the benefits of warm calling?
- Warm calling allows you to build stronger, authentic connections. Calling someone up on the phone is much more personable than exchanging emails or sending them direct mail. It shows the person that you’re interested in what they have to say, addressing their questions, and speaking to them one-on-one.
- Warm calling makes the most of your inbound leads. When someone attends your webinar, signs up to receive updates from your team, or fills out a contact form asking for more information about your product, they’re raising their hand and showing interest. Warm calling these leads allows you to connect with the people who are most likely to become new customers.
- Warm calling increases your sales potential. On average, warm leads are more likely to convert than cold leads. Why? Because warm leads are self-vetted and have already expressed interest in your product or company. By focusing on high-quality warm leads, you can increase your success rate.
15 Tips for More Effective Warm Calling
To help you heat up your sales process at every step, we’ve organized these warm calling tips into three buckets: advice for what to do pre-call, during the call, and after you hang up.
How to Prepare Before the Call
Here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful warm calling before you make the call.
1. Watch for Trigger Events
How can you tell when a prospect is ready to hear from you? By watching for trigger events—changes in a lead’s behavior or business needs—you can pick up hints about when the best time to reach out to a warm prospect might be.
For instance, when someone downloads an ebook from your site, signs up for your newsletter, or attends your webinar, they’re signaling interest in your product and business. These trigger events suggest the prospect may be more receptive to hearing from you than a cold lead might be.
2. Establish a Connection
One of the reasons a warm call can be so effective is that it’s not your first time communicating with the prospect. Where cold calling would be your first interaction with a potential lead, warm calling never is. Rather than calling them up out of the blue, you should establish contact elsewhere before ever dialing their number.
For example, you might send the prospect a cold email, comment on a public social media post, or shoot them a LinkedIn message congratulating them on a new role. The goal is to get them familiar with your name, business, and how you can help them, so that you’re already on their radar by the time you call.
3. Get to Know the Prospect
It’s vital to research your prospect in advance so you know who you’re calling. Do some background research on the individual, their role, and their company so you can personalize your sales pitch. Learn about their unique situation and needs to see how your solution might fit into their world.
4. Personalize Your Pitch
You need to give prospects a good reason to get on the phone with you and hear you out. That means you can’t launch into a generic sales pitch. Since you’re already taking the time to connect with and research your leads before calling, use that information to identify a specific need your product can meet or a problem you can help resolve.
Of course, the goal isn’t to sound rehearsed, but to come prepared. To make sure you’ve covered all the basics, here’s what you should know beforehand:
- Full name, job title, and contact information.
- Company name, size, and industry.
- How they could benefit from your offering (i.e., why you’re calling them specifically).
- A shared interest or common ground you can reference to establish rapport.
- Notes on how you found them (i.e., do you have a shared connection, or did they do something to raise their hand and show interest?).
5. Verify Contact Information
Just like you should verify email addresses before hitting send, you should ensure you’ve got the correct phone number before dialling. You can use a lead generation tool like Datanyze to source accurate B2B contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers, you’re your extended LinkedIn network.
How to Build Rapport During the Call
Once you’ve got your prospect on the phone, you want to make the most of this one-on-one time. Here are some things to remember to make a positive first impression and build rapport.
6. Reintroduce Yourself
Refresh the prospects memory so they know who you are and why you’re calling. Take the time to be human, ask about their day, and establish rapport before launching into your sales pitch.
7. Make Your Offer Clear
Make your purpose clear from the moment they pick up. While you don’t want to dive straight into a pitch, you also shouldn’t leave the purpose of your call ambiguous. Otherwise, the prospect might decide you don’t have anything of value to offer and hang up before you can make your case.
Clearly explain what you can help the prospect with and how it will benefit their business—whether it’s solving a pain point, increasing revenue, or providing a specific competitive edge.
8. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Keep the conversation flowing by asking open-ended questions. This is your opportunity to learn more about the prospect and gain a better understanding of how your solution can serve them.
9. Practice Active Listening
There’s no point in asking questions if you’re not going to listen to the answers—but it’s also important that the prospect feels heard. Active listening means using verbal cues to show you’re paying attention and interested in what the other person has to say.
If you need to clarify a point, repeat it back to them in the form of a question. Not only does this invite the prospect to expand upon a potential pain point or need, but the repetition also helps you remember important details and shows the prospect you’re listening.
10. End with a Call to Action
Before you hang up, give the prospect a clear call to action to set expectations to keep the ball rolling. That could be setting another meeting with more stakeholders, scheduling a demo, sending over a PDF brochure, inviting them to a free trial version, or simply agreeing that you’ll check in next week to see if they have any follow-up questions.
In any case, have a plan for next steps you’d like to achieve or get the prospect to agree to during the call.
How to Keep Momentum Going After the Call
Just because the call is over, doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Here’s how you can keep the momentum going and move the prospect further down the pipeline.
11. Review & Expand on Your Notes
Immediately after you hang up, jot down the major takeaways from the conversation. Ideally, you’ll have taken a few notes during the call—but once you hang up, flesh out those details while they’re still fresh in your mind.
12. Update Your CRM or Customer File
Anything new you learned about the prospect during the call should be added to their file for future reference. This helps keep you organized and makes it easier to pick up the conversation where you left off, so you can keep the sale moving forward instead of wasting time rehashing details you’ve already shared.
13. Send a Follow-Up Email
As with any sales engagement, a prompt follow-up is crucial to successful warm calling. Sending a follow-up email is a quick and easy way to increase visibility, keep your product top of mind, and reiterate your offer. This also allows you to initiate next steps and maintain the momentum gained during your conversation.
Note: Your follow-up email is key whether you have a 5-minute call, 30-minute conversation, or even if your call goes straight to voicemail.
14. Add Next Steps to Your Calendar
Another way to prevent sales opportunities from slipping through the cracks? Pencil in those next steps, including future meetings, follow-ups, and call-backs. Whether you have another meeting set or not, add a reminder to your calendar to either follow-up by email or phone if you haven’t heard back by a predetermined date.
15. Add Leads to Appropriate Nurture Track
After chatting with your prospect, you should have a better idea of where they are in their customer journey. Based on how sales-ready your prospect proves to be, you can determine what the most appropriate next steps are.
If they’re not quite ready to move forward with a purchase, the best course of action could be to share more information (by sending over material most relevant to their current level of interest) or add them to a drip campaign for further nurturing. This keeps the conversation going and allows you to nudge them along towards converting.
How Can You Generate More Warm Leads?
So, we’ve talked about how to prepare for, pull off, and follow-up on warm calls—but you still might be wondering how to get started. In other words, where can you find leads for warm calling?
There are a few different ways to find warm leads. Ideally, you should use a mix of social networks (including lead generating on Facebook) and inbound marketing (like using lead magnets to attract sales-ready leads). We also recommend creating a referral program or offering an incentive to existing customers who bring in new leads.
But there are also prospecting tools that can help you find contact details for your leads. With the right lead generation tools by your side, you can save time and money while building a high-quality list of warm leads. These tools provide the information you need to find your next customer, including email addresses, phone numbers, social media profiles, and more.
For example, the Datanyze Chrome extension provides you with up-to-date contact information and company data directly from LinkedIn—including accurate phone numbers for warm calling your leads.
Want to see it in action for yourself? Sign up for Datanyze today to start generating leads more quickly, so you can focus on mastering your sales process (including the warm calling techniques you learned today!).