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The Ultimate Sales Call Training & Coaching Masterclass

Sales Training
Chris Orlob
September 28, 2023

Only 28% of sales professionals expect to meet or exceed quota in 2023, according to a recent SalesForce report.

This dismal outlook points to a worsening sales landscape that challenges sales teams to evolve if they want to stand out.

For a sales person to be effective, there is now a clear need to move from transactional to consultative selling — understand potential clients' pain points, how those pains impede goals, and how to position their offer as the solution. This often starts at the cold call stage.

Cold call with more confidence and close six-figure deals like top sales pro.

👉 Get instant access to our ‘Conquer The Cold Call’ course

Mastering the Art of Cold Calling 

Cold calling can be intimidating for sales reps. However, when done right, it can help you connect with qualified prospects and grow your pipeline.

Essential Cold Calling Tips

  1. Use your full name: This makes you more personable, memorable, and trustworthy. It's also a key part of making a strong first impression on a cold call when they don't know anything about you yet.
  2. Establish relevance fast: Resist the urge to immediately start asking questions. Instead, take some time upfront to explain who you are, your value proposition, and why the prospect should care

For example, "I'm calling because I understand you are looking for a new CRM system for your sales team. I wanted to introduce myself and see if it makes sense for us to have a quick chat about your requirements." 

This establishes relevance right away.

  1. Personalized engagement: The cold call begins long before the cold call. A recent LinkedIn report shows that 76% of top performers “always” perform research before reaching out to prospects.
  2. Align with gatekeepers: Gatekeepers are there to protect decision-makers’ time. Instead of viewing them as an obstacle, leverage each gatekeeper as a resource

ZoomInfo recommends asking questions like:

  • Do you already have a product like the one I’m selling? 
  • Does your company work with any of my competitors? 
  • What are your biggest pain points?
  1. Use scripts strategically: Have a script to ensure you cover key points — a brief introduction, questions to ask and a clear value proposition. But also listen closely to understand needs vs. relying solely on the script. 
  2. Build rapport: Building trusted relationships through rapport can make or break sales outcomes, turning prospects into loyal advocates or losing them to competitors.

Role-Play Scenarios for Cold Calling

Role-play holds a pivotal role in sales training courses, providing a platform for salespersons to sharpen their conversational skills, simulate real-world phone interactions, and cultivate confidence in their sales skills.

Through role-play, your team can enhance their selling skills in the following ways:

  1. Handling Objections: Role-playing serves as a training ground to master objection-handling techniques, equipping your team to skillfully address challenges and counter resistance from prospects.
  2. Handling Rejections: Role-playing empowers salespeople to manage rejection gracefully and respond positively, keeping the door open for future engagements.
  3. Identifying Decision-Makers: Role-playing situations help salespersons refine their approach to identifying decision-makers within a prospect's organization.
  4. Navigating Gatekeepers: Role-play refines the art of navigating gatekeepers, enabling salespeople to connect with decision-makers effectively.
  5. Boosting Confidence: Practicing sales conversations through role-play helps reps become more confident and natural. With greater poise and smoother interactions, reps are able to connect better and exude warmth that prospects find appealing.

Having reps practice cold calling via role-play installs muscle memory for handling different real-world situations smoothly and confidently.

Pclub’s immersive sales demo training provides access to practical role-playing sessions to perfect sales techniques.

👉 Unlock Your Reps’ Potential

Sales Scripts and Templates

A well-crafted sales script serves as a guiding compass, offering structure and ensuring  conversations consistently hit the right notes and cover the necessary ground for moving prospects forward. 

Your script should outline:

  • Essential talking points
  • Common questions 
  • Field vetted responses 

And if you’re a sales leader who’s in charge or writing scripts or editing a templated script to fit your team’s selling style, remember:

  • Build in prompts for discovery questions to learn about the prospect's situation before launching into a product pitch.
  • Have an opening that positions you as the expert rather than asking broad questions about their issues.
  • Include suggested statements to redirect the conversation if it goes off course, rather than questions.
  • Incorporate relevant case studies or testimonials to influence the prospect.
  • Allow flexibility to pivot the script based on the prospect's specific needs uncovered during the call.
  • Close with confirmation of next steps and commitment to advance the sale.

The key is ensuring the script moves the call towards your objectives, uses influential language, allows for discovery, and gains commitment for advancement while keeping the prospect engaged.

This battle-tested course distills 60,000 real-world outbound calls into a proven cold calling framework for instantly booking more meetings.

👉Here’s how to conquer the cold call 🔥

Qualifying Prospects and Setting Follow-up Calls

Lead qualification early in the sales process saves time by separating hot prospects worth pursuing immediately from more cold leads. This is why sales qualification should be the number one priority of your discovery call.

Ask qualifying questions to determine fit in terms of budget, authority, need, and timeline:

  • What led to their booking the call?
  • What have they done on their own to solve this problem?
  • Does the prospect have sufficient budget to purchase? 
  • Are they the decision maker for this initiative? 
  • How high does the problem lie on their priority list?

And if you need more inspiration for asking qualifier questions without coming off too pushy, check out our 4-minute video below:

For prospects that meet qualification criteria, sales reps should:

  1. Confirm next steps before ending each call to maintain momentum and demonstrate their commitment to solving client problems
  2. Set a follow-up call quickly to present solutions tailored to the prospect’s pain points.

Improving Your Team’s Phone Skills  

Let's go over some proven telephone sales techniques for acing outbound calls, fielding inbound lead inquiries smoothly, and crafting compelling voicemails. 

  • Have a Goal: Know what you want from each call, like setting up another meeting or agreeing on a price, to avoid pointless chats.
  • Guide the Talk: If the buyer strays off topic, use firm statements to bring the focus back, but not at the expense of creating an uncomfortable environment.
  • Use Uplifting Words: Encourage agreement by framing suggestions positively rather than using negative language.
  • Start Strong: Begin the conversation by mentioning common issues rather than asking open-ended questions to steer the discussion effectively.
  • Read the Buyer: Match your approach to the buyer’s mood, being ready to chat or get straight to business based on their signals.
  • Stay on Track: Politely bring wandering discussions back to the main point to keep moving towards your goal.

Handling Inbound Sales Calls  

The key to successful inbound and phone sales is mastering active listening, which we spoke about in-depth earlier in this guide.

Give your full attention to prospects, ask thoughtful questions, and focus on understanding their unique needs and challenges.

When leaving voicemails, quickly state your name, company, and reason for calling. Explain how you can help prospects solve their problems and improve outcomes. Conclude by requesting a specific call-to-action, like a meeting at a defined date and time. This structures voicemails for higher callbacks versus open-ended follow-ups.

And if you need further help, follow along in the video below:

Tips for Building Rapport During Sales Calls

  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage your prospects to share their roles, goals, and challenges to find common ground.
  • Explore Frustrations: If a prospect hints at challenges, ask for more details to understand their issues better.
  • Practice Active Listening: Listen carefully and summarize your prospects’ points to show understanding before moving to business matters.
  • Try Mirroring: Subtly mimic your prospects’ gestures or speech patterns to build a connection; it's proven to help in negotiations. Studies by Stanford and Northwestern University found that negotiators who mirrored their partners reached a deal 67% of the time, compared to only 12.5% for those who did not use mirroring techniques.
  • Identify Pain Points: Before pitching, ask questions during your discovery calls to uncover a prospect’s pain points and desires for improvements. 
  • Maintain Consistency: Cold calling is the beginning. Keep in touch through LinkedIn, email, or other channels to nurture the relationship.

Remember, keep it conversational and balanced between friendly chat and focused probing to build a fruitful rapport.

Adding Sales Call Coaching to the Sales Process 

World-class sales organizations all leverage coaching to develop top-performing teams. Consistent sales call coaching improves reps' selling skills, leading to more closed deals, expanded accounts, and ultimately increased revenue. 

What Are the Roles of Sales Coaching and Leadership?

  • Coaches should frequently monitor calls and sit-ins to listen to reps in action and provide real-time feedback and coaching. 
  • Leaders should review recorded sales calls to enable drilling down on subtle areas for improvement reps can focus on. By the way, we reviewed over 2,500 sales call recordings to see where sales reps can improve their delivery.
  • Share best practices and key strengths observed from their team’s top performers so everyone can replicate what success looks like.

Sales Managers as Coaches

Sales managers play a crucial role in developing successful sales reps through consistent coaching and mentoring. Their core responsibility is that of nurturing reps from raw potential to elite performance.

Sales leaders influence team success in three key ways:

  1. Hands-on coaching sessions to refine selling skills and address observed gaps
  2. Mentoring reps on navigating complex sales situations and advancing opportunities
  3. Motivating your sales team by recognizing accomplishments and keeping them focused on goals.

Manager-led sales training delivers highly customized and relevant skills development informed by direct observation of team needs, strengthening manager-rep relationships in the process.

Sales Coaching Techniques for Leaders

With consistent coaching being so crucial, sales leaders must continuously refine their coaching techniques. Here are sales coaching approaches used by the top managers:

  • Establish specific development plans for each rep based on strengths/weaknesses uncovered from call reviews and analytics. Take a personalized approach.
  • Set up regular role-playing sessions to instill new skills through practice. Make recordings to track progress over time. 
  • Conduct frequent call reviews to provide timely, relevant feedback. Pick 1-2 focus areas per rep to maintain focus.
  • Leveraging data is crucial – use analytics and reports to objectively identify reps' strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance trends.

Sales reps are only as good as the leaders they emulate

👉Build a better team by taking an online sales leadership course

Incorporating Sales Call Coaching in Onboarding

For savvy sales organizations, a prime part of the sales onboarding process is ride-along call coaching, as it affords an opportunity to instill best practices around sales calls early on.

Here’s what the typical sales coaching process looks like during the onboarding stage.

  • Listening to call recordings together and pause frequently for feedback. Praise what they are doing well and suggest tweaks.
  • Role-play sales scenarios like cold calls, demos, handling objections. Have them practice while you provide guidance.
  • Equipping trainees with call frameworks, scripts, objections-rebuttals, and discovery questions to use as training wheels.
  • Arranging for top performing reps to mentor new hires and share what works for them.
  • Ensuring managers schedule dedicated coaching time on their calendar for consistent mentoring.
  • Establish goals around implementing techniques and have reps self-evaluate their progress.

Frequent sales call coaching during onboarding sets reps up for ongoing success. They will be equipped with the tools to have productive sales conversations that drive results.

Key Technologies in Sales Call Coaching

Sales Engagement Tools

Sales engagement platforms that integrate sales call recording capabilities are a gamechanger for enabling more frequent coaching.

  • Recordings give managers tremendous visibility into reps' selling styles, strengths and needs by reviewing more calls. 
  • Having call reviews informed by actual sales conversations makes recommendations highly relevant and impactful.
  • This enables crafting personalized training plans tailored to each individual rep’s needs. 

Conversational Intelligence Software

Sales coaching enters a new era of effectiveness when enhanced by conversation intelligence platforms like Gong

These tools ingest massive libraries of recorded sales calls, automatically transcribe them with AI, and surface critical conversational insights through data analytics.

Managers gain an objective view of rep performance trends through AI-generated stats like talk-to-listen ratios, sales methodology adherence, speaking speed variability, and more.

Conversation intelligence eliminates guesswork and makes coaching strategic and scalable. Managers leverage hard data to pinpoint optimal areas of focus for each rep based on true calling patterns rather than hunches. 

Implementing an Effective Sales Coaching Program

An effective sales program is one that meets salespeople where they are and equip them with the skills they need to get past obstacles in their way to sales success.

Key Elements of a Successful Sales Coaching Program

  • No one-size-fits-all approach: Personalize coaching based on salespeople strengths/weaknesses uncovered via call reviews and analytics. 
  • Align coaching to sales stages: Align to the different stages of the sales cycle. Discovery coaching looks quite different from objection handling coaching.
  • Track metrics to target behaviors: Proper tracking of metrics ensures coaching targets the right behaviors that will ultimately impact KPIs like win rates, deal sizes, and quota attainment. 
  • Integrate with business goals: Tight integration between individual coaching plans and overarching business goals.
  • Leverage peer mentors: Manager coaching combined with peer mentor relationships for multidimensional development.  
  • Drive engagement with recognition: Recognition, rewards, and incentives drive coaching plan participation.

Recommended: 7 Best Virtual Sales Coaching Programs & Courses for B2B SaaS

Coaching Plan and Implementation

An effective coaching plan begins with an assessment of each rep's skills and opportunities for growth. This determines what phases of the sales cycle to focus coaching on.

Some suggestions for effective coaching planning and implementation:

  • Integrate coaching routines: Integrate coaching activities into the daily and weekly routines of sales professionals rather than leaving things to chance. For instance, commit to biweekly role-play and call review sessions between managers and reps. Feature coaching plan elements in team stand ups or huddles.
  • Track progress and celebrate milestones: Publicly track and celebrate when reps achieve coaching plan milestones to motivate progress. And tie coaching program metrics directly to critical business KPIs like win rates. This enables continuous monitoring and improvement of program efficacy. 
  • Maintain a culture of learning: With the right sales coaching framework in place, revenue, customer satisfaction, and retention metrics will steadily climb. But coaching cannot be a one-and-done initiative - high-performing teams maintain a culture of continual learning and development buoyed by data.

Sales Coaching for Retention and Quota Attainment  

Effective sales call coaching reduces involuntary turnover by equipping reps with the skills to meet performance expectations. Well-trained reps are more likely to hit sales targets, making managers less inclined to terminate them over poor performance.

When organizations invest time upskilling reps through coaching, team members feel supported and valued. This fosters engagement and loyalty, strengthening retention.

Ongoing Sales Call Coaching and Learning Resources

Podcasts and Webinars on Sales Coaching

A wealth of podcasts and webinars provide invaluable, ongoing sales coaching resources.

Here are some podcasts top performers swear by:

  1. Getting to Club: The goal of this podcast is straightforward - help you become or stay a President's Club winner in tech sales by stealing the playbooks and skills of the top 0.01% of tech sales practitioners and earners. Getting To Club host, Chris Orlob, grew from $200k ARR to $200M ARR in just 5 years.
  2. Advanced Selling Podcast: the ASP has the reputation of being the longest running sales podcast online. With more than 700 past episodes, you may want to agree there is little they are yet to cover in some depth. If your sales have plateaued or you are not getting enough of the right leads, ASP hosts Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale’s structured sales education has a solid reputation. 
  3. Reveal: The Revenue Intelligence Podcast: explores how revenue leaders use data-driven revenue intelligence to reach their full potential. Host Danny Wasserman interviews practitioners, leaders, and experts to share candid success stories, insights, and actionable revenue growth strategies.
  4. The Sales Strategy & Enablement Podcast: features candid conversations with revenue leaders to explore critical insights, skills and technologies that drive sales performance. Host Andy Paul, a top global sales expert, consults with major businesses and shares actionable strategies across 1100+ episodes to help listeners exceed customer expectations and boost revenue.
  5. Sales Gravy: Sales Gravy identifies as a global sales acceleration firm. Founder Host Jeb Blount is the bestselling author of about 15 definitive books on sales. On this podcast, Jeb teaches you how to open more doors, close bigger deals, and rock even fatter commission checks using unique strategies and frameworks.

What to Look for In a Sales Training Course

There are loads of online courses out there, but do they have the essential curriculum to upskill every member of your sales team? Here’s what to look out for:

  • Interactive Modules: You should be able to take courses on your own time and track your progress in an interactive way.
  • Sales Fundamentals: Courses should cover the sales basics like prospecting, qualifying, presenting, handling objections, closing, account management.
  • Consultative Selling: Courses should teach you how to move from transactional to consultative selling through questioning, listening, and providing solutions. 
  • Sales Methodologies: You should be able to review common sales methodologies like SPIN, Challenger, MEDDIC and when to apply them.
  • Questioning Techniques: Courses should help you master different types of sales questions for discovery, qualifying, uncovering needs.
  • Negotiation Tactics: You should get all the necessary strategies and tactics for navigating pricing negotiations, in addition to sales concessions. 
  • Sales Technologies: Your sales team should be able to manage CRMs, sales enablement tools, and optimize sales workflows by the end of the course.

It’s also a great idea to involve your Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) in the training process, helping them grasp the day-to-day grind of your AEs. By having dedicated new hire programs in place, you lay a solid foundation upon which your managers can build through ongoing coaching.

Make More Calls That Lead Sales with pclub’s Virtual Sales Training Course

Pclub’s comprehensive online program offers in-depth modules on problem discovery, sales processes, strategy, and pipeline management tailored specifically for high-performing SaaS sales teams.

The course introduces Pclub's proven 5-step framework:

  1. Identify the business problem.
  2. Understand the current state.
  3. Identify the cause analysis.
  4. Explore the negative impact.
  5. Understand the desired outcome.

Through personalized and interactive video lessons, both new sales managers and seasoned sales professionals gain the skills needed to excel. The course also features virtual role-playing exercises allowing practicing key scenarios.

With a 4.8-star average rating, Pclub customers rave about the course's immediate impact on revenue and sales competencies.

Here are some excerpts from what sales leaders have had to say about our Virtual Sales Training Course:

“We trained our teams on Discovery Masterclass, and we're already seeing an increase in opp conversion rates. Several reps said this was the most actionable sales training they've ever done.” - Alex Moffitt (Global Technical Sales Manager, Fusion 360 at Autodesk)

“Finished my quarter at 152%. Just wanted to send you a thank you note for the training and content. I finished my quarter at 152% and my half at 104% largely due to your teachings and learning from your experiences.” - Jasi Johnson (Account Director at LinkedIn)

Take our virtual sales course today and unlock your team's potential.

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