Discovery Call

7 Key Tips to Structure A Successful Sales Call

Kushal Kakkar

Kushal Saini Kakkar
Marketing Director, Clari



Ready to take your revenue to new heights?

A child's hands building with Lego blocks
A child's hands building with Lego blocks

Remember open-book tests? The ones where you could refer to your notes and textbooks during the test?

Did you write exactly what was written in your textbook or change the answer according to the question asked? The latter, obviously!

You responded to the question based on what was asked, but your notes and textbooks provided a good reference for scenarios where:

  • You learned something but forgot about it
  • You just needed a little bit of guidance to solve the problem
  • You were stressed out about your exam, and having your notes with you could help

Just like your notes saved your grades sometimes, a well-written sales script can save you a lost deal. When you write a script for your cold call, you are essentially defining a structure to follow and preparing yourself for the sales call - one that’s built on rapport and prospect engagement. 

By structuring your sales calls, you can avoid:

  • Losing your way (and the deal) when your prospect’s objections turn your legs to jello.
  • Forgetting to ask important questions or just spacing out in the middle of the cold call.
  • Constantly thinking about what to say next and missing out on listening to all the key points your potential customer might put forward.

But here’s the flip side – you can plan your sales power words beforehand, but you cannot anticipate how your prospect is going to respond to you. So, how do you figure that into your sales script? Well, you can’t. So, you need to be spontaneous, listen to your prospect, and respond accordingly to build rapport and engage with them.

More questions surface - “So, should I ditch my script and be spontaneous?” or “Would being spontaneous lead to having an unstructured call?” 

Let’s find out!

Do sales scripts lead to the death of spontaneity?

“I love it when a sales rep talks like a robot to me.” - said no prospect ever.

When you rigorously follow a sales script, you eliminate the ‘listening factor’ from your sales call. You try to follow the order on the script instead of listening to your prospects and making a conversation with them. But as any good salesperson would agree, on a sales call, you should talk less and listen more. Only then can you build rapport, gain your prospect’s trust, and allow them to share their pain points. 

Apart from this, sales scripts and commonly used sales power words cannot do much to personalize your sales call. When it comes to writing a personalized script for a potential customer, you can go as far as putting a name placeholder in “Hi <prospect name>, this is Mark from ABC solutions.” Or you can add this as a note in your sales script: “Talk about prospect’s interests.” 

Beyond that, it’s all about spontaneity. It’s quite impractical to believe that one sales script could work for all your prospects. It’s even more impractical to make a fresh script for every prospect.

So, a sales script can be your best friend or your worst enemy for an effective sales strategy. To avoid the latter, You need to practice, spend time in self-training and research each prospect. Only then can you handle the inevitable yet unexpected detours and win over your potential customers. 

Look at it this way - a cold calling script can act as a shoulder to lean on, not a crutch to carry you along the sales cycle. So, let’s prepare a shoulder structure for your sales calls.

Structure of a successful sales call

Step 0: Cold call preps

Do your research: the more the better

Talking to strangers can get awkward, especially when you’re selling them something. Researching your potential client can give you just the icebreaker(s) you want to start a conversation with them. Here’s an example of how simple and easy it can be to engage with your new potential customer if you do a quick research on their social media channels before reaching out to them:

Mark: “...I came across your Linkedin profile, and I noticed that you’ve recently taken up a new job role. Congrats!

Jessica: “Oh, thanks a lot, Mark! Yes, I have now been promoted to the role of XYZ, and I’m really excited about it.”

Mark: “That’s amazing, Jessica! I myself am a strong believer in the whole ‘do what you love’ philosophy. You must be very passionate about your work, right?”

And just like that, you have a conversation you can run with.

Decide on the tone: curious trumps assumptive

Although your long-term goal is to sell and close more deals, if you lead with that, you will increase your potential client's sales resistance. This means they will trust you less, hindering your overall sales process. So, here’s what you need to change in terms of your perspective and sales pitch words to avoid a situation like that:

  • How do I sell to this prospect? → How do I help this prospect?
  • Being assumptive about your prospect’s needs → Being curious about your prospect’s needs
  • Reading a sales script verbatim on the cold call → Engaging with your prospect while also referring to your scripts

When you change the purpose of your sales phone call, your tonality shifts naturally.

Step 1: Introduce thyself

If you don’t start it off on a good note, it doesn’t matter how the rest of your sales call would go. Why? Because if the introductory part of your cold call doesn’t interest your prospect, they won’t give it another thought before hanging up. What a sad sales story.

The first 30 seconds of your cold call can make it or break it. Since we are on the side of sales calls gone good, and hence on yours, here’s our recipe for sales success in the first 30 seconds: 

  • Personalization
  • Engagement
  • Pain point + value proposition

Here’s how it would look when it’s fresh from the oven:

“Hi Jenny, my name is Mark. I am from SocioPro. We are currently working with IT companies to increase their online reach on social platforms. I have found that businesses like yours have high-value products but fail to position and market them correctly on emerging social channels. Is that an issue for you?”

  • Do not overwhelm your potential customer by listing out too many things that need not be in the introduction. Remember, the immediate goal here is to start a conversation.

Step 2: Time for the elevator pitch

Once you’ve reeled the prospect in with your intro hook, it’s time to deliver your elevator pitch. 

This is where you give a high-level overview of what you do - what problems your business solves and the kind of customers you help. Fine tune your elevator pitch with these sales tips.

  • Let your prospect know how you are doing something different than your competitors while also keeping them engaged with personalized sales pitch words. 
  • Tell them how your customers have sometimes tried to find alternatives to your product to solve key problems and why they always fell short.
  • Then discuss your product’s benefits, establish your value proposition, and talk about the results that your customers have experienced and achieved with your product.

Step 3: Ask qualifying questions

Ask. Pause. Listen. Repeat.

We know you want to close more deals, but it's equally important to find out whether the lead fits your target profile. Using your discovery call, and your best sales discovery questions, dig in to find out if your prospect’s problems align with your solutions. Ask them a series of qualifying questions about their business needs, key problems, and basic information about their business. 

Remember, the pieces of the puzzle should fit together to make a beautiful picture.

You can base your best sales discovery questions on the following areas to get this information: 

  • Background questions: Suss out the details of your prospect’s business, such as location, number of employees, revenue, etc. (only if you haven’t found them through research).
  • Problem questions: Frame questions to know if your prospect is facing the problems that your business aims to solve.
  • Evidence questions: Try to uncover quantifiable problems or strong emotions about the factors that influence your prospect’s decision to buy from you.

Secret Step 4: Listen

Do you know the number one thing that drives prospects away? 

It’s when sales professionals keep on talking about themselves and their product. 

It makes it clear that you are here purely to make a sale, not solve a problem. And let’s face it, they couldn’t care less whether you hit your quota or not!

According to a Hubspot survey, 69% of buyers say the best way a salesperson can create a “positive sales experience” throughout the sales cycle is by listening to their needs. So, forget the script for the time being and listen to your prospect. Honestly, that’s how you’ll gather more and more information about them to empower your sales pitch words and leverage your sales script in the best way possible.

Step 5: Handle those objections

“We don’t have the budget right now.”

“We already have a vendor.”

“I’ll call you back later.”

Do these objections hit you like the world sales call has come to an end? Surprise! It has not! 

When your prospect objects to your words for sales, it’s more of a “you don’t have me yet, tell me more about it if you care enough” than “so long, salesman!” The trick is to use these objections as opportunities to dive deeper into your prospect’s mindset and uncover the reason behind their objection. 

Some objections can even be smokescreens hiding the real objection that your prospect isn’t saying out loud. Use objection handling techniques and scripts to tackle these objections. 

Do it right, and you’re one step closer to gauging your prospect's real pain points and also to the next stage of your sales cycle.

Step 6: Closing ceremonies and next steps

As you come to this step to claim your sales throne, ensure that you make your potential customer say out loud that your product offers them value and solves their problem. To maintain a healthy relationship going forth, it’s important if you and your prospect see eye-to-eye. 

If the person you’re on a call with isn’t the company's decision-maker and doesn’t make the purchase decision, find out who is. Your goal here is to determine how to make this a signed agreement while keeping it respectful and humble with your point of contact. 

The next step is to clarify what the following stages are going to be like. Ask your prospect to get you in touch with their decision-maker and set a deadline, or schedule a meeting to discuss your deal further.

Bonus sales tips incoming…

Be flexible

Do not refrain from taking detours from your structured script if they lead to a way that could reap results. Listen to your prospect and be flexible in addressing their pain points and handling objections. 

Focus on value

Why value? Because only that can get your prospect to consider doing business with you. Building rapport with your prospect is the most beneficial way to kickstart your sales call. Do that, and you’ll have a much easier time getting to the value proposition of your product.

Review calls

Is this sales tip any different from the “learning from your mistakes” philosophy? Well, actually, it is. The tip here is to review your calls, as well as the calls of the top performers. Not only should you identify and work on what you are doing wrong, but also find ways to learn from the best and try to incorporate that in improving your sales pitch.

Use data

What data? Why, your sales data of course. Leverage the data from call recordings to identify sales power words, effective objection handling strategies, phrases that make prospects hesitate - the list just goes on! 

There’s so much you can extract from your sales data - from important sales metrics to the most effective words for sales. But the problem with this approach runs quite parallel to it. There are so many call recordings, so many prospects, and terabytes of data on your enterprise cloud/server. So, how do you get what you specifically want? How do you identify that one part from every 30 minute long sales call? 

Clari Copilot to the rescue! 

Our sales intelligence and analytics software solves just the problem you’re facing to structure your sales pitch. We extract actionable insights from your call recordings that you can use to make the dos and don'ts list for a successful sales call. 

Clari Copilot presents important sales metrics on your screens in real-time as you’re reviewing your calls. It gives you insights into the pivotal moments of your calls - thereby assisting you in your learning and sales analysis.

Don’t just wing it when you have a Clari Copilot by your side. Leverage Clari Copilot to get intelligent insights and empower your sales pitch. 

You go, sales-champ!” - one of the things your Clari Copilot would say to support you in your sales venture.