Author: collin stewart
Call mapping is an essential part of outbound sales. While there will inevitably be situations that require thinking on your feet, mapping out your calls in advance allows you to navigate the conversation with much more confidence.
In this guide to outbound sales call mapping, we’ll walk you through each step of the process, so you can put together an effective plan to help your outbound sales team book more meetings.
What is outbound sales call mapping and why is it so important?
Call mapping is the process of outlining the structure of an ideal cold call. It usually includes a target outcome (ie. to book a meeting or receive a referral) and key talking points that a sales rep can use to guide the conversation. Note the difference between call mapping and scripting–a call map consists of loose guidelines, rather than set lines for a rep to follow.
Effective call mapping can make or break the success of your outbound sales team. Done right, it will allow your reps to smoothly and efficiently win over prospects, and also create a repeatable process for new hires to follow.
Let’s take a look at each step of the call mapping process.
1. Begin with the end in mind
Before you start to work on your call map, it’s important to consider the goal of your outbound sales calls. What outcome are you working towards? This could be a meeting or demo booked, an internal referral, or simply an agreement to follow up.
Knowing the end goal will help you structure your call mapping because every step that follows should move your prospect toward that target outcome.
Research should be the first step before every outbound sales call, regardless of what process you follow. Before you even pick up the phone, you should have a working knowledge of the prospect and their company.
Your research process may include browsing their social media, company blog, or other sources to determine whether or not the prospect is a good fit for your product. This will allow you to personalize your pitch to that specific person and pre-qualify them as much as possible.
3. Uncover their pain points
Unlike inbound leads, who have identified they have a problem and asked about your solution, outbound prospects are likely unfamiliar with your company. Therefore the first step on an outbound sales call should be to uncover potential pain points.
After you’ve briefly introduced yourself, explain why you’re calling: to see how they are currently handling the pain point your product solves. Ask them if they’re happy with their current solution, or if they might be looking for a new one.
At Predictable Revenue, we recommend using a variation on Josh Braun’s “Poke the Bear” Method. The idea is simple: ask a question that illustrates the cost of inaction for your prospect. For example, “How do you make sure you avoid [consequence if they don’t fix their pain point]?”
You can follow this up with an impact question like: “How much more revenue could you make if you [took action]?” This will help the prospect see the direct result of addressing their pain and the potential benefits of your product or service.
4. The pitch
Once the prospect has acknowledged their pain point and the cost of inaction, you can pitch them your solution.
First, reiterate what the client has told you about their pain. For example: “You mentioned [x pain point, which they acknowledged in the previous step], and it seems like there could be an opportunity for [your company] to help with that.”
This will make the prospect feel seen and heard before you segue into your sales pitch. Keep your pitch short and to the point–remember the goal of this initial call isn’t to close a deal. Your primary focus should be to move the prospect to the next step of your outbound sales process.
If possible, tie your pitch back to the pain points you’ve already identified and explain how your solution will help the prospect overcome those problems.
5. Anticipate and address objections
The prospect will likely have some questions after your initial pitch. They may be hesitant once you start selling them, so it’s important to think of this as a two-way conversation and remember to show empathy. Take the time to address any concerns they have.
After several outbound sales calls, you may start to notice a pattern in these objections. If multiple prospects raise the same concern, it’s worth taking note of. Add these objections (and how you’ll counter them) to your call map.
You may also identify potential objections during the research phase, in which case you can form a plan for how to address them. Having these objections and your responses mapped out in advance will ensure the call goes as smoothly as possible.
Final thoughts on outbound sales call mapping
Having an established call map in place will help your outbound sales team run calls with authority and ensure they don’t skip any crucial steps. By taking the time to understand your prospect’s pain points and anticipate their objections, booking a meeting becomes the logical next step in their buyer’s journey.
If you need help with call mapping, our Coaching & Consulting Services can help your team establish a cold calling process that converts. Click here to learn more.
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