16 Successful Sales Call Tips (With Call Process Steps)

Updated February 27, 2023

Sales representatives have several techniques for connecting with potential customers and making sales. One way they do this is through sales calls, which are very useful for finding new customers. If you are interested in a career in sales or marketing, learning how to make effective sales calls can lead to a successful career.

In this article, we explain the six-step process sales representatives use for sales calls and provide 16 tips for making successful sales calls.

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Steps of the sales call process

The sales process guides sales representatives to lead customers to the point of purchase with a sales pitch. Understanding each step can help sales representatives to make more effective calls that lead to customer purchases. The six steps to the sales process are:

Prospect for clients

To prospect for clients, salespeople make outbound calls to a list of potential customers. The marketing or sales team often finds contact information and generates leads to provide this list. It can be helpful for sales representatives to familiarize themselves with potential customers through email or social media before making a call. Prospecting is very important to a sales strategy, as it is one common method of generating sales leads and reaching new customers.

Read more: How To Become an Advertising Sales Representative in 3 Steps

Make a connection

It is important to connect with a customer early in the call. An introduction and small talk are good ways to start a call and set the tone. Sales representatives who are personable often have more success with making sales calls. Here are tips to help make a connection early in your sales call:

  • Ask about their day

  • Let them know you are excited to speak with them

  • Use a positive tone

  • Call the customer by name

Related: Customer Relations: 13 Ways To Build Better Connections

Qualify the customer

Qualifying the customer means asking a few questions that help determine if the customer is a good fit for your product or service. At this point in a sales call, you can figure out if the customer is interested enough to continue the call or if the call should end. It can be useful to refer to the ideal customer profile, which identifies the audience your company wants to target with their product or service, to answer qualifying questions.

To qualify the customer for the rest of your sales pitch, ask a few simple questions because you do not want to confuse your potential customer or spend too much time on this step. Consider these factors when brainstorming questions:

  • The customer budget

  • Customer motivations

  • The goals of the customer

  • Challenges the customer faces

Set goals for the call

When the prospective customer has been qualified, it is good to set a goal for the rest of the call. This is a schedule for you and the customer to ensure you meet your talking points. An example of setting goals with a prospect is asking them to make a presentation, answering their questions and talking about what comes next. Sharing goals help the customer to become more comfortable on the call and helps sales representatives to engage their client.

Demonstrate the value of your product or service

Demonstrating the value the product or service could have for the potential customer is a crucial step in the sales call. During the qualifying questions, it is possible to learn the customer pain points and use them to explain how your product would solve their problem. Offering the product as a solution is often the most successful way to guide the customer to a purchase.

Related: 11 Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Close the deal

At the end of the sales call process, you try to close the deal and ask the customer to make a purchase or direct them to the next step, where they can take action. Before making a call to action, it is good practice to ask if the customer has questions you can answer. This is a final opportunity to sell the product to the customer and give them confidence in making a purchase.

Read more: 4 Steps To A Winning Call-To-Action

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16 sales call tips

Sales calls are effective tools to reach new customers and make sales. Making outbound sales calls to potential customers unfamiliar with the company is called cold calling or prospecting. Technology has simplified making cold calls for sales representatives because social media and customer databases allow sales teams to learn more about customers before reaching out to make sales. Here are 16 tips to help make more effective sales calls:

1. Empower customers

Empowering the customer is a good way to build a relationship and encourages a positive mood, which makes the customer more likely to purchase. You can empower the customer by giving options, informing them of what they can accomplish with your product or affirming their claims.

2. Start with positivity

Start your sales call with a happy greeting and a positive tone. Positivity can influence the customer's mood and encourage more participation during the sales call. Since a sales call often begins with an informal conversation, this is an opportunity to start with a positive comment about the weather or current events, for example.

3. Set an agenda

Creating an agenda beforehand helps you to be prepared for your call. Write the qualifying questions for the customer and your main talking points to help you remain on task during the call. Timing is very important when making sales call so creating a schedule to guide your call helps. You can also create a goals agenda with the customer while on the call to prepare them as well.

Related: How To Plan for a Sales Call in 13 Steps (And Why It Matters)

4. Make calls standing

Try standing up if you struggle to keep up the energy throughout a sales call. Standing may increase your confidence and help you communicate more clearly. Performing office tasks while standing instead of sitting can also increase productivity.

5. Add emphasis

Adding emphasis means using tone, inflection and volume to add importance to your words. You can use emphasis to highlight the strengths of your product or service. You can also use emphasis on the key points of your sales presentation. Adding emphasis draws the customer's attention towards calls to action and qualities that add value to the product or service. Changing your tone and inflection throughout the conversation can also be an effective technique for keeping customers engaged.

6. Give simple options

Options can encourage customers to take actions that benefit the company rather than make purchases. Examples include:

  • Subscribing to a newsletter

  • Following social media

  • Referring to friends

  • Offering feedback

Consider limiting the options you present to a customer and take care when to offer them so as to not draw them away from making a purchase, which is the primary goal of the call.

7. Sell your product as a solution

When presenting your product or service, it is effective to frame it as the solution to a problem the customer may have. Selling solutions has been a very successful method for marketing because conflict motivates customers. If you listen carefully to the customer during the call, they may tell you the problem they are experiencing so that you can present the product more personally.

Related: 13 Best Practices for Introducing New Products to Your Audience

8. Tell stories

Storytelling is a powerful motivator and is a technique commonly used when building a brand. Consider sharing the company story or a story that led to the creation of the product you are selling. Stories help customers relate to you and can influence them to make a purchase.

9. Define product value

Explaining the product's value is key to convincing a person to buy it. During your sales call, state specific ways your product could help the customer or add value to their life. The value of the product includes benefits, uses and effects.

10. Ask the customer questions

Be sure to ask the customer questions. This helps learn more about them and shows you are interested in a relationship with them. It is necessary, during a sales call, to ask qualifying questions, which are a way to determine if the prospect is likely to purchase from your company. If the call does not end in a sale, the answers to your questions can provide valuable feedback for future calls and the marketing department.

11. Know your customer

It is common for sales representatives to receive a list of prospects from the marketing department who gather details about consumers to help make calls personal. It is important for sales representatives to understand what the ideal customer looks like for their company. This means studying target audience customer profiles and learning the struggles and motivations of the ideal customer. Understanding the customer can help qualify your prospects.

Related: How To Understand Customer Needs in 4 Steps

12. Let the customer talk

Remember to let the potential customer talk when you are on a call and try not to dominate the conversation. Listening helps you learn more about the person you are communicating with and prepares you to make a personalized sales pitch. Allowing the customer to speak is also a way to make them feel empowered.

13. Take notes

While on your call, consider jotting notes down about the call and your customer. Taking notes can further engage you and prepare you for making future calls. Taking notes can also help keep a record of customers, which aids in building customer relationships. It can also be useful to take notes after your call to take notice of what worked well and what you can improve on.

14. Make your sales call a video chat

Often sales calls are pre-scheduled, so you have the option of making your sales calls video calls instead. Seeing one another while you talk can provide a more personal approach to your sales pitch and help customers relate better to you. Another benefit to making video calls for prospecting is seeing and understanding the customer's nonverbal language.

15. Wait to talk about costs

Wait to discuss the pricing of your product or service until the end of the call when calling the customer to action, which is usually to make a purchase. Expenses can turn customers off of your sales pitch so it is best to explain the value of your product before revealing the price.

16. Invite the customer to take the next steps

At the end of your call, after the call to action, invite your customer to take the next steps, which may be a purchase, a second call or to contact another sales team member. Clear instructions or steps can help lead customers through your company's sales process.

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