Businesses are run using a series of predetermined actions.
Sales strategies, marketing campaigns, hiring processes. All of the things that make successful businesses the well-oiled machines that they are have a few things in common: they follow a defined course of action to be personalized for your business, implemented, evaluated, and optimized to ensure full effectiveness.
A perfect example of this is creating sales call scripts for conducting your customer outreach campaigns. If you tried to come up with a fresh approach for each and every prospecting call, you would waste unthinkable amounts of time to reach the same place you would be in if you just used a template to begin with.
It sounds lazy, but if it’s not broken, why fix it?
Sales call script examples
There aren’t enough hours in the day to go over every single sales call approach you might follow when reaching out to a customer. While there will be times when similarities in customers will bring about comparable conversations and buyer journeys, each customer will have their own needs, pain points, and company history — and it’s your job as a sales rep to recognize that.
Below are some cold calling script options for your sales team to use as inspiration, not as a word-for-word guide. When looking at these customer conversation examples, make sure to add the personal details necessary to create a connection with the buyer and avoid sounding like a monotone sales robot. You could also learn how to record a phone call ethically and listen to yourself afterward to see where you need to improve.
Choose your approach carefully. Depending on your history with the business, the information you already have on them, and their place in the buyer journey, some scripts might prove more successful or appropriate than others.
When you want to offer options
Immediately overloading the prospect with a boatload of information, assuming they will retain it all, and expecting the go-ahead to move forward with the relationship isn’t a likely scenario.
A good way to avoid this is by offering options along the way and getting some smaller, less important yeses than the big one that results in a purchase. No, it’s not the ultimate approval you want, but it’s a way to get them to invest in your message.
That cold call script might look something like this, assuming the prospect provides the engagement you want to carry the conversation along:
“Hi there, this is Mary Clare with G2. How’s it going today?
Right now, G2 is working on a new solution that will help companies sell more software to their target audiences. Is that something that you would want more information on?
[If the prospect says yes, then continue].
We have two different approaches for doing this. We either use buyer intent data to identify people who are viewing your profile on G2, or we sell our seasonal reports to businesses so they can use reviews to appeal to potential customers. Which one of those solutions interests you the most?
Great. Can I ask you a few questions before we move forward?
[Ask your qualifying questions for the solution the prospect expressed interest in].
I’ll tell you a bit more about the solution and then we can make an appointment to explore your options before we wrap up today. Does that sound good?”
From there, you will tell them more, as promised, and then wrap up the call in hopes of scheduling another engagement.
All in all, if the conversation reached the endpoint above, the customer gave you a few yeses. And while they might not have been the big yes to making a purchase, they were engaged enough in the conversation regarding your solution to agree to move forward.
Tip:If you, reader, are interested in those solutions described above, check out the G2 Sell Hub to learn more.
When you need to move around a gatekeeper
Depending on your ideal point of contact, you might run into a gatekeeper when doing your outbound calls.
A gatekeeper is someone who stands in the way of reps reaching the decision-maker. Examples of gatekeepers include office managers, receptionists, and administrative assistants. While gatekeepers offer a chance to create another meaningful connection with someone at the business you are contacting, they don’t hold any buying power.
The worst way to approach a gatekeeper is by treating them as an obstacle, as opposed to an opportunity. Don’t assume that you have a right to be directly connected with the person you want. Instead, work with the gatekeeper and do your best to help them understand the value you’re offering without directly selling to them.
It might look something like this:
“Hi [gatekeeper’s name], it’s Mary Clare from G2. I was hoping to speak with [name of decision-maker]. What’s the best way for me to be connected with them?”
This way, instead of rudely trying to work your way around them, you show the gatekeeper that you need them to move forward. They still hold valuable positions and information in the business, and being disrespectful in your approach is a recipe for never reaching that decision-maker.
When you want to use your connections
Your common connections with a prospect are outbound-calling gold. Buyers trust their peers, and they’ll often look to those connections for proof that you can help a business like theirs.
Using social sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, see if you know anyone that could act as a connection between you and the prospect. Have a conversation about your prospect and try to learn as much about them as possible, especially their pain points and how your business can relive them. This is a great source of pre-call research.
When you’ve had a conversation like that with a mutual connection, use it in your conversation with the prospect. Go about it like this:
“Hi [prospect’s name], it’s Mary Clare with G2.
We are seeing excellent results with [client’s/connection’s company name] and your name came up when we were discussing other businesses that could benefit from our buyer intent data.
I’d love to show you what we’ve done for [client’s/connection’s company] and how we can make it happen for you, too. Is that something that interests you?”
From there, hopefully, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment where you can focus more on that prospect, rather than the connection you have in common.
Answer any initial questions they might have, but also recommend that they speak to the connection that is one of your customers. You can only advocate for yourself for so long before prospects look elsewhere for the scoop on your business. And again, buyers look to their peers for advice.
It’s important to note that the connection and your prospect have to have more than their random relationship in common. For this approach to work, they need to have similar business models, work in the same industry, or sell comparative products. Otherwise, mentioning you helping them and doing the same for the prospect won’t necessarily apply.
When you need to leave a voicemail
You won’t always be connected with the decision-maker right away. In fact, you might not be connected with anyone. Whether you see this as a positive or negative, it’s possible your call will be sent to voicemail.
This is a situation you should always be prepared for. Make sure to do the same amount of preliminary research and practice what you’re going to say. Leaving a voicemail offers salespeople the chance to have complete and total control over the phone call.
If you need to leave a message after the beep, don’t worry. There's a voicemail script for that:
“Hi [prospect’s name], this is Mary Clare with G2.
I’m calling because I would love to chat with you about the benefits of our buyer intent data. If you’d like to learn more, call me at 012-345-6789. I’ll send you an email with more information as well. I look forward to hearing from you.
That call to action is arguably the most important part of the sales voicemail. You might blow the prospect away and intrigue them enough to make them want to speak with you again. But if you don’t clearly lay out an action for them to take to do so, they might not know exactly how to proceed.
Other than that, keep it brief, don’t talk too fast, show a bit of that personality, and always always always come back to the value. Lost your place in your script? Go back to the value. Running a bit long? Close the voicemail with the value. Scared and panicked? Bring it right back to the value.
When you want to get personal
Your prospects offer a great business opportunity to your business, but at the end of the day, they are people just like you. There is value in mentioning a professional connection, but creating personal bonds with your prospects can also do the trick.
This is another example of how LinkedIn, a place where personal information is shared in a professional context, can really come in handy. Here are some one-liners you might present in the conversation to build that rapport with your prospect:
“I saw that you went to [name of university], too! What did you study there?”
“I also had a friend who worked at [past company]. Did you like it there?”
“I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you are endorsed for [skill]. How did you become interested in that?”
Notice how all of these examples of personal details are ones that still apply to their current job. There’s a time and place for more deeply personal details, and a preliminary sales phone call is not one of them.
Before you decide which type of connection to bank on, read the room. Determine if the prospect likes to keep it strictly business, or if they would be warmed up by a personal anecdote.
When you want more information
Your customer’s place in the buyer journey is an important component to consider when picking a sales call script. However, another determining factor should be your own place in the sales process.
After you’ve generated enough leads, the next step is to do a discovery call to determine which ones have the potential to offer your business the most value through lead qualification. Your preliminary research should provide some of the information you need to figure out who’s more likely to buy, but it’s never a bad idea to go directly to the source.
You should always have a script on hand for your lead qualification customer conversations. In these calls, obviously introduce yourself, your business, and the solution you have in mind for them, but then redirect the conversation to their business and their pain points.
These are some of the questions you might ask to accomplish that:
“What are the biggest challenges you are facing in your role right now?”
“What kinds of tools are you currently using to help with those challenges?”
“Are you currently looking for a solution that will help you overcome those challenges?”
After that, ask if they would like to schedule a future engagement so you can chat more about the solution in more detail. This will give you time to process the prospect’s answers to your questions and incorporate the information into your value demonstration for that particular customer. Make sure to use a CRM tool to keep track of all updated customer information.
When you want to sound familiar
In the digital age where connections can be created on a variety of platforms, sales reps aren’t relying solely on sales calls to contact their customers. A typical sales cadence will include multiple outreach channels, increasing exposure to prospects. It’s a great way to sound familiar to your prospects, rather than a complete stranger.
When you want to sound familiar and have already reached out using another channel, mention it in your phone call. You don’t want it to dominate the conversation, but there’s a chance they remember you from your first form of outreach.
Here’s what that might sound like:
“Hi [prospect’s name], this is Mary Clare from G2. I sent you an email last week. Did you get a chance to read it?
The reason I emailed, and am now calling, is that I wanted to talk to you about G2’s buyer intent data and what it can do for someone in your position.”
From there, proceed into the value demonstration that you normally give over the phone. In this situation, and plenty of others, your approach is going to be altered by your introduction. When you go with sounding familiar, the conversation seems less like a cold call and more like a warm chat.
When you need to follow up
It’s possible that your prospect was interested when you called, but too busy to give you the time you needed to fully present your product. If this is the case, they might have asked if they could call you back, or vice versa.
In this situation, you already told the prospect why you were calling in the first phone call, but if they were preoccupied, they could benefit from a refresher.
Here’s a good way to go about a follow-up:
“Hi [prospect’s name], this is Mary Clare from G2 following up as requested. Is now still a good time?
As I briefly mentioned in our last call, we help businesses like [prospect’s company] implement buyer intent data and solutions to better understand their customer personas.”
From that point, you can ask them qualifying questions, go right into your value demonstration, or try to schedule a future engagement. Whatever you want to accomplish with the call, do it after that quick refresher of your name, company, and what you’re offering. Again, your approach is mostly differentiated by the first few sentences.
Another note: it’s not a bad idea to send a confirmation for your scheduled call (if it was properly scheduled). This way, the prospect will again have the chance to realize they might be busy and reschedule the call.
This might be frustrating for you as a sales rep, but it’s better to wait for the opportunity for the prospect to be as engaged as possible.
When you need to follow up with a voicemail
While a promising conversation with a prospect is the best-case scenario for a sales rep, the customer might still be busy, sending you a voicemail. No problem at all. Again, sales voicemails offer you, the seller, to have complete control over the phone call with the customer.
Here’s a script for when you’re trying to follow up but you get sent to voicemail:
“Hi [prospect’s name], this is Mary Clare with G2. I left you a message last week and thought I would try you again now.
Just as a refresher, G2 is offering fresh buyer intent data to its customers, so you can see who’s showing interest in your business. I’d love to tell you more about how you can use that to gain better insight into your target market.
Call me back at 012-345-6789 if you want to learn more.
Remember, with voicemails, that call to action is extremely important if you want to get a call back.
When you're trying to generate referrals
Say you’ve closed the deal and you’re looking to start fresh with some brand new leads. Don’t immediately throw that new deal into the done pile.
While our brand new customers have given us the immediate value of making a purchase, there is still more they can offer your business. Offering social proof to skeptical buyers, leaving you positive reviews, and helping you generate referrals are all examples of ways customers can keep on giving. But let’s focus on that last one for now.
Your customers have experienced the positive benefits associated with your solution firsthand, and it’s possible they know of some other businesses looking for the same thing. They might not come right out and tell you that, and that’s why you need to ask.
Here’s how to go about it:
“Hi [customer’s name], it’s Mary Clare from G2. I hope things are going well on your end, especially with using G2’s buyer intent data to learn more about who’s interested in your products.
Do you know anyone else in your industry that could also see the same results you did? We would love to offer them an extended trial opportunity.”
You also might want to consider offering something in return, like a promo code or money off their subscription each month.
When you want to appeal to a specific role
Every business has an overarching mission that applies to all of their other goals and objectives. While each department works to support that mission, that’s going to look different for each team.
Sales reps need to close deals to generate revenue. Marketers need to raise awareness and establish a brand image. Customer service reps want to keep buyers as happy as possible.
The result of this is that each department within a business is going to rely more on certain tools. As a sales rep, it’s your job to keep that in mind and highlight the benefits your solution can provide to that particular role.
It’ll sound something like this:
“Hi [prospect’s name], it’s Mary Clare with G2. I’m calling to tell you about our new buyer intent data. As a sales rep, I’m sure you’re in a constant state of research trying to better understand your buyers. And that’s exactly what this tool can do for you. Is that something you would be interested in learning more about?”
When you want to be super brief
It’s nice to put significant effort into each and every interaction you have with your customers, but sometimes, time isn’t on your side. Or anybody’s side for that matter.
Throughout your sales outreach, you’re going to run into some situations where all you or the prospect have time for is a one-sentence value proposition. Offering a brief introduction to your solution is also a good way to be sure you’re not overwhelming the prospect with information. However, to still be fruitful, your one-sentence value proposition is going to have to be a killer one.
When using this approach, don’t just be brief. Point it out. Show the prospect that you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by explicitly stating it.
It might go like this:
“Hi [prospect’s name], this is Mary Clare from G2. I’m calling sales-driven organizations to tell them about our new buyer intent data.
I’ll be brief. This solution can gather data to show you exactly who’s interested in your business. Is this something you would be interested in?”
Think of this as an elevator pitch. If they say yes, move on to ask them your qualifying questions and shape the rest of the conversation to revolve around their pain points.
If your current approach to calling customers revolves around quantity, consider implementing an auto dialer into your strategy.
Play it safe
No matter your experience level in the sales field, it’s always nice to have a point of reference when calling your customers. Sales call scripts offer that peace of mind for reps as they call phone number after phone number. And the best part is, they can be mastered over time.
Mary Clare Novak is a Content Marketing Specialist at G2 based in Burlington, Vermont, where she is currently exploring topics related to sales and customer relationship management. In her free time, you can find her doing a crossword puzzle, listening to cover bands, or eating fish tacos. (she/her/hers)
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