Inbound Sales Calls Must-dos for Success

How to manage inbound sales calls

Sales are the lifeblood of a business. In fact, nothing happens at a business until a purchase is made. Inbound and outbound sales are critical components of almost every company’s sales and marketing process. Both can involve one or more phone calls between a company’s agent or agents and a customer.

Inbound calls occur when customers or prospects call companies. They’re usually the flip side of outbound sales calls, which include things like cold calling for business, telemarketing calls, or fundraising efforts. Handle inbound calls well and you cannot only boost sales but also generate favorable word of mouth advertising. There’s nothing better than that.

Types of Inbound Calls

There are two types of inbound calls—service and sales. Inbound service calls occur when customers have questions about products they’ve bought, such as about the product’s warranty.  They also occur when customers want to check the status of an order or find out about returning a product. Inbound service calls are a chance to demonstrate your responsiveness and customer service capabilities.

Inbound sales calls, on the other hand, are a different matter altogether. They occur when prospects or customers are looking for more information about a product or service that can help solve a business problem or ease a pain point. These calls are considered “warm leads” by many companies and are often driven by inbound marketing strategies.

Toughest of All Calls to Handle

Inbound sales calls are among the toughest for agents to handle. They can be complex. Agents handling these calls need to be well-versed in a company’s products and services. They also need to know as much about a caller as possible, such as his or her order history with the company. Technology can help here.

Inbound sales calls are sales opportunities you can't afford to miss. Below are six tips on how you can get the most out of inbound sales calls:

1. Establish a call process or model

An inbound call is all about helping the caller. But sometimes employees make the conversation about what's on their computer screens. That can turn callers off. Using a call process or call model ensures that doesn’t happen. They can help agents set a warmer tone—one more likely to drive customer satisfaction and boost sales.

2. Use statement and questions to control conversations

Callers know you need information. So they expect some questions. But responding to a long list of dry queries can annoy them. It can also make them feel uncomfortable. That’s not the best way of getting questions answered or creating a dialog with the caller. Remind employees to blend statements and questions in sales calls to keep the conversation flowing.

3. Get the caller's name correct

Pronouncing names can be challenging. To eliminate pronunciation problems, have employees follow this process: Pronounce the person’s name as best they can and ask for confirmation right away. Then, listen carefully to how the person says her name and repeat it back to him or her. That proves to the caller that the agent knows how to say his or her name correctly and wants to get it right.

4. Pre-write product and service description

It’s not easy describing a product or service over the phone and maintaining a caller’s interest at the same time. Even experienced agents can stumble over this one. So, support them by crafting compelling statements describing your products and services. Emphasize that they need to use any adjectives included in the descriptions. Compelling pre-written descriptions make agents sound competent and confident, bestowing credibility on them.

5. Make allowances for the buying process

Sometimes agents try to give a pitch and ask for the order all in the same breath. If callers feel like you’re trying to push them around, they're likely to say no to an order. No one likes being pushed. Teach agents to allow for the human buying process. Everyone has one. But some people go through the process more slowly than others. Remind them to go through the sales process at the caller’s pace.

6. Learn to overcome objections

Even the best sales reps run into caller objections. But if agents know how to handle them, they don’t have to be deal breakers. Train agents not to “rebut” objections but to overcome them. Using the four-step process below helps:

  • Empathize
  • Clarify
  • Present solution
  • Gain agreement

Following this four-step process keeps callers engaged and provides a solution to a caller’s problem or pain point.

Inbound sales calls are among the most critical calls a company gets. In fact, they’re every bit as critical as outbound calls. Like outbound calls, they represent a chance to show how responsive your company is, how knowledgeable your people are, and how good your customer service is.

More importantly, they’re a chance to make a sale. Handle them well and you can generate favorable word of mouth advertising for your company and boost revenues.