Blog


← Back to BLOG

04
Apr
2023
Best Practices for Making Predictably Awesome IT Sales Calls

Best Practices for Making Predictably Awesome IT Sales Calls

If you work in IT (information technology), chances are you perform a variety of tasks daily. Not only must you correspond with clients over the phone and via platforms like MS Teams, but also occasionally travel up to 100 miles to their offices so you can help them in person. However, before you can land clients for your company’s products and services, such as the Cisco Umbrella security system we described in a previous article, you must first make sales calls. Consider that it takes an average of six calls to gain a lead¹. If you seek 25 leads every week, your sales team needs to make 150 calls a week, or 30 per day¹. Now, you may ask yourself, “How can I make predictably awesome sales calls to land clients more easily and effectively?” 

Fortunately, there are some best practices you can follow for making compelling sales calls to every prospect, every time. In this interview-style article, we will outline these practices so you can start down the road to predictably awesome IT sales success. 

(Image courtesy of https://www.trados.com/blog/how-to-approach-a-sales-call.html)  

John Q. Public: Hello, my name is John Q. Public, and I am a reporter for Tech Sales Magazine. Today, I will speak with Jane Doe, the sales manager for ABC Company, about helpful best practices for IT sales calling. Jane, what advice do you have for IT sales representatives about phone calls? 

Jane Doe: Thank you, John. For all the IT sales representatives seeking to land new clients, timing is everything². 

John Q. Public: Could you please describe that in more detail, Jane? 

Jane Doe: Well, John, many sales representatives assume that they will be more successful by calling the most prospects first thing in the morning². However, their assumptions are flawed. Research from Gong.io shows that afternoon calls are more effective because prospects are more likely to respond, and they remain on calls longer than they would in the morning². Notably, prospects are 30 percent more likely to answer a sales call at 4 PM than one scheduled for 8 AM². This sounds counterintuitive, right²? That is why scheduling calls in the morning is such a common mistake among sales reps². Just last Thursday, I received a phone call from XYZ Tech Solutions at 10 AM and I could not respond because I was onboarding a new employee, although we did speak that afternoon. However, on Friday, I received another call from them at 3 PM and we spoke for over an hour about installing DLP (Data Loss Prevention) software in my office. As I mentioned, timing truly is everything when making IT sales calls. 

John Q. Public: Thank you, Jane. While we both agree that timing matters when making sales calls, do you have any other helpful calling advice for IT salespeople? 

Jane Doe: Thank you, John. With my experience in sales both as a representative and a manager, I have learned that simply lecturing about your company’s products and services can be quite off-putting for prospects. Although I missed the initial call with XYZ on Thursday, I spoke with two of their representatives from 12:15 to 12:45 that afternoon, and they each lectured me for a full ten minutes about every product and service XYZ offers, instead of letting me speak after they described XYZ’s DLP software. On Friday, however, I spoke with another two representatives, but neither of them lectured me at all. Rather, we enjoyed a fascinating dialogue about how XYZ’s DLP solution helped prevent a data breach for their regional airline client. You see, John, like any conversation, a sales call is a two-way street². You need that steady dialogue to build trust and understanding, whether you are the seller or the prospect². 

John Q. Public: Thank you for your insights, Jane. Do you have any advice about how and when to ask prospective clients questions during sales calls? 

Jane Doe: Yes. I believe that on every sales call where ABC Company is a prospect, we have an “emotional bank account” ². Every question that sales reps ask us is a withdrawal from that account². When I spoke with XYZ Tech Solutions last Thursday, I was asked so many questions at the end that it felt like an interrogation². The last thing sales reps want is to interrogate prospects². Instead, they need to phrase questions so that we can respond in more detail². For example, rather than asking us, “What are your biggest challenges when it comes to network security?,” XYZ’s representatives should ask, “Can you help me understand your biggest challenges when it comes to network security?” ². By starting off with “Can you help me understand,” that is a sign that they want to have an in-depth conversation with us². In short, it is not the quantity of questions asked that matters, but the quality of each one. 

(Image courtesy of https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/how-to-start-a-sales-call)  

John Q. Public: Thank you, Jane. Since cold calling is a crucial part of IT sales, do you have any advice for IT cold callers? 

Jane Doe: John, cold calls need not be so cold¹. My advice for sales representatives is to email each prospect beforehand, or message them on social media platforms like LinkedIn¹. If you introduce yourself to your prospects before calling them, you can use that introduction to your advantage and build a more valuable connection during the call¹. 

John Q. Public: Well said, Jane. Do you have any more advice for IT sales reps about making predictably awesome sales calls? 

Jane Doe: Thank you, John. I believe that sales reps should follow up with every prospect after their calls¹. After my conversation with XYZ Tech Solutions last Friday, I received a thank-you email in my inbox, which I did not receive from them on Thursday. I felt quite ashamed of how rude they were not following up after our Thursday discussion. It does not matter whether they send an email, a LinkedIn message, or even a handwritten note – following up with prospects is essential for building valuable vendor-client relationships¹. 

John Q. Public: Jane, thank you for your time. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you about best practices for IT sales calls.  

Jane Doe: I enjoyed our conversation as well. Thank you, John. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 

Sources: 

¹Acquirent LLC. “How Many Sales Calls Should An Inside Sales Rep Make?” by Joe Flanagan. Retrieved from https://acquirent.com/blog-article/how-many-sales-calls-should-an-inside-sales-rep-make/.  

²Gong.io. “These 21 Sales Call Tips Are the Best You’ll Ever Read” by Kyle Brown. Retrieved from https://www.gong.io/blog/sales-call-tips/. 

Contact us at 973.448.0070

Testimonials

  • "I look forward to working with you again in the future. Once again, thanks to your organization for your prompt response."

    Luke Wolters / Luke Wolters Tax Consultants
  • navitend’s approach to customer service is greatly appreciated here.  Ensuring that we are well protected from a technology standpoint provides us with peace of mind to continue our day to day operations and that they are looking out for our company's best interest. 

    Debbie
  • “Navitend’s expertise helped our firm over the past year to effectively elevate our I.T. game, powering our website into a highly interactive tool. Well done to Frank and his team!”  

    Chuck Steege, CFP®, CEP, President, SFG Wealth Planning Services, Inc.
  • "navitend has been a great IT partner for our company.  Their helpdesk response time is the best I have experienced in my 30 year career.  navitend has helped me to have great IT services without the need to have a full time, in house, technician at significant savings to our company."

    Bob Bradley, President, Bradley Graphics
  • "Thanks so much again for taking care of everything in such an expedient manner. It's a pleasure to work with navitend and its staff as always!"

    Lawrence Wolfin / Textol Systems, Inc.
  • "Thanks so much!  You are a class act!  
    You and your team have really done an excellent job on this!"

    Steve Van Ooteghem, The C12 Group in Houston, Texas
  • "We've dedicated our lives to growing our retail and ecommerce business and it's a relief to have found a company like navitend who treats our business likes it's their own. navitend's personal approach to project management and problem solving are top-notch."

    Stamatis, Co-owner Twisted Lily, Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary
  • "Our company is more efficient and has grown as a result of navitend’s work. navitend helped us get to the next level."

    Greg Niccolai / Madison Insurance
  • "I appreciate that they didn’t just build the application. They made it better by bringing ideas to the table that not only made for a better user experience, but also kept the development costs down."

    Andy Lynch / North Star Marketing