The basis of the sales sector: telephone prospecting.

Even if it seems obvious to communicate by phone, this type of prospecting has its own codes and requires preparation. Everything you need to know about the basics of this unique prospecting process, you will discover in this article!


  1. telephone prospecting to find business opportunities
  2. in particular telephone prospecting

No. 1: telephone prospecting to find business opportunities

While the telephone can be the endpoint of lead generation, it can also be the foundation of your sales strategy. As an important lead generation lever, cold calling should always be integrated into your overall prospecting plan.

Before going any further, let’s see what B2B lead generation is. In concrete terms, it is a sales method that aims to obtain qualified leads. The final objective is to sell your services and/or products to companies that have been identified through this lead generation and added to your database.

  • As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, cold calling remains the centerpiece of any serious business concept. Note, however, that in order to achieve your objectives, your telephone prospecting must be based on a qualified prospect profile, i.e. a complete, segmented and up-to-date database. Once you have defined your objectives, it is time to make productive calls!Here is a brief action plan to successfully carry out your telephone prospecting

    Determine your primary objectives: There is no reason to contact a company just for the sake of contacting them. To make every call effective, you must first clearly define who you want to contact and why. We encourage you to focus on the business signals of your customers and prospects to prioritize your prospecting efforts.

  • Get to know your prospects better: You have contacts and their reasons for calling you. That’s good news! But take a few minutes to understand and absorb the context of your caller, and your offer will be all the more effective.
  • Maintain your prospect profile: make sure you always have an up-to-date database. There is no point in developing an approach based on a contact who left the company a few weeks ago, for example.
  • Contact the right people: Take the time to analyze the internal organization of your prospects. The person you think of first is not necessarily the decision maker.
  • Have a good pitch: Your prospect will have very little time to spend with you, so work on your pitch and focus on the customer’s interests. In two words: be clear and concise.

1.1 The checklist to get an overview of a potential client on the first call

Now you know who to contact, why and how…. Now comes the contact phase. This first call is the first contact with your potential client and must therefore be well thought out. Does your prospect have a need, is your contact the decision maker? Is your prospect’s budget compatible with your offer? These are all questions that you must answer quickly to succeed in your telephone prospecting.

Remember that the purpose of this first meeting is not to sell your solution, but to qualify your prospect.

How do you do this? With the qualification checklist available here!

Confirm the caller: this is a fundamental step, but one that can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment. Your telephone prospecting is a single contact. So make sure you’re talking to the right person before you go any further. To do this, ask for confirmation of your contact’s first name, last name and occupation.

  • During the interview, also ask questions about the organization and the decision-making process. This will ensure that your interviewee is able to support your solution.
  • Qualify the way they work: Now it’s time to gather information about the organization. What tools does your prospect use, why, what are the limitations and how can they be integrated into your solution?
  • This phase is crucial for telephone prospecting. Your potential client already has an organizational and IT system, and it is often not a question of starting from scratch. By gathering as much information as possible about your environment, you can then enrich it with your solution.
  • For example, at Prospecto, we systematically ask our potential customers which CRM they use. This allows us to propose a link between their tool and our solution.
  • Identify the needs: Without needs, there is no proposal! But be careful, a need cannot be decided, it must be discovered. Some are obvious, others are hidden, so make your contact speak and listen to him actively by rephrasing what he says. The more your contact confides in you about his expectations, the more you will be able to offer him a tailor-made solution and stand out from the competition!
  • Value the solution: it’s now time to present your proposal. To avoid falling into the trap of a monologue about your product, you need to highlight the arguments that answer your prospect’s questions. It is not necessary to give a complete overview of the benefits of your solution. Focus on three points that represent an added value for your future client.
  • Don’t forget to ask your audience for their opinion at the end of your presentation. This will allow them to confirm their choice or, on the contrary, to modify it directly.
  • Check time and budget: depending on the maturity level of your potential client, time is not always the same. It is up to you to analyze the signals to know if your future client is blowing hot and cold. Don’t be mistaken: a lengthy process does not always mean that your offer will be rejected. On the contrary, it could be a promising prospect who is thinking internally about possible future developments.
  • Set an appointment: The final step in your telephone prospecting is to set up an appointment. To maximize your chances, take the lead and offer your contact an appointment yourself. If the appointment is not convenient, it’s all right, ask for their availability and agree on an appointment during one of the openings.
  • If you sense some distance and hesitation at this stage, do not insist that your potential client is not ready to meet with you. Instead, suggest a second phone call to discuss the progress of the project.

1.2 Telephone prospecting: how to increase sales?

You are ready to use your telephone prospecting, your database is up to date, you are about to contact your prospect and – you are sure – sign your order form. How can you be sure? How can you be sure to optimize your prospecting approach and increase your sales?

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you have the right caller: As mentioned earlier, the goal of cold calling is to find the right caller who will make direct contact with the prospect. Take the time in the first few minutes to properly qualify your caller to ensure that you have a caller who can make decisions. The discourse between a signer, an influencer and an operational contact is not the same. While a good strategy is to address as many people as possible, a “heavy” contact can save you precious time.
  • Generating new needs: The idea here is not to generate new needs, but to make the prospect understand that his initial need may conceal others. Moreover, a need is not a wish and it is important to determine the motivations of your contact at each stage of the contact.
  • Talking about your prospect’s goals also allows you to bring out new needs that they are often unaware of. As you can see, it’s all about making your prospect aware of their needs. Who says salespeople don’t have psychology?
  • Establish a relationship with your prospect: During your phone conversations, you are in direct contact with your prospect, so take advantage of this moment to establish a relationship. Use words that speak to them, talk to them and focus on their needs and your project rather than your solution.
  • And because it is always more pleasant to talk to someone who is in a good mood, remember to smile on the phone…. Because yes, a smile can be heard!
  • In short: don’t try to sell, but understand the perspective of the person you are talking to, be attentive and positive, and above all try to speak as little as possible. Give your interviewers a chance to express themselves and you will gather valuable data.
  • Achieve your goals: Phone prospecting can have a bad reputation. Why? Because it’s direct with no firewall. Not only will you be confronted by your prospects, but you will also be confronted by yourself. While you may be slightly hesitant, keep in mind the following recommendations to help you achieve your goals.
  • Keep your rationale clear and concise.
  • Be confident in your offer. If the question is sensitive, briefly state that you will ask and answer the prospect.
  • Please use additional communication channels such as social media. LinkedIn, for example, is a great channel after the first call.
  • Save all information by updating the database immediately after hanging up the phone.

#2. Telephone surveys: more precisely?

Now you can get out your phone and contact your prospect. By the way, where do you start to implement your telephone prospecting strategy? Don’t panic, follow the instructions!

  • Introduce yourself: Prospects don’t know you and have no a priori idea why you are calling. So start with a short introduction of yourself. That means first name, last name, job title, etc. Make sure you have the right contact on the other end of the line. People can be a good strategy. Talking with someone who has “clout” will save valuable time.
  • Attracting prospects: The first few minutes are for connecting with prospects, not for pitching your offer. They’re focused on their needs, so use this time to anchor them with a solid sales pitch. Ideally, they should see your call as an opportunity to achieve their goals.
  • Ask your prospect: Did your short, concise initial pitch grab the prospect’s attention? Great! Next comes the discovery stage. Ask specific questions to understand who you’re dealing with in terms of content and form.
  • Finally the next thing: That first unannounced phone call was the first contact. Then it’s up to you to turn that call into a business opportunity. For example, provide a second call. On this occasion, if your offer is appropriate, we can offer you a live demonstration of your product. We also recommend that you request a contact email address. This allows you to develop your email marketing strategy in parallel with your calls and to stay connected with your contacts.

1.1 -15 tactics for successful phone calls

You now have almost all the cards in your hand for successful cold calling. Yes, we haven’t told you about the 15 tactics you’ll use to successfully call your prospects.

Here’s something:

  • Onion targeting: no longer a secret. Prospects want personalization, authenticity and proximity. Respond to their requests with targeted calls. When many companies can’t stand to be contacted by their salespeople, it’s not because they don’t need to, but because they refuse to accept non-personal “factory to factory” contact. To start teleprospecting, you need to spend some time beforehand to prepare your contacts and to hit the nail on the head from the very first seconds (establishing contact, confirming the contact, etc.).
  • Planning your attack: The best way to achieve your goal is to know your goal. To do this, I recommend that you create a short, friendly script for the upcoming exchange.The discussion will flow naturally throughout this preparatory stage, and depending on the stage of the conversation, in what direction it should go.
  • Superior voice: If you can hear a smile on the phone, so can your insurance company. Use a calm but confident voice, practice if necessary and deliver a clear speech with perfect dictation to hold.
  • Take your time: Even if you are looking for a lead by phone, don’t confuse speed with haste. Every call has its own destination. Be patient and remember that your sale will not be closed on the first contact.

To learn more about lead tactics, click here for our dedicated article.

1.1 Five golden rules of telephony in B2B prospecting

You have your phone in hand and are ready to start a conversation with your prospect. As an added bonus, here are five golden rules of good telephone prospecting.

Dialogue: As mentioned earlier, dialogue is a dialogue, not a monologue. So keep an open mind, leave room for reflection, and talk to your caller from time to time.

Be polite: This may seem obvious, but many people forget the basic rule of politeness until they interact face-to-face. During this conversation, act as if you were meeting the prospect. So say their first and last name and don’t interrupt. Also, adopt an active listening attitude because you will be using this call to connect, not to sell.

Voice and body language: Your voice should be confident and assertive. A hesitant voice can mean a vague offer or insincerity to a potential customer. Know your attitude. Stand up and be yourself. Your body language is part of your personality, and that’s what a phone call is, two people, two character meetings.

In summary, cold calling may deter many salespeople, but it is still an effective way to connect with prospects.

Go beyond the advice in this article and enjoy your calls. Maybe your prospect is a great person you enjoy talking to!

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