Do you have the right tech stack to take your next cold calling campaign from good to great?
You’re probably seeing a ton of cold calling tips that focus on your social skills, agent performance and negotiation tactics – but to use those tips you need to actually talk to who you’re calling! The first step to a successful cold calling campaign is making a connection to the people on your lists. When you make an outbound call – are you sure it’s reaching a live person or a voicemail? No matter how impressive or ambitious your agents are, you have to set them up for success with your technology. Let’s go over how to build the foundation of a great campaign with a well-used tech stack.
How technology can help you improve your answer rates
Not every outbound call is created equal – there are different settings you can apply and improvements you can make to your process to increase the chance of a connection. A connection can mean either a real person or a voicemail inbox; what you’re trying to avoid is a situation where you don’t get either. This scenario wastes agent time, or leads you to believe your list quality is bad, when it isn’t being given a fair shot. You’re spending money on lead lists and labor, so don’t let it go to waste by avoidable mistakes!
Let’s start with the basics of how to set your campaigns up for success, even before making a first call!
One of the best recommendations for connecting to who you’re calling starts at the very beginning: the quality of your lead lists. Knowing the quality of each list before you begin can alter your power dialing plan. For example, sometimes you take a risk on a list knowing it won’t have a high answer rate and that’s ok! Multi-line dialing helps save time on lists with low projected answer rates, while Skip Tracing and DNC Scrubbing help ensure the lists you’re calling only have potential leads, and not dead-ends or people who don’t want to be contacted.
- Skip tracing allows you to search multiple databases and collect all possible information for leads and properties, ensuring you have the most up-to-date information about your lead. Skip trace first, thank yourself later!
- DNC Scrubbing not only keeps you compliant by making sure you don’t call anyone who is on the National Do Not Call Registry, it also saves you time and effort because those people wouldn’t yield a sale anyway. A thorough DNC scrub will surely improve your connections (especially positive connections!).
- Using smrtDialer multi-line especially makes sense if you have a lead list that may only result in a 50% or even 25% pick-up rate. You can be calling two, three, even four people at once, with the same number. We’ll go over the ins and outs of multi-line dialing later in the blog, just know that it’s a consideration for every campaign you create.
You’d be surprised at how many times a Campaign is being stifled by something as simple as internet stability. Just because your internet is generally working doesn’t necessarily mean it’s at the optimal bandwidth for a cold calling campaign.
While upload/download speeds are important, Ping/ms is crucial for voice calls to sound clear. We recommend a ping of 20 or lower to avoid any choppiness. However, what is most important is stability. If you think an internet connection might be an issue for an agent, have them run speed tests and record the results every 30 minutes over a span of time to check if there are fluctuations.
Maybe try an ethernet connection to see if that improves call connectivity, and read more in depth suggestions on how to remedy call quality issues.
Making a connection sometimes comes down to whether or not the recipient wants to pick up your call, and that decision can be split-second. The right tech can help your chances of a pick-up by making the phone number look familiar, trustworthy and giving them enough time to answer.
Optimize the chance a caller picks up using technology – it’s not just about what happens after they answer!
A tip to increase the chance that your call will get picked up is to use Geo-Caller ID, which automatically selects one of your Phone Numbers that has the same area code as the person you’re calling, if you own one in that area. People may be more likely to answer a phone number that feels familiar, and isn’t as impersonal as a toll-free number. Geo-Caller ID also saves time in having to manually decide which numbers to select for the Campaign – let your technology do your work for you!
When creating or modifying Campaign Settings with smrtDialer, you have the option to add multiple phone numbers to be used for Caller ID when dialing out. This can help improve response rates and keep from “wearing out” a phone number.
The system will rotate through the Caller IDs for each session in a round-robin-like fashion – using the number with the least calls on it for that campaign dialing session for the next Caller ID. This can help avoid your Numbers being labeled “Spam Likely” (though Spam Likely is finicky, and can depend on multiple factors – even time of day.)
Adjust Ring Time
Maybe you’re not making connections because you simply aren’t letting calls ring long enough! You are in control of your Ring Time, which is a major advantage and also something to be mindful of.
Increase your Ring Time to give contacts longer to answer, and increase the number of voicemail drops if they don’t.
So now you’re ready to dial out, after considering the basics and the settings to increase contact — and there’s even more to help you! These features will boost your connections, decrease labor costs and time, and inform your future strategy.
Multiple agents on same campaign
Did you know that you can have more than one agent calling on one campaign – even from the same phone number? If you have a lead list you’re excited about, don’t bottleneck it with one Agent – have multiple people dialing at the same time.
Don’t worry about agents accidentally calling the same person, either. The system is in place to ensure that two agents working on the same Campaign are dividing and conquering the list, avoiding redundancies or annoying Callers.
Multi-line dialing puts you in control of how many lines are dialed simultaneously — you can choose all four, or three, or two (or one!). The flexibility allows you to match the number of lines dialed to your campaign strategy (how good is your lead list?) and which agent is making the calls. Multi-line dialing is all happening from the same phone number, you do not need to purchase additional numbers to use this feature!
If you know that most of a campaign’s calls will not be picked up, you’ve saved your Agent’s time by allowing them to fly through a mediocre list that you want to run through quickly. Plus, if two people *do* pick up at the same time, smrtDialer has pre-recorded messages to make sure you still get a chance to talk with them – you’re covered.
When you make a lot of calls, you’re amassing so much useful data that can help inform future strategies. Heat maps are one way to visualize analyze your outbound calls and learn when you’re most likely to make a connection with your caller – either a pick-up, or a successful voicemail connection. Sometimes agents and business owners have a great gut for when to be staffing up and scheduling campaigns. But sometimes the raw data can surprise you! Use heat maps to figure out when you’re most likely to get a pick-up from your leads, saving you both time and labor costs as you streamline your campaign plans.
The Fortune (and Sometimes the Connection) is in the Follow Up!
Your campaign is multi-faceted, in that it’s about the first contact, as well as the second, third and so on — deals aren’t often landed in a one and done call, so be sure your follow-up strategy is streamlined and seamless, especially when integrating with your preferred CRM.
Send Texts Directly From a Campaign
Of course, there will always be a subset of people who won’t pick up your call, no matter how much you’ve done to make it enticing, because they don’t recognize your number. While you’re in a smrtDialer campaign, you can now text a number directly from your Campaign – whether on a live call or doing a follow up once the call has ended. Some people need that extra nudge and reminder.
When your phone system is deeply integrated with your CRM, you have more information available at your fingertips than if you were just power dialing from a separate system. You want all previous communications easily accessible so you know the last touchpoint with a contact, even if it was made from a different agent or number in your system.
- Sticky Caller ID is helpful if you have a large number pool because it will automatically assign the last number that was used for contact, which increases familiarity and chance of answer, especially if your contact saved it down into their own address book.
- Call Notes can be key to a good cold calling experience: you want to see past notes so you have all available information when your caller picks up, and you also want all call notes you make on the call to be automatically added to your CRM
Cold Calling can be a nuanced art and when your Caller picks up, you want to know as much about the Contact as possible to make the conversation informed and familiar. Your CRM holds your information – you need it available on your Campaigns!
smrtPhone learns so much from our customers, so we are constantly innovating and building out products that can help make your next smrtDialer Campaign even more efficient, effective and lucrative. Here are some of the improvements that are coming up in our pipeline in 2023:
- Double Dial in smrtDialer Setup: Double Dial AI allows you to automatically have your system try a Caller one more time, and only leave a Voicemail after the second attempt. Some people will answer an unfamiliar number the second time it rings even if they ignored the first call.
- CNAM Personalized Caller ID: Soon you’ll be able to control exactly what your Caller ID says when making an outbound call, up to 15 characters. This will help increase connectivity as your number will feel less unknown, even if it’s the first time you’re calling someone.
- Active line/phone number verification allows you to search a number to determine if it’s been unused for a long time, or if the number is a landline. Sometimes carriers will flag your number as suspicious if you’re consistently attempting to contact inactive numbers, or if you’re trying to text landlines – this can increase your likelihood of being labeled Spam Likely.
We’re not going to pull any punches; cold calling is a necessary evil for many sales based businesses, and one that can be stressful if it’s not yielding the desired results. Let your technology partners help you, especially smrtDialer. We built a phone system and a power dialer with our customers in mind, plus we’re available with live person support weekdays 9 AM ET to 9 PM ET.
Happy Dialing 🙂