Telephone sales is not without challenges. Learning how to hire cold callers who produce results doesn’t have to be one of those challenges.
There are probably few—if any—salespeople who take to cold calling right away. It’s a skill that is learned over time. The job takes resilience, determination, and perseverance, among many other things. When you’re hiring a salesperson, you want someone who can step right into the job. Certainly, you can train promising candidates to be successful cold callers, but when you’re in a pinch, you want someone to produce results with phone sales right away. To make sure that only the best performers come through your doors, it can help understand how to hire cold callers who will be able to get the job done.
Like most jobs, cold calling requires a particular skillset and a special kind of person. Just because someone knows how to use a phone doesn’t mean they’ll naturally pick up the skills and be successful. Managers who go this route soon discover they need some guidelines on how to hire cold callers.
To help make sure you’re not one of them, follow these tips.
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How to hire cold callers who deliver results
1. Look for a demonstrated track record
There are plenty of hiring managers out there who will give a cold calling job to anyone, perhaps because finding a good cold caller can be pretty difficult. If someone is willing to do the job, why not give it to them?
The reason you don’t hire cold callers without experience is because it’s a tricky job. A candidate may seem enthusiastic about the role, and they might even tell you how good they are at cold calling, only to find themselves overwhelmed by how much work it takes to reach their targets.
Finding people with a record of success is a significant part of how to hire cold callers who are effective. Don’t be afraid to ask for hard numbers from candidates. If they don’t have them, that should be a big red flag.
2. Show them (some) money
A commission-only compensation structure is customary in the sales industry, but it may not be the best approach for agents who will only or primarily be making cold calls. Even more so than other types of sales, cold calling doesn’t normally result in closed deals right away. Even an excellent cold caller may take a little while to start bringing in revenue, which means that they aren’t getting paid, and people who aren’t getting paid only stay engaged for so long.
That doesn’t mean you have to offer a big salary. Even paying someone $10-$15 an hour will help keep them engaged long enough to start earning a commission, not to mention that they’ll feel more valued with some foundational pay. And since the hourly wage would be reasonably low, there’s no danger of the salesperson slacking on the job. The real money will still be in closing deals, and the base pay allows them to focus on their work rather than worrying about what they’ll do for money until the commission starts coming in.
3. Are they familiar with call center technology?
Another useful tip for how to hire cold callers who get the job done is to dig into each candidate’s experience with call center technology. Auto-dialing software like Call Logic is a must-have in today’s telephone sales world, but even a product as user-friendly as ours comes with a learning curve. It’s a best practice to make sure that candidates have used CRMs before and that they have the chops to learn new systems.
Don’t just take someone’s word for it, either. It’s easy to say on a resume that you’ve used one program or another. Ask them questions about what they liked or didn’t like about their previous systems, how those systems boosted their sales, what they’d like to see in an auto-dialer, etc. Checking this box is critical for any call center candidates you interview.
4. Probe about process
Every salesperson adds their own personal touch to the work they do. Even if a company has established protocols for carrying out phone sales, individuals often adapt those protocols to their own ways of working. Find out how they approach their work. Do they use call scripts? How do they research their leads? How do they go about finding leads? What kind of tracking information do they think is important?
Getting inside the minds of your candidates can be one of the most interesting (and sometimes entertaining) aspects of how to hire cold callers. You may even find it useful to ask them a question that will catch them off-guard. (“What’s your superpower?” often generates very meaningful results!) Just keep in mind that the point isn’t to intimidate them but to better understand their thought process.
5. Give them a test
Our last advice about how to hire cold callers who will help grow your business is to give candidates a test. When you correspond ahead of the interview, provide them with a product brief, and explain that part of the interview process will be to try to sell the product to you. (If you don’t conduct a phone interview, you can hand them the brief at the interview and ask them to go into the hall and call you from their mobile phone.) This will give you an idea of their ability to succeed in cold calling. If the candidate is too nervous about doing it, they’ll never make it in telephone sales.
Of course, you won’t actually expect them to close a deal with the call, but that’s not really the point of cold calling anyway. The point is to get a meeting and generate interest, so all the candidate has to do is capture your attention. If they’re personable, engaging, and convincing, you may have a winner on your hands.
While there are indeed other tips and tricks out there, this is a solid playbook for how to hire cold callers who are also closers. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll likely find yourself spending far less time interviewing people and far more time reeling in business and, most importantly, satisfying your customers.
Connect with more customers and close more deals with Call Logic’s auto-dialer software. Learn more about what we can do for you by signing up for a free demo today!