9 Ways to Make Cold Calling Fun (and Get Really Good At It)
Hard tasks are inherently not fun, and cold calling is one of them. But just like other difficult tasks, there’s a straightforward solution to conquering a queue of cold calls: Get really good at it. Easier said than done, right? It sounds like simple logic, yet the execution is anything but easy. Facing rejections, objections, or flat-out rude interactions from one call to the next feels exhausting and defeating. For the sake of the millions of sales reps who keep picking up the phone day in and day out, it’s time we figure out how to make cold calling fun.
In this post, we’ll discuss 9 practical ways to make cold calling fun that will help your team stay motivated, hone their cold calling skills, and make more sales in the process.
How to Make Cold Calling Fun, Build Momentum, and Drive Performance
Mastering any skill takes practice, and the same is true for cold calling. You have to find creative ways to help your people practice their skills and stay motivated while also figuring out how to make cold calling fun. Cold calling can be intimidating. The last thing you want is for your reps to get discouraged early on. Sales is a marathon, and you rarely get instant gratification, especially from a cold call. That’s why it’s important to make the process itself enjoyable, keep your people engaged, and give them a reason to keep picking up the phone in the short term.
Tip #1: Make Cold Calling Fun with Gamification
Whether you’re trying to hit a certain goal or just want to re-energize your team, gamifying cold calling can be super effective. You don’t have to get fancy or offer expensive prizes, either. Just adding that competitive component will encourage higher performance and help build team camaraderie. Here are two easy ways you can gamify cold calling:
- 2-for-1 Tuesday: When reps book two meetings on a Tuesday, reward them with a special prize.
- Award accolades: Create accolades or internal recognition around the worst call of the day/week, the best call of the day/week, number of calls made, or number of sets. This is a broad incentive that encourages people to just make calls, even if they don’t go well.
Tip #2: Loosen Up, Literally
Our brains work a little differently when we move. Encourage reps to wear headsets, get up, and move around while they’re making calls—they don’t have to be glued to their computer all day long. This helps cut the monotony of the task at hand, helps reps feel grounded, and ultimately helps them loosen up mentally so they feel more comfortable on the phone. Is there a stationary bike in the Ambition office for this exact reason? Maybe.
Tip #3: Keep it Lighthearted
Assign your team a funny or random word for the day they have to work into cold calls. This gives them something else to focus on, helps them practice talk time, and is a fun way to keep things lighthearted and keep your team engaged with one another. Plus, it’ll give you a laugh or two throughout the day.
Know How Many Cold Calls You Need to Make a Sale
Cold calling can feel daunting without a defined goal. That’s why figuring out exactly how many cold calls you need to make a sale is important. It gives you a clear roadmap of how to achieve the goal at hand and removes the margin for excuses. When reps understand the formula, they are more empowered to make those calls, and they’re driven by the money on the other end of the line. Okay, so maybe cold calling isn’t always fun—but money is. Knowing how many cold calls to make a sale is key.
Start by doing your own sales math. Work backwards from where you want to end up: with a meeting. How many connects did it take to get that meeting? How many calls did it take to get that connect? Use our free meetings set template to calculate that number for your team.
Tip #4: Know the Business Impact
When you know how many cold calls you need to make a sale, you can help reps see how each call they make impacts the business. Tying their personal effort to a larger goal reminds your people that their individual contributions matter. Your reps may not be the ones closing the deal, but it was their initial call that led to the meeting. Celebrate this! Recognition goes a long way when it comes to fostering a fun and encouraging culture.
Tip #5: Have a Call Blitz
Another way to make cold calling fun—and hit that number to help you reach your meetings set goal—is to have a call blitz. Block off two hours once or twice a week where your whole team only does cold calls. If you’re all on the phones anyway, why not do it together? This drives a spirit of friendly competition, gives you the opportunity to celebrate with your team in real time, and creates momentum.
Coach Your Reps on How to Make a Cold Call Like a Pro
Cold calling is naturally more fun when you feel good at it. Practice is a key component, but unless your reps know where they stand, they can’t know what they need to practice. Every cold call presents an opportunity to learn. Here are a few ways you can capitalize on those opportunities to help your reps master the art of cold calling.
Tip #6: Plan a Weekly Call Camp
Pick three of the best calls from the last week. What do they have in common? What makes them great? Gather your team together once a week to review those three calls during Call Camp. This is a great opportunity to celebrate as a team, provide secondhand coaching on the qualities of good cold calling, and engage your reps with one another. Pick a winner each week, and start a library of the best cold calls. These will come in handy for coaching and training purposes.
Tip #7: Focus on Cold Calling During 1:1 Coaching
Use some of your 1:1 coaching time to work on cold calling skills with reps. One of the most valuable ways to do this is to break down a cold call into three parts: intro, body, and closing. Listen back to that rep’s intro and discuss what they did in that portion of the call that either set them up for success or failure in the end, and talk about how they can improve or replicate certain behaviors.
Tip #8: Set Your People Up to Get More Connects
Cold calls typically have a 5%-7% connect rate. How can you set your reps up for more connects? There are a couple tactics that help you do this. First, enable your reps with a direct dialing software like Seamless to help them get the right contact information for the right people. Second, make sure your reps know the optimal times of day to call. Early in the day or later in the afternoon are usually best, as peoples’ calendars tend to fill up with meetings throughout the middle of the day.
Track the Right Metrics to Measure Cold Calling Performance
Cold calling can be unpredictable, no matter how good you get at it. Even if you know exactly who to call and how to reach them, the end result is up to the decision maker on the other end of the line. That’s why it’s important to remember that your reps’ performance isn’t always defined by their ability to set a meeting. When you track the right metrics to measure cold calling performance, you can accurately gauge how your reps are doing. Plus, when they hit those metrics, they feel better knowing that they’re doing all they can to secure a lead.
It’s important to consider two types of metrics when it comes to cold calling: leading metrics and lagging metrics.
- Leading metrics are the activities your reps can control, like number of calls and talk time. When they hit those metrics, they’ve done their part to influence the outcome of the call.
- Lagging metrics are the results of leading metrics. These include number of new customers, total revenue, and sales cycle length. Lagging metrics are outside of a rep’s control.
While the lagging metrics or results of cold calling can offer insight into where your sales process may need improvement, they’re not necessarily the best indicators of rep performance. What should you track to measure rep performance, and how can you optimize rep visibility into progress to goal?
Tip #9: Know Where You Stand
Giving reps visibility into their performance is a powerful way to help them stay motivated, even if their calls aren’t yielding the results they want. A sales activity tracker such as a scorecard keeps reps on track and shows them their weekly and monthly progress at a glance. You can also use a sales report template to showcase everyone’s contributions and remind them of what they’ve accomplished, like the number of outbound calls made or meetings set that week. In addition to tracking and celebrating those bigger wins, measuring leading metrics like calls, connects, and talk time can help reps see their individual wins and opportunities for growth.
There’s no way around it—cold calling is hard. But when you implement tactics that help your reps master the skill and find ways to make it fun in the process, you not only create a positive culture where people want to work. You build pipeline and drive sales.
Download your free sales report template now to start tracking the right KPIs, increase visibility into performance, and hype up your team.