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By Jeremy Balius
27 June 2021

11 Effective Cold Call Scripts for Tech Companies and IT Service Providers

A cold call is a vital lead generation tactic in the tech and ICT industry.

While other lead acquisition channels and lead generation activities, such as email, content marketing, SEO, conferences, and webinars, have their benefits, you cannot underestimate the value of human conversation.

This is especially true when factoring in the time to impact – calling prospects to qualify is an accelerated lead acquisition channel.

Research shows that cold calling is a valuable sales tool, especially when target buyer personas are made up of senior business leaders. However, as with any other business engagement, cold calling needs a strategy.

A successful campaign needs to be tailored to the needs of your prospective customer.

What is a cold call?

Technically a cold call is considered an unsolicited phone call to a prospect in an attempt to sell a product or service.

However, that definition is often misquoted and misunderstood. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) a random event with the caller blindly calling down lists of numbers.

Instead, it’s a particular sales outreach where the sales team contact leads from their organisation’s database.

The prospective names in a cold calling list could come from multiple marketing sources. For example, someone may have completed a form on a website or attended a company webinar. The names on a list could also come from an industry or association database, desktop research or a social media site like LinkedIn.

The actual definition of a cold call should factor this in.

“A cold call is an attempt to contact a prospect or to identify who the right prospective decision maker is of a target account that may require your product or services.”

It’s too time consuming and too expensive to call down poorly constructed lists or random numbers. For this very reason, it’s vital that you qualify your prospect list with relevant leads as part of your cold calling strategy.

After all, the sole purpose of cold calling is to identify and qualify prospects to move any qualified leads to the next step in the buying process.

The typical structure of a cold call script

A typical cold call script follows a familiar format. Since you’re having a one-on-one conversation with a prospect, it needs to have a natural flow. However, many cold callers fail to follow this fundamental progression.

 

Many cold callers do not get to the point of their call fast enough.

 

Technology leaders are busy people, and calls are often unwelcome interruptions. Therefore, building rapport and getting to the matter as quickly as possible is vital.

 

Not only does this let the prospect know the purpose of the call, but it also helps you move through your cold calling list, weeding out inferior leads so that you can focus on real opportunities. 

 

The typical structure of a cold call script has four core components.

1) The Introduction

It’s good etiquette to let the person answering the call know who they are speaking to as soon as possible.

 

During the introduction, the cold caller should state their name and the company. For example, “Hello John, this is Alex from Real Technology Solutions” is a far better opening than “Hello, how are you today?”.

 

Next, ask them if they are busy or have a moment to chat. Using this technique illustrates that you value their time and also gives you permission if you need to schedule a follow-up call. 

 

2) Establishing rapport

The next step is to establish a rapport with your prospect. Using some background information on the potential customer is vital during this phase.

 

For instance, if they are the IT Manager, use an opening like “I see you are an experienced manager, and you have been in your role for three years. What do you see as the challenges for your department in the next 12 months?”.

 

This approach is far more personalised than “I want to tell you about the benefits of cloud computing”. Your prospect likely already knows the benefits of the cloud and will want to get off the call as they see it as a waste of time.

 

3) Positioning your offering

Once you have established rapport, you can then start talking about your offering. For instance, using the previous question as an example, should the prospect say replacing hardware is a strategy for the next 12 months, you could open with “Have you considered the benefits of leveraging a cloud platform instead of purchasing new hardware?”.

 

Similarly, if they say that decreasing costs is a focus, you could probe further and ask, “Would that be capital expenditure or monthly operational expenses?”.

 

4) Determine next steps

 

Always conclude the call with offering next steps. The ideal outcome is to book an appointment between the prospect and a member of your Sales team. Ideally you have access to a shared calendar. It’s far more effective to book the appointment while the prospect is still on the phone with you.

If the prospect wants more information first, make sure you verify their email address if it’s already in the CRM, or ask for their email address. Confirm that you will be sending them the information shortly. This information might be a capability deck, a data sheet, a relevant case study or all of these.

You’ll be calling the prospect back in a few days to follow up on the email you sent, so ensure all the necessary information was included to introduce your company, as well as service and/or product offering.

How to develop a cold call script

When developing a cold call script, it is vital that you keep it fluid enough so that you can have an effective conversation with your prospect.

A long monologue of text that you intend to read out in full is prone to reader error and can come across as impersonal to the listener.

The ideal cold calling script is one where the potential customer does the most talking. Therefore, when developing the cold calling template, ensure you ask the relevant probing questions early on so that the conversation can flow naturally.

Think of a cold call script as a dialogue.

1) Tailor your script to your audience

Ideally, you should tailor your cold calling script to prospect personas.

For instance, target different market segments such as IT managers in a particular city or region. Another way to segment your cold calling verticals is by industry, such as finance, retail, or education. By tailoring your script to your audience, you can target needs that are specific to a particular set of customers.

2) Identify your potential prospects

Once you have your script template ready, the next step is to personalise it for the prospects you will be calling. As mentioned previously, the ideal cold calling script is one where the potential lead does the most talking. By doing some research into your target audience, you can identify talking points that resonate with them.

For instance, if a pending piece of legislation will affect them, ask them what they think about it. Another angle could be something social. For example, if a particular city is part of an upcoming sporting festival, work it into the conversation.

3) Research each prospect and refine your script

If you have followed the two previous steps, you should have a tailored script that talks to prospects in a specific target demographic. However, as the primary goal of the cold call is to build rapport and get the potential customer talking about their requirements, researching each one can help you ask questions that provide that personal touch.

For instance, if you review their LinkedIn profile and see they went to a particular school or university, you can work that into your script. Likewise, if they have been recently promoted or moved to a new city, asking them or congratulating them on their recent achievements is another excellent way to break the ice.

Using script variations and key messaging to make cold calls more organic

Although the primary objective of a cold calling campaign is to close more sales, it is not the purpose of making a cold call. Instead, you should leverage a cold call to gather information and build a relationship with your potential customer.

Taking this longer-term view will help you tailor your sales message to their particular needs. Although you have tailored your cold call script to your specific prospect, it is vital that you build in some flexibility to allow for a natural conversation to progress.

Using script variations and key messaging is an excellent way to introduce this approach.

For instance, when you are building rapport and asking them about their city, a new position, and what they see as their challenges are in the next 12 months, allow the conversation to flow naturally.

If your prospect wants to talk about how great their sports team is doing this year, let the conversation flow in that direction. As mentioned, the more the potential customer talks, the better the chances of your success. You can always lead the conversation back to your product or service once you have let the prospect speak.

Who knows, they may have given away some helpful information you could use to tailor your sales approach. For example, if they said they would have loved to see their old school play in the regional finals but had to work that weekend, you could use that nugget to illustrate how your product or service can help them increase efficiency.

Here at Volt Lab, we develop dialogues as part of a Sales Playbook. Click below to download a sample playbook.

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE PLAYBOOK

The benefit of a call flow diagram

A call flow diagram is an excellent tool that can help you increase the effectiveness of your cold calling program. Although your script will help you get the conversation started, there is no way to predict how the conversation will flow. A call flow diagram provides a visual structure to your cold call.

Instead of the words of a script, it offers a general idea of how your call should go. It allows you to let the natural conversation flow while enabling you to control it so that it gets back to its original purpose.

In addition to providing a visual structure that allows you to control the flow of a conversation, call flow diagrams also help you tailor the best possible experience for your sales team and the prospect. It allows you to visualise the caller’s experience providing a flow for various scenarios.

This technique is instrumental when you are training a new Inside Sales team member or are outsourcing your cold calling. It helps each caller ask questions and guide the conversation based on the answers, resulting in an effective and productive call experience.

Click below for an excellent example of a call flow sample.

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE CALL FLOW
Call flow diagram sample for cold call

How to review and measure the effectiveness of a cold call script

As with any other sales and marketing activity, continuously measuring the effectiveness of a cold call script is crucial to the campaign’s overall success.

Ideally, you should measure statistics like calls answered, calls that progressed to the ‘sales’ portion of the conversation, and calls that achieved their objective such as setting up a meeting.

Ideally, you should set a target for these statistics at the start of the campaign. For instance, you may have a target of 30%, 10%, and 5% for each relevant measure.

After setting these goals, testing your script with a subset of your prospect pool is the next logical step. If you do not achieve your set targets, you can then tweak your approach accordingly.

This approach can also help you identify indirect factors that may influence the effectiveness of your cold calling campaign. For instance, you may find that calling on a Tuesday has a higher call answer rate than calling on a Friday afternoon.

Using these statistics, you can hone your cold calling strategy, ensuring you select the best possible script and the ideal time and day to approach your prospects.

11 cold call script TEMPLATES for tech companies and IT SERVICE PROVIDERS

Template 1 – Cold call for general cloud migration

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our customers are typically looking to migrate services to the cloud and move off legacy hardware. Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our product can help you and your organisation achieve the costing savings and agility you need. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

TEMPLATE 2 – Cold call for general MSP services

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our customers are typically looking to increase the efficiency of their operations while saving costs. Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our services can help you resolve those issues. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 3 – Cold call for specific MSP services

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have successfully implemented our (specific product or service) at several customers that have found (customer success). Would you be interested in hearing about (product or service features)

<Prospect responds>

(Provide product or service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that product or service feature resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our product can help you. We have seen many customers <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 4 – Cold call for a new product or service

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have launched (specific product or service) that has resulted in (cost savings, efficiencies) in our pilot customer group. Would you be interested in hearing about (product or service features)

<Prospect responds>

(Provide product or service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that product or service feature resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our product is tailored to help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 5 – Cold call for particular SaaS product

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built our (product) to address (market need). Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our product is tailored to help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 6 – Cold call for technical consulting

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built a service that has helped many of our customers (consulting objective – cost-saving, efficiency etc.). Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

(Provide consulting service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that consulting service resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our consulting offering can help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 7 – Cold call for resource augmentation

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built a service that places highly skilled technical resources on-site to help organisations free up their leadership to drive IT innovation. Does that sound like something you might need?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe we can help. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 8 – Cold call for business continuity and disaster recovery

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer products and professional services that protect organisations from ransomware, outages, and data loss incidents. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

<Discuss the benefits and features of the offering. Ask the prospect if they have experienced any issues related to your product or service.>

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe the next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 9 – Cold call for cybersecurity services

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer products and professional services that protect organisations from ransomware, data breaches, and system compromise. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the offering. Ask the prospect if they have experienced any issues related to your product or service.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe we can help. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 10 – Cold call for application development

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>),

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer a custom development offering where we work with your team to develop business applications. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the custom development offering. Ask the prospect if they have any business requirements that off the shelf software cannot meet.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe our application development service can help you. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

 

Sample 11 – Cold call for enterprise architecture

Introduction:

Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.

<Pause>

Ask a question:

So, <PROSPECT NAME>,

  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our enterprise architects help organisations map out their system flows and develop roadmaps that align the needs of your business with the best technology solutions. Would that be of interest to you or someone in your organisation?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the enterprise architecture offering. Ask the prospect if they have any misaligned business requirements that their current technology stack cannot meet.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe our enterprise architects can help you. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

25 practical cold calling tips

1) Cold calling is about learning more, not immediate sales. 

Do not try and sell during a cold call. Instead, try and get as much information as possible and move the prospect to the next sales cycle phase.

2) Don’t waste anybody’s time, including your own.

If the prospect is busy, try to reschedule another call. If they are not interested in what you are saying, thank them and move on to the next prospect.

3) Use your sales script but do not depend on it.

Your sales script is a tool to help you break the ice and have a conversation with your prospect. Do not follow it verbatim. Instead, let the natural conversation flow and build the relationship.

4) Find the proper calling schedule.

Find the best days and best time to call your prospects. Find the right rhythm for follow up calls. Businesses work in cycles so take advantage of the ebbs and flows.

5) Always end with the next steps.

Before you end your cold call, make sure you set the next steps. Follow this up with an email or subsequent call to confirm.

6) Practice, practice, practice.

Practice your script with colleagues and other team members. Using this approach will help you think on your feet when a prospect comes with a question or comment that is not in your script.

7) Ask open-ended questions.

During the sales phase of the call, ask open-ended questions. Asking questions with a yes or no answer will not provide the information you need.

8) Listen to understand, not to answer.

Listen to your prospect’s answers to gain information. The solution phase should not form part of the cold calling process.

9) Leave a voicemail or send an email.

Technology leaders are busy. If you cannot get them on the phone, leave a voicemail. If they do not have voicemail activated, send them a personalised email saying that you tried to call and pitch your offering using that medium.

10) QA your cold callers.

Monitor and review the calls your reps are making. It can help you pick out any issues and refine your script or approach.

11) Pay attention

Try not to multitask during a cold call. Instead, give your prospect your undivided attention.

12) Keep track of which techniques work.

Over time you will start to get a feel of what approach works best during a cold call. Refine your strategy and share it with the rest of your team.

13) Set goals and try and achieve them.

At the start of your campaign, set achievable goals and try and achieve them every day. It is easy to let other issues distract you, so set time aside to work on your cold calling campaign.

14) Leverage triggers and events.

Keep an eye on your prospects. If they make the news with a new appointment or product launch, use a congratulatory call as a foot in the door.

15) Watch your tone of voice.

A cold call is a personal one-on-one interaction. However, the prospect cannot see non-verbal cues such as your body language, so your tone of voice is vital.

16) Stay on track.

Even though the ideal cold call is a natural conversation, remember your end goal and guide the conversation towards it.

17) Use a headset.

First impressions count, so you must deliver a cold call with quality acoustics. Invest in a headset with noise-cancelling features. Not only will it provide crystal clear sound, but it will give the prospect the perception that you have their undivided attention.

18) Learn how to handle objections.

Use the objective handling technique of listen, ask, solve, confirm, and move on.

19) Don’t give up.

Cold calling is a numbers game. Don’t let rejections or hang-ups derail your strategy.

20) Be respectful.

Always respect your peers and competitors. You never know if your prospect has relationships that are not listed on their LinkedIn profile.

21) Try and offer some value.

Cold calls are unsolicited and often interrupt busy technology leaders. Try to soften the blow by offering something of value, such as the latest piece of industry news or an interesting statistic.

22) Be prepared.

Make sure you have as much information as possible at your fingertips. If the prospect is interested and wants more information, have it ready.

23) Don’t be afraid to try different strategies.

People are unique. Remember to tailor your script to your individual prospect. Try different techniques to see which offers the best results.

24) Take notes and capture data.

Remember to document everything your prospects says in your CRM. Your current product or service may not meet their current requirements, but you could have something else that you can offer.

25) Use a local number.

Where possible, call from a local number. Prospects and their gatekeepers are wary of answering 0800 or sharecall numbers.

WANT TO ACCELERATE YOUR COLD CALLING WITHOUT THE FOOTPRINT?

Developing and implementing an effective cold calling strategy can be challenging. Cold calling is a numbers game and can take up vast quantities of your time. Furthermore, developing an effective campaign requires some insight and experience.

 

At Volt Lab, our Lead Acceleration offering helps free up your sales team and makes a meaningful impact by delivering results fast. Our campaign-based approach can be scaled up or down based on need and is structured to suit the needs and goals of your organisation.

 

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you achieve cold calling success and lead generation growth.

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