Cold calling scripts are crucial to your lead generation efforts. They point your SDR team in the right direction, allow for personalization and elaboration, and steer conversations toward setting a sales meeting.
But keep in mind that your sales development reps aren’t just script-readers—they’re storytellers. The better they can paint a picture for prospects, the more interest they generate.
This is true in all B2B sales but especially relevant in the heavily saturated software industry, where you have to make your solution stand out above countless others if you’re going to compete.
Before we continue, we should be clear: there is no perfect cold calling script. It’s up to you to create and evolve a cold calling script that meets your business goals and aligns with your prospects’ needs.
Take a look at this cold calling script template we developed for software enterprise Mitel.
Hi [prospect]. My name is [rep], and I’m calling with Mitel. How are you doing today?
Do you oversee business communications or phone systems for your company?
I’m reaching out today because we would like to schedule a few minutes sometime next week to discuss Mitel’s cloud offerings for your business. Mitel has been named a leader four years in a row in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for Unified Communications.
You can give your employees one place to connect with each other, customers, and suppliers on your desktop, mobile, and tablet. It’s all about collaboration, boosting productivity, improving customer service, and helping employees to work smarter.
When is a good day for you to further discuss how Mitel could assist you in moving forward with the cloud or any UC solution?
Using Mitel’s script as an example, let’s look at the steps we follow to create our cold calling scripts:
Next, make sure that the person you’re talking to is the right point of contact. Your company, like most other companies, presumably has a few gaps or irrelevant contacts in its database, especially if you take an account-based approach to prospecting.
So before moving forward with the pitch, it’s important to validate that you’re speaking to a decision-maker who has purchasing authority or some say in the decision process.
Take a look at this highlighted portion of the script that our appointment setting team used for Mitel:
Do you oversee business communications or phone systems for your company?
If their answer to this question is “yes,” you’re speaking to an appropriate point of contact for your elevator pitch.
If they aren’t the right contact, use them as a springboard for finding the right one by requesting contact information for the person with the responsibilities mentioned. Make sure you get both a phone number and an email address, so you can create a new contact in your CRM.
Can you connect me with the person who oversees business communications or phone systems at your company?
We refer to these people as gatekeepers, employees typically in administrative roles who screen calls to save time for their colleagues. We have our own list of tips for getting past gatekeepers to help you utilize these well-connected people as a resource instead of letting them discourage you.
OPTIONAL: Another followup question you can ask after finding the correct contact is, “Do you have a few minutes to discuss [solution]?” This question isn’t a necessity for appointment setting, but it shows you’re empathetic to their busy schedule.
Either way, cold callers should be cognizant that they’re interrupting the contact’s work day, and even if they are the right point of contact, they may not have time to chat. Reassuring them that you’ll keep it brief, or even offering to call back at a better time, can be quite effective.
At this point, we know that the person we’re speaking to is in charge of business communications. As an IT professional, they may or may not have heard of Mitel, but they most likely have heard of the famous Gartner Report.
In the second sentence, we use this knowledge to position Mitel as a leader: “four years in a row in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report.” This helps you gain further credibility for your brand as a trustworthy source and demonstrates the power of name-dropping.
You’re trying to keep the conversation brief, and features are usually complex and require further explanation. Speaking to the positive outcomes of using the product helps prospects recognize the value of your solution right away. If you’re well-acquainted with your ideal buyer persona, then you have an idea of the day-to-day pains they experience in their role. Telling them how your offering can treat that pain is a good way to spark their curiosity.
Our step-by-step breakdown of our Mitel call script should help you on your way to developing your own scripts for software sales. But there are several other best practices for optimizing your scripts we think are worth mentioning here. Let’s look at a few scripts we’ve developed for other EBQ clients to add to our previous points and so you can add more value to your cold calls.
When giving the brief overview of your company, you should have a clear differentiation that catches the prospect’s attention and keeps them on the line.
Here’s an example of a poor cold call script:
Compare it to our more targeted script:
So why does the second script work more effectively? Both scripts tell the prospect we can manage their IT, but the second script emphasizes a focus on cloud infrastructure to differentiate the company from its competitors. Name-dropping Microsoft and Google in the same breath adds some credibility by association, too. Leveraging the well-known companies, the buzzwords, and language of your target buyers’ industry shows prospects that you understand their needs.
One thing we’ve noticed after doing this for over a decade is that software companies often try focusing on too many value propositions at once in hopes of hitting any pain point. This shotgun approach doesn’t work well in a cold call scenario, as it doesn’t generate interest quickly enough.
We recommend choosing one specific pain point, based on customer persona research, to leverage the most appealing value proposition and pitch the sales meeting.
Take a look at two scripts we tested for BigCommerce in their early days:
Script #1 – FEATURE FOCUSED
Script #2 – OUTCOME FOCUSED
BigCommerce is the leader in e-commerce for small to medium-sized businesses. We enable our clients to easily launch professional online stores in hours and provide a variety of tools such as SEO, a mobile-optimized store, as well as an abandoned cart saver to help drive revenue growth.
The second script, while mentioning some of their more popular features, remains focused on the outcome. It starts with the individual pain point of launching an online store then dives into the supporting features that bring about the outcome.
This upgraded call script helped BigCommerce set 40-60 sales appointments per month! Check out the full BigCommerce case study to see what other kinds of results our scripts helped the e-commerce company achieve.
Here are some of the example discovery questions we used for cybersecurity company Webroot:
Finally, don’t forget the importance of a feedback loop for evolving your cold calling scripts. As SDR and sales teams speak to prospects over time, they get to know how your value propositions resonate with prospects.
For example, when pitching one software company’s application, we realized that people didn’t care about the backup functionality it provided, but they did appreciate the ability to sign in on multiple devices. We were able to use this feedback from the sales team and refine our cold calling script to better resonate with new leads.
As SDRs get to know your product and customers better, they will be able to use their own judgment to go off-script, ask leading questions, and drive the conversation toward a set meeting.
With 13 years of experience in this business, we’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cold call script. But what we have been able to develop, over years of testing and optimizing, is a proven process for writing our scripts.
Our process has helped us drive pipeline growth with positive ROI for thousands of technology companies. We hope our insights help you share your story in this fast-paced industry.