A/B Testing in Sales vs. A/B TESTING IN SALES

There are two pieces of advice I often hear:

  1. The more calls you make, the more deals you will close.

Generally, I agree. However, there is one catch here: making a high volume of calls does not necessarily imply that you are doing your job well. It is very likely that it is the opposite! It just shows that you have poor communication and lead generation skills; ie. you are calling the wrong numbers, getting cut off etc.

  1. Work smart not hard.

I agree with this one too. However, it is going to take a lot of hard work for you to reach the point of working smart.

That said, there is one amendment that I would like to add to both of these statements: no matter how many calls you are making or how smart you think you are working, whatever you are doing — test it. And not just test; test, reflect on it and adapt. And then test again.

Discover the Many Benefits of Using A/B Testing in Sales

With A/B testing, you get to try out all the possible alternatives and find the one that works best. The trick is to think about what you are doing and learn from it every day. Why did the prospect snub you? At which point of your sales script did they cut you off — was it during the introduction or at some other point? The clues are in front of you, you just need to decipher them.

Maybe your script sounds too cold? Test your next calls with a ‘warmer’ version.

How to make it warm?

Smile. Use humor, spread love! Here is an idea for an A/B test: decide that one day, all day, you will do nothing but smile during all your calls. See if there is going to be any difference in the number of meetings you set up.

Seriously, good mood affects people like a magnet in every sphere of your life — cold calls included. Conversely, negative mood puts everyone down. If you sound like you hate your job, you are tired, and the call you are making is the 30th unsuccessful call of the day, the prospect can tell that too. Put on your good mood shoes. Watch something funny before work, talk to your loved ones or think some good thoughts.

But do not fake the good mood. Mean it. Insincere good moods are too obvious over the phone simply because it is the only channel of communication we have with the person, so we are 100% focused on it. On the other hand, when we are talking to someone in-person, there are many communication clues that might interfere with our perception: what the person looks like, what they are wearing, how they are moving etc. Here in turn, you only have the voice. Similar to how the vision impaired are said to have other senses heightened, the same is with calls. You can detect everything in the voice. One statistic to remember: ContactPoint study showed that tone is 86% of our communication.

Also, remove from you script anything that even remotely sounds like a cold call. Forget the “Hi, my name is Joe from XX company” introduction because this is how a typical cold call starts. Try something that sounds more original and informal.

Use your voice as your mighty tool. How?

Here’s another A/B test idea: play with your intonation. Raise it and bring it down. Forget about the flat, why-did-I-get-out-of-bed intonation. Try sounding all confident and busy one day, and chilled and relaxed the next one and see what happens there.

The next thing to test with A/B testing is your approach to gatekeepers. They are there to protect their bosses from people like you. Bypassing them is like playing a video game. Try one strategy, test, then try another one, and test that one to see which works best. Amuse them, flatter them, make jokes.

Make use of your intentional pauses. Prospects are dying to hang up on a cold call spouting out a script. However, if they see you make pauses, you will get a different reaction. Pauses over the phone tend to be uncomfortable for some and gain attention of others. Whichever it is, they will want to break the pause by engaging in a dialog.

You can try A/B testing with literally any aspect of your sales process — objection handling, for example. As most sales reps know, objections do not differ greatly. Most of them boil down to: no money / call me later / not interested / we are working with the competition.

As objections are inherently the same, so are probably your replies. Try out different responses and test them as well. For example, if you are typically receiving 4 different objections, try coming up with an A and B response to each and test them for a while.

Just do not make any premature assumptions. Give your tests enough time to draw valid and reliable conclusions. The A version of your script did not yield any meetings on that day? Give it one more day. Be sure it is the script and not something else; ie. maybe on that particular day you were not your best self and that is why your calls suffered. Give it time.

And here is my final reason why you should try A/B testing in your sales job. It is fun. I underline this one because having fun is important. Let’s face it, sales can be monotonous… This way you get to play with your creativity and ingenuity. But most importantly, you get to find out what does not work and stop wasting time on it.

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