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Too Many Dials and too few Dollars? Read these 11 Best Practices for Selling by Phone and Lead Response

A while back I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by Michael Damphousse, CEO/CMO of Green Leads. Green Leads is a lead generation, lead qualification, and appointment setting service. He has 110 reps on the phones, and he shared a lot of great insights into what makes them more effective.

He referenced a study done by MIT into lead response management: http://goo.gl/s3dzT.

Here are a number of the key takeaways:

1. The typical inside sales rep makes 67 dials per day, but the average “best of breed” rep will make 190 dials per day.

2. 500 leads worked for 1 month should yield 40 conversations.

3. The best follow-up or nurturing e-mails are basic text e-mails, 3 sentences, 3 lines long, sent at 3p.m. This is his recommended format:

  • Hi <insert prospect name>. I understand you oversee <insert function> at <insert company>.
  • I would like to talk to you about <insert offering> to understand if you have a need in your organization.
  • Are you available for a 30-minute call to see if there is a fit?

4. You are 10 times more likely to reach an inbound lead during the first hour following lead submission.

  • Call the prospect within the first hour.
  • If you don’t reach him, don’t leave a message.
  • Call back and try to reach the prospect live.
  • Rotate your caller ID, local numbers get a better response — or try calling on a cell phone.

5. View an inbound lead as a trigger.

  • The person downloading may not be the decision maker, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding the decision maker.

6. Establish a proper prospecting cadence.

  • Day 1 — Dial immediately; repeat often.
  • Day 2 — Dial; if you don’t reach the prospect, leave them a message informing them that you will be sending them an email about what you want to talk to them about. Don’t leave your phone number in the message. Then, send the 3-sentence e-mail that I described above.
  • Day 3 — Take a breather.
  • Day 4 — Dial, Dial, and Dial again to try to reach them live. Establish some “guilt,” letting them know that you’re following up on the e-mail you sent them.

7. The best time to reach people by phone is between 7:30-9:00 a.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m. It is best to work 2-5 hour shifts and to use time zones to your advantage.

  • 6:30-8:00 a.m.: Call EST and CST
  • 8:00-10:00 a.m.: Call CST and MST
  • 10:00am to 12:00 p.m.: Call MST and PST
  • 12:–00-3:00 p.m.: Do non-call work … all of your prospects are eating or in meetings
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m.: Call EST and CST
  • 5:00-7:00 p.m.: Call CST and MST
  • 7:00-8:00 p.m.: Call MST and PST

8. Don’t call unqualified leads or leads that are merely educating themselves.

  • Have a “trigger form” that establishes a clear signal that they’re ready to talk to a salesperson. This might be a buyer’s guide, a demo, or a clear request to “talk to a sales consultant.”

9. Set proper call goals.

  • The first 10s needs to get you to the next 30s. – Who are you and why are you calling?
  • 30 seconds to 3 minutes – Establish 1 or 2 interesting talking points about you.
  • 3-5 minutes – If you sense interest, set a follow-up appointment. Try the “Colombo” approach … start wrapping up, then pause and ask …”One more thing … do you use …”

10. Expect to reschedule.

  • 23% of B2B appointments get rescheduled or canceled.
  • Take a cancellation as a re-schedule.
  • Don’t use bridge numbers.
  • Send reconfirmations and updates from Outlook.

11. In general, the more time they have invested in getting to know you, the more qualified they are.

About the Author

Richardson is a global sales training and performance improvement company. Our goal is to transform every buyer experience by empowering sellers with critical skills so they can create value to buyers and drive meaningful conversations. Our methodology combines a market proven sales and coaching curriculum with an innovative and customizable approach to learning that ensures your sales teams learn, master, and apply those behaviors where and when it matters most — in front of your customers. It’s our job to anticipate change in your industry so that your sales team can focus on fostering long-term relationships, becoming indispensable partners for their buyers.

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