Prospecting as a process

Telephone prospecting is just another business process. It may be a tough one, but it is also very straightforward.

You can monitor it, measure it, and analyze its metrics with the goal of improving the sales rep’s performance. 

The Process

Management can control how dials are used by designing the pursuit plan they want their reps to use. The plan is a specific set of steps reps should use to optimize their time, optimize the use of their dials, and optimize the number of conversations they have with decision makers.

The basics of a plan are created by answering five questions

  1. How many times should you call a target? This first question is basically determining the point of diminishing returns. When your next dial to a target you have been calling might best be used to begin a pursuit of a different target.
  2. How frequently do you make those calls? This answer to this question typically depends on where the name came from – a pursuit of a cold list is different from the pursuit of a lead through your website.
  3. If you do not connect with the decision maker, do you leave voicemails and send follow up emails? This is really a marketing issue. If you do not leave a message, they do not know you called.
  4. What messaging do you leave? The best voicemails and emails talk about ‘value to them.’ Not ‘value to you.’ For instance – a ‘value to you’ message is ‘I can save you money when you buy my widget.’ It may sound like ‘value to them,’ but they hear it as ‘trite’ and ‘yeah right.’ A ‘value to them’ message is ‘I wanted a few minutes to share how our clients are solving widget challenges and, in some cases, doing so for less money.’ People love to hear how others are doing something.
  5. If you do not connect during the process, what do you do with the target? For most appointment setting processes, you recycle for six months and begin the process again.

An interesting aspect of a disciplined calling process is that folks will tend to remember you called the previous week, the previous quarter, or the previous year. Every call increases mindshare.

The telephone prospecting process is measured using two simple ratios: Efficiency and one to measure process Effectiveness.

  1. To measure Efficiency – The ratio of conversations (C) generated to the number of dials (D) made; commonly called the‘Conversation Ratio.’
  2. To measure Effectiveness – The ratio of appointments (A) set to the number of conversations (C) generated; commonly called the ‘Appointment Ratio.’

From this starting point, other key metrics can be analyzed to determine what remedies could be used to improve performance.

Callers are accountable for making calls. Management is accountable to design the plan, to enable the caller to operate the plan, and to use the metrics to coach callers to greater success.

Success at telephone prospecting is a manager’s game.

With Contact Science, you can build the perfect pursuit plan tailored to your specification. Following a specific roadmap, your caller will never get lost, and you will have complete transparency into the entire process. Request a demo to learn more.