How to Prospect Smarter and Bring in More Sales Leads


The key to smart sales prospecting can be summed up in two easy steps.

1. Do it.

2. Follow up.

And get both down to a science.

But don’t worry — we won’t leave you to figure out the details on your own. With these three techniques for how to prospect smarter, you’ll see just how many people you need to reach to hit your goals and what to do once you’ve made contact.

1. Work Backwards

You’ve got dinner plans across town at 7:00 tonight — when should you leave your house? Well, you think about how long it’ll take to get there considering distance, traffic, and roadworks, right? You work backwards. The same is true in sales. If you want to know how to prospect for sales smarter, the answer is simple: work backwards.

Backing through your numbers to figure out how many people to see is the best place to start learning how to prospect. See, it’s all a numbers game. Anyone you contact enters your sales process. Here’s how it works.

Start with your sales goals. If you want to make x dollars, how much product will you need to sell? Then look at past averages — how many quotes and proposals does it take on average to close that many deals? Next, how many appointments does it take to give a quote? And finally, how many cold calls or pop-ins does it take to get that many appointments?

That’s how many people you need to contact during your sales term — so just divide it out to see how many people you should be contacting each day.

Then, as you talk to them, divide the prospects into three categories: active, latent, and not interested. Now you know how to follow up. My active buyers, I pursue. My latent buyers, I follow up with periodically. And my prospects who aren’t interested, I only contact annually.

2. Plan Your Pitch

Once you know how much to prospect, work on your pitch. You need to make contacts with new people every day. So the more you focus on your goal for the conversation and polish your approach, the better those cold calls will go.

The Goal: Gather Information

When you talk with a new prospect, you’re collecting information. You’re looking for info that gives insight into their needs, potential solutions, and their level of interest in solving those problems. You want anything that tells you what category they fall into. Every prospect falls into one of those three categories by the end of this first contact: active, latent, or not interested.

Script Next Steps

Why do you need to know what category they belong to? Because then you know potential outcomes for each type of prospect. Based on their interest, you can start the next action. If they respond in a way that makes them active, you’ll offer them an appointment. If you see that they’re latent, you’ll send them your contact information and keep in touch. And if they seem to be uninterested, you’ll call them next year. Whatever it is, you need to know the call-to-action based on their broad situation and follow your system after that.

Related: A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

3. Approach Phone and Face-to-Face Prospecting Differently

Cold Call Prospecting

If you’re prospecting with cold calls, use a script. Write out what you’ll say to collect the information you need to gauge their interest. Then script out how you’ll respond if they’re active, latent, or uninterested. It’s more difficult to move people to the next step when you’re not staring them in the face. That makes a script invaluable!

Also, you get more rejections when you’re prospecting over the phone. There’s often a lot of volume and distraction, and people say no quickly. Yet, phone calls make it easier to get around the gatekeeper. So don’t get discouraged with rejection and keep calling new people.

Face-to-Face Prospecting

Face-to-face conversations make it much easier to gauge people. Plus, people tend to be less terse in person. On the other hand, it means you have to take the time to visit these businesses. And if they tell you no, you’ve wasted more time than you do on a phone call.

However, it’s productive if you plan to hit a lot of business in one area, especially if you can tie visits with existing sales-ready appointments. Planning to make two pop-in visits near every new appointment can be a great strategy.

The best tip for face-to-face prospecting is to do something with the information you get. Once they gather a name, most people forget about it or log it in their CRM. That’s when prospecting puts you at a disadvantage. It’s happened with us before — we were good at face-to-face prospecting, so we spent time doing it. But we didn’t make the most of the information we gathered, so we still wasted our time. Our competitors weren’t prospecting at all, but they had extra time for things that were more productive.

So, if you take the time for face-to-face prospecting, make sure you follow up. Put them in your process. Send them a card, email them, go back to visit, call them — whatever you need to do to make contact again. Don’t just log them in the CRM or put their details in your binder. Make your time count.

Download this Sales Call Report template to track your activities in face-to-face meetings. You can even customize it to your needs. Taking the time to log your visits and plan your follow-up will take your prospecting from good to great!

The Average Salesperson Wastes 2 Hours a Day — Here’s Why

salesperson time management

We’ve all experienced decision fatigue — when we’ve made so many decisions we can’t make one more. But we’re exhausting ourselves on the wrong decisions, namely, figuring out who to call.

If we eliminate all those choices about who to call, we’ll be able to focus our thinking on more important tasks during the day. So how do you get that decision off your plate?

First, you need a central place to store your previous contacts. Most people don’t have an easy place to store their data. Some just try to remember it. Others use a notebook. But sometimes they forget to take thorough notes. And even when they don’t forget, they have to go through each page to decipher and sort information.

The choice of whom to call becomes clear when you can see a chronological list of whom you last contacted. Then you simply go in order. So what’s the best way to gather all that info?

Don’t Collect Data — Make the CRM Do It for You

Any worthwhile CRM collects data automatically. Don’t rely on people to enter it. Some people think they can remember it all, but they just can’t. Can you remember whom you met with three days ago? There’s little chance you’ll be able to recall the details. (And even if you do, why use your brainpower to remember something an app can remember for you? Channel that effort towards sales!)

Each company cares about two things: existing customers and prospects. And every person you contact is a potential customer. An automated system makes sure no prospect (or client) goes unnoticed.

After storing the contact info for each person you see, an app like CallProof sorts the data. With a click, you can see whom you need to contact. The app has done all the sorting and filing for you.

Moreover, you can set reminders about how frequently to call your customers. We all know that it’s harder to get a new client than an existing customer to buy. So make sure to contact existing customers as regularly as they buy from you.

Identify Hunters and Farmers

You can also maximize effectiveness by making sure your salespeople work to their strengths. On your team, you have hunters and farmers. Farmers build relationships and take care of existing customers. They handle accounts and keep customers happy.

Hunters find new customers and close deals. But then they move on. The key is identifying the different types of salespeople you have. When you find hunters, keep them hunting! Once they close a deal, hand off the account to someone who will cultivate the relationship. Then you keep your hunters free to sell.

There’s a real danger to your profitability if you force your hunters to be customer service reps. Strong hunters grow your business. So eliminate anything that slows them down. You don’t want them bogged down by paperwork or dealing with customer service issues. Instead, keep them selling as much as possible.

3 Questions to Ask Your Salespeople About CRMs

Is it time for you to change CRMs? Your CRM should make everyone’s job easier — documenting data automatically, keeping salespeople on task, and preventing missed opportunities. If you think your CRM is lacking, ask your team these questions.

Does our CRM dis-incentivize you?

If each client requires manual documentation, you may be crippling your top salespeople. That means the more sales they close, the more updates and entries they’ll need to enter each week. Instead, automatic data entry logs their contacts without slowing them down.

Do you know how many calls you made yesterday?

When you do something repeatedly, it’s easy to lose count. You may think you called 40 clients yesterday when you actually talked to 20. If it’s not recorded automatically, these numbers are hard to track.

Have you every forgotten to follow up?

Let’s say I have a prospect I cold-called, met for an appointment, but forgot to follow up and document. Now, that sale goes away. So how many calls will it take to make up for that missed sale? Automatic entries and follow-up reminders keep prospects from falling through the cracks because of human error.

The right CRM eliminates wasted time — whether it’s time you spent deciding whom to call or logging a contact. A CRM like CallProof simplifies everyone’s job while making your business more successful.

Sales Pitch Template: How to Create a Cold Calling Script

cold calling templates

Every journey requires a good map, whether you go old-school with the folded guide, or just download an app. Your sales journey is no exception. It starts with a cold call – and you don’t want to make it unguided.

A cold-calling script provides direction for both objections and recurring situations. It’s also a system that gives unity to the organization so your salespeople are on the same page. You don’t need a separate script for every person. Rather, each person starts with the same sales pitch templates and tweaks it to fit the prospect.

Most people get uncomfortable with objections, but a script provides a reference for how to reply. You can also create scripts for situational selling. If your competitor’s customers are dissatisfied, write a specific script that resonates with them. Use language that reminds them of the challenges and shows them how you’ll do better.

Tips for Writing Cold Call Scripts

Remember: the purpose of a cold call is NOT to make a sale. The goal is to schedule a meeting. Make a simple introduction as a means to build a long-term relationship, such as, “I’m new here at X and we work with companies like yours. I know you’re active in the community, and hopefully, we can meet one day.”

Think of cold calls like drip email campaigns. Don’t ask for anything initially. If you do, they may have a negative reaction and cut off communication. Instead, consider this phase one. Have a simple conversation and add value to your prospect aside from making a sale.  

Maybe you say, “Hi. I just wanted to introduce myself. I know you’re the key buyer at X. I’ve been here for a few months and you’re listed as a prospective customer for your organization. I’ll be sending you an email, just to give you some information. If you ever need anything, I would like to support you.”

Too many people are so eager to get the appointment, they skip building the relationship first. A cold call is just the first step. Don’t jump ahead.

What NOT to Say In Your Cold Calling Script

“I know you’re busy but…” is never a good way to start a conversation. If you have something valuable, it’s worth the interruption.

The full sales pitch doesn’t belong in a cold call either. Save your sales pitch template for the meeting. Remember: the purpose is to schedule a time to meet, not make the sale.

“When are you available?” gives your prospect an easy way out. Don’t ask for an appointment but rather tell them when you’d like to stop by. A good salesperson sells by territory and focuses on one location at a time. Don’t book one meeting in one part of town on a Monday and then book another meeting on the other side of town that same day. Instead, make your prospecting calls based on location and bring up a time you plan to stop by.

Creating Your Cold Calling Template

It only takes a few steps to build a cold calling script.

  1.  Introduce yourself.
  2.  Tell them you’ll stop by.
  3.  Base your script on time and location.

When you put it all together, it may sound something like this.

“Hi. I’m Robert. I work at X payroll services. We work with companies like yours so I wanted to introduce myself. If you ever need anything in the future, I’d like to support you. In fact, I’ll be on the east side of town Tuesday afternoon. I’d love to stop by and just hand you my card so you have a face to go with the name. Do you mind if I come by?”

You can also add, “I know you use an X vendor. I’d like to be your backup plan should that ever change.” I love using this language in a script because you never know when the provider is going to slip up and give you the chance to win over their clients.

If you’re in sales, you know you have to start somewhere. These cold calling tips get you on the road to meeting future clients with a positive, meaningful first conversation.


How to Build Trust Over the Phone with Cold Prospects

build trust cold calling strategies

We’ve all answered a cold call, but how many times have these interactions won us over? Much of our cold call reluctance comes from how few of these calls actually convince us to buy.

I like to use the calls I receive to improve my own cold calling strategies. What made me stay on the line? Which strategy did they use that worked? In each situation where I became a customer, I’ve found that the salesperson used three tactics to win me over.

1. Name Drop

Do you know someone that your client knows? A name drop will get you a little more time on the phone. You may have a client who will make an introduction to a prospect they know, but a simple LinkedIn search shows shared connections.

Related: Hold Your Breath Cold Call Technique

When you begin your conversation with, “Hey, you know my friend…,”  your prospect will listen a little longer. You’ve gained legitimacy by making that personal connection, and now you’re more than just a voice on the other end of the line.

2. Be a Friend

Your prospect immediately wonders “friend or foe?” as soon as you begin your conversation. Paint yourself as a friend – or at least someone they may know. The longer they take to identify that you’re cold calling, the longer you have to build trust.

To buy yourself time, ask questions and make references that make it seem like you already do business together.  As you talk, speak with authority. Don’t timidly ask if they have time to get together. Instead, ask questions in a way that expects an answer.

Imagine you’re in roof sales. You call an owner of a building and ask, “Is this Bill Smith with ABC Supply on 9th Street? Is that your building, the one with the brown roof with the shingles that are kind of ajar?” He doesn’t know you’re selling roofing yet. He may think that you’re coming to his business to buy something and you just need him to verify the location.

Through these questions, you build trust, gain time, and confirm you’re speaking to the decision maker. After all, it’s the building owner that’s going to spend money on the new roof, right? Once you confirm he’s the guy in charge, you say, “Hey listen, I appreciate you taking my call. I wanted to let you know we’re offering a free quote service for roofs. We’re doing Jim’s across town…” and as you explain your offer, you also name drop to build more trust.


3. Use a Local Number

Always, always use a local number to make your marketing calls. Too often, people transfer to a new town and use their old number. Consequently, they’ve damaged their trustworthiness before they’ve even started the conversation.

Related: How to Hack Your Sales With the “Overheard Selling” Technique

A friend of mine quickly learned this lesson when he used an out-of-town number to confirm appointments. He found that people either avoided the calls or answered the phone defensively. He actually had to work to regain the trust he had already built with them. It’s much easier to get a new number than to start your battle uphill.

Fortunately, this big mistake has a few simple fixes. CallProof sells custom numbers. Google Voice allows you to change your number as well. And even once you have a local number, it never hurts to prime your call with a text. If you left a voicemail, send an immediate text that says who you are and what you do. This lets your prospect know this was more than just an automated sales call. You’re a real person who wants to do real business with them. As a bonus, now you gave them a searchable term when you put the product name in print. If they’ve been looking for your product or the need later arises, they can easily search for it online.

Building trust makes cold calling work. Whatever your method, when you establish yourself as a friend and support for your future client, the sale becomes much more likely.


4 Tasks Your Salespeople Hate (And How to Automate Them)

sales task automation

Let’s be honest: If you’re a high performance sales person, you’re probably not going to do sales activity reports. You want to spend your time selling, not reporting about it. And if you haven’t been productive, you’ll probably just make up the info so you don’t look bad.

Managers, you expect your sales team to be out making sales, yet you can’t inspect that with a weekly sales report. And you know there’s not much you can do to help a low sales day after a week has already passed, so you often don’t even bother to read the reports.

All in all, the sales team submits bad data and the sales manager never even sees it. What a colossal waste of time!

This problem can poison the system, but there’s a simple fix. In fact, you can automate or outsource this sales task, along with three others, to make your company more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.


The 4 Tasks Your Salespeople Hate Most

  1. Call Reports

Most companies ask for call reports, much like the ones described above. Basically, salespeople document who they called and visited in a spreadsheet at the end of each week.

If you, the sales manager, get a report documenting who your sales guy called last Tuesday, it does you no good. But a real time report changes the game. It gives you data that tells you when to intervene. Then, you can either encourage a change in behavior or better understand the circumstance.

Let’s say it’s Wednesday at 2:00 when you look in the system and notice someone has no recorded activity for the day. You now have information that prompts action. Give the salesperson a call and say, “Hey, just following up. How’s the day going?” Asking a leading question rather than accusing the salesperson with a comment like, “Why haven’t you called anyone today?” may allow you to uncover what’s happened.

Maybe he’s been dealing with a customer support issue all morning. Or maybe you figure out that his motivation has run dry and he needs to be re-inspired to go out and start selling. A tool like CallProof gives you the gift of real time reporting and you gain the power to change the situations as they happen. Meanwhile, you’re also eliminating those dreaded weekly spreadsheets.

2. Making Cold Calls

If you have a sales department making marketing calls, consider outsourcing this task. Your sales team most likely thrives in face-to-face interactions, so keep them in those situations. There’s a different charisma needed on the phone that is best left to a company that specializes in marketing calls.

Also, booking a meeting can take an extraordinary amount of persistence. Your average salesperson may follow up 3-4 times trying to make an appointment, but in reality it might take 20 calls. A professional outsource telemarketing company will keep at it because it’s in their pocket of strength. Outsourcing cold calls keeps your sales people in meetings with prospects, rather than just scheduling them.

3. Looking for Prospects to Call

Similarly, don’t make your salespeople use their time to look for prospects. Every person in your sales organization should have a list of potential clients. Just purchase a list from a site like or generate and constantly update a list of your own. If you rely on your sales team to find their own contacts, they’re wasting valuable time and likely to do a terrible job. Don’t make them look for their own data.

4. Writing Template Sales Emails

Not everyone is good at writing an email. Follow-ups, welcome emails, and newsletters should be left to a professional writer, not your sales team. After all, you don’t want a poorly crafted document to degrade the reputation you’re working to build.

If your company has a marketing position, this should be a part of that job. The marketing department’s goal is to stay in front of clients and prospects. They relay information about products and services to your customer base. You’re on the same team – act like it and use marketers and writers to your sales team’s advantage.

Your salespeople want to do just what their title implies: Sell! Take away the tasks that keep them from working to their full potential.

21 Sales Statistics Every Sales Manager Should See

21 Sales Statistics

It’s no surprise that cold calls and follow-ups are part of most sales organizations’ processes. What is surprising is how much those processes could be improved, especially when it comes to sales tracking and automation.

I recently came across some interesting and actionable sales statistics that will strike a chord with any salesperson or manager. Use them in your organization to increase progress towards your team’s sales and sales automation efforts.


Cold Calls

1. In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it is 8 attempts. (TeleNet & Ovation Sales Group)

2. 78% of decision makers polled have taken an appointment or attended an event that came from an email or cold call. (DiscoverOrg)

3. The early bird gets the worm. 50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact the prospect. (

Lead Nurturing

4. 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after meeting. (Scripted)

5. The average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect (Sirius Decisions), but it takes approximately 7-13 touches to generate a B2B qualified sales lead (Direct Marketing Partners).

6. 92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. (NuGrowth)

7. The number of conversations per passed account increased 15% year-over-year. In other words, SDRs were having more conversations per account (and across contacts) before passing the qualified opportunity. (The Outbound Index)

8. Texting after contact leads to a 112.6% higher lead to engagement conversion. (Velocify)

9. Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured leads. (Forrester Research)


10. The average voicemail response rate is 4.8%. (InsideSales)

11. A team of 50 sales reps leave approximately 1277 hours of voicemails per month. (RingDNA)

12. 80% of calls go to voicemail, and 90% of first-time voicemails are never returned. (RingLead)

Automation & Sales Processes

13. 80% of the avg. salesperson’s day is spent on non-revenue generating activities. (NuGrowth)

14. Automated & enforced sales processes generate 88% quota attainment (vs. 78% with merely “well documented” processes.) (Velocify)

15. 45% of sales reps say they need help figuring out which accounts to prioritize. (NuGrowth)

16. 20% of sales reps’ time is spent researching, not selling. (NuGrowth)

17. The average salesperson only sells for 90 minutes each day. (NuGrowth)

18. Only 33% of inside sales rep time is spent actively selling. (CSO Insights)

19. 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry. (Toutapp)

20. According to a Qvidian 2014 Sales Execution Survey, 88% of missed opportunities were caused because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources.

21. 42% of sales reps don’t feel they have the information they need before making a call. (NuGrowth)

How Cold Showers Help Cold Calls

cold showers overcoming call reluctance

Got cold feet about your next round of cold calls? You’re not alone. Call reluctance can happen to any salesperson, whether you’ve been on the job for two weeks or two decades.

Cold call anxiety is inconvenient, but it’s not permanent. According to YouTube channel “The Art of Manliness,” your call reluctance is nothing a cold shower can’t fix.

Take a look:


Cold showers have benefits men have known about for centuries. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Russians all bathed in cold water to turbo-charge their brains and bodies. Here are just a few benefits of a cold shower and how they can help you overcome call reluctance.


Increase Circulation

When you increase blood flow, you feel more energized, alert and awake – which happen to be the qualities needed to meet your call quota and recognize new sales opportunities.

Lose Weight

Turning down the shower temperature cranks up your metabolism, causing your body to burn more fat to regain the lost heat. Feeling fit boosts confidence and stamina, giving you more staying power to finish those calls and increasing the likelihood of positive results.

Relieve Depression

Need an attitude adjustment? Cold showers relieve depression. Without getting too technical, the video explains that there’s a blue spot in the brain. When your brain’s blue spot is activated, it stimulates antidepressant benefits.

When your blue spot is active, you feel good, and when you feel good, your chances for sales success are higher. Blue spots can help you earn greenbacks!

Improve Sleep Quality

Taking a cold shower one hour before bed also improves the quality of your sleep. If your sales performance is keeping you awake, a cold shower can help you rest at night. A good night’s sleep keeps you focused during the day without a double shot of espresso.

If nothing else, cold showers build your character. Being submerged in cold water is a shock to the system, and sometimes that’s just what you need to shake yourself out of a slump.

If you can deal with a cold shower, you can overcome just about anything else. Including a little call reluctance.

A Day in the Life of a Successful Salesperson

A Day in the Life of a Successful Salesperson

There’s an easy way to identify a successful salesperson: Shadow them for a day and learn about their routine. Because what sets the most successful salespeople apart is the consistency of their daily routine.

Often, making just a few adjustments in daily habits can mean the difference between doing alright and doing ridiculously awesome.

If you were to take a close look at a day (or week) in the life of a successful salesperson, here’s what you’d see:

Monday – Prospecting and Following Up

7:45 a.m. Arrive at the office, grab a cup of joe, and get to work.

8:00 a.m. Make cold calls, contact prospects, and book appointments for the week.

12:00 p.m. Take a break for lunch.

1:00 p.m. Go out on sales calls, or conduct follow-up activities, such as emailing, generating proposals, thinking about strategies for sales meetings, gathering materials, and so forth.

Next Monday, repeat the same schedule.

Tuesday through Thursday – Going Out on Strategic Sales Calls

These three days are not just filled with random sales appointments. Successful salespeople have a strategy to their calls. They’re not going to make a call on the west side of town on Tuesday at 9 a.m., and the hit the road to high tail it to the east side of town by 10:30 a.m. A good salesperson will geographically group sales appointments together so as to not waste time driving about town.

Time spent in the car getting from one appointment to another is wasted time, and savvy salespeople figure out how to plan their sales calls to maximize their availability. If that means scheduling meetings into the evening hours for a packed-out Tuesday, that’s what a salesperson will do to be successful. Then, on Wednesday, he will group sales calls together in another geographic area of town.


Friday – Regrouping

8:00 a.m. Hit the road again to meet with prospects scheduled for the morning hours.

1:00 p.m. After lunch, head back to the office and start gathering up loose ends and notes from the week’s worth of face-to-face meetings.

A good salesperson knows that in Friday afternoon meetings, nothing gets done. People are already ready for the weekend, and aren’t in “meeting” mode. So instead, he spends energy putting thoughts together, taking notes of important events from the week, and so forth.

3 Characteristics of a Successful Salesman

Aside from consistency in scheduling, three factors characterize a successful salesperson:

  • Adaptability. Going after sales appointments doesn’t necessarily make for great sales numbers. It’s going after the right audience at the right time that makes for a successful salesperson. Sure, you can pound the pavement trying to go after cold prospects, but if the audience doesn’t have time to hear you out, you won’t get far. Making slight adjustments, such as when you call the prospects or when to suggest sales calls, can go a long way toward improving your sales.
  • Seizing unplanned opportunities. A great salesperson will be able to spot an unplanned opportunity when making sales calls. If you’re visiting a client, for example, consider whether their neighbor is also a good prospect. Then, ring the doorbell and strike up a conversation. You’re essentially seizing an opportunity to gain a lead with very little effort.
  • The “leave behind.” The epitome of a wasted sales opportunity, failing to have a business card on your person is a missed opportunity. Successful salespeople always carry business cards and are able to offer prospects a valuable touch point to which the lead can refer.

If you’ve got your sights set on becoming the best salesperson in your company, take a few pointers from people who are already doing it. Create a consistent schedule and stick to it. Then, be adaptable, watch for unplanned opportunities, and always carry your business card.

The 1 Secret Tool Your Sales Team Can’t Succeed Without

callproof secret tool

A crack sales team of seasoned professionals securing millions of dollars worth of sales. It’s a business owner’s dream.

On the surface, it may seem like building a great sales team takes the skills of a well-practiced human resources professional. But that’s only partly true. The other critical factor that will dictate your team’s success is the quality of sales materials.

The topic may seem unglamorous, but the tools you put into the hands of your salespeople do make an impact.

But that’s obvious, isn’t it? Good sales materials lead to effective sales people, which leads to increased revenue.

So the better question is, When’s the right time to update your sales materials?

There’s a simple answer to that question. When sales materials don’t work, update them.


Insight Into Sales

Let’s work backwards from this proposition. Unless you have a system in place to monitor calls and emails, you won’t know your sales materials aren’t working until it’s too late. Sales are slumping, salespeople are leaving the company, leads are dropping off—these are signs that your sales materials were outdated five years ago.

Before you have to overcome a serious sales deficit, put systems in place to test your sales materials.

Test. Then Test Some More.

Cold calling and email templates need tweaking to get them right. Here’s a few ways to monitor and test results:

  • AB split testing emails let you see real-time responses from leads.
  • Call recording lets you track calls to book meetings or demos.

Testing that truly informs your sales collateral should include looking at factors like:

  • The best time of day to call or email.
  • The online materials that get click throughs.
  • The emails with the best open rates or view rates.

Put the Testing Into Action

Let the insights you gain from testing emails and calls inform the revisions you make to sales materials. Here’s how to put better tools into salespeople’s hands:

  • Emails. Give the sales team a centralized place (like a Google Doc) where they can access the five main templates they need when talking to leads. Emails should unify your brand and motivate the lead to action. The templates should follow the sales funnel from landing the first meeting to getting a response after a demo to following up and asking for referrals. Then, the salesperson can personalize the emails based on the contact he has with the lead.
  • Cold calls. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls require different sales materials. For cold calls, develop scripts for the sales team to follow as they interact with leads at every point of the sales process. (For face-to-face encounters, the sales team needs a relevant, eye-catching flyer to hand out. A one-page paper that highlights the product or service in a compelling way using clean, simple graphics gets results. The sales team can print it out on any printer, and it’s easier to get a hold of than a complicated tri-fold pamphlet or color flyer.)

Invest in the best possible sales team you can, but make the tools you put into their hands just as much a priority. Remember, these tools represent your brand, and they help your sales team better represent your company, too.



11 Tips for More Qualified Leads from Cold Calls

Unqualified to qualifiedSometimes, cold calling really sucks. Nobody likes having the phone slammed down on them by rude, power tripping jerks or (sometimes perhaps) nice people who are just very busy.

Another truth about sales is that without investing time to constantly develop yourself and your understanding of your craft, you’ll live a life of missing targets and sporadic results.

There’s a lot of great literature on this subject, but here are 11 of the best quick tips to generating more leads from your cold calling activities.

1. Catch Your Prospect Off-Guard 

If you want the phone slammed down on you, start with “hello, how are you today?”. If you don’t, then read on. For example, if you’re calling a doctors surgery, how about starting off with “is your waiting room full right now?”. Get people thinking, break their ‘friend or foe’ state, get creative and think outside of the paradigms.


2. Get a Contact Name BEFORE The Call

If you don’t have a name yet, get one before the call. Don’t spend hours on this, but Google the company and find the ‘About us’ page for details on founders or alternatively, use LinkedIn.

3. Create Mystery

Humans are very curious creatures so creating mystery is a great way to grab someone’s attention. Consider starting a conversation with something like “Hey John, are you sitting down? I heard this crazy rumour today…”. Experiment with this technique and you’ll be amazed at the results.

4. Find Your Purple Cow

Master marketer Seth Godin’s idea of the ‘purple cow’ is that which makes you different from everyone else. It’s your personal USP. The best marketers are individuals, the best comedians on TV are individuals and you too should be an individual. Find a way to stand out and stick with it.

5. Always Mention Your Referrals by Name

Don’t let a referral go to waste by failing to mention the person who referred you. Always mention the person directly and using their full name.

6. Give Every Call a Follow-Up E-Mail

Send an e-mail out even if someone hung up the phone on you. Let them know you understand they’re busy and may not need your services right now and that you want to be their guy or gal if ever they need something.

7. Let People See Your Face

People are infinitely less likely to slam down the phone on someone whose face they’ve seen. Connect with people on LinkedIn to transform yourself from a faceless cold call into a real live human being.

8. Click on LinkedIn Profiles

People are always checking up on who’s been clicking on their profiles. Spend an hour or two one afternoon clicking on the profiles of everyone in the industry you’re calling. People will check you out, potentially your website and will be a lot warmer when you call.

9. Follow up with a Text Message

If you have people’s mobile phone numbers, follow up with a quick text message. You know for sure that’s one contact method they can’t hang up on.

10. Have Your “Secretary” Call to Book an Appointment

If you’re cold calling a big account, have someone act as your secretary and call up to book an appointment with the CEO, letting them know that you have a slot in your busy schedule for them at the given time. Invoke the law of scarcity. They’ll come to you.

11. Pair up and Be Each Other’s PA

The above method is very powerful and you can take it to the next level by pairing up with a sales buddy. Spend the day calling up each other’s leads and booking phone calls in timeslots, or “handing them over” as soon as your busy sales executive boss (I.E, your sales buddy) has finished his current call with one of his many eager clients.

Don’t be afraid to try unconventional, out of the ordinary things, be creative and even get a little silly. You’ll be amazed at how your averages improve.