Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone: A Lesson In Sales Cold Call Training

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The busier the prospect, the better the prospect they are. I’ve spent most of my career owning business-to-business call centers and teaching people the tricks of the cold-calling trade. And we find this to be true across the board.

If you’re finding the right prospects, they won’t have much time to talk to you. It’s not that they hate cold calls — they just don’t have time to waste. So you need to be brief, be brilliant, and then be gone.

Know Your Purpose Before You Call

Before you call, identify your short-term goal. What’s your call to action? How can you get them to take the next step? Usually, the goal is to get a follow-up call or schedule a meeting. Whatever it is, make it easy.

Unless you’re just lucky, you won’t get a demo or make a sale on the first call. So, aim for a simple next step. This is the 3-part process I use to train salespeople for cold calls with busy prospects. Use it to give the client the information they need, get their attention, and then get out of their way.

A Simple 3-Step Process for Successful Cold Calls

1. Be Brief

People only care about what it is, why they need it, and how much it costs. That’s all they want to know, so don’t waste their time with extra info at this point. Tell them what you do, why it matters, and then schedule the next meeting.

Your call may sound like this:

“Hey, I have a way for outside salespeople to never have to do reports again. You won’t be chasing down leads and you will never have to wonder what happened to a dropped prospect.

We did this for a company with 1,000 sales reps. Now, none of their 70 sales managers have had to call their team for a report since. Plus, now they can figure out if new salespeople are going to work out within days instead of weeks.

Love to talk to you about it Thursday at 10. What does your calendar look like?”

2. Be Brilliant

You’ve also got to get their attention. How is your product relevant and personalized to their needs? We know that sales managers have trouble getting their team to submit reports. We know that people lose prospects and never know what happened to the deal. That’s what we help fix — so we use it as a hook.

Look at the difference. A traditional cold call might sound like this:

“Hi, my name is Clayton Geiser. I’m with CallProof, and we’re a company that helps salespeople implement a new type of CRM. If I could show you how this works, it’d change the way you do business. Our CRM capitalizes on the use of mobile devices to track and contact your clients. May I speak with the person responsible for making decisions regarding your CRM software?”

A brief and brilliant cold call might sound like this:

“Hey, I’m Clayton Geiser with CallProof. You can look us up – it’s worth a Google. We have a way to make sure that your salespeople turn in reports on time so you can do your job and build a business. Love to talk to you about that. I know I just called you, but what does your calendar look like next Thursday?”

See the difference? You’d hang up on the first guy, but you’d take a call like the second. Why? It’s novel and relevant — in other words, brilliant!

3. Be Gone

Once the prospect agrees, say, “Great! I’ll shoot you an email to confirm the time, and I’ll talk to you on Thursday. If you have a pen handy, I’m going to give you my number just so you have it.” Even if they don’t write it down, it makes the interaction more tangible.

Then get off the phone. Remember, these people are busy, so they don’t want to deal with someone who wastes their time. By ending the call this way, they know it’s over. Plus, they assume you’ll respect their time in the future.

Related: Cold-Calling Anxiety? These 6 Tips Will Help You Overcome Your Fear

People have been telling me that cold calling is dead since the 90’s. Sure, it’s been overused in the past, but it’s still a tool that has to be in your arsenal. Good cold calling works, plain and simple. You just need to implement these three powerful steps.

Cold Calling Anxiety? These 6 Tips Will Help You Overcome Your Fear

 

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Nobody likes to be told no. We didn’t like it when we were three years old, and we don’t like it now.

But what happens on cold calls? We get told no. So we avoid cold calls and drop-ins to save ourselves from the rejection. But at what cost?

1. Understand That Rejection Is Better Than Avoidance

In reality, what’s the worst thing that can happen on a cold call? They say no. So don’t sweat it. It’s not that bad. You probably will never see or talk to that person again. They won’t call you and say, “You’re that sales rep I didn’t want to buy from!” The worst result is them turning down the product and leaving you in the same situation you’re in now.

It’s like the two vacuum salespeople who go into town to sell door-to-door. At every house, they get the same response — no. They get to the last door, with just a few minutes before the end of the day, and one salesman says to the other, “Hey, let’s skip this one. We know they’re going to say no.”

The other one says, “So, if they say no, where will we be?”

“Exactly right here.”

Rejection doesn’t mean you lost — you just haven’t progressed yet. But you’ll never progress and never make a sale if you don’t ask. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So if you ask and they say no, at least you can move on.

2. Move Past Mean People

Yes, some people are mean and nasty. But do you really want them as customers? Probably not. So if they’re rude, shake it off and move on. A rude “no” doesn’t leave you in any worse condition than a polite rejection. So let go of the emotional attachment to these brief prospects. They rejected the product, not you. Don’t take it personally.

If you’re going to make a sale, you’ve got to make calls. It’s worth the risk of dealing with a rude person if you have a chance of making a sale.

3. Use Objections to Improve

So when you hear “no” (you will, so just accept it), use each prospect’s objections to help with your sales approach. Why aren’t they interested? If you can find out why one customer says no, you can use the information to overcome that objection in your next pitch. Then you can tell your next prospect how you’re different than what they expect and why that objection isn’t such a big deal after all.

Related: How to Build Trust Over the Phone With Cold Prospects

4. Be Confident in Your Product

Cold-calling anxiety is real — especially if you’re new to sales. So will you ever get over it? Absolutely, yes!

If you’re wondering how to overcome sales anxiety, the solution is confidence — in your product, pitch, and solution. To move past the nervousness, you have to be truly confident in the solution you’re offering. You need to believe it’s good value that will help your clients. And if you really believe that to your core, you’ll carry confidence in your voice, attitude, posture, stance, and persistence.

5. Trust Your System

Then rely on your system. If you have a plan for dealing with each potential cold call outcome, you’ll know exactly what to say, no matter how the prospect responds. No matter what a prospect says, there are only three potential response categories: active, latent, and not interested. There’s no fourth option. So, based on your conversation, identify which group they’re in, then follow your process for that response.

Related: A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

6. Work in Your Strengths

Being good at sales doesn’t mean you never have anxiety. But some people’s mindsets and personality types work better with either prospecting or closing deals. So, ideally, separate the roles so that people work in their strengths.

Early on, I made mistakes by hiring people to make cold calls because I thought they would be great in sales. It turns out some people just aren’t wired that way. They can do it for a short period of time, but eventually, they’re done. However, many of them were still great at closing deals.

When it’s possible, separate your sales team into different roles: hunters, farmers, and account managers. If you have someone awesome at keeping clients happy, make that their main job. When someone is great at closing deals, designate their time for appointments with qualified prospects and let others make cold calls.

Want to know how to separate your team into their best roles? Read 3 Ways to Increase Sales Without Hiring a New Salesperson

I used to own call centers. I’ve dealt with cold-calling for over 20 years in sales. I know how it feels to pick up the phone, but when it’s all said and done, don’t sweat it. Just do it. Not calling is even worse than being rejected.

Jim Rohn says, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” So don’t carry around that extra weight of regretting the times you didn’t try! Pick up the phone — you’ve got this.

How to Prospect Smarter and Bring in More Sales Leads

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 InfoUSA.com 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.

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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. (Insidesales.com)

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)

Voicemails

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.

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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.

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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.