Coverage - ensuring you have a strategy to contact all the prospects or named accounts in your territory - is definitely a challenge. Without the experience of a lead generation strategy you’re unlikely to cultivate and respond to most of your prospects on a timely basis. Salespeople are often expected to cold call suspects, weed out and qualify the prospects and generate genuine b2b opportunities - and close business. Whether you are required to source your own prospects or targeted accounts are mapped out for you, given say that you have 250 companies to cover, what is your strategy?
- Here are some guidelines to quantifying the effort:- Use an hour of ‘dedicated’ calling time as a measure.
- Assume that your goal is a 5 minute introductory conversation. Of course if under your guidance it extends longer, all the better.
- Dispel the notion that ‘dials per hour’ is a measure of productivity in high-end b2b sales lead generation.
- A high number of dials per hour is definitely a measure of the number of attempts to reach someone. But high dials per hour is also a strong indication of the lack of any meaningful conversations per hour.
- A call every 2 minutes is an unrealistic metric. Thus trying to call 30 numbers an hour is only possible if no one is answering and you’re not engaging in any conversations. A great statistic perhaps, but no way to achieve your objective of engaging in meaningful in- depth conversations.
Back to the challenge at hand – how to cover your prospect list. Ideally, if every contact was with the correct decision maker and he/she was willing to converse with you for about 5 minutes, you could speak to some 10 people an hour.
Now let’s get real -what percentage of the prospects you’d be calling, at large companies, answer their phone, are the correct decision maker and are willing to talk to you? You’d be lucky to connect to 10% - 15 % max! Realistically that means 1 or possibly 2 persons an hour for your ‘introductory conversation’. You’d need around 200 hours of calling time to get through to each of the 250 companies on your prospect list.
How long will that take? Well if you put in 3 uninterrupted hours a day to call, you would need over 3-4 months to get to speak with each company just once!
Given you have current pipeline activity – opportunities at the forefront and others you’re keeping warm, what professional sales person has the time or inclination to call 3 solid hours a day to cover the prospect list? This is hardly an effective or efficient use of a sales person’s time.
Professional sales people want to be engaged in face-to-face opportunities with properly qualified opportunities. What they want above all are appointments with decision makers who've indicated an interest and may be “ready to buy” in the short term. This serves the mutual interest of the sales force, sales management, marketing management and the enterprise overall.
Though management recognizes the importance of a strategy for coverage in the marketplace, it doesn’t always know how to offer help - or where to get it.
An experienced b2b sales lead generation partner is the answer. eti Sales Support can help in a very practical way - 20 Years of successful experience is our testament.