Call prospecting is too important to be left in the hands of salespeople. Don’t get me wrong, what I mean here is that prospecting calls and sales calls are drastically different, and require a different set of skills to succeed.
Sales calls require deep product expertise and the highest level of confidence in your product. Prospecting calls require great discipline, a zen-like patience, and an extremely high tolerance for rejection.
A sales rep that can close a $5,000+ deal for your company should not also be responsible for dialing through a list of hundreds of prospective clients! Just as each of your favorite soccer team players have their own very specific position/task on the field, segmenting the sales role out into specialised functions and allowing your salespeople to focus on what they do best – selling – can go a long way to improve motivation, efficiency, morale and ultimately, your bottom line.
Unfortunately, too many companies (including ourselves) have made these expensive mistakes when it comes to prospecting and setting up a strong sales pipeline.
1. Sales Reps are expensive, and their time should be allocated wisely.
If you are going to hire a Sales Rep, they shouldn’t be put to prospect. These are expensive hires - running 60-150K a pop - and that cost should not be taken lightly. Their time must be allocated wisely, namely on closing qualified, interested leads. Would you have your best shooters spend every practice pumping up balls, or working on perfecting their shot?
2. Prospecting by phone can be demoralizing - don’t let that dishearten the people who need to be the biggest champions of what you sell.
What most Sales Reps might not tell you is that they hate prospecting. They spend a lot of time dialing wrong numbers, having calls go to voicemails, reaching leads that aren’t a good fit, and trying to find the right decision maker instead of selling to them. Not only can this demoralize and demotivate top performers, but it has them wasting precious energy on a task that isn’t part of their job description. While it’s key for reps to get the major insights and trends coming out of qual calls, it doesn’t mean they should be doing them.
3. All that being said - email alone is NOT enough. Call prospecting is ESSENTIAL for a healthy sales pipeline.
Many people make the argument that in 2018 with email, texts, voice notes, etc. that no one uses or picks up the phone. If you are a B2B business and not making phone calls, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG. Calls are a crucial element in your sales outreach strategy, and tell you things that email simply cannot. Speaking directly to a potential customer will give you a myriad of insights into their hesitations, pain points, schedule, team structure, and many, many more key data points that will help you improve your messaging and strategy to reach your ICP.
4. Hate to break it to you, but just making prospecting calls isn’t enough either. Capturing and analyzing the data that comes from it is a must!
Prospecting calls are key, but what’s really key is capturing the information those calls bring you. While everyone loves to check a box that says ¨done¨, how do you know if your process is optimal? If you’re not tracking and measuring your progress with the right data, you won’t be able to make the adjustments that lead to success. Especially with a task as expansive as prospecting calls (at scale you should be calling thousands of prospects a week), you’ll need a way to capture the insights that come along with all that hard work and time. What insights should you be looking to capture? List quality, message engagement, conversions, timeframes, not interested trends are just a handful that come to mind.
If you’re serious about creating predictable and scalable growth, you should consider building a dedicated prospecting effort, focused on creating sales opportunities for your core salespeople to close. By doing so, it ensures that your customers get the same level of attention at all stages of the funnel and if you look at the numbers, you’ll find it also results in consistent sales performance at lower costs.
Want more actionable advice on how to track, enforce and optimize prospecting calls within your sales team?