Regarding Steve's tip on getting direct dials via Audix, "“Your call is being answered by Audix,” punch in **6. It will say “enter last name, followed by pound sign.” Put in Richard, that’s my last name, and it will say “Steve Richard, extension 4237,” and it spits the extension number at you. Now that you have that magic 10 digit direct dial number" ... one other tip to go with that is once you do get the extension, you can dial * H and then be prompted to enter a last name. That way if you have a list of key executives, you can get direct dial extensions for everyone in one call versus making multiple calls.
If you decide to leave a message, you need a very strong value proposition that they call back on or soften them up to take your next call.
I don't think you can look at this only based on call volume. We typically measure calls/emails to get a higher connect volume (50-60% on average). Most people prefer email communication based on efficiency. I view our calls as ways of setting up the follow up email to set the meeting
I agree with that 22 dials to convo # from ConnectandSell.
I saw approx. the same data when tracking our inside sales team and have seen the same from clients.
Most people seem to assume a 10:1 number but 20:1 is closer to reality it seems.
Great points by Steve, well documented by you, on how to improve this ratio using some very pragmatic approaches.
Next layer in improvement would be the use of trigger events and referrals. The improvement using those approaches is literally "off the chart" (above) . Of course these represent different concepts vs. the practical tips above.
Great information. I have seen a higher level of connects/dials success when an introductory email is sent ahead of the call. This may be industry dependent. When your list is filtered to identify the companies that fit your product or service, sending an intro with a short value proposition can warm up the call. The key is short, concise email messages that convey your value to the suspect.
Matt, good idea. How soon after the e-mail are you following up on the phone?
Or, do you follow up with the people that reply to your e-mails?
Wow! Thanks for the feedback everyone.
I guess I am still missing how a prior email impacts connect rate. If caller ID is still blocked & you are calling outside the prime call window, how does an email correlate?
I will track the cold calls I receive over the next few weeks & try and do some math. Thanks again everyone.
I agree with Michael that connect to dial rates area a function of the quality of the list. Ours run very close to 1:10, not 1:20. Zero out, get help on the other side of the call. Don't waste a dial!
The ratio is closer to 1:100 if you are calling the seniormost IT executive of a F1000 company. They are the most heavily solicited executive in the functional suite.
So all these other numbers are great, but ultimately it just depends on who you are selling to. HubSpot's numbers are so much better because they sell to much smaller companies. Respect the spectrum.
When I first saw 22:1, I thought "Holy crap!", but after I read the article, it kind of made sense if you're still using 19th or 20th century methods. I'm not talking about people that are calling lists. I'm talking about salespeople who need to get people on the phone, get them engaged, and move them through to close.
I was a little surprised that no mention was given to "sales readiness" as in generated by inbound and appropriately lead nurtured. Isn't a sales ready lead easier to get on the phone?
How about referrals? Aren't they easier to get in the phone. Seriously, salespeople that come to work on a dinosaur should expect 22:1 or worse, but 21st century salespeople should be calling people that WANT TO ANSWER THE PHONE!
Rick - you are completely right about the sales ready lead comment where the ratio is obviously lower (especially when you have a scheduled call). And most certainly referrals are a great source of business for Vorsight and many others reading this blog. The 22:1 ratio pertains to purely unexpected outbound calls. These can certainly be well researched warm calls to prospects that do not yet know of your company and are not expecting the call. Even companies that rely heavily on inbound sales ready leads also do outbound prospecting as some percentage of sales. For example inbound maven SEO.com uses outsourced appointment setting. See for yourself in this testimonial (note: the company they contract with is actually a competitor of ours) http://www.launchsalesandmarketing.com/testimonials.html).
It is not possible to capture 100% of your potential market without utilizing prospecting as some part of the equation. Yes, you can warm up prospects with email, but only to some extent – especially if your emails are going to spam or the admin. For the purposes of my presentation I focused exclusively on the metrics associated with cold outreach as reported by ConnectAndSell. The whole point is that it is a huge factor for many, many companies and something that Sales and Marketing VPs need to think about.
Is this pure prospecting calls? i.e. names off of list? I wonder if anyone has information on responder follow up? I would assume that is much higher.
Great info thanks
In the wealth management business, our baseline is a 10% contact rate...which in our opinion is great. 200+ dials per day allows us to speak with 20 DECISION MAKERS. Sure, we get screened more often than not by Sally Gatekeeper, but a contact is only a contact when we get a chance to actually speak with the decision maker. When calling direct to "rank and file" employees within a corporation using a direct number, our contact rate zooms to 20%. We don't really bother with corporate execs because that is not our target market, but my guess is that contact rate would be extremely low.
How did you determine who you need to speak with?
I'm amazed at the number of sales people who call our small business and don't want to talk to me. They want to bypass me to talk to the owner. They are often rude and some of them just hang up on me repeatedly (and yes, I have caller ID).
When they finally get to speak to the owner,he tells them that they have to speak with me... I'm the one who buys stuff...
Do I really want to listen to those sales people's sales pitch? Ya think?
Daria, what percentage of cold sales calls that you get do you consider professionally done?
What makes you willing to talk to a sales person?
"You Can't Improve What You Don't Measure" is a famous saying in business.
Lack of direct dials, caller id realities, and unstructured calling times are all problems Inside Sales professionals face everyday. The bigger problem (much bigger) is that most groups I've seen don't track and report frequently (either internally or to their clients) on these metrics. Leads are great but there's real value is the intelligence behind the results.
Internally we use metrics and ratios to identify training opportunities, test lead sources/lists/messages, conduct comparative analysis, and evalute client engagements.
For example, when I coach one of my Inside Sales reps it's helpful to review their “Dial : Conversation w/ Prospect” and their “Conversation with Prospect : Lead” ratios and compare those metrics with their colleagues. Not everyone needs help getting to the Decision Maker but may need help with improving their questioning sequence to uncover pain.
Hopefully discussions like this will increase the appreciation given to the quantative aspects of Inside Sales.
Outstanding information for keeping it real. We are a matrix driven company and this ties into our success rate as well. Know the numbers and success is out there.
734-213-2020 x 126
You asked "How did I know who I need to speak with". The answer is easy. We run a wealth management practice that is focused on managing the personal wealth of business owners of small to medium sized enterprises. I don't target C-level people of public corporations. I don't target any and everybody that may or may not have money. I target the owners of privately held companies and have built a practice with nearly 180 business owners and all were gained as clients by either a cold call or a referral from someone that I cold called.
So, I don't want to talk to you or any other gatekeeper. There are simply too many opportunities out there to get bogged down with time wasters. I am not selling widgets that some purchasing manager would need to be involved with. I am selling a specific service to a specific type of person and I know exactly who that person is.
I agree with Michael chapter and verse. I would add that in any market there are strategic accounts that need to be handled differently than what I call "the great unwashed". At least 20 - 30% of the companies in your target are worth and will require proactive outbound touches. That does not mean a low-level telemarketer making unresearched cold calls. It means a professional, carefully crafted program that involves multi-touch, multi-media, multi-cycle programs to multiply results.