At the weekly sales team meeting, prospecting was the number one item on the agenda. “The pipeline’s drying up folks,” said Cathy, the Sales Director. “Hit those phones and get some appointments booked in.”
The next couple of weeks were all about cold-calling prospects, trying to swerve around gatekeepers and frantically scrambling to fill the diary with meetings.
For a few weeks after that Cathy surveyed what Sales Directors like to see: a deserted sales office. Everyone was out: meeting prospects, trying to close deals and onboarding new customers.
…At the weekly sales team meeting, prospecting was the number one item on the agenda. “The pipeline’s drying up folks,” said Cathy, the Sales Director. “Hit those phones and get some appointments booked in.”
You probably know how this story plays out. ‘Panic prospecting.’ Switching on and off like a fire hose in a seemingly never-ending cycle. And every call made under pressure to get results.
Now ask yourself this: what’s your conversion rate? If you’re like most sales teams you will be converting around 2% of cold calls into sales. What if you could make that figure closer to 10% (or more) - and make the process less frantic and stressful?
Imagine that! How much unproductive activity, anxiety and frustration would that save you? How much more time could you spend basking in the success of targets smashed rather than explaining ones you’ve missed?
The other issue with typical cold calls is that they start with a variation of: “Could you put me through to the person who deals with…” If you’re lucky, around one in ten of these approaches will get past the heightened defences of the gatekeeper. Among the 90% who shut you out there will be realistic sales opportunities you never got to speak to.
That’s a lot of wastage. In reality, around one in five prospects would be prepared to take your call if you used a different approach.
Who’s Prospecting While You’re Too Busy?
In the times when your team is too busy to prospect, your competitors won’t be. Customers you could have won will be snapped up before you even make the first contact.
Making prospecting activity less stressful and five times more effective isn’t far-fetched or unrealistic. Any sales team could do it. You just have to build a healthy prospecting culture and replace pressurized hit and miss cold calling with a more measured two-phase approach that creates the groundwork for success.
When we go through this development process with sales teams they typically see a five times increase in effectiveness. There’s no magic involved - it’s just a case of adopting a better process that gets gatekeepers on your side and warms your prospects before you make the call.
A healthy prospecting culture is one where identifying, contacting and nurturing sales prospects is a habitual and constant activity. It’s something that a high performing sales team integrates into daily and weekly routines.
A healthier and more productive approach to prospecting is one aspect of how the Sure Train programme makes sales teams more effective. To find out more, contact us on 0800 840 1501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.