Why It’s Important to Develop Warm Leads for your Outside Sales Team
I can remember a time when the Rep from Grand & Toy would come to our office unannounced. He would give our receptionist a few mints – the kind you see in a restaurant when you are paying the bill — and then ask to speak to me.
I’d come out — shake hands — invite him in and we would have a nice chat and he would leave with a nice order.
In fact should a Sales Rep from any company come to our office and expect to meet with me I would:
- Be insulted they think I’m not busy
- Be annoyed that the perception of my time has no value. That I should simply drop everything because the Rep is here unannounced
- Think poorly of the company at using this tactic
- Not see them
- Feel sorry for the Rep
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get some one-on-one time.
If I am a Sales Rep for any organization with a quota to fill. How do I start?
I build a Prospect List.
Who do I talk to?
I have to call the company to find out.
OK, again sounds simple — but it isn’t. Most companies’ phones today are answered by an Auto Attendant.
“Thank you for calling ABC Company. You have reached our corporate directory. To dial by last name…”
Uh oh — the Rep doesn’t know the name — that’s why he is calling- so now we have to go to general voicemail or try to find someone LIVE so we can ask.
That takes about three calls per company and a whopping 37.5 hours just to clean 100 Prospect Records. And you have to speak to the Receptionist by identifying yourself and the reason for your call in order to get any information. At that — it takes 300 Prospect Records to obtain 100 Key Contact Decision Maker NAMES.
OK — great, somehow you manage to get that done.
Well – unless you have really thick skin- be prepared for a whole lot of rejection in the form of hang-ups and a number of nasty words.
Based on that comment I think we are looking at a lose – lose situation.
Customer — not happy.
Sales Rep — not happy.
OK, lose – lose – lose because the Company is not going to be happy either with this lack of progress.
So- you decide to send mail first. But what will you send?
A letter in an envelope? ( might be a bill)
A brochure with a label? Looks mass-produced. ( junk mail?)
But what if the mail was in a bubble envelope and had something inside?
Ahh- now that will get opened.
So, you send out your lumpy mail – being careful to keep costs in line and protect your brand. Now it’s time to conduct the follow-up calls. It takes about 12 to 15 phone calls to follow-up with one Senior Decision Maker.
Now your Sales Rep is looking at making 1200 to 1500 phone calls. On a GOOD day — they will talk to five or six people.
AND – with those five or six — what is their skill set at booking a meeting to discuss your product/service offerings? The phone call will only last three minutes or so, so you better be good at selling a ‘meeting’. How long will this take? Weeks? Months?
The answer is — about four weeks to follow-up with 100 Prospective Companies.
It’s all about matching Skill to Task.
If you want your Sales Team to do what they do best, make sure they spend their time Face to Face with prospects who are interested in your products and services — instead of in the office working at tasks – they really don’t want to do, and really don’t know how to do them.
Good luck and happy selling!