How to Get the Most Out of Your Time on the Phone
As a successful sales rep, you likely spend much of your day researching leads, cold calling them, or entering follow-up information. A recent panel at the SalesHacker Revenue Summit addressed the ways that salespeople can best use technology to improve their cold calls and overall sales process. Sophisticated technology is not enough. Management needs to improve processes and methods to go along with the technology in order to help you spend your time more effectively. You, cutting-edge tools, and new strategies are an unstoppable combination.
Even diligent reps may stop short of making enough cold calls. Statistics show that sales reps attempt approximately 2 calls on average to sell to a lead. The research also points out that it takes 8 to twelve calls over ten to twelve days in order to maximize their chances of a sale. That number probably sounds like a lot. As Josh Tillman, CEO of DialSource, points out, it’s necessary in part due to bad information. Often, the data you’re working with is incomplete or inaccurate, so you may make a number of calls before you reach the right person. Investing in quality data for your CRM that allows you to reach the right person the first time reduces the number of calls you need to make and increases your chances of success.
Making sure your CRM has the most up-to-date and accurate contact information and notes from previous calls will go a long way toward helping you work more efficiently and focus on forming meaningful relationships.
As Tillman noted, it's not just the number of calls you make, but the relationships you cultivate with calls that bring you sales opportunities. When you don't have the right information, you risk irritating the potential client. In fact, Forbes points out that approximately 75 percent of buyers don't think their sales rep knows enough about their business. Obviously, this lack of knowledge does not facilitate a positive relationship between sales reps and clients.
An automated system helps reps spend more time connecting with customers in a positive way. You are able to quickly access the correct information and then log necessary data into the system. Since the process is centralized and simple, you will be less likely to neglect any post-call steps.
Automation also means you won't need to physically dial numbers, a surprisingly time-consuming task. In fact, a majority of a rep's day is spent in non-sales activities such as simply working the phone, documenting client information, and attending meetings. Much less time is spent creating your sales pitch or actually speaking to a client. Automation improves your productivity and your job satisfaction.
A successful, well-supported sales representative is a happy one. Technology and new methods are meant to make you more productive and give you the tools you need to succeed. Traditionally, training a sales rep takes four months, while the life cycle of a sales rep is only 16 months. The right CRM system cuts down that training time but also makes reps more successful. As a result, they tend to stay with the company as much as 33 percent longer.
A modern sales system lets management build an intelligent sales campaign, based on correct information, new technology, and best practices. You will be able to build those productive relationships with clients that lead to sales. In short, everyone is happier and more successful when a modern and comprehensive sales plan, including productive cold calling, is in place.