Most sales organizations will have a goal of increasing the following in 2011:
- Number of qualified leads
- Number of opportunities in the pipeline
- Number of closed deals
All of these goals have one thing in common – increasing current output levels. There are many ways to arrive at making the gains in output – add more people, work longer, etc.
With many organizations using the telephone more and reducing travel, one place to look at in more detail is productivity on the phone.
More Calls = More Results
The wonderful thing about increasing call volumes is that the results of those call tend to track consistently across all of the milestones in your sales cycle. All things equal, a 20% increase in call volume will equate to a 20% increase in:
- Initial meetings
- Discovery calls
- Closed deals
I was talking to a colleague the other day about successful programs that his company had used in 2010. He said one of the most impactful programs was their call-a-thon. He and his fellow salespeople would schedule 2X per month where the entire sales team would spend exactly 2 hours prospecting… making phone calls… and nothing else. In most cases, the call goal was to set an initial meeting with a new prospect (the company is an early stage company focused on new logo business).
He said that the results of this “focused” time were impressive. Last quarter, they generated 20% more initial meetings than they had the previous quarter.
The simple concept of getting all of their people together created a significant increase in the total number of outbound prospecting calls that were being made each month.
This is relevant to companies looking to make sales improvements in 2011. Why? Because it gives sellers a key indicator to measure and improve on… that is about as simple as paying attention to the gas gauge in your car. No matter what CRM system your company is using, there is a method that can be easily configured to report on daily sales call volumes.
Strategies for Making More Calls
First, bring focus to the importance and value of increasing prospecting call volume.
Orienting your schedule to prioritize this activity is a discipline that sales professionals need to take seriously.
Sales management should get visibility into the calling activities of their staff and consider call-a-thons, dialing power hours, etc. as a way to collectively increase results and get the team into the mindset of working together to a common goal… as well as creating some friendly competition!
Next the role of technology should be considered. The goal should be to remove the friction from calling for salespeople. Whether that is bringing in a purpose-built product like ShadeTree’s Incite2 that increases call volumes by simplifying salesforce.com or streamlining the process for salespeople using the CRM system to facilitate their calling… a little effort spend here can have big productivity gains across the team.
Beyond just the act of dialing the phone, building high quality call lists and the right content to use when you get someone on the phone or leave a voicemail will increase results as well as salespeople’s interest to continue the activity.
Would increased call volumes benefit your sales objectives?
If yes, then dedicate some time to personalizing these ideas to fit into your organization.
Lay the foundation for better sales performance in 2011 by taking the Incite2 Challenge
Use ShadeTree’s Incite2 product for 90-minutes each day, over a ten-day trial period. Compare your calling results with 90-minutes spent using standard salesforce.com.
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