Are You WASTING Your Time Cold Calling from OUTDATED Data?

According to a 2019 statistic from a prominent data compilation company, “the average company is losing 12% of its revenue” as a result of poor data, “costing US businesses more than $611 billion each year”. And a 2018 Global Data Management report stated that “US organizations believe that 33% of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way” which, they also noted, was a 5 % INCREASE over the previous year’s findings! 

How much time and money are YOU and YOUR Cold Calling team wasting by relying on inaccurate, outdated and/or poor-quality data? In our effort to help YOU get the most out of your Cold Calling dials, here are some tips on how to check the data you have and clean up the data you work with. 

Gather your lists 

First, gather your data. If your info is in multiple places, try to consolidate it all into a single database. Your choice of CMS (Client Management Software) is important – use one specially designed for sales prospecting. We recommend VanillaSoft for its CMS functionality and ease of use. (Click HERE to learn more about VanillaSoft) 

WHERE was that data compiled? 

Did you BUY your data? Was it compiled by YOUR people? Was it brought in by a salesperson you know and trust? Be cognizant of the source of your data, using only reliable sources or data which has been ‘cleaned’ by people or services you trust.  

Review the data – what is in there? 

Generally, we can realistically expect that up to 20% of leads may be inaccurate or obsolete but a Data Quality Index study on B2B data quality found that 40% of leads contained BAD data! If you are unsure of the status of YOUR data, there are services such as Salesgenie and others which will add to, clarify, clean up and de-dupe your data for you.   

Data is NOT ‘evergreen’. Assume that data collected over 1 year ago is probably inaccurate. We have our callers check, correct and add to the database on every call so we can trust that it is, and stays, up to date.  

The first month of calls made from a new lead list often results in a major clean-up and a serious PURGE of contacts. But that is OK! The callers are also ADDING info, removing old data and identifying the CORRECT people to contact.  

 Are there HOLES in your data?  

As you review your data, HIGHLIGHT what is missing so you and your people can gather this info the next time they reach out to the prospect. 

But do not OVER do it! We know that people, when prompted for personal info too early in the sales process, tend to provide INVALID data. Wait until the prospect is ‘warm’ and even then, only request the info you really NEED. 

We all seem to think that MORE is BETTER. In this particular case, it probably ISN’T! Stick to getting ACCURATE information. In addition to the basics like first and last name, push for direct dial phone numbers, mobile numbers and critical data such as renewal dates or how long the prospect has been with the current provider. 

After implementing these data scrubbing steps your lists may be a bit smaller but they will be more ACCURATE and that will lead to better conversations, more appropriate targeting and MORE QUALIFIED APPOINTMENTS.  

If you and your team are not setting enough qualified appointments, give US a call at 908.879.2911 or email me at LEADS@OneofaKindSales.com We LOVE Cold Calling and can set qualified appointments for YOU!

How Does Cold Calling Differ Across Industries?

I am often asked if there are different Cold Calling tactics for different Industries. The answer is, yes, we may modify our script slightly to provide industry specific examples or wording but actually, the biggest difference is in how much TIME it takes for the prospects to ‘convert’ to a qualified appointment.  

Cold calling is cold calling no matter what industry you are calling. It is simply a discovery call. Your goal, across industries, is to engage a stranger, whom you have determined to be a decision maker, in meaningful conversation.  

If you are going after SMB’s (small and midsized businesses) you are more likely to reach a decision maker sooner, as a small business owner is just more likely to take a call. 

Typically, the larger the company, the longer it takes to reach that decision maker. When you have to navigate through multiple layers of gatekeepers, it slows the process. 

It may also take a bit longer if the industry is oversaturated, like it is with IT providers, financial advisors, insurance providers and some others. With those, you may also face built up resistance and fatigue which can slow you down. As with all calls, PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are your best tactics!  

This isn’t a ‘one and done’ process 

And remember, no matter which industry you are working in, cold calling is never a ‘one and done’ process. Making the calls is KEY – without those calls, you will never set any appointments – but you must also have a FOLLOW-UP plan in place if you want those appointments to convert to sales. Building RELATIONSHIPS for the LONG TERM requires a process to follow-up with those new prospects. Salespeople that have this ‘long game’ mindset and a plan to follow-up, will succeed. They know that they need to not only make the connection but to NURTURE it. They establish trust and STAY in touch on a regular basis so they stay top of mind.  

It may take a bit longer to reach decision makers in certain industries but across the board, what really matters is that you have the patience and persistence to make, and then nurture, those connections so they convert to appointments and sales! 

Do you need help connecting with decision makers? Assistance with follow-up? Our Call Center in a Box provides you with the training, management and monitoring YOU need to succeed in Cold Calling. Give us a call TODAY at 908.879.2911 to learn more!

ENVISION Your Success

Back in 2008, during the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Michael Phelps was on fire! He had won 8 gold medals and was still swimming strong. Then, during the 200 meter Butterfly competition he had what you might call a ‘wardrobe malfunction’.  

As he dove in to begin the race, his goggles slowly began filling with water. “I dove in and they filled up with water, and it got worse and worse during the race,” Phelps told reporters after event. “From the 150-meter wall to the finish, I couldn’t see the wall. I was just hoping I was winning.”  

How would YOU do if you were essentially ‘blind’ for three quarters of one of the most important performances of your career? As it turned out, Phelps did just fine – actually MORE than fine – he went on to not only WIN the race but broke the world’s record!  

Those of us who watched the race hadn’t even NOTICED that anything was wrong! He had continued swimming hard and fast just like he always did. Reporters were astonished. How had he done it? 

It seems that before every race, Michael Phelps closes his eyes and ENVISIONS the entire race – every stroke, from the dive in to touching the wall at the finish. He counts the strokes, envisioning them as perfect and sees, in his mind’s eye, a mental version of a ‘perfect race’. 

So when he needed to perform without being able to actually SEE the wall, he KNEW how many strokes he had to make!  

How can this help YOU perform at YOUR very best?  

Make sure that YOU can envision the ‘perfect’ call – how will it go? What will YOU say? What will THEY say? How many ‘strokes’ or ‘volleys’ will it take to make it through the call?  

Prepare by MEMORIZING your script – internalize it so you are comfortable enough to deliver it, with feeling, even with your eyes closed!  

While a wardrobe malfunction really shouldn’t slow you down on a phone call, do ensure that your tech is up to speed. Check your phone, make sure you have your notes up on your computer and that you have your script memorized – yes, I know I mentioned that already but it is important enough to repeat! 

And here are a few past posts that can also help you prepare yourself to succeed, no matter WHAT surprises you may face! 

If YOU need help with crafting an effective script, learning new skills and/or with feedback and suggestions for improving your delivery, give me a call at 908.879.2911 – we can help get YOU to YOUR ‘perfect race’! 

Here is How I Kept MY 2019 Resolution

This is the season when many of us make resolutions and set goals for the coming year. Here is a personal story of how I made and KEPT my 2019 resolution and how the tactics I used can help YOU be a better salesperson in 2020. 

Last year, I make a commitment to lose weight. Me and LOT of other people! This is frequently one of the top five, if not the number one resolution made. But rather than be one of those people who heads to the gym diligently for a week or two in January, only to abandon it completely by March, I was determined to achieve my goal. I made a commitment to myself to double down and do whatever I needed to do.  

Tactic one: Make a commitment to DO it 

I decided to go on the Keto diet. This was the most popular diet of 2019 and I had read about and knew of people who had quickly and easily lost weight on this plan. The diet allows a lot of protein and vegetables, which I already enjoyed and cut out sugar which I knew I wouldn’t miss too much. 

Tactic two: Make a PLAN 

The Keto diet works by restricting your intake of carbohydrates. A typical eating plan will usually include between 225 – 325 grams of carbs per day. On the Keto diet, they suggest you aim for 20! That is pretty drastic and I realized that while I could FORCE myself to do this for a short period of time, to really make this work, I needed a more realistic goal. I chose to shoot for 50 grams a day as my target. 

Tactic three: Make sure your plan is REALISTIC and that it is something you can stick with.  

I was worried that I would miss potatoes but I jumped in anyway. Fortunately, the protein filled me up and while I might have LIKED a french fry every now and then, I did not crave them and found that I WAS satisfied with the food type and quantity. 

Tactic four: Don’t assume how it will go – jump in and give it a chance! 

And you can always re-group. I didn’t need to, but if we are applying this to another scenario, especially cold calling, keep in mind that it is not failing if you choose to re-group, examine the plan and adjust it accordingly! 

Tactic five: Re-evaluate and revise the plan as needed.  

Since I was not doing the fully restricted version, I did not expect the pounds to be rolling off. I knew I would not have the dramatic results that I had seen and read about but kept to my plan. I was persistent and remained committed to my goal.  

By the middle of the summer, people began to comment that I looked like I was losing weight and by the end of the year I lost 20 pounds!  

Tactic six: Make sure you are tracking YOUR progress and try not to compare your progress with that of others.  

I started new routines including walking my dogs twice a day. The diet and new routines became HABITS and were much easier to continue. 

Tactic seven: Integrate GOOD HABITS into your daily routine. Yes, starting a new habit can be hard but once it becomes routine, it will be much easier.  

By October, clothing was definitely feeling loose and I was looking and feeling much better! 

Tactic eight: Be ready for it to take a few months, or years, depending on YOUR goal. Be patient and appreciate the intermediate gains – or in my case, losses! 

It wasn’t always easy or fun but I KNEW I could do it and was committed. I would regularly remind myself WHY I was doing this.  

Tactic nine: Be sure that you have a good reason WHY you are doing this. Remind yourself of this on a regular basis to help you stay on track. 

By the end of the year I had more energy, felt great and I definitely planned to continue with my new, healthier routines. 

So, as this new year begins, make an investment in YOUR future. PLAN to make it a strong year and set some goals.  PUSH YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Whether they are personal or professional, make sure the goals are realistic – not too high nor too low – and that they align with your passion. Don’t make someone else’s resolution – make your own and commit to it.   

Wishing you a strong 2020! 

If you would like some help with your Sales Skills, give me a call at 908.879.2911 or email me at Leads@OneofaKindSales.com  Our training programs will get you up to speed and give you the skills you need to succeed! 

 

For more tips and advice see:

ENVISION Your Success

Are YOU Dialing Blindly? Tips for Improving your Cold Calling Results

9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself When Cold Calling

2020 Sales Prospecting Planning Begins NOW!

Back in 2015, there was a lot of noise, much of it negative, around a comment made online that “You have the same number of hours in each day as Beyoncé”. The implication was, Beyoncé seems to be able to run the world with HER 24 hours and so should you! The gist of the negative narrative was, “Well, yes, but I don’t have a personal trainer, or household staff or a ton of money”.  

I mention this because, as we plan for 2020 – and Yes, you SHOULD be planning for 2020! – we all DO have only 24 hours in a day and we need to be sure that we are making the most of each one of them. Here are some tips on how to make the most of YOUR Sales Prospecting hours in 2020. 

First, let’s do the math: 

At 6 – 7 hrs of Sales Prospecting a day (most of us work longer days, you can increase it as needed) X 5 days a week (again, in an ideal world we aren’t all cranking on weekends) = 30 – 35 hrs a week X 50 weeks (hopefully you are taking SOME time off!) which leaves you with 1500 – 1750 hours a year of Sales Prospecting time.  

Here are some tips for making the most of YOUR Sales Prospecting hours: 

  • Commit to making calls EVERY DAY. Block out that time on your calendar and USE it – every day! Do NOT use this time to complete unrelated tasks. 
  • If your job entails more than calls, get THOSE activities on the calendar as well. Block out the live networking events, allocate time for digital networking on LinkedIn and other relevant platforms, plan the days when you will be knocking on doors and making presentations. By consciously ‘chunking’ out your days there will be less down time spent figuring out what you will do and when, making your Sales Prospecting hours more productive. 
  • Use a CRM specifically DESIGNED for outbound calling and lead generation, make sure you know how to use it properly and remember to USE it for ALL your Sales Prospecting.  
  • Be sure that you are working from a QUALIFIED LEAD list 
  • Develop, memorize and internalize a script with a compelling message. Practice it until you are comfortable and confident in your delivery. 
  • Have your toolbox filled with documents and cheat sheets so you are prepared to address and overcome objections. 
  • Have a plan. Work the plan. Commit to success! 

Here are tasks that WASTE Prospector’s time – AVOID these: 

  • Using an OUTDATED or OLD Call list is a HUGE WASTE of time! 
  • Answering email and/or engaging on Social Media during your dedicated Sales Prospecting Hours is a WASTE of valuable time. 
  • Extensive research is a waste of time. We have a 1 x 1 rule’ – spend a maximum of one-minute researching LinkedIn and the Prospect’s website before making the call. You need to know who you are speaking with and the industry they are in – nothing more. 
  • Don’t be distracted by colleagues during your Sales Prospecting time UNLESS it is related to making a sale! 
  • Spending time on the phone with influencers is unnecessary – focus directly on the decision makers! 

All of us will have the same number of Sales Prospecting hours in 2020. Many will waste their time on pointless or misdirected tasks. Some will work longer days and weeks to try to accomplish more. And some will work SMARTER, focusing on what matters most. How will YOU use YOUR Sales Prospecting time in 2020?  

If you need help getting YOUR Sales Prospecting team up to speed, give us a call – we train, manage and monitor YOUR inside sales team to ensure real results! Click HERE to learn more.

Habits to Develop if You Want to be Successful in Sales

I recently read a good post on habits to develop if you want to be successful in sales. In the post, she listed the following habits:   

#1: Worry about what you can control 

#2: Only do things that make you money 

#3: Focus on the pipeline, not sales 

#4: Be willing to lose it all 

#5: Get face to face constantly 

#6: Understand them better 

#7: Leverage relationships 

#8: Constantly get feedback 

#9: Follow a plan 

 I agree with her his list and would add the following:  

KNOW and MONITOR YOUR KPIs

KEEP dialing – don’t be discouraged – it is a NO business, keep dialing for that YES. Knowing your KPI’s should give you an idea of how many dials you need to make before you get to that YES. 

 You need to engage in ACTIVE LISTENING to get to #6. Lean into the calls and actively listen to HEAR the insights that give you the edge! 

 Get HELP – we offer training and management programs that get you up to speed, keep you there and on track!

Would you like additional tips on which habits to develop if you want to be successful in sales? Are there any additional habits YOU would add to these lists? Please follow me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/ where I regularly share tips and advice and be sure to join the conversation about this post!