2020 Sales Prospecting Planning Begins NOW!

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  • Using an OUTDATED or OLD Call list is a HUGE WASTE of time!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.

Getting Your CRM Under Control – Call Center in a Box Success Story – Case Study 3

Getting Your CRM Under Control – Call Center in a Box Success Story – Case Study 3

This is the third post in a series of Case Studies which outline the ways in which we have helped our clients. This post discusses the ways that our Call Center in a Box services helped a large corporation in Chicago get a handle on their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. 

The Problems: 

This company already used the CRM we recommend but they were not using it to its full potential and had gone through five sales managers as they tried to get their sales monitoring under control. Our contact complained initially that they felt like the software was managing them instead of helping them manage their 80,000+ leads. 

The software set-up had gone poorly and their database was a mess. 

No one had set-up a dashboard to monitor their KPI’s so they had no clue what anyone was doing. 

They were setting appointments but there was no organization or assignment of leads so follow-ups were slipping through the cracks. 

They were frequently losing their Business Development Reps due to mismanagement, a lack of preparation, lack of training and poor monitoring. 

The Plan: 

They hired us to: 

  • Clean up their database. 
  • Establish KPI’s for the team. 
  • Create an effective dashboard to track and monitor the team members and the newly established KPIs. 
  • Set up a system to track and route leads to the correct callers. 
  • Train some of their staff to use the newly revised CRM. 
  • Reworded their scripts for more effective calls. 

The Results: 

The company had used the CRM for ten years but was not using any of the productivity tools it offered! We showed them how to use the tool properly and much more effectively. The tool offers a feature for Voice Mail Drop which allows the callers to ‘drop’ a pre-recorded’ message when they encounter voicemail on a call. We not only showed them how to effectively use this feature but scripted the messages to record.  

They hadn’t been recycling leads and all calling was being done randomly. We streamlined the process, routing leads from initial call, through appointment setting to sales close, with a plan to recycle any leads that did not close, allowing them to get much more mileage out of their efforts. 

During weekly meetings we reviewed the team’s activity and found that the sales associates were NOT properly using the script. We could see that they were not asking enough questions to make qualified appointments. Through training and role play examples, we were able to get them back on track delivering qualified leads that happily surprised the management!  

Management was so happy with the results that they will eventually move ALL their sales reps onto the newly revamped CRM.  

Take-Aways: 

Tools are only helpful if you set them up to meet YOUR needs, know how to properly use them and then actually USE them regularly. This company had over 80,000 leads but they were getting lost in the shuffle and NOT delivering the results they could have. Our Call Center in a Box program established order, provided training and put their tools and people on track to deliver real results! 

Are YOU having a hard time monitoring or managing YOUR sales team? Know they need training but just don’t have the time, energy or patience to train them yourself? Are your producers delivering poor quality leads that just won’t close?  

GIVE US A CALL AT 908.879.2911 to see how our Call Center in a Box services can help YOU! 

5 Things You MUST Do BEFORE You Start Cold Calling

5 Things You MUST Do BEFORE You Start Cold Calling

Yes, you can just pick up the phone and start cold calling but if you want to successfully set QUALIFIED APPOINTMENTS that will convert to ACTUAL SALES, you need to be prepared. At One of a Kind Sales, we LOVE Cold Calling and have years of experience training Salespeople to make calls and set appointments that get RESULTS! 

Here are 5 things you MUST do BEFORE you start Cold Calling in order to ensure Sales Success! 

  1. SCHEDULE: Make sure you have the schedule of the person who will follow up! There is nothing worse than setting up an appointment with a warm prospect, only to learn that the salesperson you are setting the appointment for will NOT be available at the date and time agreed to!  

  2. SCRIPT: Have a script. Too many people think they can ‘wing it’ on their calls – make sure you have a script you can trust and … 

  3. MEMORIZE: Memorize and practice your script. Really! I know you are not an actor but in our (extensive and proven) experience, memorizing the script allows you to be more comfortable on the call, to elicit the info you need and leads to more, qualified, appointments. 

  4. GOALS: Be clear on your goals. Whether it is a set number of dials per hour, appointments set per day or another inhouse metric, be clear on what you are setting out to achieve. This will help keep you focused and help you meet (and exceed!) those goals. 

  5. SKILLS: Polish your skills. To succeed, you need to be at the top of your game. Get the help, training and support you need to feel confident and ready to dial! 

Sales is a ‘NO’ business – you are constantly being rejected and frankly, it can be difficult! Our training and management programs provide you and your inside sales team with the skills and oversight they need to succeed!  

Don’t have an inhouse sales team? We can hire one for you! Don’t have the bandwidth or patience to set up and monitor a team? We can make your calls for you! We LOVE Cold Calling! 

Give us a call today at 908.879.2911 to see how we can help you and your sales team SUCCEED! 

3 Reasons Why You SHOULD Be Prospecting This Summer

3 Reasons Why You SHOULD Be Prospecting This Summer

It’s summer in the Northern hemisphere and hopefully, the living is easy. But that does NOT mean that you should stop cold calling! I actually believe that it is CRUCIAL that you keep making those sales calls. Here are 3 reasons why you SHOULD be prospecting this summer: 

  1. The absolute, NUMBER ONE reason why you should be prospecting this summer is because it is a good bet that your competition isn’t! They are out at the beach and are NOT making calls. This helps you stand out and gives you time to make a positive impression on your prospects (wow, this guy is really dedicated!) and to stand out. 

  2. Many companies are cutting costs and manpower by using robocalls and auto-generated emails. Those tactics are not only ineffective but easily ignored. Prospects will be surprised to hear a REAL person on the line and that surprise can work in your favor – work it! 

  3. With offices a bit less busy for the summer, the people who ARE at work and picking up calls may have more time to talk. Commiserate with them about having to be at work when everyone is out – this will give you a chance to bond! Take this opportunity to actively LISTEN and LEARN. Relax and give your prospect time to fully explain their needs and then reflect back their needs while outlining your solutions.

Summer can be an IDEAL time to make the connections and appointments that lead to a strong Q4 so, take your well-rehearsed script, pick up that phone and start dialing!  

Are your team members making calls but NOT setting qualified appointments? Give us a call at 908.879.2911 or CLICK HERE to learn more about our Call Center in a Box Program where we train and manage YOUR team so their time and efforts produce more effective results!

What to do when your Sales Associates are Struggling – Call Center in a Box Success Story – Case Study 2

What to do when your Sales Associates are Struggling – Call Center in a Box Success Story – Case Study 2

This is the second in a series of Case Studies which outline the ways in which we have helped our clients. This post discusses the ways that our Call Center in a Box services helped a Sales Franchise client empower a struggling sales associate. 

The Problems: 

The Sales Franchise had an associate who, after ten months, still had no business connections in the community. She had been out networking but was struggling to set appointments. 

Rather than ask us to set appointments for them (which IS a service we provide, click here to learn more about that) they opted to have us train and monitor her. 

The Plan: 

Using our Call Center in a Box Services, we: 

  • Helped her develop her skills 
  • Worked on her messaging 
  • Helped her regain her confidence which had been bruised by ten months of low and poor performance 
  • Monitored her progress 
  • Met with her weekly to discuss and resolve any issues or challenges she faced 

The Results: 

We started in December, a month notorious for its’ difficulties in setting appointments due to the holidays. Despite this, she set TEN appointments which was more than she had set in the past ten months she had been working with them! 

To date in 2019 (Q1), she has set TWENTY FIVE QUALIFIED first time appointments which has exceeded even the owner’s expectation! 

Take-Aways: 

Here was someone who clearly had some sales talent but needed training and structure to take her to the next level. The Call Center in a Box Program provided her with the instruction, support and the sounding board she needed to succeed! 

One of the number one reasons that people leave sales is a lack of training and/or feeling unprepared. Sales is a “NO” job – you hear ‘NO’ and deal with rejection over and over on a daily basis. Call Center in a Box provides not only training but also the support and encouragement your salespeople need to deliver results and THRIVE! 

Are YOU having a hard time monitoring or managing YOUR sales team? Know they need training but just don’t have the time, energy or patience to train them yourself? Are your producers delivering poor quality leads that just won’t close?  

GIVE US A CALL AT 908.879.2911 to see how our Call Center in a Box services can help YOU! 

Click HERE to learn more and HERE to see other Call Center in a Box Case Studies 

What to Say to Set an Appointment

What to Say to Set an Appointment

You are making cold calls. You have picked up the phone and have reached a decision maker – NOW WHAT? What do you say to set an appointment?  

Here are four important things you need to say and do on a call with a prospect in order to actually set an appointment that will convert to a sale: 

  1. Build trust 
  1. Build credibility 
  1. Clarify and re-state their needs 
  1. ASK for their business 

Build Trust 

Let’s be honest, salespeople can get a bad rap. Past experiences with Snakeoil salesmen and people with less than virtuous intentions can make prospects reluctant to take calls from people they don’t know. Your first task, on any call, is to put them at ease and get them to TRUST you.  

Using positive words like “Good”, “Great”, “Wow” and “YES!” helps set the tone of the call and encourages them to trust you. But you MUST be GENUINE when using these or you will come off as insincere and salesy. 

Conversely, negative words can lead to mistrust. Always use the affirmative, stay upbeat and frame statements positively. Use “What would relieve some of the pressure you are under?” vs “What pressures are you under?” 

Salesy talk and high pressure selling tactics usually turn people off. You are there to HELP – make sure they know it! 

Build Credibility 

Include ‘Credibility Statements’ in your messaging. Establish your expertise and abilities in this area.  

What to say to get an appointment? Use phrases like: 

“Yes, we can definitely help you with that.” 

“Yes, we have helped others with this type of issue.” 

“Yes, we have years of experience with this.” 

Keep in mind that it is better to UNDER sell and OVER perform than to disappoint so be sure to set REALISTIC expectations. Over promising will set you up for failure. 

Saying “Yes, we are experts in such and such.” when you are not, MAY lead to an appointment but it may NOT lead to a sale.  

And needless to say, don’t use the words, ‘such and such’ – insert THEIR problem there! Which takes us to the next step… 

Clarify and re-state their needs 

Make sure you have been LISTENING so you understand their issue and their needs! 

Make sure you are ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS so you get the info you need to clarify their needs, their pain points and their timelines.  

Re-stating their issue and needs lets them know you are LISTENING to them – that you hear them and understand. Studies show conversion rates rise 80% when you restate needs! 

What to say to set an appointment? Incorporate phrases such as: 

“Please tell me more” 

“What I hear you saying is…” 

“You said XYZ, right?”  

Don’t worry about getting it wrong. As long as you are listening, are basically on the right track and you are in a conversation – not giving a soliloquy – they will most likely correct you and give you the opportunity to rectify your statement. Take that chance and use that opportunity to build a relationship with the prospect!   

And, most importantly, 

Ask for the Appointment! 

The next step is to ASK for the appointment! Ask the prospect to commit to the next step in the process. Only 13% of callers actually do this. Yes, it is scary – if they say no, the call could be over – but ASKING is the only way to move forward to get an appointment. Take the chance and make the ask! 

And if they say no, remember, a ‘no’ is a ‘no for now’. Put them in your hold file for a set period of time and move on. New prospects await and this one may be ready next time to you reach out to them!