"How Many Cold Calls Should a Sales Rep Make?"
This question was posed on one of the LinkedIn Sales Groups that I am apart of.
In an ideal sales world, the answer would be: ZERO. And if you're buying what someone like Gitomer is selling, you may believe that you or your team doesn't have to make any outbound sales calls at all. But in reality, outbound "cold calls" are a vital sales channel for a company's revenue stream.
Now, Gitomer's definition of a "cold call" may be vastly different than mine as I define a cold call as any pre-qualified lead that isn't currently raising their hand.
Where Jeff and I do agree is that "old style" cold calling of randomly walking into a building or picking up the phone book and start dialing with the letters "A" is a waste of time. Below is my answer on linkedin to the question of "How many cold calls should a sales rep make per day".
When I was strictly a sales rep, my goal everyday was 60 dials and or 3 hours of talk time. (Notice I didn't say "cold calls"... read on)
Most companies I worked for always required 100 dials per day but I would tell them during the hiring phase that, that isn't for me because I know how to advance the call beyond the opener... meaning my calls are going to go longer than most so 100 dials per day wasn't realistic. (Besides, unless you are in a true auto dialer out system, 100 dials per day means to me the whole group needs to be trained on phone sales...)
Out of those 60 dials... there would be a combination of fresh new warm leads (anything that may have come in via web forms etc overnight), follow-up calls... calls that have advanced passed the opener but weren't closed yet and then cold calls.
Now my definition of a cold call is any lead that isn't warm. So a cold call could mean a prospect that is in our company database that may have raised their hand at one point but was never closed.
In addition to that, I would set aside time to "prospect" not only the company CRM database, but I would also prospect outbound as well but here's what I did a little different....
I would not prospect outbound (meaning find potential opportunities outside of the database) and then call the lead, then prospect and then call the lead etc... Instead, I would spend an hour a day (after I've hit my 60 dials or 3 hours talk time) and I would BUILD my prospect list and have it ready for the next day. My goal was to find 20 new potential opportunities per day either through filtering our own database as well as looking for fresh opportunities from prospects that met a certain criteria.
So I build this list of 20 potential suspects/opportunities and the next day, first thing I'm doing is banging out those calls... all in a row.
Sales people tend to take the path of least resistance and look for the easy closes early in the morning. I prefer to get the least favorite task (calling cold leads) out of the way first. This way I know my pipeline isn't going to run dry, I've got a 1/3 of my call volume done (usually before 10am!) and now I can focus on follow-ups and anything new that may have come in.
My next objective after that would be to get another 20 calls by Noon or before I went to lunch. You'd be amazed how easy and fast the day goes by when you get 2/3rds of your calls done by Noon / before lunch! You've got your pipeline replenished, potential deals in the works and with the whole afternoon ahead of you, you have time for the last 20 calls or so, plus some time to prospect and build your list for tomorrow and also do a little LinkedIn social media networking / reputation building.
It's a great way to break up your day while being highly productive. And if your sales skills are up to date, you'll outproduce your co-workers who are banging out 100 calls a day and still missing quota.
So, with all that said... 60 dials per day included the mix of cold, warm and hot sales calls (cold leads, warm leads, referrals and hot follow-up calls)
So to answer your question directly Scott, finding 20 new prospects a day is a solid number and if you know how to do it, isn't too much to ask and it keeps the pipeline full.
When you add that to any warm / hot leads your company generates (through internet rankings, ppc, other ads, email marketing, drip marketing etc) you have a very rewarding day that will turn into a very nice commission check payday after payday if done consistently (and providing your phone sales skills are up to date)
You have no control over how many quality leads your company provides but you do control on how to supplement and generate your own.
If you have any question or if I can be of any further help improving your phone sales skills, please feel free to contact me directly.
About the Author:
Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of SalesBuzz.com, developed an original online phone sales training program that helps organizations cut training expenses by up to 90% while increasing their close ratio by at least 10% in 90-days or less.
Try a free on-demand sales lesson here.