• 5 Productivity Killers For Your Cold Calling Team

    From what I’ve seen over the years making cold calls, it can be customary to place blame on your inside sales folks when they’re having difficulty uncovering solid leads.Believe me, your reps skill-set can be a primary driving factor in their success, but at times we can lose sight of other factors that are out of their control. When I see my most talented folks putting in the overtime with low results, generally I know it’s time we start looking at the other factors beyond their inability to uncover opportunities.

    So the question we should be asking ourselves is – Are we putting our inside reps in the best position to uncover what the market truly has to bear?

    Here are 5 examples from what I’ve seen that can get in our way:

    1. Collateral is not prepped - If you don’t have a compelling take away to share with prospects, then your inside reps are at a decided disadvantage. Most people my team speaks to all day want have some collateral to review that gives them a good sense of the product/service and differentiators before they commit to an hour demo with a sales rep.
    2. Target market isn’t large enough - Your team should obviously have a sizable universe of companies/prospects to cold call into. Taking a shotgun approach out of the gates might be necessary, but you should be able to narrow things down after your reps have a month on the phones. It shouldn’t take much longer than that. Once you are able to narrow in on industries you’re getting the best traction with, make sure that universe is big enough to sustain a calling effort long enough. Otherwise consider expanding into a few secondary verticals.
    3. Not armed with enough ammo to answer to standard objections - It should be requirement to arm your team with responses to what you anticipate the objections are going to be. If you can’t come up with something, then maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board.  Another core requirement should be a few compelling differentiators to share that set you apart from the competition.
    4. Lack of reference able customers - This can be a killer especially since most organizations who do their research want to know what people in their industry are up to. Most prospects aren’t interested in being the guinea pig.
    5. Your outside sales reps aren’t hungry enough - How quickly outside reps forget the work their inside reps put in to generate even a little bit of interest. Not every opportunity can be teed up for them to just saunter in and close…“Why yes sir/ma’am I would love to buy your product!” Outside reps need to be just as vigilant as the folks making cold calls…especially when there is the smell of blood in the water. They also need to recognize that every lead isn’t going to be a natural fit, but it’s up to them to figure out a way to make it work. They’re in sales for a reason, aren’t they?

    I can honestly say that it’s never too soon to cold call. It is the best way to get a true sense of how receptive the marketplace is to your technology/service. All I’m saying, having learned the hard way on many occasions, is to consider some of the examples provided to make your first foray into dialing much less painful.

    Craig Ferrara is Director, Client Operations at AG Salesworks.  He is responsible for nurturing and maintaining client relationships, as well as leading his team in attaining established goals.  To view all company blogs go to  AG Salesworks blog site.

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