Sure, relationships rule in the world of sales. But when push comes to shove, it is almost always about the number of calls you make each day. As I work with sales people in companies large and small, there seems to be a common theme these days…sales people “think” they are making the appropriate number of phone calls to make goal and they are not. So, how do you know? First, as a sales person, stop lying to yourself. It is easy to track and determine the number of outbound phone calls you made today. Next, as a sales manager, listen and track.
Sales people, determine your call to close ratio. How many phone calls does it take for you to get that phone call to a meeting and then the meeting to a proposal and then the proposal to a sale? You make 20 calls and get one meeting. Ok. Not bad. 1 in 10 meetings close to a sale. Ok. If your goal each month requires that you close 20 sales, you will need to make 400 calls and have 200 meetings. Yikes! So, what are your next steps? Making 20 calls to get to one meeting is not horrible, but you need to tighten up that gap. Increase your quality of call. (More on quality below.) Share success stories; offer the prospect a reason or incentive to let you in the door. Next, you need to have great meetings. Know your prospect. Now, what you can do to make their life/job better. Go in with a goal in mind. Listen with intent to learn the clients’ needs. Do not pitch! Great media sales people talk 20% of the sales call and listen and ask questions during the rest.
Now, before we go any further, lets answer the question about quality vs. quantity. Every call needs to be of good quality. Quality is another piece of the puzzle. What to say? How to say it? Are you meeting a need? Leaving a voice mail that offers a solution? Etc, etc. But, BUT... very often sales people will say, I would rather make 10 quality calls than 20 bad calls. Dah. Don't make 20 bad calls. Make 20 great calls! If your "get to a meeting ratio" is 1 in 20, leave 19 great voice mails too.
Sales Managers, if you can hear a pin drop in your office, you have an issue. Unless all the sales people have doors of steel that are sound proof, you have an issue. Outbound call volume might be your single greatest issue. With that said, a call is not a call. Great sales calls require skills and those skills come from training. Instead, most sales people simply pitch features, advantages and benefits. As Stephen Pia once said, your sales people need to become meeting maniacs. They need to get those calls to a meeting. Sales is a numbers game and the more meetings, the more chances of closing. Are you tracking their calls? Are you listening to their calls? Are they asking the 10 critical sales questions? (Ask me for more on the 10.) Do you review their calls? Do you make them use your CRM system?
All in all, when sales fail, it comes down to what I like to call the 5 P’s of successful sales: Product, People, Process, Pitch and Price. When any of these are in “off”, sales can be off as well.
So, get under the hood and figure out why the engine is not running smoothly.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is President and founder of Brain Swell Media, an internet coaching and consulting firm that helps business owners and publishers make money online. http://www.BrainSwellMedia.com
Ryan R. Dohrn
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.
Brain Swell Media, LLC is an interactive media consulting firm. We focus on five key business areas; online strategy consulting, website development, search engine optimization (SEO), video production and online sales training. We provide business owners and publishing companies with the tools and resources they need to optimize their presence on the Web and boost revenue.