There is nothing that sales people hate to do more than make cold calls. Even the very best salespeople who make this activity a regular and scheduled part of their work week just tolerate it because they have learned over time it is the best way to fill the sales pipeline with new, quality prospects to work.
Over the years we have learned that the best way to get people excited about making cold calls is to ensure that the calls are productive and yield real results. Successful cold calls or lead generation campaigns can be traced back to 3 critical campaign pillars.
• List Quality
• Strength of Message
• Effective Delivery
Any weakness in one of the above pillars and the campaign’s success can be jeopardized. At ProSales Connection, we spend a great deal of time before we launch a lead generation campaign, making sure we are happy with each of these areas before we go live.
In the previous blog post, we talked about the strength of the message. Today I want to focus on the first of the three pillars - the list quality.
Regardless of how strong your business' message is, or how skilled your team is at articulating the message, if a salesperson is speaking to the wrong contact or wrong type of businesses then the campaign won’t be successful. This is a fundamental component. With that being said, the prospect list is rarely 100% wrong. It is a usually a grey area, and here's why...
Often the marketing department extrapolates data points from the existing customer database and makes some assumptions about where the marketing focus needs to be. This is, generally, a sound approach. However, it can lead you astray if the marketing qualified lead (MQL) data is not carefully analyzed, and the input from the sales department is not used to get a reality check on the assumptions and conclusions drawn from the research. This is where effective sales communication is critical.
For example, if a company looks at their revenue by vertical market and discovers that 25% of the revenue last year was generated from the healthcare industry, it would be easy to conclude that this is a hot market for your business. You might be surprised that - when the lead generation campaign fails, and it will - this 25% of your revenue was generated by 1-2 customers who had “one-off” projects that were unique to their businesses. It was not an industry-wide need, but rather a unique business challenge for specific few clients.
This sent your team off on a wild goose chase for business that was not replicable and therefore an inefficient use of their time and energy.
Poor Quality Information
The second biggest risk to a lead generation campaign, as it relates to the list quality, is the actual completeness or accuracy of the data given to your sales team to work from.
If the contacts given to the sales force are missing data - like names, titles, phone numbers, business name or industry description - it can grind productivity to a halt. A sales person making cold calls needs to find a rhythm to be productive. This means the data needs to be easily delivered in a systematic way (a CRM solution is best) and the data needs to be complete and accurate. As soon as a salesperson has to break their rhythm to poke around a website for 10 minutes looking for a phone number or name, the productivity drops and your marketing ROI is diminished.
Let's cover the key takeaways here:
1) Make sure the MQL list you give to your sales team for any cold call or lead generation campaign is targeted at the right prospects based on careful market research.
2) Ensure that you are sourcing the data from a reliable source where quality is paramount. Avoid the temptation to save money on the list and transfer the cost to the your team through ineffective calls and lost opportunity time correcting and/or collecting data.
Want more expert tips on how to optimize your prospecting calls? Schedule a short introductory call today!