Oh lists…lists are great! Lists keep teleprospectors and inside sales reps busy and within those lists hold the potential for qualified opportunities and sales pipeline. Getting a fresh new list can feel like Christmas to a teleprospector. On the other hand, sometimes the size of a new list (3000-5000+) can seem like a daunting amount of data to deal with, like finding a needle in a haystack. All the preparation, training and role playing won’t do a teleprospector any good if they are not equipped with the knowledge of how to properly manage and refine the data to get to decision makers faster. One of the mistakes I see teleprospectors make is what I refer to as “thoughtless dialing.” This is when a list is imported and the rep just goes down the list one after the other, voicemail/email, voicemail email…and so on. Knowing how to properly manage/refine that data and research contacts helps to provide purpose to those dials.
AG has produced an Inside Sales Managers Guide to List Development filled with best practices for when it comes to getting the most out of your data. I got a little sneak preview of the guide and it inspired me to make note of what I feel are the three most important points to keep in mind for teleprospectors or inside sales reps when working on list development or refining data.
- Whether your organization uses an outside list vendor or an internal list development team it’s incredibly important to outline clear criteria for the kind of data you want. This could range from annual revenue/company size/industry to only requesting two or three contacts per company so you are not bogged down with too many options. It takes communication with an outside sales team to refine what the “non negotiables” are in company criteria (must have 1000+ employees, over 250 million in revenue etc). This will ensure that you are only getting the kind of contacts you want and a minimum amount of the ones you don’t want.
- The guide also mentions starting with a clean slate. Once the list has been given the “once over” by outside sales team for any do not calls, it’s important for the teleprospectors to do their own “eye test” on the list. The guide explains the importance of having properly labeled contacts with the right status update. This will ensure that teleprospectors will not only avoid hitting recently qualified out companies/previously passed companies but also maintain a positive dialogue with interested accounts or those already identified as decision makers. After the list is imported into a CRM teleprospectors are given another opportunity to refine their data. How you sort your lists and what criteria you choose to include in the views can make a huge difference when it comes to getting to the right contacts faster. Are you looking for a specific title? Are you having better luck with a particular industry? Answering these questions and reflecting that criteria in your list views can make the different between sifting through 1000 contacts versus 50-100 target companies.
- Finally, what I consider one of the most important ways in which teleprospectors can not only help in developing their own lists but find the right contacts faster is by being resourceful. This is how you provide a strong foundation of quality contacts. As AG’s List Development Guide points out 48 million people changed jobs in the US in 2011. Social media outlets like LinkedIn are most likely to reflect those changes as they are managed by the individual themselves. Taking the extra time to run a quick search on your contacts name/title in LinkedIn to confirm your data goes a long way.
Managing and maintaining an accurate database or list is vital to an inside sales team’s success and managers need to properly recognize and train their teleprospectors on the best ways to navigate a new list. For more information and tips on building a list development team and implementing best practices for your teleprospectors,make sure to download our latest resource guide.
Kim Staib, a Manager of Client Operations for AG, has been working here since May 2011. She is actively involved in the recruitment and training team. She is also responsible for managing client relationships, completing daily reporting and project analytics, and planning strategic marketing campaigns. Read her articles here.