Top B2B Blogs

B2B Marketing

Featured Author on Business 2 Community

AG on IT Marketing World

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Is a Top-Down Prospecting Approach Necessary?


In an effort to keep things new here at AG, I always try to vary up our approach to traditional "cold-calling", with the primary goal of keeping things fresh. There are certainly core areas that we remain consistent with, but I've found that it doesn't hurt to take a slightly different slant on things because change is good with cold calling. If anything it prevents the monotony of banging away at the phone every day from eating away at our Business Development Reps. I often meet with my team on a individual basis to pick their brain on what unique things have worked for them recently and what hasn't. The beauty of this is it forces me to observe AG's calling approach and what, if anything, could use a little updating. During these little sessions one of my BDRs asked, "Is it necessary for me to target C-level contacts with my first dial into every company?" Sales 101 would have you believe that it is absolutely necessary, but I'm not entirely sure I buy into that.

How often do you actually get through to a C-level contact? 5% of the time? Most of the time we find ourselves trying to butter up the admin in order to get on their bosses calendar.  While that has some merit, it isn't a very productive use of every dial you make throughout the day.

Since my BDR's question stumped me a bit, we attempted a little experiment. Our plan was to solely focus our calling efforts into nothing but C-level contacts throughout two days of calling. This worked out to be a total of 220 activities over that span, and results were interesting. We were able to get just 1 C-level exec on the phone (probably because the admin was out to lunch), but unfortunately it amounted to nothing other than a no interest response. Beyond that we were able to get on the calendar of two other execs for the following week. So it worked out to essentially a 2% connect rate, with nothing to really show for it other than a couple of meetings with "potential interest". Overall it was pretty abysmal.

While I do still firmly believe that calling high within an organization is necessary, there are certainly some alternate routes we can take. For example, when you get an admin live rather than always pushing to talk with their boss say something like, "Could you point me in the right direction? I wanted to speak with the person responsible for lead generation within your organization. I assume {insert bosses name here} would have a hand in this, but is there someone who works for him/her directly that would oversee this?"

Another approach that has been invaluable for us is to pull 3 different titles into your calling effort - C-level, Director-level and a Manager. This should significantly cut down on the time it takes for you to determine a need, plus you are getting plenty of valuable intelligence on the company along the way.  Rather than exclusively focusing your effort into one c-level title, you are greatly increasing your chance of getting to a interested prospect because you are reaching out to multiple individuals within the organization.  From my experience a majority your introductory sales calls are with managers and directors anyway, so why not focus your effort into calling them as well?

What do you think?


There are no comments on this article.
Comments have been closed for this article.