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About Sales Prospecting Perspectives

The official blog of AG Salesworks, Sales Prospecting Perspectives will give readers an insight to the challenges of managing a targeted outbound Sales Prospecting effort and team.

Come by often for valuable Sales Prospecting strategies and tips.

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5 Key Steps to Improve Teleprospecting Results

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I can point to many things that make my job here at AG one of the most challenging and enjoyable I've had in my career. Nothing will likely beat my summer down the Cape back in '92 & '93 as "Pool Boy Extraordinaire", but that's a story for another day.

A primary challenge I face daily, is that every campaign we run for our clients are unique. Each engagement is customized based on their service offering, verticals we are calling on and the kind of results they are looking for us to produce.  They could offer a similar technology/service, or we could be calling into a similar industry, but at the end of the day there are always a few things that differentiate my clients from one another as we ramp up our teleprospecting efforts. That being said, over our last 7 years in business, we have seen a few core areas develop into a set of proven requirements for a campaign's success, independent of all the variables that are thrown in the equation.

Below are the 5 things we've seen consistently playing a key role in dramatically affecting the success or failure of our calling efforts.

1) The quality of your list

Don't assume that a list of 50 company names is going to get it done. To begin with 50 is too small a sampling - you should start with 200 at the very least. Also, you should scrub every name to confirm that they fit the customer profile you are looking to target. Lastly, contact info helps - Names, titles, phone numbers and email will cut down on the research-time your teleprospectors will need uncover potential interest.

2) Better communication with sales

We've found that you need to build confidence in the outside sales team in order for a lead to progress through the sales cycle. If the first few leads are questionable and end up going nowhere, most likely they won't do a thing with the leads received thereafter. The inside-reps need to continually communicate with their counterparts in the field on everything they are sending over. This can help build rapport, thus building confidence in the validity and quality of each sales lead.

3) Better communication with marketing

Cold calling will provide your marketing team with very honest "real-time" feedback from your target market on how your messaging should be positioned.  I recommend meeting with your marketing team each week to review the telepropsecting team's conversations along with any other market intelligence you happen to capture based on your calling efforts.

4) Messaging assistance from both marketing and sales

Your teleprospector needs to be provided with all of the tools necessary to capture their audience's attention. Since your sales team is on the phone attempting to close business all day, tap them for anecdotal messaging or possibly an ROI calculation that has won them a deal or two in the past. Leverage the marketing teams ability to produce compelling messages, ask them for emails that have produced a good response in previous campaigns, or the 2 page fact sheet that cuts straight to the point for the prospects with limited time (or attention span).

5) Continual feedback on leads transitioned to the sales team

Providing a good quantity of leads to sales is obviously a good thing, but if the reps aren't doing anything with them, what's the point of even picking up the phone? Implementing a closed loop feedback process should help to keep them accountable. At AG we send lead feedback requests 24 hours after a meeting has been scheduled with their boss copied. The last thing a sales rep wants is an angry superior wondering why they never followed up on a hot opportunity. Beyond that the feedback lets us know if there are additional questions we could be asking to better qualify the lead.

Whether you're in marketing or sales, we are equally responsible for a teleprospector's productivity...or lack thereof. Stick to the 5 keys above and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the volume and the quality of the opportunities landing on your forecast.


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