March 4th, 2013

An Expert’s Perspective on Lead Generation and Executive Appointment Setting

An Expert’s Perspective on Lead Generation and Executive Appointment Setting

An Expert’s Perspective on Lead Generation and Executive Appointment Setting

A recent study by CSO Insights revealed that capturing new accounts is the top objective for sales leaders over the next 12 months. Upon reading this, I thought back on one of the best presentations that I ever attended on the topic of lead generation and executive appointment setting. Ironically, it was at the 2011 Inbound Marketing Summit. I’ve been a practitioner of content marketing and inbound lead generation for years, but I’ve always been very skeptical of the idea that outbound prospecting is dead. We all know how annoying it can be to get stalked by overly aggressive sales reps that have no clue about what you really need. However, there has to be some middle ground.

The session was hosted by Michael Damphousse, (@damphoux) CEO/CMO of Green Leads. Green Leads is a lead generation, lead qualification, and appointment setting service. He has 110 sales reps on the phones, and he shared a lot of great insights into what makes them more effective. He referenced a study done by MIT into lead response http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/index.html.

The practices below may not be for everyone. However, the takeaways should provoke some thought for how you generate leads and opportunities to drive new business in your organization.

Key Takeaways

1. The typical inside sales rep makes 67 dials per day, but the average “best of breed” sales rep will make 190 dials per day.

2. 500 leads worked for 1 month should yield 40 conversations

3. The best follow-up or nurturing e-mails are basic text emails — three sentences, three lines long, sent at 3p.m. This is his recommended format:

  • Hi <insert prospect name>. I understand you oversee <insert function> at <insert company>. I would like to talk to you about <insert offering or issue> to understand if you have this <need or challenge> in your organization. Are you available for a 30 minute call to see if there is a fit?

4. You are ten times more likely to reach an inbound lead during the first hour following lead submission.

  • Call the prospect within the first hour.
  • If you don’t reach him, don’t leave a message.
  • Call back and try to reach the prospect live.
  • Rotate your caller ID — local numbers get a better response — or try calling on a cell phone.

5. View an inbound lead as a trigger.

  • The person downloading may not be the decision maker, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding the decision maker.

6. Establish a proper prospecting cadence.

  • Day 1 — Dial immediately, repeat often.
  • Day 2 — Dial. If you don’t reach the prospect, leave them a message informing them that you will be sending them an e-mail about what you want to talk to them about. Don’t leave your phone number in the message. Then, send the three-sentence e-mail that I described above.
  • Day 3 — Take a breather
  • Day 4 — Dial, Dial, and Dial again to try to reach them live. Establish some “guilt,” letting them know that you’re following up on the e-mail you sent them.

7. The best time to reach people by phone is between 7:30-9:00 a.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m. It is best to work —two to five hour shifts and to use time zones to your advantage.

  • 6:30-8:00 a.m.: Call EST and CST.
  • 8:00-10:00 a.m.: Call CST and MST.
  • 10:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Call MST and PST.
  • 12:00-3:00 p.m.: Do non-call work … all of your prospects are eating or in meetings.
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m.: Call EST and CST.
  • 5:007:00 p.m.: Call CST and MST.
  • 7:0008:00 p.m.: Call MST and PST.

8. Don’t call unqualified leads or leads that are merely educating themselves.

  • Have a “trigger form” that establishes a clear signal that they’re ready to talk to a sales rep. This might be a Buyer’s Guide, a Demo or a clear request to “talk to a sales consultant.”

9. Set proper call goals.

  • The first ten seconds needs to get you to the next 30 seconds.
    • Who are you, and why are you calling?
    • Thirty seconds to three minutes
      • Establish one or two interesting talking points about you.
      • Three minutes to five minutes
        • If you sense interest, set a follow-up appointment.
        • Try the “Colombo” approach…start wrapping up, and then pause and ask … “One more thing … do you use …”

10. Expect to reschedule

  • Twenty-three percent of B2B appointments get rescheduled or cancelled.
  • Take a cancellation as a reschedule.
  • Don’t use bridge numbers.
  • Send reconfirmations and updates from Outlook.

11. In general, the more time they have invested in getting to know you, the more qualified they are.

Good selling!

 

Click here, or on the image below, to access your complimentary copy of  the 2013 CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization Key Trends Chart.

 

CSO Sales Inisghts

 

About The Author: Dario Priolo

As Chief Strategy Officer, Dario Priolo is responsible for driving Richardson’s market, product, and corporate strategy and planning — sharing critical insights with clients to help them win in today’s changing market place. Dario gathers intelligence and market and customer knowledge to: drive Richardson’s innovation; ensure that Richardson offers the best and most relevant solutions for clients that exceed client satisfaction; and raise awareness of Richardson’s extensive capabilities with sales and business leaders.

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2 Responses to “An Expert’s Perspective on Lead Generation and Executive Appointment Setting”

  1. May 07, 2013 at 1:00 am, joy said:

    nice post

    [REPLY]

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