What is a Realistic Number of Cold Calls to Make on a Daily Basis?


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There is nothing better than a sales manager who can speak from real experience when providing advice. It can be very difficult to relate to a boss who seems like they need to refer to a sales instruction manual.  It was always encouraging to know that my boss, at one point, had walked in my shoes and understood how to do the job. 

While this can be applied to nearly any job, I’ve found that it is critically important when you are making cold calls. From what I’ve seen, if you’ve never made a cold call in your life, your opinion more often than not doesn’t carry much weight with your inside sales reps.

I equate cold calling to going through basic training. It can be difficult but it helps to develop your character and provides the core fundamentals to succeed in sales. I can’t imagine a Private having much respect for a superior if that superior hadn’t spent time in the trenches (pun intended).

A common problem I’ve grown accustomed to, especially at a few of my old sales gigs, was the love affair that existed between the sales team and marketing.   Neither group was afraid of offering their 2 cents on how to best execute our calling efforts. Very rarely did they actually agree on much, so the daily balancing act attempting to keep both units happy could
best be described as exhausting for the inside sales team. 

One of the bigger points of contention that existed between each team was the amount of daily activity they felt was required in order to attain the campaign lead goals. The numbers seemed to vary wildly. 

Some people thought banging 50 calls an hour was achievable. Their thoughts were that inside sales is just a numbers game. Make the call and move on to the next name on the list. What they weren’t taking into account was the time it takes to do a little research on the company, if we’ve spoken to them in the past, not to mention logging post call notes.  What if we get the prospect live for a 20 minute discussion?

The outside sales team had more realistic expectations in terms of call goals. Some of them actually made some cold dials back in their early sales career, so they understood the value of being able to do some research before picking up the phone. The problem we ran into with them was that they felt we needed to do more research than necessary.  They wanted us to read through the prospect website in detail, read up on all press releases, check out the company bio on our target prospect, and look up their profile on LinkedIn. While I’m a firm believer in pre-call planning, there has to come a point when you need to just pick up the phone. It was almost as if they wanted us prepped for a big presentation. The problem was that it was impossible for us to hit a reasonable call number or get remotely close to our monthly lead goal if we were expected to do a half hour of research before calling each prospect.

Ultimately what we settled on was a call goal that made sense from the “numbers game” perspective, but also allowed us a bit of time to build in some necessary research. This is essentially the philosophy that helped us develop our call plan here at AG Salesworks. 

It can be difficult to determine a realistic call goal, since each department generally seems to have their own expectations. Take the time to understand what your inside sales team is facing on a daily basis before you jump to a number that makes sense to YOU. After all, they’re the ones making the calls each day and should have the best sense of what is realistic. 

From my experience it’s important that outside sales, marketing and teleprospecting teams come to a collective understanding on a realistic daily call number. Once we’re able to achieve that balance, we should be able to see the quality and quantity of opportunities that we’re all striving for. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Craig Ferrara
Craig Ferrara is a Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks. He joined the company in 2004 as a Business Development Manager, transitioned to Client Account Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2007. Craig's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing daily client engagement from a high level.


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