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A sales team is only as good as its salespeople. That’s true, to a certain degree. A sales team also needs a solid process, backed by quality metrics if it hopes to have sales engagement success. You can’t hope to rely on basic metrics like call activity levels to guide your sales engagement. At best, all that gives you is an incomplete picture of your team’s performance; at worst, it can reinforce bad practices.
What you need instead are tips for sales engagement success that are study-backed. And that’s where this article can help. Condensing findings from a Tefler School of Management study that analyzed 130,000,000 interactions across 45,000,000 unique contacts, this article has come up with three important sales tips.
If you are interested in a more in-depth look at the Tefler Study’s findings, be sure to read this article.
You Need Speed to Lead
You might think that as long as your sales reps get around to contacting a lead, what’s the difference when they contact? But speed to lead matters – big time. The aforementioned study found that contacting a lead within the first hour was 7X more effective than contacting after just 24 hours. That means every time one of your reps sits on a lead for a day, engagement success swiftly diminishes. The sweet spot, according to the study, appears to be somewhere between 10 and 60 minutes of a query.
The duration of the first call appears to be a significant factor in engagement success. For every minute increase in the duration of the call, there is a 6X increase in the likelihood of success with the lead. It makes sense that the numbers turned out this way: a longer phone call usually means the lead is interested, which itself is a good indicator of engagement. So, how do you turn these findings into an actionable tip? Train your SDRs in the art of the cold call, ensuring they understand how to manage objections and keep the decision makers on the phone.
Persistence Pays Off
A tenth of sales is closed after four follow-ups with leads, while that percentage jumps to an impressive 80% after 5-12 contacts per lead. The average, according to the study, for success with a B2B lead is 5.7 contacts. If your SDRs are giving up contacting leads after just one or two attempts, you are letting leads slip through the cracks. You need to instill in your reps the value of persistence. Better yet, you need to leverage a sales engagement platform to schedule the requisite amount of follow-ups for your reps. That should take some of the guesswork out of it.
The next time you hear someone brag about how many new contact calls their SDRs make, you can confidently tell that their metric doesn’t hold much water. The speed of the first contact, the duration of the call and the persistence SDRs show in following up are all much more important than simply “being on the phone.” You can take that to the bank.