This week I had the opportunity to present at the Nationwide Power annual sales gathering,  PowerSummit 2019  brought together the entire Nationwide Power sales team – field sales, inside sales and demand generation.  All of their team members are expected to make their own cold calls, and I was asked to come in and share my passion for cold calling.  As we know, it’s not a joyful experience for everyone – for some it’s just the least favorite part of their work day.

My purpose there was to help their sales team get excited about the idea of making cold calls, and to share some of the tips and tricks we use to build successful long term sales pipelines.

 

Here are the key takeaways from that presentation — and none of these points will come as a surprise to anyone who reads my blog or has attended any event I speak at.

  1.  The secret to successful cold calling is consistently making cold cold calls.  Not researching prospect names, not sending emails, not chatting with the guy next to you.  You have a limited amount of time in every day, just like all of us.  You can make 100 calls, or you can research for 5 hours and make 20 calls.  It takes a minimum of 200 dials to get a sales appointment.  You want to hit your numbers this year?  #pickupthephone
  2. Your data and how you record, append and manage it will make or break your sales program.  If you’re not collecting and aggregating information about all of your prospects, and storing it in easily searchable ways, your sales pipeline won’t be accurate or predictable.
  3. The tools you use for prospecting aren’t as important as the process you develop, train to and enforce.  People will make or break your sales program, not the tools they use.
  4. However, the easier you make it for your team to follow process, the more likely they are to adhere to your process.  Eliminate duplication of effort, automate anything that doesn’t require customization, and hold each other accountable for following the step by step processes that you’ve created.  Succession planning is not possible without process.  Collaboration is challenging when everyone works differently.
  5. Start where you are, with what you have.  Spend money on experts when you’re struggling to find solutions – a few hours with a consultant who understands your CRM can change your business.  Trust me.  You’ll wish you had done it sooner.  If you’re not a CRM expert, bring one in.
  6. Sales cadences do not have to be complicated, but they do need to be tested and measured.  You can have a five step cadence or a 70 step cadence – so long as it works, and you know why it works, and you can replicate it throughout your organization.
  7. Figure out how you want to market to your prospects, and how you’re going to segment your prospects for appropriate follow up.  Do you sort them by size, industry, product interest, interest level?
  8. Drop the “scoring” system.  Call your prospects.  Call them today. You’re not “warming them up”, you’re letting your competitors pitch them while you wait for a lead to hit a mysterious and unexplained number that someone outside of your industry invented.  Somebody please explain to me how every industry using the same sales platform could have the exact same point scoring system – that’s really pretty ridiculous.
  9. Nobody on your sales team should be “too good” to make cold calls or do their after call data integrity activities.  Don’t hold your superstars to a different standard than your new employees.  Processes are documented and followed by all.  Even the Presidents Club.
  10. If you’re not calling your current customers to gauge their satisfaction on a regular basis, don’t be surprised when they don’t pick up the phone come renewal time.  Continuity of relationship is important.

If you’re looking for a speaker to evangelize on the importance of process, data and cold calling, I’d love to talk to you about it!  Email hello@managedsalespros.com to schedule some time to chat with me about your requirements.

Thanks again to Nationwide Power for hosting me.  Here’s to a successful 2019!

About Nationwide Power

Nationwide Power is the leading provider in the critical power supply industry.  Their core business is the sales and service of uninterruptible power supplies and UPS batteries, along with supporting other critical power components such as emergency generators, switch gear, and HVAC.