The good news – there’s a lead! Now what? Most likely this new lead is with your sales development team so I wanted to focus on how to improve the performance of this important function to ensure as many leads are getting to your pipeline as possible.
This post is the first in a series of three blogs about Sales Development Reps (SDRs).
- Blog 1: Sales Development Rep Call Success
- Blog 2: Sales Development Rep Technology
- Blog 3: Sales Development Staffing, Organisation and Goal Setting
This blog will share some statistics and stats which will help your sales development reps be more successful, and also hopefully help design processes and systems to maximise their success including:
- Call volume
- The best time and day to make a call
- Response times
How many calls should a sales development rep be making? First, quality is always more important than quantity. That being said it can be helpful to have some ballpark figures in mind. I came across this list and I think these are great high level guidelines.
- High volume cold calling (low quality) 150~ 300 calls per day
- High volume cold calling + predictive dialers (low quality) 250~400 dials per day
- Low volume cold calling (high quality, researched leads): 50+ dials per day
- ABM + business databases (highest quality, i.e. Unomy, Insideview, DiscoverOrg): 25~75 dials per day
Best time of day to call
Many studies have been done on the best time to call. According to research the best time of day to call are 8-9a and 4-5pm. As HubSpot says ‘Similar to the practice of calling early to reach senior staff, calling later can have the same effect. As most people leave the office at around 5 p.m., making sales calls after this time could result in you reaching senior staff members who might be staying late. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend calling the office at 8 p.m., when everyone is most likely at home. But calling between 5 and 6 p.m. could get you through to a decision maker.’ The worst time to call is at lunch between 1-2pm. If you are employing a sales development rep who comes in late and leaves early, oh dear! You are missing out on the best times to reach people. If you are a SDR manager be vigilant your team are always on the phones at these times.
Best day to call
Alongside a best time of day, there is also a best day of the week to call. As you can see from the graph at the left, Wednesday is by far the best day followed closely by Thursday. When planning team meetings or 1:1 meetings with SDRs, for example, it would be best to hold these on a Monday or Friday.
Response times hugely matter. I worked at one company where the average response time stats were in the months. Beyond sad. As you can see at the right, the huge dropoff in success with response times is measured in MINUTES. This includes enterprise and large B2B. This is why more companies are employing technology such as click to chat as well as pop up windows for when new leads come in, for example from a website. When you reply within minutes the enquirer still has your product/service fresh in mind an is already primed for a short chat. So make sure your systems and processes are primed to call immediately after a download, or right after filling out a form. And its not just response time to make contact. Studies by InsideSales.com show that 50% of sales go to the first company that makes contact.
The name of this blog is ‘Here’s my Number, so Call me Maybe’. Hopefully your sales development reps are in early banging the phones at 8am. They are ensuring their schedule maximises calling time on the best days, and responding with a first touch as soon as new leads come in. NOW, a word about first touches.
They are not often successful. In fact, Sirius decisions notes that most salespersons only make two attempts to reach a prospect. There’s a wide variety of research out there on how many touches it takes to get in touch with prospects.
Trish Bertuzzi, founder of The Bridge Group, advocates 6-8 attempts with a variety of media. Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing, recommends leaving voicemails after a call not because it necessarily boosts the chances of a buyer returning the call, but because it increases familiarity with the salesperson and company. He also advised using social media to like updates and follow buyers as a way to further diversify follow-up channels.
Getting a first meeting is tough. Once the first meeting has happened you need to continue to apply pressure. The stat at left shows that 80% of sales require five follow-up calls, which is quite important to keep in mind.
In the next two blogs in this series about sales development, I will talk about sales development technology and then finally about sales development organisation and goal setting, the latter of which can really make sure you are driving the right behaviour an aligning to your company’s account based marketing strategy.
If you are setting up a sales development function, or think there is room for improvement, please contact Sales Ops Help. Sales Ops Help can mean staffing/recruiting, processes, tools including data capture, inspection or anything else you feel you need.