Article : Outbound Calling: It’s Not the Dial, It’s the Conversation that Counts
If we can send a vehicle to mars, why can’t we reliably get prospects on the phone when outbound dialing? The expectation of having a live conversation with a prospect has changed radically. There are 8 facts you need to know before acquiring agent assisted technology/services as outlined in the following artile by ConnectLeader VP of Sales Matt Stanton
We’re fortunate to live in a time that has technology solutions for nearly everything. Out of soap? There’s an app for that. Need a ride home? There’s an app for that too. Today, technology helps us solve most of our problems, whether they are difficult or mundane.
But if we can send a vehicle to mars, why can’t we reliably get prospects on the phone when outbound dialing? The expectation of having a live conversation with a prospect has changed radically. Here’s why: For decades, the telephone was the single most useful tool for sales. As telephones became a ubiquitous object on every desk, they became mundane and lost their "#1 useful tool" status.
Many technologies are cyclic in nature as common problems never truly go away. While you weren’t looking, agent assisted dialing technology stepped in and made the phone a valuable, high-yield function of sales again. Agent assisted dialing systems allow you to have more conversations, that yield more revenue. Agent assisted dialing, as part of a sales acceleration platform, is invaluable in navigating a high volume of calls (BDR/SDR/LDR) or for campaign-based activities such as determining who from 3,000 trade show leads should enter the sales pipeline. But remember, it’s not about the dial, it’s the conversation that counts!
Here are 8 facts you need to know–before acquiring agent assisted technology/services:
- You need conversations and not just dials: When you need a place to live, you buy a house, not just a collection of boards and nails. In the same manner, you want to buy conversations with your prospects and not just dials. Engage with a vendor that’s focused on getting you what you want. If not, you’re going to get a lot of what you pay for. That is, if you pay for dials, you will get a lot of dials. In this scenario, the vendor is incented to provide dials and not conversations needed to enhance a sales pipeline.
- You don’t need to pay for outbound dialing made to wrong numbers: If you pay per dial, you’ll end up paying for call attempts made to many wrong numbers. Why not pay for live conversations with your prospects, it’s is by far, a more valuable lead management option.
- It’s easy to see the performance: Stomping the gas pedal with one foot while the other is on the brake doesn’t count! When you use an agent assisted dialing system, it should be easy to verify actual performance versus expected performance. If it takes too much time or is too complicated to verify results, look for another vendor. If a vendor promised to provide you many live conversations (and the associated productivity increase), but at the same time makes it difficult and time consuming for you to validate their progress, they are holding you back.
- You don’t need to pay upfront: If you are asked to prepay, question your vendor. If a vendor is asking you to pay all upfront–you are funding their operations. Don’t invest your company’s money for a promise of future service, invest in outcomes that are favorable to your lead management and sales pipeline.
- You don’t need to sign up for a multi-year contract: If your chosen vendor is pushing more than a 1 year commitment– a red flag should go up. Ask yourself: What are they concerning themselves with? If they deliver properly, the vendor should be able to easily earn your business again at the end of a 1 year contract. Choose a vendor that is able to demonstrate value to your business year after year.
- If the deal is too good to be true, it is: Be leery of "all you can eat" deals. You may find that they replenish the buffet more slowly after your sixth plate of prime rib. There is no "unlimited" user license for an agent assisted dialer and all vendors expect you to use the unlimited user license in a realistic way. For example, a sales rep can have only so many hours of conversations in a day. Any anomaly to this may lead to the vendor becoming disinterested in your account and not continuing to support you. That is, try not to make "vendor abandonment" part of your plans.
- Many dials could fatigue your list: Flooding your prospect list by having 6 or more agents concurrently swarming prospects may lead to unnecessary, live conversation drops and fatigue your list. But it certainly bumps up the dial count! This type of outbound dialing activity annoys potential and existing customers as well as damages any goodwill you’ve built in the marketplace–a ruinous place to be as a sales person, indeed. (Note: When too many agents concurrently make calls and attempt to get live prospects on the phone, more than one prospect may pick up the phone, but only one can be engaged by your sales rep and the other will be dropped.)
- Not all vendors perform quality control: Agents need to be self-motivated and hardwired for connections–nothing else. Make sure your vendor incents their outbound dialing teams for connections. In addition, determine if your vendor has full time employees engaged on your account to ensure quality control. Loose affiliations with contract staff always degrades performance.
Always remember to pay for the number of connections you get, serviced by a vendor that incents their agents to complete calls and make connections. Because, it’s not the dial, it’s the conversation that matters and it’s not the activity, it’s the outcome that will fill your sales pipeline.
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About Matt Stanton:
Matt has over 20 years of sales experience in the B2B software industry leading organizations for both startups and enterprise businesses. At ConnectLeader, Matt manages all aspects of sales, from identifying new markets, to leading the sales team, to meeting their revenue targets.
ConnectLeader provides sales acceleration technologies for all types of sales roles to increase their top line revenue by increasing productivity. We do this through identifying the right prospects, providing accurate contact data, and enabling accelerated communication. Not one size fits all - different sales roles require different sales acceleration tools - our platform offers all of them.
Published: Monday, May 22, 2017