It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we think highly of email. And we’re not alone! Numerous studies have found that it remains the most reliable and most trusted way of bringing in leads. However, at some point, you’ll need to pick up the phone and call your leads.
To be spending their time productively, your Sales team need to be smart about when to call. These are our top 4 things to take into consideration.
1. What day to call
If you look at your calendar, which days are the busiest? And which days do you usually have some unallocated time? If you’re trying to catch someone on the phone, you need to know these trends. You can be sure they’re affecting your prospects’ lives too.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Friday is the worst day to make calls. People who haven’t begun the transition to weekend-mode are frantically trying to finish all the tasks they didn’t get to earlier in the week. Either way, they’re not thinking about what their diary looks like for the week or more ahead. When the B2B sales process takes multiple touchpoints, starting on a Friday is not what is needed.
Mondays are meeting days! Whether it’s reviewing the last week/month/quarter or planning what’s coming up. Monday is the day that “he/she’s in a meeting” is statistically most likely to be true. Less than 50% of calls made on a Monday convert into meetings.
Tuesdays are marginally better than Mondays. Tuesdays are days for getting the big tasks done. Fewer meetings than Mondays, enough of the week still ahead to be confident you can get all your planned tasks done in the allotted time.
You’ll get a better than 50% conversion rate on Thursday. Most of the to-do list will be dealt with by now, so there’s probably some breathing space to have a conversation about how you can help them. Particularly if your product helps with a task they’ve been working on in the last few days.
The best day of the week is in fact Wednesdays. Analysis from CallHippo find that out of 200 calls, on a Wednesday 194 will convert to meetings. By Wednesday, the most pressing tasks are completed, so the to-do list is looking friendlier. Sales calls feel less like an interruption, so you’ll have better success rates.
2. Getting around the gatekeeper
Gatekeepers really are the Marmite of the sales world. On a good day, a gatekeeper can get you through to who you’re after, or even point you to a better contact. A difficult gatekeeper will make sure you never get anywhere near your prospect.
It’s important to note that a gatekeeper isn’t a specific job title. Depending on the kind of companies you’re trying to call they could be a receptionist, a member of the support team, or just a junior in the department you’re targeting. Regardless, they can help or derail you depending on their mood.
While there are enough tactics to fill a book on how to best deal with these people, the simplest approach is to call when they aren’t there! Whatever their exact title, gatekeepers mostly keep to the core hours of 9 am to 5 pm. If you’re targeting managers or directors, they are likely to be in the office beyond those hours. Calling either first thing in the morning (8 am) or last thing in the evening (6 pm) means you have a decent chance of getting straight through to the person you want.
3. On cue
If a lead has just downloaded one of your resources, call them now! You’re at the front of their mind, they’ve shown you what topic they need help with, and they’re not in a meeting.
Lead Response Management Ltd ran a study into how much the response time affects the likelihood a lead will become a prospect. The results were astonishing! Leads who were called within 5 minutes of their initial engagement were 5 times more likely to convert than those called within 6-10 minutes. When the gap was an hour or more, the lead was around 25 times less likely to convert!
In addition, Inside Sales has published a report which found that 30-50% of all sales are won by the vendor who responds quickest. While speed does not negate the need for quality in your responses, it does matter!
Capitalising on this requires a close integration between your website visitor tracking and your CRM, or whichever system your Sales team use to call from. If it’s a brand-new lead, you’ll also need a protocol in place to decide who among your sales team gets it. At CommuniGator, our 7-strong Business Development team take turns monitoring our inbound channel, 1 person each day.
4. After you haven’t got through
One of the most commonly quoted statistics in Sales is from Sirius Decisions’ 2018 study that it takes an average of 8 calls to get through to a prospect. The counterbalance to this is that by the 6th call, your chances of getting through rise to 90%, up from below 40% at the first try.
Bizarrely, Marketing Donut have found that 44% of salespeople only make 2 calls before giving up entirely. Ensure that all your salespeople are persistent. Then you can outflank your competitors without having to sell your product hard.
Now pick up the phone!
If one of your leads downloads a white paper at 5:20 pm on a Thursday, dial their number immediately!
Hitting this sweet-spot of calling success means you need the right lists and triggers set up in your CRM. Your salespeople need to be notified when their accounts are active on your website. You’ll also need a clear set of criteria for when a lead is warm enough for a call to be effective. CommuniGator’s suite of tools are all designed to help you achieve that aim.