Telemarketing Leads: 6 Reasons Why Mandatory Prospecting Time Fails

TelemarketingIt’s always scheduled with great intention: bring the sales reps in and have them prospect on our slow dayto generate telemarketing leads.  We’ll have fun!  We’ll give away Starbucks gift cards!  If they don’t like it, tough!  It’s their jobs!  We’ll make it a competition.  Salespeople LOVE competition.  Yet inevitably, the same 20% participate and 80% update their Facebook relationship status, revamp their fantasy football lineup, and make plans to “really buckle down and prospect”…later.
While great in theory, it is doomed for failure. Here are a few reasons why this happens, and why you should leave it to the professionals.
  1. Most sales reps are sales reps to stay out of the office. They joined your company so they wouldn’t have to be chained to a desk and stare at blue cubicle walls. We all know an unhappy worker is an unproductive worker, and one of the keys to telemarketing is “smile and dial”! Remember you hired these people because they were great in person, not over the phone. Keep them in the field, keep them happy, and keep them productive…keep them closing!
  2. Telemarketing is beneath them. Let’s be honest.  This is a very real belief.  Most people hate telemarketers and have a picture of some overweight guy making minimum wage, hating life while he reads a piece of paper asking you to switch your long distance provider. In a lot of industries, telemarketing is an entry level position.  The outside sales teams are the ones that are supposed to make it rain, not make an appointment.  In your sales reps eyes they are “too good” to take a step down the corporate ladder.
  3. A lack of a realistic understanding of the effort involved to get an appointment.  Iconic sets qualified appointments for sales teams.  We have a very keen understanding of the actual metrics needed to generate appointments. The truth is telemarketing is HARD and extremely time consuming. Sure everyone has those days where they reached every decision maker and booked 10 appointments in an hour but how often does that really happen? The average outsourced professional telemarketer dialing B2B generates a lead 1 out of every 50 phone calls and can only dial 30 times/hour. You do the math next time you throw up an afternoon challenge of first to 5 leads gets to go home early. Then start counting the fake leads or “drop off” leads that were generated.
  4. Sell Sell Sell….an appointment!  Many sales reps fail because they try to sell their product over the phone.  That’s not the goal.  The goal is to sell an appointment and then qualify the appointment.   Pump the brakes and ask for 15-20 minutes sometime next week and then try and pick up the sale.
  5. Fear! This is the most common and the biggest reason sales reps fail at telemarketing. Thick skinned?  Yes, most sales reps have thick skin.  However, the skin has to be leather to effectively telemarket.  We challenge the average sales rep to hear “no” 49 times in a row and have it not drive them nuts.  We’ve managed dozens of sales reps.  Not many had that kind of skin.
  6. Inexplicably, a lot of very smart sales managers don’t understand that telemarketing and outside sales are two very different skill sets.  Making the assumption that a great sales rep is also a great prospector because it is part of the same process is akin to saying great sales reps are great legal sales contract authors because it’s part of the process.

You could battle them.  You could force them into submission.  You could demand that they “do their job”.  All of this is commonplace.  You certainly would not be out of line.  And, we would not disagree with you.  But will you accomplish the real goal: winning in sales?

Solution: Keep your sales reps in the field doing what they are trained to do.  Demand that they close more business by seeing more clients. See more clients, close more deals, build more partnerships, and make more money.  Now you’re winning.
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Jason Hutcheson

A hard working, scrappy entrepreneur with a passion for helping others succeed by mixing sales technique, creative design, and digital marketing into a potent cocktail of awesome sauce.

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