Tags: Sales Prospecting
Submitted by: Curtis DeCora, Superior Marketing
SALES PROSPECTING: HOW TO PROSPECT FOR RESULTS
Let’s start by getting real. The average salary for an entry level Account Executive is $45,313 per year.
In a study conducted by Circle Research, the average entry level Account Executive spends 78% of their time prospecting.
What does that mean?
This means that the company is paying $35,344 per year, and in return receive pipeline. They receive sales pipeline with pre-qualified, qualified, and hot leads moving along the sales cycle by the performance of the Account Executive.
That leaves just $9,968.86 left on selling activities, closing deals, and generating referrals.
I spent the early portions of 2018 building out a sales team using Virtual Assistants. Now, everyone told me, "That's the most foolish thing I have ever heard, VA's are for support tasks - why waste time, energy and resources on training them?"
I have been a firm believer that direct and potent prospecting was the key to sales - and I still believe this.
Over the course of the last 10 years, I have been an advocate for cold calling.
Cold calling purchased my house, cold calling funded my daughter's AAU expenses, cold calling funded our weekend family outdoor adventures in the untouched areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Cold calling has been like a mysterious being, it can be a pain in the backside, or the key to unlocking relationships with decision makers of large corporations.
I CREATED A JOB
Prior to 2018, I was working with 3 clients at a time, producing roughly 20 hours a week with each client. I found a way to automate some of the tasks, but was still working full time, 40 hours per week for all 3 clients. Essentially, I created a job for myself, not freedom. I was exceeding my clients expectations as I was their outsourced sales team (just me). I was building lists, prospecting, connecting, generating interest, building value, developing rapport, and pre-qualifying through my personal services. Again, I was busy and created a job for myself.
I needed to relieve myself of this time burden and create freedom.
In my experiences, we have produced great results when allowed ample time to develop a sales pipeline. Once you have a sales pipeline of interested individuals, you can then work them and focus on building enough value so it exceeds price - as that is when people buy. As the infamous Grant Cardone states, "When value exceeds price, people buy."
After analyzing the data and results, we averaged 118 calls to produce a lead. A lead is defined as an interested and pre-qualified party requesting more information. That doesn't mean they're going to buy just because we called - that means they need more information to produce an informed decision. 6 direct contacts in our sequence produced a sales, there were also scenarios which included 9 direct contacts in our sequence that produced a sale - so we set our sequences at 9 direct contacts, as our safety net.
I was able to get those leads from potent prospecting. Potent Prospecting, which is a phrase I created, and built a system upon, focused on the aspect of a multi-channel prospecting strategy to reach our prospects. This typically required a phone call, voicemail, email, FB message, LinkedIn message, text message, and a sales letter mailed out to detail the next 2 steps of our sequence. It was both aggressive and potent, it was both efficient and cost-effective.
It was also time-consuming, and mentally deflating.
While I was making 100 calls per day, spending 4 hours on the phones performing my potent attack, I was turning contacts into prospects, and prospects into paying clients nearly like clock-work.
MY NEXT STEPS
My next steps were to multiple my results. I wanted to hire people and train them to do what I do. So, I started locally. I hired people from my community. I paid a LOT of money to train them in, by covering their hourly wage. 10 out of ever 11 quit.
So, in short, I was paying 1 person $80/hr to train. I turned to outsourcing to other countries. I found some fantastic individuals with impeccable English. I also kept on 3-4 individuals from my community to work alongside some of the others.
I hired data specialists, social media managers, cold callers, appointment setters, and administrative assistants. They are all tasked with the 9 contact rule, and ensuring they reach out to every prospect on every channel that exists. The concept of Omni-presence isn't just a theory - we aim to be Omnipresent on every sales channel possible for every prospect.
We want to deploy a potent attack on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Medium, Quora, Dribble, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Email, Landline, Cell Phone, and U.S Postal Service mail boxes - to name a few. Everywhere you turn, you'll see our logo, our messaging and offers plastered in your face at zero cost to our company.
WHAT I DEVELOPED
As of today, we have created a team of 11 individuals throughout the team that produce specific results for our company. Instead of keeping them all to myself, I want to help them support their families, deliver valuable skills and results to others, expand their horizons and help businesses grow.
I developed a system, a predictable system of prospecting using a potent approach.
In the book Combo Prospecting, by Tony J. Hughes, he talks about the power of Combo Prospecting. He defines Combo Prospecting as a Call, Voicemail and Email, or “Triples.” His goal is to do 25 combos every day.
Potent Prospect is built on 100 prospects touched every single day either through phone call, voicemail, email, text, LinkedIn InMail, Facebook Message, Twitter, Instagram, sales letters, and much more.
Yes, this can be annoying, but it is effective. It is POTENT. Grant Cardone’s program, Millions on the Phone, states, 58% of the market goes to the first person to reach the prospect. Obviously, you have to keep their attention, and present your value to their company and close the deal. However, with all things being equal, the 58% of the market goes to the first person to reach the prospect.
Let me share the methodology with you.
I look at 3 methods, to help companies leverage the Potent Prospecting method.
Utilize the Tony J. Hughes approach of combos to the tune of 25 triples per day. That’s totally fine! By our metrics, that’s one hour worth of prospecting per day, 5 hours per week. In the grand scheme of things, that’s 12.5% of your time prospecting. If your pipeline is empty, you have to pump those numbers up. Those are rookie numbers in this racket (Wolf of Wall Street).
2. Daily 100s
This is my favorite! As an Account Executive or Sales Development Rep, your job is to fill the sales pipeline. This method is great for doing, just that. Every day, you’ll do 100 repetitions of one outreach method.
Example: Monday, make 100 phone calls. Tuesday, send 100 emails. Wednesday, send 100 InMails, FB Message or other social media direct outreach activities. Thursday, social media engagement. Participate in group discussions, answer questions, and throw around value like confetti.
Personally, I extend my hand in a free strategy session with actionable results. To-date, 70% come back as paying clients. Friday, double down on the day you had the worst results. If that’s emails, send out another 100 emails. If that was calls, make 100 more calls.
3. Silo Prospecting
This is a great method for entrepreneurs with sales teams, SDRs, or Virtual Assistants.
In Silo Prospecting, each individual is tasked with an outreach activity.
One rep handles calls, one rep handles emails, one rep handles social media outreach, one rep engages in social media conversations, and another rep sends out text messages and ringless voicemails. We keep our activity quota set at 100 outreach activities.
In conclusion, prospecting to fill empty sales pipelines comes down to activity. It is truly a numbers game. Selling and sales aren’t a numbers game. Prospecting, in fact, is definitely a numbers game.
Keep in mind, our ideal prospects are busy people. They’re busy running businesses, managing teams, performing tasks, or selling to their clients. One outreach activity isn’t going to break up the monotony of their day, the monotony of other sales people contacting them. You must break that pattern, interrupt that pattern, and differentiate yourself with value-centric outreach activities with a proper messaging sequence.