Lightning 801866 Compressor

What Does a Dial Really Cost? Why Should You Care?

My professional universe is all about helping good salespeople have lots more conversations. The easy part is delivering the conversations. By letting a sales rep push a button and have a conversation with a decision maker in about 3 minutes, our ConnectAndSell Lightning™ platform vaults that rep from a few conversations per day to 30, 40, 50, or more.

One would think that for anyone who pays the salaries of sales reps, this would be the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. And for some, it is. They reason like this:

  • “The lion’s share of our bookings are done by our tigers, who make up something like 10 – 20% of our sales team. The same goes if we are talking about meetings rather than bookings, and our SDR team instead of our AEs.”
  • “These tigers just don’t have enough hours in the day. If they had more time, they would do more. Sure, I’d have to raise the bar and also pay them more, but so what?”
  • “So enabling any one of my tigers to leap from 5 – 10 conversations with decision makers per day to dozens of the same quality conversations is a great idea! Even if those conversations themselves come at a cost, more opportunities for a kill means more kills, and more kills means more for all of us to eat.”
  • “And maybe I don’t need quite so many pussycats hanging out meowing for a little cream to be put in their bowls while (they assure me) they grow up to be tigers — which some do, and most don’t.”

Others reason more like this:

  • “Sure, I have some good reps, and I have some so-so reps. And I have some no-hopers. But…”
  • “I fought like a tiger to get all those heads so that I have a shot at making that huge growth number the CEO and CFO dumped on my head back in November. So…”
  • “I think my best bet is to pretend the labor for my sales reps is FREE. It sure seems right to me. Let me check — if I cut the no-hopers today, will anyone come by my office and give me a medal, or a pile of money to spend on tools or training? Hmmm…nope! Therefore…”
  • “Let’s just stick with this: if it costs anything on top of my FREE (to me) sales labor cost, it doesn’t make any difference what it costs. It’s ‘expensive.’”

The latter view is perfectly reasonable from the perspective of many, if not most, sales managers. The job is to make the number with the resources (read: heads) provided. If Marketing happens to chip in a few usable leads, all to the good.

But for owners of a company and those with the responsibility to look out for the interest of those owners, this second line of reasoning has two problems: it leads to wasting money, and it leads to destroying potential value.

So, I feel a responsibility to lay out the math:

  • Let’s say a top-of-the-funnel rep — an SDR or whatever you prefer to call the job — costs you $50/hour. In the Bay Area, this would be cheap. In other parts of the country, it might be a little expensive. But it’s an easy number to work with.
  • Let’s say that same SDR makes 40 dials per day. This is pretty normal. People regularly either lie about this number or simply haven’t measured dials in the real world. Not sprinting or blitzing — just everyday dialing in a world full of distractions and excuses.
  • So for $400 you get 40 dials. That’s $10 per dial. Really.
  • Say that same SDR could have 1,000 dials done in the same day with zero effort. Same lists, same conversations — just 1,000 instead of 40 dials.
  • And those dials cost $.75 each to have them done FOR the SDR instead of BY the SDR.
  • The labor cost of a dial now drops to $400/1,000 dials, or $.40 per dial.
  • The TOTAL COST of a dial drops to $1.15 per dial.
  • When a necessary cost drops from $10 to $1.15, this is NOT expensive. It is, in fact, the exact opposite — a savings of 88.5%.

So that’s the math. To review:

Manually or with a power dialer

Cost of a rep for 1 day                 $400

Number of dials in 1 day                 40

Cost per dial (all labor)                  $10

With ConnectAndSell

Cost of a rep for 1 day                 $400  No difference

Number of dials in 1 day            1,000  Really!

Labor cost per dial                           $.40   Saves 96%

ConnectAndSell fees per dial     $.75  List price — you may do better!

Total cost per dial                           $1.15   Saves 88.5%

Can’t sell without conversations. Can’t have conversations without dials. The choice is simple: pay $10 per dial or $1.15 per dial. And the $1.15 per dial means you only need your good reps — which means lower cost, higher output, and improved quality. Once you do the math, the realization will hit you — like a bolt of Lightning.