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Part 3: Life at 1,000 Dials a Day — Do My Little Tiny Lists Need Lots of Dials?

As B2B sales managers hear about “Life at 1,000 Dials A Day,” they almost always ask this question.

It seems obvious, right? If my list only has 1,000 contacts on it, and we are going at 1,000 dials per day, won’t we call everyone on the first day? And then we’re done! May as well go home.

Of course, if one takes the view that each contact on a list should be treated as “One and Done,” this concern makes perfect sense. But the math says there is no “One and Done” — at least not if you want to get the most out of the list.

The core issue is this: it takes about 20 dials to get 1 conversation. This baseline metric is not the result of a survey or based on what reps self-report: it is measured directly from more than 75 million dials, meticulously navigated by experts and counted by software.

That means your first 1,000 dials will produce about 50 conversations. Leaving your list with 950 people to dial again!

Of those 50 conversations, about 25 of them will need a follow-up — tomorrow, next week, next month, 90 days out, whatever.  So, including your most important list of all —  your follow-up list — you actually have 975 people to dial again!

If your lists are typical and your reps are well trained, 7 of those conversations will result in referrals. A response of “Not me” becomes “Talk to Mary.” So, including your ever-growing list of referrals, you actually have 982 people to dial again.

Oh, and about 10% of your contact data will be found to be faulty by the only reliable way to learn anything about phone data — actual calling. So you will have 100 contacts that need to be replaced. In fact, your list of 1,000 was really only a list of 900, as bad data is exactly the same as no data, except it cost you more.

So you really started with 900 folks to call and ended up with an improved list of 982! And all that in only one day.

Of course, on day 2, you will not call all 982, because your follow-ups should only be called when ripe and ready. But you will still have plenty of contact inventory on hand to enjoy another fabulous day experiencing “Life at 1,000 Dials a Day.”

In Part 4, I’ll take on the big question for 2017: “How can we sell strategically at such high speed?” (Hint: Intuition fails on this one too!)

Links to Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12 of this blog series.