Here is a universal question asked about Life at 1,000 Dials a Day: “Won’t all those dials chew up my lists?”
The answer is, “No. Quite the opposite. Done right, more dials will heal, not harm, your lists?”
How can this be? Isn’t each dial a kind of “touch” that leaves a mark? Well, that depends on how the dials are done.
With ConnectAndSell, each dial is managed by a trained call-navigation expert, who makes sure of two critically important things:
- The dial goes as well as it can, as efficiently as practical. There are lots of hurdles to clear between “ring-ring” and getting to either a dead end — usually voicemail — or the promised land, when the target person answers the phone and is instantly transferred.
- Everything that is learned on that dial — whether the target person is still with the company or has left, whether the phone number is good or bad, whether a gatekeeper was involved or not — is precisely and consistently recorded in a database and used to cleanse the list, repeatedly and with zero effort.
Given that lists rarely start out perfectly clean and, left to the ravages of time, lists decay quickly, cleansing as a side effect of getting lots of conversations is a huge benefit. It’s as though the more you drive, the cleaner your car stays: unexpected but, in this case, true.
But there is another way that lists need to be improved. Not only do lists have mechanical defects — bad numbers and people who have moved on — but they have business defects. The three most common business defects are:
- The company is intrinsically disqualified. For example, if you sell to owners of restaurants and your list contains an owner of a restaurant supply company (probably because of a broad keyword match), there is no business opportunity.
- The company is intrinsically qualified, but the contact on the list is not who you need to talk to. For example, if you sell to controllers, and the list contains contacts for “Assistant to the Controller” and “Financial Analyst.”
- The company and the contact are both qualified, but the timing is not right for a substantive business conversation. For example, you sell staff augmentation services, and the prospect is in the middle of downsizing; or you sell equipment service contracts, and the prospect just signed a two-year deal with your top competitor; or the prospect is walking into a meeting and can’t talk right now.
DEALING WITH LISTS, THE EASY AND STRAIGHTFORWARD WAY
Cleansing lists of mechanical defects is easy, at least with ConnectAndSell: simply run a calling session on the list; run an Attempts History report; and sort by dial outcome and either remove or fix the contacts with mechanical defects. Every list, no matter how good it starts out, becomes a little bit more defective every day as people move from job to job, and companies reorganize, get acquired, and go out of business.
Fixing business defects in lists is also straightforward with ConnectAndSell, but requires sales reps and list managers to consistently and accurately take the right repair action for each business defect listed above:
- Select a correct and meaningful disposition for every conversation.
If someone is actually too busy to talk now, a disposition of “Busy – Call Back” makes sense. If someone has just bought a competitor’s product, a custom disposition of “Using Competitor” should be selected. A conversation disposition is a business story consistently told in a couple of words. If the conversation reveals that the target company is intrinsically disqualified, remove all contacts from all lists for that company.
- Ask for a referral to the person you should be talking to.
This has two positive effects: cleansing the list of someone you should not talk to again; and creating a warm lead. The best practice is to get the new contact’s direct phone number and email; but even if all you get is their name, ConnectAndSell’s call navigation will get the prospect on the phone.
- Fix the most common problem with every list: that the timing isn’t right to enter a buying process.
That challenge is easy to overcome by setting a follow-up date with a one-to-one script to have an effective conversation when the timing might be better. Again, this is fully automated with ConnectAndSell and systematically heals the most common, and overlooked, problem with contact lists.
The fact is that calling, done right, turns bad lists into great lists. Mechanical defects are detected and fixed by agent-assisted dialing; business defects are detected and fixed by 10x+ more sales conversations, with correct dispositions and disciplined use of referrals and follow-ups. Lists improve with usage — if you are using the right technology and best practices.