I just came across a Linkedin group posting with this question and here are my thoughts on it, which I posted on Linkedin:
Myself and my fellow cold callers in companies I worked in over the past 10 years continued to uncover or create deals straight from cold calling. I’d say around 10 solid initial sales appointments and 1-2 deals a month (maybe a little less for Enterprise market) can be created from a cold caller making 50-150 cold calls per day – for either the SMB or Enterprise market, from my experience.
Below is a letter format I used to obtain sales appointments with people I had never contacted yet, which worked quite well. The format came from Tony Parinello and his book Getting To VITO.
I am honored to introduce myself as a team member assigned [company name]. I would like just a few moments of your time to introduce [company name] and your account executive, [Executive’s name], to see if we could provide value to you and your organization. We simply want to make sure that you are aware of the investments in place that can be leveraged for various business initiatives and projects.
Just in case you are unfamiliar with us, [company name] for xx years has provided worldclass information technology solutions to over XX,XXX customers (XX of the Fortune 1000). We have worked with companies such as XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX. Our charter is to leverage our market-leading XXXX technology to help organizations improve business processes and address strategic business initiatives. We work with companies of all shapes and sizes.
• XXXX for XXXX management, XXXX leading to increased productivity and efficiency
• XXXX that comply with regulatory requirements, manage budgets, and forecasts, which will decrease risk
• XXXX leading to increased efficiency and greater revenue
• Better manage XXXX, leading to increased revenue
I would like to schedule a brief meeting on [date and time] if you are available. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss any projects or initiatives that you have for [current year] and [next year]. Otherwise please let me know of another convenient day/time to schedule a meeting or call. I will follow up with you in the next 24 hours to confirm the date and time.
In the event you’re using Salesforce.com as a CRM then I recommend you use Cloud 2 You as your direct mail provider. Their solution integrates with Salesforce.com’s CRM to notify you within your Salesforce.com CRM interface the day your mailer was delivered to your prospect’s place of business, thus enabling you to make the follow up call on a very timely basis thus eliminating the cold call and now making it a warm call, which we all know warm calls always lead to more sales appointments being set.
The Bounce is what I refer to when what happens after you cold call into a company and reach a secretary or the wrong person BUT are able to get them to tell you who the right person is AND get them to transfer you to that person in the company. The increase in results (more sales appointments being set) amaze me when this happens.
What happens from the transfer is most times the prospect (the right person you’re trying to reach by phone) has the call read as from an internal source (the person’s name most times) on their caller ID, so they pick up the call a LOT more times expecting an internal person to their company to be on the phone trying to reach them. Instead, they get you.
Then, if you open the conversation up right by telling them that you had just spoken to X (the person who came up on their Caller ID) and they said I should be talking with you, then a good conversation and sales call happens 9 times out of 10 because it is now a referral call instead of a cold call.
Broadlook software is one of the newest and best ways to grab prospect contact information from across the internet – email addresses, phone numbers, names, titles, fax numbers, you name it and it can probably get it. I referred this software on to an Enterprise software vendor’s Director of Marketing and they bought the software and they are quite pleased with my recommendation.
The best list sources I’ve found and used in the SMB market are:
- BNB Direct
- Sales Genie
The best cold contact list sources with the most accurate data I’ve come across for contacts in Enterprise sized organizations in order of best to least best are:
- Broadlook software
I referred Broadlook on to 2 Enterprise level companies that purchased their software to use and they were very pleased with their purchase.
The ideal place for a sales person to get the inside scoop on a potential employer. I thankfully found this site not so long ago and found some very revealing employee reviews of companies I was interviewing with and thankfully turned them down due to the inside scoop of the Employee reviews I found on there. Good source of salary and additional compensation for certain jobs.
I’ve used, come across, called for (not all in that order), and recommend the following sales appointment setting (telemarketer) firms for Enterprise Technology sales:
- The Vanella Group
- By Appointment Only
- JMS Elite
I called for The Vanella Group and I must say that their approach to cold calling Enterprise level business decision makers is the best I’ve ever seen, heard of, or come across to date. They provide a decent training for their callers with a unique approach that is effective for cold callers. I produced 1-3 leads a day with this firm for about 3 months.
The firms that charge by set qualified appointment are typically the ones to go with, but with such a set up you’re going to get dead leads due to the obvious fact that they only get money for leads submitted/accepted by the client.
4 Good Authors to read on the topic of sales lead generation are:
- Tony Parinello (Getting to VITO)
- Brian Carroll (Lead Generation for the Complex Sale)
- Mark Joyner (The Irresistible Offer)
- Frank Rumbauskas (Never Cold Call Again)
These 4 books/authors put me into a great mindset of how to approach business decision makers in order to obtain a sales appointment with them. After reading these 4 authors/books I obtained 150% of my sales appointment setting quota in my first Quarter on the job in a high level B2B sales position where I was calling on Director level and above business decision makers in the largest organizations in America.