There is no one-size-fits-all sales strategy but data suggests that most reps give up after 3 call attempts. To get 90% of your leads to respond, you should aim to make at least 6 call attempts within a month.
TIMING: Early Morning and Late Afternoon
To further optimize your contact attempt strategy, focus call activity between 8-9am and 4-6pm for best results.
SPEED: Follow-Up in Less than an Hour
For web generated leads—content downloads, contact form—response time is critical to increasing your odds of getting a lead to take your call. Follow up within the first five minutes if possible or no longer than the first hour of the new lead's creation time.
Now to put speed into perspective, here's a quote by David Elkington, CEO and Founder at InsideSales.com
"Imaging going to Nordstrom on a Wednesday morning and asking to talk to a sales rep about a pair of shoes and the salesperson says they will be happy to help you Friday morning!”
A common concern of this tactic is that calling back leads immediately could freak people out. However, it turns out most leads—in the contrary—were very impressed by the speed of the follow-up call.
Leaving Voice Mails
Industry experts suggest that leaving a voicemail is an effective prospecting tool. However, sales reps under-utilize voice mail because they feel leaving voice messages is too time-consuming, and from a millennial's perspective, a waste of time as most people don't listen to them anyways.
Whether this is something that you like to do or not, I say give it a try for a month, and see if it helps you connect with more leads. Ultimately the goal is to do what delivers the most results.
To get started here are some voicemail best practices:
- Keep messages between 18 (optimal) to 30 seconds
- Spread voicemail 2-3 days apart, and only 3 in two weeks
- Always send a follow-up e-mail right after leaving a voicemail
- Smile, and speak slow and clear
- Mention your name and phone number twice
From personal experience I had a sales rep follow up with me once multiple times via voicemail and email. The first time, I listened to the voicemail but I did not return the call. The second time, I listened to the voicemail and it reminded me of the person and company that was trying to connect with me. That combined with the email follow-ups, encouraged me to respond via email to this persistent rep.
Starter B2B Contact Strategy
Here is a sample sequence to get started based on the best practices discussed. Not counting weekends and holidays.
- Day 1: call, voicemail, email
- Day 3: call
- Day 5: call
- Day 6: call, voicemail, email
- Day 10: call
- Day 14: call, voicemail, email
...if no connect, move on and recycle.
Use this information as a reference point and adjust as needed.