11 Benchmarks For Cold Calling Prospecting Success

Here are a few benchmarks and typical time lines to help you measure sales appointment setting success.

1. Call 10 companies to set one high level appointment. (I didn’t say make 10 calls.) Call 10 companies following a process.

2. Schedule 4-8 appointments with cold prospects to close one sale.

3. Call each identified decision-maker 7-15 times before you reach the point of diminishing returns.

4. It takes 1 – 2 ½ hours of call time to set a high level appointment.

5. You will call in three “cycles” and leave 2 or 3 “touches” within every cycle.

6. If the salesperson taking the appointments is initially setting the appointments, it typically takes 6 weeks before they have more new appointments, follow-up appointments and new account calls than they can handle. It is common for the appointment setting responsibilities to then be delegated to a lower level person who can handle them adequately.

7. It takes 10 days to setup a system with customized scripts, call process, ancillary materials… and to setup/customize a contact manager and learn how to use it. This isn’t rocket science.

8. It takes about another 10 days to get comfortable, learn good responses to resistance and setup your Plan B.

9. About 33% of your appointments will be set after the decision maker says no in some form.. we are all set, send some info, call me back, etc. You need to know how to handle these.

10. In the short term 15%- 20% of appointments set will be made with decision-makers who call you. Slightly longer term… 3-6 months or so… 30% or more of appointments set will be with decision makers who call you. You make this happen by leveraging your call time and using a complete coordinated and partly automated process.

11. Calculate the value of a new account and an acceptable cost of sale. Use these benchmarks to determine whether setting sales appointments makes economic sense for you.

Best wishes for sales success,
Scott Channell

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