If your outside sales lead generation efforts include cold calling here are three realities of top sales producers in a big ticket complex sales environment.
1. The 80/20 rule lives… on steroids.
Will 80% of your sales come from 20% of your lead generation efforts? Yes, but there is more. The 80/20 rule applies within that top 20%. 80% of those results will come from 20% of your effort. So just 4% of your lead generation effort is responsible for 64% of results.
We will talk about the consequences of that and what your behaviors must be in a moment.
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2. Contrarian Cold Calling Truth: Ignore the responses of 80% of those you target and pay little attention to the ramblings of another 16%.
Say what Channell? Ignore or pay little attention to 96% of those targeted for lead generation. Absolutely. A key to outside sales cold calling success.
The ramblings and reactions of those who will contribute little to outside sales results should be given little weight in your cold calling lead generation process. They should not dictate your sales behaviors.
3. The 4% that will generate 64% of your results should dictate your cold calling lead generation behavior. That will bring you the greatest outside sales results for your time.
Your behaviors, your sales scripts, your call process, your allocation of time, your touches should all be crafted with only the top 4% in mind. Do not let the rest impact your cold calling techniques.
Your laser focus should always be in allocating your time appropriately to those that generate a disproportionate percentage of your revenue. It is foolish to treat them all the same because not all suspects and prospects will contribute to your sales results equally. It is outside sales lead generation malpractice to not know the difference.
Your sales behaviors, your sales scripts, call patterns and touches should be crafted solely with the top 4% in mind. Ignore the rest.
An Outside Sales Lead Generation Laser Focus Pays Sales Closing dividends
Example: A few years ago in my own business just 3 accounts generated 83% of my revenue. 400+ clients that year, just 3 accounted for 83% of revenue. Less than 1% of clients generated 83% of revenue. I generated 2,500+ inquiries that year. Just 3 of them accounted for 83% of my revenue.
Although an extreme example it is not atypical in an outside sales environment and clearly illustrates the point of this article. A small percentage of our lead generation efforts and accounts generate a significantly disproportionate percentage of revenue.
You Can’t Get Outside Sales Results Unless Your Sales Prospecting Behaviors Work Within the 80/20 Rule Compounded Reality
What works to sell the top 4% will work to sell the rest.
Focus on behaviors to more comfortably sell the rest, you will not maximize sales to the top 4% that contribute so much more to your income and revenue.
Activity Based Thinking is Killing Your Cold Calling Results and Sales Closing.
Most outside sales people pay homage to “work smarter, not harder” and “selling strategically” but the reality for lead generation efforts for most outside sales people is quite different. That is why “most” outside sales people are not top producers.
When the rubber hits the road “most” outside sales people are still working with an activity oriented, never give up on a lead, don’t want to miss anyone sales mentality which dooms them to the salt mines of sales. They will never taste the income of a top producer unless they inherit it.
Outside sales people working in the salt mines are using behaviors, sales scripts and using engagement practices more calculated to get comfortable soft “yes’s” from the rest (those outside the top 4%,) that are less effective with the top 4%.
2 Common Lead Generation Mistakes Occur When You Ignore the 80/20 Rule Compounded Reality
Outside sales people make two common lead generation mistakes when they don’t work within an 80/20 rule compounded mindset.
First costly mistake: They spend little time, or no time, with the 4% that contribute so much more to their lead generation and sales closing results.
I see this very frequently and it is one of the most frustrating things I deal with as a sales coach. Even though research and past sales results clearly identify segments of targets that are more responsive, close a sale more often, close for higher amounts and are longer term accounts, those targets do not get the attention they deserve.
Why. Because when you don’t embrace the 80/20 rule compounded sales reality you tend to treat everybody the same. You cast your cold calling net far too wide because you “don’t want to miss anyone.” You call this large group with little sense of priority so most of your effort goes to “the rest” and very little to the top 4%. You continue to chase, call back and meet with suspects & prospects that know how to seduce but nothing is ever going to happen. By their own choices, outside sales people are denying themselves access to larger opportunities to be gained with less effort. They are not allocating their time with the 80/20 rule compounded in mind. More cold calling tips and improved outside sales techniques are not going to help you move the income needle if you are spending way too much time with low value sales targets.
You must make sure that you are working the targets likely to be among the top 4% so that you can reap those disproportionate results. Once you identify them you must purposely allocate more time to them. Period.
Second costly mistake: Using Sales Scripts and Sales Techniques that are more comfortable among the rest, yet less effective among the top 4%.
“Most” outside sales people adapt their sales scripts and sales practices in response to what “most” of their prospects do and say. That is why “most” outside sales people are not top producers.
You will not reap maximum results with your outside sales efforts by using lead generation practices and cold calling scripts that feel most comfortable with “most” of the people you engage.
Whether larger accounts agree to meet, respond or even close often teeters uneasily between “OK” and Bye-bye. At every stage of the sales process you are delicately balancing between moving to the next substantive step on the way to closing a sale and watching a commission walk away.
What is comfortable for most is not what will earn you advances among the top 4% that contribute so much more to your outside sales results and income.
Take a step back and look at the big picture. A very large percentage of your cold calling, outside sales closing and lead generation results comes from a much smaller percentage of your efforts and targets.
Mold your sales prospecting, script tactics and sales behaviors with the top 4% solidly in mind.
Then you will be working harder and more strategically and reap the rewards of the 80/20 rule compounded with far less effort.
Go get em.