Funnel Management is an Essential Component of Successful Enterprise Sales Strategy

Too few sales opportunities leads to failure for most enterprise sales strategies. Where telemarketing is a key tool in sales strategy, two metrics must be kept at eye level and thoroughly managed to deliver success: Keep your eye on the daily number of:

  1. Conversations by telemarketer and
  2. Meetings scheduled by telemarketer

A good telemarketer with an up to date lead list should be able to engage in 10 to 15 conversations per 8 hour day. Conversations count, not the number of telephone numbers dialed. Therefore, adequate time must be spent assembling the lead list to ensure that contacts are valid and accessible. Be wary of using excellent telemarketers as no more than human demon dialers. In variably the telemarketers will either move on, or your hourly costs will go up to pay for all the extra dialing required to find someone on the other end of the telephone call with whom your telemarketers can engage. It may make sense to have more junior telemarketing staff do the dialing to simply schedule a preliminary conversation with more senior agents. The biggest return will lie in a process that nets more conversations. More conversations will inevitably lead to more meetings and, ultimately, more sales.

With regard to the meetings metric, a day’s activity for a senior telemarketer/teleprospector should result in at least one opportunity moving forward to a more substantive conversation, meaning a meeting, that may require the participation of a subject matter expert from your end as well as a more senior contact on the prospect side who plays some role in deciding what to buy.

Be wary of lateral meetings, in other words, follow-on telephone conversations that move horizontally with contacts who are unknown and projects that are unclear. Management must enforce a policy whereby information is collected about key aspects of the prospect business from the initial call and forward. Certainly it may be acceptable to schedule a second telephone conversation with a contact to ensure that all the important information is collected prior to progressing the conversation to a point where a subject matter expert joins the conversation. But more than one of these follow up call should be taken as indicator that telemarketing is not doing the job that needs to be done to collect important information in an efficient and progressive fashion.

The results of conversations should be noted within prospect reports by company. These reports should be thoroughly reviewed before higher level meetings are scheduled to ensure that next steps are truly warranted for a given opportunity.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved

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