A quote from Anthony Iannarino’s book, “How to Crush It, Kill It, and Master Cold Calling Now.” Click here to request the eBook from Anthony.
Chris Beall, the CEO of ConnectAndSell harped on me for years that “salespeople” should be the BDR (Business Development Representative), and not an entry-level college grad with no sales experience. Chris would say things like, “Chad, you should be doing 3-4 hours of cold calls per day”.
As the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of ConnectAndSell at the time, that did not make any sense to me. How could a VP of Sales responsible for leading a sales team of dozens of sellers invest 2-4 hours/day doing cold calls! What I learned over 3 years was – how could the VP NOT invest 2-4 hours/day cold calling!
In Q1 of 2019, I forgot this very important sales activity that got me to where I am today, and started believing the hype that “digital selling” could make the hard part of outbound go away, so that I could become a “digital seller”. So I stopped making calls cold turkey. The good news – thanks to Gabe Larsen, VP of Growth at InsideSales.com, I had a ton of inbound leads in January/February, and we signed 200% more customers than any month prior. The trouble with the hypothesis, digital only without dials = death to the pipeline.
To prove the point, after the AA-ISP Leadership Summit, I decided to make it a priority to carve out 1-2 hours/day (sorry Chris, I know you said 2-4 hours), and in just a few days, I’ve done 456 dials, held 33 conversations, and scheduled 8 meetings (24% conversion from conversation to meeting). Jourdan, another superior seller (not a traditional BDR, but a seller), deliver 8 conversations and 1 meeting (12.5% conversion rate). Do you think one of the “digital selling Charlatan’s” could have done that – HECK NO!
One of my newest friends in the sales enablement community is Cheryl Christensen, CEO & Founder of Data2Develop, put my top performing professional cold caller through the PXT Select % Fit Performance Model, and the results were surprising… at first.
What did the study show? That this individual should be a “General Sales Professional” (89% fit) and NOT a Business Development-Tele-Marketing professional (44% fit). And yet… this was the best cold caller that I’ve ever worked with – what was wrong with the model!?
ANSWER: Nothing is wrong with the model. Chris Beall (and Shawn McLaren, Founder of ConnectAndSell), were right all along – your best sales professionals should be on the telephone at the tip of the spear making cold calls. Why? Because if you put a junior entry level BDR/Tele-Marketer on calls to your ICP, you will get 2-3% conversation to meeting, you will burn out your most important asset-your future customers!
Just look at the full report… this individual scored far too high on the charts in thinking style and behavioral traits to be an entry level BDR, right?
WRONG! This is a top performing BDR who schedules more meetings in a day than most BDRs do in a week. What this tells us, is that the BDR of tomorrow (when bots take over the emailing, chat, and other digital communication), is that you had better score in the General Sales scorecard offered by Cheryl and Data2Develop, or the bots may take your job!