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Sales calls a numbers game

Telesales staff have one of the hardest jobs in sales departments. They are constantly abused for for disturbing people yet many wonder why companies persist on them making cold calls. LOUISE ROBINSON says it is because it is the most effective ways of gaining new business.

Telesales staff have one of the toughest assignments in the sales department. They call many people on a daily basis, and more often than not, get abused for their trouble. Why do they do it? Because it works.

So says Louise Robinson, Sales Director of CG Consulting, who says as intrusive as the phone is, it is still a highly successful marketing tool. “For every 10 calls you make, you can expect approximately one positive response.

She says this may not seem like much, but that is ten successes for every hundred calls made, or a hundred for every thousand. “This is more than enough to keep a company in business.

According to Robinson, if you have 50 prospects on your list, maybe half of those, some 25, are worth your time. “Of these, 12 will result in a conversation with the correct person, and of those 12, maybe seven will result in a proposal being submitted, and two or three will lead to an actual sale.

However, she says there are ways to raise your numbers. “The first and most obvious step, is to get more projects. Small things make a big difference – if one of your sales consultants made two extra calls a day, which equals 10 a week and 40 a month, this will add up and potentially lead to four more clients. Like an athlete who pts in an extra 10 percent, the more calls the sales team can make, the ‚Äòfitter’ they will become.

The best way to do this, she says, is to buy a database from a professional database company. “The most notable benefit of database marketing is that it enables businesses to use business intelligence to make decisions about who their best customers are and what their common denominators are.

She says this already makes marketing segmentation more accurate and effective. “Organisations analyse the database to find out what traits are common to customers who are purchasing specific products and services, and therefore allows the business to start to target those customers with offers they know are relevant to them.

Another benefit, she says, is improved customer relationships. “Database marketing can really boost your relationships with your most important customers. Sales staff can monitor buying activity from all potential and actual sales activities.

In this way, Robinson says, customer relationships are better maintained, and up-selling opportunities created. In terms of services, CRM staff can better serve each separate client when they have information on that specific customer’s history with the organisation. Once again, this enables service calls to become up-selling opportunities.

It is important to remember that sales is just a big numbers game, so the way to win is to raise those numbers. Having accurate databases of prospects is one important way to get your numbers up. And databases could prove to be your ‚Äòluck angel’. Gary Player has said that the harder he practices, the luckier he becomes. The more calls they make, the luckier your sales team will become.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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