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What are your numbers?

Have you kept stats?

Do you know how many cold calls equals an appointment? How many appointments equals a demo or webinar or 'next step'? How many next steps equals a sale? Or whatever your sales process is (there may be no demo or next step).

I recently found this BLOG info and wanted to share opinions;

I love numbers because numbers don't lie. When someone tells me that cold calling works, I agree that it does indeed work... about 0.01% of the time.
I can show you my diary. I have weeks with 22 face to face meetings booked, 19 were kept by both myself and the prospect. And it took me one week to book them.

In addition, the week before I also kept some face to face meetings. Meaning I was out of the office part of the time. Therefore I could not use the phone to make appointments.

Now, I did not keep stats, but if I did I can tell you that to get 22 meetings, if I dialed like a maniac and applied this quote above, it would have taken 2,200 phone calls to line up the business I did. That is 440 calls a day.

I have never made more than 100 calls in a day and probably never had a day where I made over 40 maximum (to get the kind of business described lined up - meaning 22 set meetings).

I want to be very clear here. If my numbers are say less 120 calls in a week to generate this business (22 appointments) and the author is touting more than 2,200 or roughly 15 times as many ... what is the real issue? Is it the sales practice or ... ?

I am NOT saying the author is a liar. There is no indication of that at all. But I am saying that two-and-two do not equate to 4 in this case. The "numbers don't lie" quote is very misleading indeed as these numbers, if true, have to be taken from unskilled sales people.

There are boiler rooms all over the world. There is a reason why they charge by the hour and not by successful appointments booked or, put another way, new business generated. Because they hire college students and 2nd rate sales people, what J. Douglas Edwards called PIONS, to do a pro's job.

I have quite a bit more to say on this exact topic and the other numbers in this BLOG. But I want to kick it out there, into salespractice.com-land, to see what your opinion is.

POINT ONE TENTH OF A PERCENT is the same as saying one in one hundred calls equals an appointment. My father's average (this is a man in his 70th year!) is one tenth of that!

Do you have a problem with this information seeming misleading? - by Gold Calling
Do you have a problem with this information seeming misleading?
I have read the blog post you're quoting GC and I agree that the information seems misleading and yes I have a problem with it. I think what makes the information misleading to me is the ommission of key data. For example, WHO was making the calls a skilled veteran or a 15 year old part time worker calling everyone in the phone book? - by Houston
Houston, I actually believe the data quoted in that BLOG has to do with marketing, not sales. I have seen marketing data that stated you needed an average of 7 impressions, this one says 9. Maybe that is accurate but not for sales.

Let me demonstrate my point;

If you called the executive and reached his/her assistant 9 times they would claim it was harassment, in fact, this would be an issue well before that many direct telephone contacts were made. And I trust the full impact of this is well understood by all.

The reality if what is claimed in the rest of that BLOG is either ridiculous or misleading, again due to the numbers not being about sales contacts but advertising and/or direct marketing email or mail "impressions" (contacts).

Here is another bit based on the '9 contacts' portion of the post;

Research indicates that an executive will only be receptive to talking with you after seeing your message at least nine times, and since only one out of three messages will reach on average, it takes twenty-seven attempts to gain a qualified appointment with a prospect.

Let's translate this into real-world cold calling. On average, companies and managers that require cold calling set a daily activity minimum of fifty cold calls. So, ultimately, each day salespeople who make fifty cold calls are making enough calls to reach only two executives based on the twenty-seven attempts it takes to get an appointment.
What is meant by a message in the first paragraph? A voice mail? One in three voice mails reaches the executive, is this what we are to consider? Is this like saying "one in nine marketing contacts to get the executive's attention but let's transpose this onto cold calling, assume only one in three messages get;'s through - one in 27 calls equals an appointment as a result.

Well, since the earlier post, I reached 5 executives I had never spoken with before. Got one sale over the and one appointment plus three requests for information, only one that I would consider very serious. One serious prospects for phone follow up, one sale and one appointment in about an hour.

Now, I am determined and very well trained but, I am not the sharpest pencil in the box, if you know what I mean. So, how is it in less than a quarter of a day I generated all of this when this so-called-expert states in a whole day I would reach 40% of what I did in one hour?

By the way, if I was not running the company with many other duties, I would have done much more since the last post!

In conclusion, I must assert that the numbers are misleading, probably not intentionally so but this concept of calling an executive 9 times and needing 27 calls to get one appointment does not ring true with any of the phone prospectors I have ever had contact with. If it did, none of them would do what they do for a living because they could not earn the huge money they do.

Let me state the obvious; sales is not for average people. And, while that has little bearing on statistics that are misleading, it does on any set of numbers taken from an "average".

Finally - the quote above is "an executive will only be receptive to talking with you after seeing your message at least nine times ..."

The keyword in that quote is "seeing". As in seeing your letter or email. They only "see" anything from me after I contact them! - by Gold Calling

POINT ONE TENTH OF A PERCENT is the same as saying one in one hundred calls equals an appointment. My father's average (this is a man in his 70th year!) is one tenth of that!

Do you have a problem with this information seeming misleading?
Only with your math.

POINT ONE TENTH OF A PERCENT is the same as saying one in one thousand--not one in one hundred.

The post you "quoted" said: 0.01%

That equals one in ten thousand.

That said, I do agree with you that the infomation was inaccurate. - by Joe Closer
Only with your math.

POINT ONE TENTH OF A PERCENT is the same as saying one in one thousand--not one in one hundred.

The post you "quoted" said: 0.01%

That equals one in ten thousand.
Your math is incorrect Joe Closer. 1% = 0.01 = 1/100 - by Marcus
Your math is incorrect Joe Closer. 1% = 0.01 = 1/100
Wanna bet?

Check the above. You left out the the percentage sign. What you posted here you changed to make a point.

If we need to use numbers and statistics to debate these issues, it is important to understand math and the use of both decimals and percentages.

POINT ONE TENTH OF A PERCENT does not equal one hundredth.

ONE PERCENTAGE POINT equals one hundredth. Therefore, one tenth of that is one thousandth.

I point this out because I think that using unsubstantiated numbers is silly in these discussions. Apparently, little thought was given to the numbers the original poster posted by the poster himself. - by Joe Closer
BTW, Marcus. None of this is off topic in case you're wondering. The topic of this thread is WHAT ARE YOUR NUMBERS followed by DO YOU KEEP STATS?

I DO keep stats and I monitor my numbers. - by Joe Closer
A Primer On Math in the spirit of DO YOU KEEP STATS

1% = 1/100
.1% = 1/1000
.01% = 1/10,000 - by Joe Closer
I don't have a lot of numbers to give you ... but ...

This spring I did an extremely diligent emailing effort. I hand selected companies exactly like others I'd done work for but in different locations around the country. I emailed each one individually. This was not a mass mail - but a one at a time emailing effort. The central text of each email was the same, but I detailed the opening line and address line to fit each prospect.

Out of every 100 to 120 emails sent, I received on average about 10 responses. 6 or 7 would be "thanks but no." 3 or 4 of the 10 asked for more info.

I think I did this effort twice. So must have been about 200 or maybe 300 emails total?

Net result:
One is still requesting that I remind him every 4 months of my existence.
1 turned into a (bad) client. (But he did pay before he went totally nutty).


Does this help?

Those are my stats. - by LM-2008
I don't have a lot of numbers to give you ... but ...

This spring I did an extremely diligent emailing effort. I hand selected companies exactly like others I'd done work for but in different locations around the country. I emailed each one individually. This was not a mass mail - but a one at a time emailing effort. The central text of each email was the same, but I detailed the opening line and address line to fit each prospect.

Out of every 100 to 120 emails sent, I received on average about 10 responses. 6 or 7 would be "thanks but no." 3 or 4 of the 10 asked for more info.

I think I did this effort twice. So must have been about 200 or maybe 300 emails total?

Net result:
One is still requesting that I remind him every 4 months of my existence.
1 turned into a (bad) client. (But he did pay before he went totally nutty).


Does this help?

Those are my stats.
That is good feedback, but you would probably have to increase the numbers for your campaign before you can gauge it with greater accuracy. - by Joe Closer
Joe_Closer;

Come on Joe, by now you ought to know ... I don't have time during the day. I sometimes try and squeeze in posts occassionally and knock 'em out with passion but too little proof reading!

All that aside, this thread is not really about numbers for me, it is more about common sense. About seeing through totally misleading information on the Internet.

A mere two appointments a day would mean that I would have to do something else. Those are just not the numbers from 50 calls by any pro I respect (newbies or un-trained okay, but not pros). And I back that up with my own numbers, if I made 50 I would expect as many as 7 or more appointments.

There are so many things wrong with the self promoting BLOG I am referencing that it is pure gibberish. I just asked what everyone's numbers where to highlight this point.

Can you imagine making 9 calls to one executive to get one appointment? Executives have assistants who screen. And screeners would be livid well prior to 9 calls, this IS what I call a nuisance.

Never mind that, how can you quantify the results mentioned as NUMBERS in this blog? I know exactly how to do it in direct marketing, we send an email, that is recorded, send another, that is recorded, send another and so on, we divide the orders/per offers, add em up, get an average number of emails sent per order and we come up with the stat. If it was an opt-in list, one in 9 direct marketing impressions might be right. But 9 telephone calls .. ???

As for the math;

I took this author to mean .01 as an expression of the whole, the whole being 1 or 100%. Therefore .01 would be one in a hundred (but I did have a typo in my post nonetheless) or 1%.

However, whatever the author's intent with the math, he argued the numbers were one in 27. After referring to a survey showing one in 9 by multiplying by 1/3 effectiveness due to voice mail. If the results were actually one in 9 contacts was a success ratio ... what difference does it matter how many times you leave a voice mail message if those are the resulting numbers?

Anyway, roughly two out of 50, which is approximately 4/100 or .04, expressed in percentages as 4%. So his math did not compute nor does his logic ... and I could go on.

The whole, thing is totally ridiculous. No one leaves nine voice mails, no one I ever talked to calls the same prospect 9 times to get an appointment or even needs to, the numbers quoted have nothing to do with cold calling, they are direct marketing stats and that is what is still further confusing about multiplying by a third adding the so-called fact about voice mail - why multiply direct marketing stats by cold calling stats at all, to confuse us?

My reference to Royal Pimpernel is about as relevant as the misleading text in that BLOG. I rest my case. - by Gold Calling
Hey ServiceBiz - emailing is not cold calling, for sure. It is a direct marketing effort, as apposed to mass marketing. And it does help, it helps understand time.

We can never make any more of it. The time required to send 300 emails one at a time, is substantial. Had you spent the same time on the phone you would have had better results by my numbers, about the same by the ".01" numbers (or three serious inquiries).

If I had a choice between calling and sending the email I would call. But I would also want top work on my results to improve them. Skills training is valuable.

If you intend on softening by a direct marketing method first, it is a better use of your time to do both. In other words, call in the time allotted to you and outsource the mail aspect. I know this requires more math to prove but, there is a simple way to look at it;

'If you are a sales person, why do what you can pay your teenage kind $10/hour to do?' - by Gold Calling
Wanna bet?

Check the above. You left out the the percentage sign. What you posted here you changed to make a point.
Nothing was changed to make a point Joe Closer. By reading the flow of the conversation it was obvious that GC meant .01 and I didn't notice the % sign. I stand corrected. - by Marcus
Marcus and Joe, can you cut it out?

The author made a gross mistake (several actually), I made a typo trying to explain it and now there is a insignificant challenge about nothing when a gross misconception is being perpetrated on our great profession!

Come on guys ... this is when we need to stick together. Not quibble over stuff that doesn't matter.

Anyone else want to come out in this thread and say; "Bull****! It does not take 27 calls to get one appointment"? Or; "I see what you mean, who calls the same prospect 9 times to get then to listen?"

Or even, Steve, I think you are mistaken, let us discuss the merits of the issue I have raised ... not get caught up over a typo and the correct method in math to represent a percentage.

HHHeeelllloooooo, even if I count the number of times I miss dialed, my numbers are no where near that dismal ... !

And I am not saying don't hustle referrals or don't use the Internet to generate leads if you happen to be in the type of industry that has people looking for what you offer online. I am not saying the phone is the only way to generate business in some industries, I am saying BALLS to that the posted BLOG referenced in this thread. It's a bunch a bollocks!

Comments? Maybe that will stir yee all up ;sm - by Gold Calling
Comments? Maybe that will stir yee all up ;sm
GC, doesn't high probability selling say that top producers only set appointments with 1-3% of the people they contact? Those are similar numbers. - by Calvin
I can't comment on a book I have not read. And I was not referencing that book in this thread.

What are you numbers Calvin or are you taking other's opinions for what is possible?

Perhaps the greatest sales trainer who ever lived has an interesting sample recording online about sales. While it does not directly address this thread's main topic, it has a very interesting comment about "average" in sales. Hear it for yourself;

The main reason for this thread, from my focus, was to get the numbers of real producers. And, while I recognize that there are those who inflate their own egos on this forum, meaning they tell an embellishment of the truth, I feel there are enough real pros here that we can prove beyond doubt or opinion this small element of sales practice information to be totally misleading (notice I did not say "somewhat misleading").

It is my belief that the great majority of sales people never truly get over or deal with the fear of rejection. That is why they only want to pitch and not to generate new business or prospect. Because the rate of rejection in sales calls is very low in comparison. They are not trained by a master and/or never break through that wall of fear. Thus, if forced their numbers are terrible, because they don't know how it is done, and if forced they do it at all.

I am very fortunate to know the top phone prospector in the world. His numbers are; an appointment about one in three times the buyer is on the phone. Mine are some where between one in three and one in four.

I have never found the need to call an average of 9 times to any company. Therefore I beleive that element to be not only misleading but false, it must be about another set of marketing statistics. Remembering I am not referencing High Probability Selling, though there may be similar numbers in that book, I would not know.

If high probability selling and the other author's quotes in this thread are saying the number of calls including not getting through, reaching voice mail, finding the prospect out, etc ... by my experiences, they are still way off of the truth.

But you have stated "1-3% of the people they contact", not those they dial. Having not read the book I am not sure what is actually in it but if you are correct I would make about $8,000/year ... and., well, working from home I have twice billed over a million. So, someone is wrong or misleading, what else could we conclude?

What is your experience? - by Gold Calling


I am very fortunate to know the top phone prospector in the world. His numbers are; an appointment about one in three times the buyer is on the phone. Mine are some where between one in three and one in four.
Please enlighten me. I am a novice in securing interested candidates for my business. I never pretend to be otherwise.

In your statement above please tell me if these are unqualified prospects you are calling. If they are qualfied, how is that achieved? And once you achieve your 1 in 4 success of getting an appointment, how many turn into a sale? - by LM-2008
There are two types of prospects, other than referrals, as follows;

(a) A Suspected Prospect or SUSPECT for short, and;

(b) A Qualified Prospect or PROSPECT for short.

To qualify a prospect in sales you have to ask the ultimate Decision Maker a qualifying question. In marketing, on the other hand, they must answer an offer and may be deemed a PROSPECT then, though this is not always the case. Some responses to marketing come from misinterpreted the offer or, worse, be wasting the marketers time completing forms online!

SALES EXAMPLES;

If you sell a certain type of software, say to telemarketing firms, and you had a list of these businesses, they are SUSPECTS - suspected prospects. If all you had instead was just a list of businesses in general that would be just a LIST, containing both suspected prospects and businesses that would not be suspected to be prospects (based on whether they were in the telemarketing industry or had internal telemarketing department or not).

A referral is usually said to be a (qualified) PROSPECT though that is not the case 100% of the time.

After a research call, if you found a company with internal telemarketers, they would be a SUSPECT, you then introduce what you do, if there is interest they are a PROSPECT. They may NOT be a PROSPECT even though they were found to be a SUSPECT if they ... say ... just bought new telemarketing software. And this last example is what we call a CONDITION - a condition under which a normally good prospect cannot buy.

In my case, I always start with a targeted list, what we call SUSPECTS, this saves tremendous effort and wasted time for an individual who should be spending time talking to serious prospects as much as is possible.

So, as I am currently selling a sales training newsletter, through http://mysalestrainer.com, and one of the principals of my training company was the top copier salesman in Canada for three decades, having won National Sales Titles and top company awards, I would start first with companies that sell copiers, because they all have sales people and there is a very strong lead in.

After starting with copier sales companies, I would move on to companies that are known to have sales forces. And, one way I can save time and be sure this is true is to employ "researchers", these are people without the skills to do what I do but capable enough to find companies with sales staff. Once researched they are called back by a person truly capable of getting an appointment or a quotation or even a sale on the phone, depending on what industry and offer is being made in that particular sales initiative.

If you sold copiers and a company changed its copier once every 36 months then - taking math literally - one in 36 calls would be a prospect when you started as a sales person in that area. The truth is, the actual number is one in 25 or 27 in this case, because that company will begin research before the lease is up or may be attracted to look at it early due to a downward move in interest rates (for example). But after a whole, you would be calling back when the timing was right. So your calls would not be of a research nature and you would be reaching PROSPECTS. Your numbers would be averaging one in ten (including still filling the pipeline).

You might say that every company is a SUSPECT because they all buy copiers sooner or later but this is not true. A company may be owned by another outside of your territory and may have marching orders to take a national fleet deal, which is a condition.

Again, the main point is, that there is never a case where 1 -0 3% of contacts are closed for an appointment if we look at the result of a true pro over enough of a period of time to get his/her average - not to be confused with a "sales force's average".

An average of a sales force is always going to be lower by far. This is due to the fact that rejection and loathing of the sales rep to practice the art of prospecting precludes them from getting any good at it no matter how good the training is.

But, let's be clear, the one in four numbers based on the number of prospects we speak to directly, not the number of calls to; find the ultimate decision maker (UDM) is, or; find the UDM not in a meeting, or; calls to simply to get the UDM's name.

These are simplistic examples but I hope this helps. If you have questions I would be pleased to help you, with the ultimate desire that you would go on to earn bigger commissions. You may want to visit my blog each week;

http://biggercommissions.blogspot.com/

Best of luck always ... Steven Burke - by Gold Calling
I'm not sure how this table will paste but it was intended to capture the "key performance indicators" (KPIs) ... with apologies if the Excel formatting doesn't work:

Sales Activities:
1. How many o/b phone calls does the rep have to make (per day)?
2. How many live connects with prospects does he need to have?
3. What is his percentage of total calls to live connects?
4. How much time is spent on each phone call (min's)?
5. Of the live calls how many of those does the rep close for a mtg?
6. What is the percentage of closes to live talks?
7. What is the percentage of closes to total calls?
8. How many face to face sales calls (per wk)?
9. What percentage of these does the rep close?
10. What is the closing percentage on face to face calls?
11. How many total closes does Billy Rae need to make his target?
12. Is this a one call close, two call close?
13. How long does each sales call on the phone take?
14. How long does each face to face sales call take?

My current engagement includes coming up with data for this table and I'm having difficulty arriving at anything meaninful. (The table is available in Excel format for anyone interested.)

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
The thread strikes a chord in me because I've lived this topic. I've sat thru meetings listening to telemarketers drone-on about their hit ratio's. I've shrunken in my chair listening to how convincing the owner of the firm is but then heard the complaints from the field when he let his "loogans" loose on our patch!

It's not rocket science really. My Welsh friend says, "horses for courses" (you put a mudder out there when it's raining) ... it made sense at the bar! It's the Ferarri to Seven-11 thing all over again ...

Why put your heavy closers, high commissioned sales people in front of suspects? Wouldn't it make more sense to create a prospect list of "semi-qualified" meetings? The trick, then, is to identify how you do that in your patch.

I've hired telemarketers ... assisted with the script and gone out on the calls with the team. We did this thru part of 2006 and had less than $2,500.00 to show for the effort! This team had made thousands of phone calls (see my previous "table") and ended-up with about 40 qualified appointments and we closed one deal ...

To be perfectly honest, I'm still a little bleary eyed over the experience.

But one thing came thru in spades over the past couple of years, I was directing a team of 7 (4 o/b & 3 inside). The option was to have the inside sales people calling out proactively or handling the other side. By having the inside sales people supporting SRs with pre-sales issues and being available for post-sale customer support, we were viewed VERY favourably by our clientele (Fortune 1000 companies).

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Have you kept stats?
Absolutely - what pro doesn't?

For all of '07, I have been outsourcing my cold calling with an agency who produces me a 35-40% return on actual contacts.

I direct mail these prosepcts and a receive a 20-25% return of in my hand creme de la creme hot leads for myself and my staff to call on. Each rep makes no more than 30-35 calls per day.

With our one call close system, we close 30-50% of these prospects initially, then another 12-20% with our follow up up-sell/after sale program, which happens within a 30 day period.

When I started my co., I was receiving a 2.5% (as high as 3% in some states) return from a direct mailing to highly targeted prospects, which by today's standards is superb.

With our new method, the results have been mind altering thmbp2; - by bluenote
Absolutely - what pro doesn't?

For all of '07, I have been outsourcing my cold calling with an agency who produces me a 35-40% return on actual contacts.

I direct mail these prosepcts and a receive a 20-25% return of in my hand creme de la creme hot leads for myself and my staff to call on. Each rep makes no more than 30-35 calls per day.

With our one call close system, we close 30-50% of these prospects initially, then another 12-20% with our follow up up-sell/after sale program, which happens within a 30 day period.

When I started my co., I was receiving a 2.5% (as high as 3% in some states) return from a direct mailing to highly targeted prospects, which by today's standards is superb.

With our new method, the results have been mind altering thmbp2;
You send mail to the leads from the agency, you don't call or visit? - by realtor
hey its interesting...thanks for the details.. - by shaun
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