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Are Cold Call Numbers Important?

The well worn sales joke:
Mgr: How many calls did you make today?
Sls: 27. I would have made more, but someone wanted to know what I was sellin' !

Are calling quotas realistic? I think not.
On the other hand, I think the salesperson needs to understand what is acceptable and how it is measured. But measuring the number of calls, cold ones at that, doesn't fly. - by BIG Mike
But measuring the number of calls, cold ones at that, doesn't fly.
Call counts alone makes no sense at all. That seems to imply that each call was executed properly which is not realistic. - by Bulldog
I often hear amongst my colleagues,"it's a numbers game" which implys to me that the laws of probability will eventually get you a sale which I disagree with totally.

Give me 4/5 confirmed leads a day with decision makers instead of the 20 cold calls I normally do in the field. The numbers of cold calls I make aren't important. I'd rather make 10 effective cold calls a day instead of 25/30 basic ones without any success factor other than finding out who the decision maker is. - by krashslaughta
I think that the purpose of numbers of calls is to measure activity. Its to work out whether the salesperson concerned is actually doing any work. In my experience, the numbers can give you a good idea whether you have an effective and motivated sales team or a bunch of timewasters. - by Julian
I think that the purpose of numbers of calls is to measure activity. Its to work out whether the salesperson concerned is actually doing any work. In my experience, the numbers can give you a good idea whether you have an effective and motivated sales team or a bunch of timewasters.
I agree but the downside of this is that a bunch of numbers can be used in a negative way. Fon instance I've not had a good month sales wise but my activity has been high. The one thing that stands out on my sales call sheet is the big, red mark that's against my total amount sold. Very frustrating when you're putting the effort in - by krashslaughta
I know this is an older thread, but I thought I'd jump in with my two cents anyway. I track these three numbers for my telemarketing team:
  1. Dials
  2. Dials to decision-makers reached
  3. Decision-makers reached to appointments set
Number of dials tells me how much effort any given telemarketer is making. (Department goal is about 100 calls a day.)

Dials to decision-makers reached tells me how much follow-up effort is being made once a decision-maker has been identified, but not yet reached. (Our department goal is 1 decision-maker for every 10 calls.) One telemarketer was reaching a decision-maker 10-15% of the time, while another was doing so less than 4%. Over a period of time, it was impossible to attribute this to simply good or bad luck.

Decision-makers reached to appointments set tells me how skilled they are at closing. (Goal is 1 appointment for every 4 decision-makers spoken with.)

Tracking all 3 numbers give me the whole story and tells me what I need to work on with each person. I've found that by focusing on the weak area(s), we've improved both our overall efficiency (i.e., effort and follow-up) and effectiveness (i.e., closing skill). - by John Tabita
I track the activity, dollar value of the potential deal... and how far along the deal is... then I look at the weighted value of deals we're working on... It is a way to track the activity and activity value. This is how we manage our pipeline. - by Andrea
I track the activity, dollar value of the potential deal... and how far along the deal is... then I look at the weighted value of deals we're working on... It is a way to track the activity and activity value. This is how we manage our pipeline.
I agree with this approach as well. I should have qualified my post by saying that my team are strictly appointment setters, not a sales team. Once we set the appointment, the rest of the sales process is out of our hands. I can only assume and hope that our sales managers are doing everything Andrea mentioned... - by John Tabita
I track the activity, dollar value of the potential deal... and how far along the deal is... then I look at the weighted value of deals we're working on... It is a way to track the activity and activity value. This is how we manage our pipeline.
We work in a very similar fashion, and I've compared notes with other top producers, and they do too.

Good stuff, Andrea. - by Ace Coldiron
I agree with this approach as well. I should have qualified my post by saying that my team are strictly appointment setters, not a sales team. Once we set the appointment, the rest of the sales process is out of our hands. I can only assume and hope that our sales managers are doing everything Andrea mentioned...
Wow... is there no feedback loop to the appt setters? As a salesperson what I hate the most is being set up with an unqualified prospect. That's why I prefer to do my own cold calling ;bg. I always get "this one is hot!!!" then when I call it turns out to be hot but for something we dont