Appointment Setters: Cultivating Your Cold Call List (Part One)

January 5, 2012

1348102_49443692Many sales people doing B2B lead generation make the mistake of disqualifying a lead with lack of follow-up if the prospect does not have an immediate need. Not only does it significantly eliminate your pool of ideal and future prospects to call, you are categorizing your call efforts in a group I call “us too.”  Taking the path less travelled through continued call efforts helps build rapport and familiarity with your product or service also known as brand awareness.

In this article we will cover the major components in acquiring and maintaining an effective and current call list inventory to generate sales for an appointment setters. In Part one we will go over the start points of a call list. In Part two we will focus on the B2B lead generation process and how to effectively categorize prospects for future follow up.

Step 1: Know your target audience

Knowing the particulars of your target audience will help you streamline your target list. It’s much more effective to aim your arrows at a specific target than just shooting them randomly into the sky, much less over and over at random times throughout the course of your sales efforts.

Step 2: Identify the types of industries that you want to go after

SIC code stands for “Standard Industrial Classification.” Once you know what industries your prospects are in, it is easy to look up their SIC codes at the library or on-line so that you can better formulate the grouping of your list. Businesses are assigned four digit SIC codes by the US Government to indicate what businesses they are in. Once you have your SIC codes, you can do searches on-line through companies like Reference USA to see how many prospects are in an specific territory in a particular industry. You can mix and match SIC codes till you get the quantity that you want on your list.

Step 3: Identify the decision maker within each company

Is this the CIO or just the office manager? Who is the influencer, the person you start with and who signs the check? Who is the decision maker? Both are important in the sales process and should be on your list.  A good starting point with your research is to begin with two or three names from each company that might be good fits.  Too many names within a company can overly concentrate your call efforts. While you may add more names to your list down the road, I recommend that you diversify on the front end for better canvasing opportunities. You would also have a real challenge if you have to call into the same receptionist multiple times asking for different people. He or she will eventually recognize your voice and there are only so many times a gatekeeper will let you through without question, no matter how many fake accents you stumble through to hide your identity.

Step 4: Determine the geography of your prospect list for lead generation

Where do you want your B2B lead generation calls to go to? Lists can get spendy, so create a priority list such as state, city, or region. You can always add to this list as you have time and can expand your efforts to generate sales. Call lists typically will begin to become outdated after six months of inactivity.

Step 5: Consider annual revenue or number of employees for further categorization

Both a company’s annual revenue and number of employees can help narrow the scope of businesses too small or too large for your product or service.

Step 6: Define your objectives

What do you want to offer to your customer? What is the call to action? Now that you have your targeted list in place, what is the best approach in these calls? An effective offering ideally utilizes understanding of the product or service, perceived value, clear benefits and a defined call to action for an appropriate next step. Got to the article, “Essential Strategies for Introducing Your Product or Service by Phone,” to read more on this topic.

Doing your homework on the front end to have a well-defined targeted list will save you time in money and sifting through unwanted clutter. The more targeted you can make your aim towards identified prospects, the better likelihood of uncovering opportunities that can generate sales.

Step 7: Need help with appointment setting or B2B lead generation? Contact Lead Savvy.

As a virtual extension of your sales team, we help you identify and cultivate qualified decision makers who can purchase your product or service. Lead Savvy, LLC allows you to delegate the tedious, repetitive tasks and the rejection that comes with preliminary B2B lead generation efforts. In other words, we do the initial filtering so you can spend your valuable time focusing on your profit-making operations.

 Independent assessments available. Would you like to learn how to add momentum to your existing sales team’s prospecting performance? Our strategy consultation service assists organizations in navigating the communications, training and strategy components of prospecting in such a way that their teams are productive and energized verses being dis-empowered and distracted.

 

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