What’s the magic number for lead gen cold calls per day?

The more, the better

There’s the ‘as many as possible’ crowd, who value quantity over quality. We’re talking 100-120 calls per day. And sure, that works, in its own way. But it’s hard work, and apart from a very few exceptional telemarketers, maintaining this call rate is an unrealistic and unsustainable goal unless you are working with an offshore telemarketing sweatshop. And do you seriously think your prospect can’t tell that they are being rushed through a script?

Calling by numbers

Then there’s the ‘based on my careful calculations’ group. This group follows a methodology where time is carefully broken down and allocated to research, talk time, scheduling, adding data to the CRM, scheduling meetings (if that’s the call objective), etc. I won’t bore you with the breakdown details, but this method generally calculates that a telesales person should make an average of 8 cold calls per hour, or around 60 calls a day. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but it places the emphasis on getting through calls as a KPI, rather than getting a higher conversion rate.

Better, not more

Finally, we come to our philosophy which quite simply places the ‘quality of the call over the quantity.’ That’s not to say we don’t get through 50-70 calls a day (because we rock) – but it’s never done by sacrificing outcomes. More often than not, fewer phone calls means a higher level of engagement and longer, more in-depth conversations, equalling a better result. And that’s what we focus on.

Are you getting hung up on call numbers?

Instead of concentrating on the number of outgoing calls, how about turning it around and looking at the number of quality leads generated as your defining metric?

When you’re setting up your campaign KPIs, start at the end of the process. Trying working backwards. Ask yourself what you need to provide in order to make your lead generation campaign more effective.

As part of the process, you will also extrapolate a feel for how many calls potentially need to be made (and therefore your list size), but that should be the upper limit if you ensure that:

  1. Your list is the best it can be. How complete is it? How much time is going to be wasted finding phone numbers or tracking down the right contact? You may recall me saying in an earlier blog on databases that we’ve been provided with lists which are missing up to 30% of the contact phone numbers!
  2. Your offer / product / solution resonates with your target market. Don’t waste time and money on talking to the wrong person, or making an offer which doesn’t fit your target market and their potential needs. Test and refine it if needs be, it’s well worth the small amount of extra effort and expense to guarantee better results.
  3. Your supporting collateral is on the money. Do you have professionally prepared marketing material to support your campaign? Does it reinforce the campaign messaging, communicate the right depth of information to reassure the prospect, and provide them with a mechanism to take the offer further? If someone is too busy to talk, then sending out collateral by email (preferably) or even snail-mail is your second bite of the cherry. It can also measurably boost response rates. And while we’re at it, how’s your website looking? Does its messaging support the campaign, and do you have a landing page where you can allow prospects to ‘buy’ or , and for you to track where your leads have come from?

In a nutshell: There’s more to running a successful lead generation campaign than the number of calls you make. Think better, not more. We do.