Good outbound calls are imperative to the sales strategy of any organization. They are a great way to establish personal connections with prospects, assess needs on the spot and provide quick results and closures. So, it is not surprising that companies are still using this as a channel for sales. But then, it is also important to have a good outbound calling strategy to maximize results.
Being a consulting firm dealing with multiple products and services, we have tried almost everything. This post is a summary of our experiences.
MONDAYS & TUESDAYS - BEST DAYS TO REACH PEOPLE
Monday mornings are really bad for making calls because people have not yet settled into work mode. Many of them react like grizzly bears protecting their cubs or like me before my morning dose of caffeine.
Mondays afternoons and Tuesdays are good days to "reach" people, meaning actually reaching the right warm body on the phone to establish initial contact. This is commonly followed by a request for information through email. The follow-up calls can be made on Wednesdays and Thursdays, which is just perfect, because...
WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS - BEST DAYS TO QUALIFY LEADS
Prospects are generally more expansive on Wednesdays and Thursdays making them ideal for second contact (follow-up after sending an email). Other long term studies have also confirmed this statistic.
Is there a day of the week when you should not even pick up the phone? Absolutely!
FRIDAYS - EVEN IF WE WANT TO WORK, THE REST OF THE WORLD DOESN'T
In five months, we have actually had one lead generated on a Friday. This day will be much better spent on discussions, review of the week that passed and planning for the week ahead. It is also a great day to invest in training. After all, a knife is only as good as the sharpness of its blade. As a sales person, it is really hard to let an entire day go by, but our experience is definitely in favor of doing other things on Fridays than any outbound activity - calls or emails.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Reaching out on the right day is just one part of the success strategy. The time of the day is key when you're trying to reach prospects. Our success rates have been high from 10AM to 12PMin the mornings and 2PM to 4:30PMin the afternoon, while the widely popularized early morning and late evening calling zones have yielded very poor results.
Just because we don't say NO to anything without trying it, we also attempted to use the Top of the Hour calling method for three months. This is where we try to reach decision makers between 4 minutes to an hour and 4 minutes after an hour. Theoretically because they will be between meetings in this time frame. It was disastrous. Executives would set reminders for 9:55, 10:55, 11:55 and so on and scramble to catch all the decision makers that they hadn't been able to reach, only to feel like being stuck in a bad time travel movie. The only good thing about this was how consistently it produced bad results, that we were able to dismiss it after a relatively short trial period.
In summary, a good calling strategy is essential for sales success. You might have noticed that we have tried different things and settled upon what works for us. You should do the same. Take these pointers, experiment and adopt the right combination for your business.