Bad news: outbound reach rates are at an all-time low. According to research from TOPO, it now takes 18 or more dials to connect with a prospect over the phone, and call-back rates are below 1%. It’s not difficult to see why. When the phone rings and you see a number you don’t recognize, you probably let it go to voicemail. So do your prospects.
These dismal response and connection rates have led several of my colleagues, including David Meerman Scott, to advocate abandoning outbound sales altogether in favor of inbound sales.
But in our view, that’s risky advice – you’re leaving truck loads of potential revenue on the table for your competitors. In fact, during a recent webinar we hosted, sales trainer Craig Elias presented research from DemandGen showing that 80% of B2B purchases are unplanned and unbudgeted. You can’t always wait for great leads to find you. And as Craig and many other sales leaders will tell you, the phone is still vital to sales. Emails can open doors, but there’s no real substitute for a person-to-person conversation.
If you’re experiencing low outbound reach rates, you don’t have to take it lying down. Here are four ways to fight back and radically improve your outbound reach rates.
Define Value for Each Target Prospect Profile
Are you targeting the right prospects? Take the time to decide which roles at companies you are going to target and the value you are delivering for each of those roles. That will give your messages far more resonance.
Reach Out to Multiple Contacts at Each Company
Why limit yourself to just one contact at a target account? Remember that in B2B sales, there are usually multiple stakeholders in every deal. For each prospective account, I recommend reaching out to at least three prospects, and perhaps more depending on the size and scope of the deal.
Since it takes an average of 18 dials to reach a prospect, tools that enable reps to dial prospects faster (e.g. click-to-call, voicemail automation, automatic call logging and one-click call dispositions to name a few) can help reps reach more prospects each day. According to a Bridge Group report dialing technology can help reps dial an average of 48% more prospects daily.
Dial from Local Numbers
One of the most powerful outbound sales tools is called Local Presence, which enables reps to dial prospects from local telephone numbers automatically. This can be a game-changer. Dialing reps from local numbers can lift call connection rates by up to 400%.
Unfortunately, plummeting reach rates is just one challenge that’s keeping sales leaders up late at night. Check out our latest eBook for insight into emerging trends that your peers are struggling with. Our eBook also offers actionable tips to overcome each of these challenges.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.