In this Expert Insight Interview, Chris Beall discusses why pre-call research is a waste of time. Chris Beall has been participating in software startups for 30+ years. He is the CEO of ConnectAndSell and the host of the Market Dominance Guys podcast.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The unfavorable statistics of pre-call research
- How much time you’re wasting researching before each call
- How to spend the time instead
Numbers Don’t Lie
Salespeople are told that when you call someone, especially on a cold call, you really need to be completely prepared with lots of information about them, their business, and their likes and dislikes.
The rosy picture is that if you do your pre-call research, you’ll have a great conversation with the prospect because you know everything about them. Unfortunately, the truth is that you won’t reach your customer more than 95% of the time. This means you wasted all the time you dedicated to researching the people you didn’t manage to reach.
Assuming that it takes around five minutes to research a prospect, at the current average rate of 1 out of 21 calls going through, a salesperson who does pre-call research before every call wastes 100 minutes of research on each call.
In other words, if you’re doing pre-call research, you’re taking almost two hours out of your day to have a slightly better conversation with one prospect. Pre-call research might have made more sense in the ’80s when salespeople had about a 25% chance of getting someone on the phone, but it certainly does not make sense anymore.
Finding the Ideal Customer
So, how should you be spending the time you save by not doing pre-call research? Chris Beall suggests researching whether you should even put somebody on a list to call. In fact, you should probably have someone else do the research, preferably someone who knows how to work with data.
The idea is that you should know the type of person you’d like to talk to and let somebody else set up the list for you. The X-factor in finding your ideal audience could be any number of things, from company size, title, industry, etc.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist