Don’t overthink it! 5 ways that overly ambitious calling campaigns can backfire
For some companies, finding sales qualified leads is as simple as reaching out to prospects and having tons of conversations.
But for others, it isn’t so easy. If your company offers a complex product or service, you might need to learn a lot about each prospect just to determine if they’re worth your sales peoples’ time. Is a contract renewal coming up? What size is their budget? Do they use a system that’s compatible with your solution? If not—do they plan to change?
The most straightforward and reliable way to discover this information is usually to just call and ask—but of course, doing so on a large scale means a substantial investment of resources.
Thus, you might be tempted to try and use such a program to accomplish far more than just gathering information. VSA regularly hears stories of overzealous and unapprised companies who believe they can set appointments, qualify prospects and begin the sales process all on the same call.
When these companies come to us for advice, we caution them straight out: don’t overthink it! More often than not, overly ambitious campaigns don’t end well. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up right back where you started: with no leads. Worse, you could leave a negative impression on your market and end up even further behind.
Here are five reasons why complex calling campaigns often backfire and fail:
They try to make too many asks on one call. Decision Makers are busy people, and while they’re often happy to answer one or two straightforward questions, asking them to work too hard creates a prolonged distraction from their workflow that can be confusing and even frustrating. A successful phone call makes it easy for prospects to say “yes”. When inundated with too many questions, though, most revert quickly to their fallback position of saying “no.”
They try to explain too much about the company or product. The cold call isn’t only a distraction, though; it’s also an interruption. A BDR usually has only a few seconds to capture a prospect’s attention and generate interest for a future appointment. The best way to capture this attention is with a quick, compelling ask—not a long message that spews out all the details about your product or service. After all, the BDR’s main job is to generate goodwill for your product experts—not to be the experts themselves. Trying to explain too much on an initial call can squelch this goodwill before the prospect even agrees to a second.
They utilize a prospect list that’s too large. Instead of regarding each campaign’s prospect list as a smaller, specially-focused subset of a larger lead pool, some companies try to simply blow through every contact they have, skimming off whatever decision makers or influencers they can find. The result is that the best qualified and most difficult to reach results decision makers are weighted equally with the duds—and BDRs don’t give them the care and attention they require. When you have a huge list, the best strategy is usually to divide it into segments. Then you can work each segment thoroughly, navigating to reach the right decision maker.
They’ve set up too many call dispositions and custom fields in their CRM. There’s a lot going on during a cold call, and some companies want to capture all of it so they can examine, segment and analyze. But when you focus too much on data collection, it can be easy to forget what really gives cold calling an advantage over other types of outreach: the real, human connection. When a BDR pays too much attention to the tactical end of filling out fields, they can encumber the natural flow of a conversation, coming across less like a colleague and more like a tactician. When a program attempts to gather too much information, the call quality often erodes.
Which leads us to the fifth and perhaps most important reason:
A program that tries to do everything often doesn’t do anything well. Understanding this is essential: when it comes to complex products and services, qualifying prospects and moving them through your pipeline is not so much about call volume as it is about being attentive to the message and process. Though often compared to “casting a wide net”, this project is actually more like building a house, constructing the first floor and laying the foundation at the same time will cause problems later, negating whatever value might have come from efficiency.
Trying to set well-qualified appointments while also implementing a survey while also segmenting a market is simply ineffective; still, many companies feel compelled to seize as much information as possible, completely disrespecting the time and disregarding the attention span of their prospects.
So when you realize your calling campaign exhibits one or more of these five characteristics, what do you do?
If you’re like many of VSA’s clients, this is when you decide to hire someone who can handle each of your campaign’s multiple steps well—and provides teams that specialize in all of them.
Furthermore, it’s worth looking into a lead gen partner with the right technology and resources to run distinctive campaigns for each step—allowing them to be effective, insightful, and thorough—at a lower cost than your team would be able to handle in-house.
Nearly two decades of experience have made VSA a go-to partner for these types of projects. In healthcare, education, manufacturing, and a variety of other complex markets, we’ve helped clients manage and achieve their far-reaching goals to the fullest extent possible.
Our keys to success? Don’t try to do too much at once, keep each call short and simple, and whenever possible, break down multifaceted objectives into separate, manageable campaigns.
And most of all—don’t overthink it!