What is List Management?
As I’ve written in the past, the success of an outbound calling campaign is 70% dependent on the quality of the calling list. If the list does not include companies who are likely to need, use or want the service you are offering, stop the calls!
In this article, I want to show that – aside from having a good list – managing this list is also critically important. So, what does managing a list mean?
Here’s a real life example: We have a large client for whom we make outbound calls to national associations to set telephone appointments. Our client’s product is a technology platform that imbeds into each association’s website.
Early on, we had been generating about 10 phone appointments every 100 hours of calls. Then, all of a sudden, our results dropped to 1. Yes, one. Only one person set an appointment in 100 hours of calls.
We immediately looked at the list. We had been calling the same records for weeks. Here’s what we did to improve results going forward:
- Replenished the list with a fresh batch of associations that met the same criteria as those on the initial list.
- Asked callers to check each Association’s websites prior to making calls. If the website didn’t indicate a fit, callers would not call that record. We didn’t want to waste any time on non-qualified records.
- Asked callers to call each record only 3 times, unless the prospect was “smoking hot.” Too many records were called 5, 6, 7 times without reaching the decision maker. Again, we wanted to eliminate any wasted time on difficult to reach decision makers, since we had ample records to call!
The next week, our results jumped up to 20 appointments. This is 100% due to managing the list effectively and adjusting how we targeted the records.
As comparison, here’s another real life example: We have been calling Human Resource and Plant Managers for years for a client that delivers employee services. Each time we start a list, we wait for it to “wake up” and start producing results.
What do I mean by “wake up?”
When we start a fresh list, we don’t know who the real decision makers are – they are never the names on the records. We require 1 or 2 weeks to determine the decision maker and his/her title. During this time, we produce only 1 phone appointment every 20 hours.
- This is a frustrating time and might appear to be unsuccessful campaign. But, we have learned to be patient during this time and make the heads down navigation calls that are so valuable.
- Then, all of a sudden in weeks 3 and 4, we reach decision makers and generate 4 – 6 appointments every 20 hours. Our work learning whom to ask for has paid off.
- During weeks 5 and 6 appointment levels drop again, but during this time we reach decision makers from the largest companies and set appointments with a few of these. For our client, one sale from these big corporations is worth 2 or 3 sales from the smaller entities.
- Then, we move onto the next list!
In this client’s case, our list management means maximizing results by knowing how long to work each list and what kind of calls to make during the calling period (navigation first, send information, appointment setting).