If You Want More Sales, Pick Up the Phone

The image here is a screen capture from outreach.io, our sponsor for the Outbound Conference (April 23 – April 26, 2019). This is an actual sequence that was used to pursue over 20,000 contacts. The names of these contacts are blurred out to protect their identities. Down the right-hand column you are looking at the first eight steps in the sequence. This image is worth 10,000 words.

If you look in the furthest right column, you’ll notice step one was an email and is indicated by the tiny email icon in the words “step #1.” You’ll notice in the top column they have contacted 18,000 of the 20,000. Only 15 of them replied to the first step. Moving down to step #2, indicated by an icon of a telephone, you will see that 1,544 people responded to that attempt. That is an increase of 100 X.

Step #3 is a LinkedIn connection request. A worthwhile endeavor no doubt, but with a very low yield as it pertains to engagement with the prospective client. Because I know this group, I know their use of outreach.io is excellent, as is their connection request. It isn’t the straight pitch. The next step, #4, is another email, this time yielding 21 engagements.

In step five this group returns to the telephone, engaging with 1066 prospective clients. They followed that with another attempt on the telephone in step six, creating another 456 engagements. In step #7, another email, for 16 engagements. Step #8, an email produces 242 additional client engagements.

There are almost no voices left willing to tell you that you should not use the telephone as the primary tool for prospecting. The few voices that still write about cold calling as something negative still believe that “social selling” has replaced the need to use the telephone. The group using this tool is generating 4 to 5 deals for every 100 contacts they pursue. Remember, the sequence you’re looking at here was used to pursue over 20,000 contacts. Most content marketers would have a tough time yielding 800 using content marketing alone (And I consider myself a content marketer)

Mike Weinberg, Jeb Blount, Mark Hunter, and I all share the same experience around campaigns and professional pursuit plans. It takes four or five attempts, mostly telephone, to gain the attention and engagement of your dream client. The image here is an excellent example an explanation of what prospecting looks like in the modern day. If you want to learn more, visit my friends at outreach.io,, and come join us at the Outbound Conference 2019 (the single greatest sales conference on Earth).

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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