80 : 15 : 4 : 1
Those are the numbers imprinted on my mind despite being experience three decades old.
My first ever foray into cold calling.
Although even then, euphemisms had crept in to make the activity slightly less unappealing for seasoned B2B Enterprise reps required to undertake the task. Such as prospecting, canvassing and appointment setting.
No such thing as a boiler room pumping leads into the grown-ups team for their glitzy expense account lifestyle.
My 'target' was pretty much anyone in the finance department of a business. Primarily those with some kind of warehouse and/or factory.
Preferably reaching the chef des haricots yet could plausibly engage first with someone less lofty, such as Financial Controller dependent on situation.
The initial question was, I later learned, ahead of its time. Along the lines of;
Thinking of changing your finance system during next the 12 months?
This angle was due to someone having ran the lifecycle numbers for Enterprise IT. Deducing the longevity of use and hence frequency of switch. Factoring in buying process timeline norms.
The resultant level of churn also suggested a revealing insight which today many may know through adaptions of its related model, TAM SAM SOM. Where TAM is everybody, SAM is anybody buying around now, and SOM those likely to buy form you.
The figures above refer to what I tracked for each devoted day's calls.
80 :: total dials
15 :: relevant people reached
4 :: 'leads' from those considering within timeframe
1 :: meeting set with issue imminently a live project
And lo, an evidenced Sales Development Funnel.
Yet there was more.
The production of these outputs proved remarkably robust.
How to improve them became the next thrust.
Enter the lightbulb thought. It was not a Numbers Game. It is a Ratios Game.
And therein lies many of the pipeline pumping initiatives flooding your personal content feeds in the here and now.
But for today, that is another matter. The important point is your starting place. Because you must begin somewhere. And in whatever way you seek to pour into the mouth of your funnel, you need first to understand the entry-level, baseline, first-run numbers.