The Daily Briefing: April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

Shawn Parrotte

Today, The Daily Briefing launched into Q2 with a more nuanced discussion of Sales Productivity.

Chorus CEO and Daily Briefing host, Jim Benton, was joined by Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing. They discussed how productivity differs between geographic markets, and how COVID-19 has impacted the productivity and effectiveness of cold calling.

Productivity depends on the market geo. #

Opening the discussion of where the market currently stands, Matt offered an analogy of a race car driver. “You need to calibrate your car for the curve and get ready to accelerate in the straightaway.”

Things may seem slow now, but don’t lose sight of the straightaway coming after this curve, you’ll need your teams ready to go without delay to make up for any perceived or actual lost ground.

Looking at the data for the different market geos, we can see that Seattle, home to Heinz Marketing, is on the uptick. It was also an early hot spot of COVID-19 cases.

In this data, Jim focused on the bright spots and asked Matt what the Seattle productivity data says to him.

“A week or so ago,” explained Matt, “cities were shutting down. But here in Seattle, things are almost back to normal. We’re getting ahead of the curve because things started earlier here.”

The data shows that there is still activity happening across the market - it depends on the industry, and how much time has passed. “As people adjust to this new normal,” Matt explained, “We’re trying to get back to business. This Seattle number could be an indicator for what will happen across the country.”

The Daily Briefing Cold Calls Are Down

Overall cold calls are down significantly.

People are still buying. #

Let’s look at cold call rates. “Our data shows a drop,” Jim said. In fact, dials are down 42% since January. But when pressed for what this means in the long run, Matt was again optimistic.

In the sales community, there are lots of questions asked about sensitivity. “Is it the right time to sell,” asked Matt, “My long answer is: Yes. If you have something valuable, you have an opportunity and responsibility to provide that service for your clients.”

Matt offered some advice: “Essential services are open. If you’re still selling, shift your messaging. What is it about what you offer that is essential to your customers to continue to operate and grow in these circumstances.”

The data shows that connect rates are holding steady, even as calling activity is down.

To this, Matt suggested that Frontline Managers prepare their BDR teams. “I bet reps are worried about how they sound. Give them the ways to talk about this situation so that they feel comfortable talking about it and can provide value and empathy in one.”

“Encourage them to invest in small talk to infuse empathy into everyday conversations.”

Connect rates are likely holding steady because cold calling is still a great tool for business. It does work. If you rely on cold calling - like almost all businesses - knowing this correct rate number is something you can model against. “This is something you can project pipelines against,” Matt added.

Jim and Matt discussed other tips to make cold calling productivity increase to fuel connection rates:

  • Worried about having cell numbers? Go to LinkedIn. Look at Email signatures. Look at your CRM. Plenty of people are used to connecting over cell nowadays and they will have their cell numbers listed somewhere.
  • How should you capitalize on a large influx of inbound content leads? Content consumption is going up. Use these leads to make up for the dip in cold calls until they increase again.
  • Will the decrease in calls be a future decrease in meetings? Because of the increase in content consumption, there will likely be an uptick in meetings after the dip.
  • The Ultimate Takeaway: What does cold calling look like in Q2 and the rest of 2020?
    Before we got into this the market was really strong. “I think the market will bounce back,” Matt said, Especially in the B2b space. We will see a dip, but we’ll be back to normal soon.”

Tune in at 8:35am for tomorrow’s briefing.

The Daily Briefing was created to provide data and insights from sales calls to the curious and ambitious Sales Leader and CEO. Whether it’s to provide best practices for their reps in the field or to ease fears about laying off your staff right away. Whatever you’re facing, we’re here to provide data to inform your decisions.

The Daily Briefing Impacting Initial Conversations

COVID-19 mentions have increased 13X on cold calls.

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