Servicing existing customers’ needs will always tend to have your priority as you perform your sales role day-to-day. It is very easy to let prospecting slip and become too hard to do. The best way to avoid this is to have regular, scheduled times for identifying and contacting leads and to make allowances for new business presentations.
Consider the following example; you know that it takes approximately 4 minutes per call to qualify each lead and arrange an appointment (or withdraw gracefully). Each new business presentation lasts about 20 minutes and you normally find that with travelling and waiting time included, each call takes about one hour.
Also include further research time (gathering information from newspapers, trade publications etc.) to provide some topical information at this initial meeting, means you need to allow an additional two hours for research. Therefore your diary for this month should have specific timeslots for 2 to 4 hours of telephone calls, and allowances for 9 to 12 hours of sales calls on prospects.
You also need to diarize two hours of research and preparation for developing your prospecting approach. Many good prospectors use their slow times for prospecting. Friday afternoons, for example, can be a poor time calling on customers in many industries.
Use this time wisely to compile a list of possible leads from the various sources available, library resources, directories, yellow pages, the internet, customer referrals, or trade show contacts to chase up next week.
Prospecting Plan Calculations
Based on our above examples, below is a typical set of prospecting plan calculations to highlight the amount of time that should be considered each month for allocation to prospecting plans.
Create your own prospecting plan template and see how much time you and your team needs to acheive the sales numbers for your business.