The other day, one of my clients inquired what is the best time of day to call on companies in the United States. The question came up because this rapidly growing firm has existing client relationships in most regions of the world, and they are looking to expand their presence in the U.S.
As it turns out, Salesmate, a CRM software provider, recently conducted a research study to determine the best day of the week and time of day to make a sales phone call.
Below I’ve listed my five key takeaways from Salesmate’s published research findings and also included my italicized commentary:
The middle of the week is the best stretch of days to do cold outreach. – [WESSELS] Agreed. Extended weekends on Mondays and/or Friday come into play here, as it can be challenging to get a hold of someone on those days. Thus, it typically is easier to reach someone between Tuesday and Thursday. Plus, you have to factor in that even if you do reach someone early on a Monday, they may be less inclined to give you their full attention if they are dreading being back in the office and overwhelmed by the treacherous week ahead. Similarly, certain individuals may be partially checked out when you do manage to get a hold of them on a Friday afternoon as they are likely more focused on upcoming weekend plans.
Wednesday is the best day of the week for sales prospecting, followed by Thursday, and Tuesday. –[WESSELS] Agreed. In reality, ALL of these middle of the week days are great for prospecting. It’s crucial to always be prospecting, though, and to not get too behind on your weekly goals for calls made and contacts reached so that you’re not routinely in catch-up mode on Wednesday or Thursday.
Fridays and Mondays are the worst days of the week for initial prospecting calls. – [WESSELS] Makes sense. However, Fridays and Mondays should not be avoided completely. Remember, people are generally in great moods on Fridays. Why not use that to your advantage and have a productive outbound call block on Friday mornings? Similarly, a solid performance on Monday can set the tone for your entire week’s outbound efforts. Why not get off to a good start on Mondays and keep the momentum going. Your target market niche may even be more open to taking your call on a Monday morning than you think. Definitely try for yourself to validate what works best for you.
The 4-5pm block is the best time slot to reach a decision-maker and have a productive conversation followed by 10-11am and 9-10am. – [WESSELS] This is a noteworthy finding. Personally, I am more of a morning person so I tend to have more productive sales conversations in the mornings. Plus, since I have international clients, there are days when I’m doing some very early calls. For that reason, I make a concerted effort to do more calls in the mid-mornings than late in the afternoon. Nevertheless, it is a fact that many executives and business owners are more apt to take a call late in the day before closing up shop. For that reason, I’m not surprised the 4-5pm hour came in at number one here. It’s important to note that to be a top producer, you should not only consistently attack the certain days and times where your decision-makers and influencers are the most available, but also when you are the most alert, upbeat, and on top of your game.
Most sales reps are weak at reaching the decision-maker and following up as they tend to give up after three outbound attempts. – [WESSELS] Completely agree here. On that note, Sandler Training has even asserted that only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts with a prospect. This lack of effort is mind-boggling considering that Sandler’s extensive research also has found that 80% of sales are made on the fifth contact or after!
For those who want to go deeper, you can check out the comprehensive findings from the Salesmate study below.
In closing, what days of the week and times of the day do your sales team have the most success in reaching the executive sponsors and decision-makers for your ideal target client?
Does your experience correlate with the learnings and analysis of Salesmate’s research on the ideal time to make a sales call?
If you are looking to expand into new markets or further penetrate existing markets, contact RevSherpas to explore how we can help you develop the appropriate global sales operating model and simplify, standardize, and automate your sales process to rapidly accelerate your sales performance and dominate your competition.
For context, that is the highest recorded number ever. Many of the drivers for so many workers quitting include the rethinking of personal values and priorities due to pandemic pressures, vaccine mandates, a strong job market, and the pursuit of business ownership.
Going forward, will executives and senior workers continue to leave their corporate jobs in record numbers? All signs and forecasts seem to indicate so.
QuickBooks, for instance, forecasts that nearly 17 million new small businesses will be launched in 2022.
Is yours next?
If that sounds like a big number, it is. Per QuickBooks’ analysis of the U.S. Census data, that means that nearly one of three of these projected 17 million business owners will need to incorporate and hire staff. As a result, Quickbooks projects that 5.6 million new business owners in 2022 will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). That enormous number of new EIN registrations would also top the prior record of 5.3 million from 2021.
At the start of the pandemic, small businesses were easily the most negatively impacted by COVID with so many unfortunately having to abruptly close. Government-mandated office and store closures, physical distancing measures, and supply chain delays and disruptions led to the rapid disappearance of customers for many small businesses, particularly the ones that were not ready and able to transition to more of a remote commerce operating model.
The tides have turned, though, as the Great Resignation has clearly fueled a small business revolution. Many savvy and seasoned workers are choosing to skip the job hunt outright and go all-in on their pursuit of entrepreneurship.
Are you as well? If not now, when?
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking to transition from Corporate America to the path of business ownership, RevSherpas can help.
Luckily for small to mid-sized businesses, the recent onslaught of technological innovations and improvements in mobile, cloud computing, P2P payment systems, AI (artificial intelligence), blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things), and robotics has made streamlining and automating core marketing, sales, customer engagement, and service activities easier and more affordable than ever before. In fact, many sophisticated prospecting, lead tracking, sales pipeline management, and marketing autoresponder solutions that were previously only available at the larger enterprise level for Fortune 500 corporations and leading global brands are now accessible to everyone, including both established and aspiring, hungry business owners, such as yourself.
CONTACT US to explore your options and determine if it makes sense to transition from corporate to entrepreneurship. We’ve been in your shoes and have quickly and successfully made the transition ourselves. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and there certainly are many advantages to advancing your career in the corporate arena.
GET IN TOUCH to hear more about how our revenue growth acceleration consulting practice has lessened the learning curve for hundreds of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. (and beyond) and how we can minimize your risk, speed up your path to business ownership (and profitability), and help you find more high-paying clients with less effort and more consistency using our internationally proven and proprietary Client Connect!™ formula.
The entrepreneur’s life and journey are quite chaotic. It’s rarely smooth, steady, or predictable. False starts, setbacks, and wrong turns are bound to occur early and often.
“Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.” ― Denis Waitley
“Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ― Michael Jordan
After coaching and consulting for hundreds of business owners and early-stage entrepreneurs, it’s become clear that elite entrepreneurs expect and embrace failure. I’m not advocating that they look forward to and enjoy failure. Rather, they have reframed their mind to look at failure differently. Top producers recognize that imperfect action, experimentation, iteration, and refinement are necessary to achieve success and sustained profitability.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” ― Arianna Huffington
“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” ― John F. Kennedy
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Industry leaders are the ones that push through the uncertainty and short-term failures they face. Business owners that convert setbacks into opportunities and constantly keep going forward rather than dwelling on their negative outcomes are the ones that dominate their competition.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” ― Confucius
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas Edison
“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” ― Dale Carnegie
The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that view failures as unavoidable and temporary. They identify where their approach went wrong, often with an independent business advisor or coach, and they constantly learn from their mistakes and disappointing results. Thus, they are able to quickly adapt and pivot to improve and de-risk their situation going forward.
“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” ― Barack Obama
How do you respond to the fear of failure as you run and grow your business? Please comment below.
Thanks for your continued readership and interest in RevSherpas. Make it a productive and profitable week!
The above poem is entitled Thinking and was written by Walter D. Wintle. I first came across it in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Whether you are in the launch, grow, or scale stage of your entrepreneurial journey, you will encounter adversity. The encouragement from this poem is a solid reminder of how mental toughness, a powerful mindset, and a positive attitude can help you face and overcome the inevitable ups and downs that owning and running a business will bring.
COMMENT BELOW on what you think of this poem.
Feel free to share some of your favorite poems/quotes/books on mindset mastery, too.
Traditional leadership practices and the relationship between business owners, executives, and their staff are evolving. Today’s modern workforce prefers a leader that is a coach and mentor rather than a boss or micromanager. These employees want a leader who inspires, encourages, and supports them rather than one who is always telling them what to do.
So which qualities should business owners or executives exhibit to be considered good leaders?
Is it confidence, decisiveness, drive, determination, dependability, grit, positivity, integrity, accountability, strategic vision, innovation, authenticity, humility, and/or empathy?
HubSpot recently conducted a survey on the most important traits and skills of good leaders. As you see below, stellar communication skills came in at number one well ahead of the pack.
It’s clear that business leaders that stick to outdated leadership tactics will be unable to effectively communicate and connect deeply with their team members, thereby negatively impacting company culture, team morale, and the employee experience as well as overall execution. Thus, employee engagement, focus, productivity, and collaboration will suffer. As a result, burnout will increase, and, ultimately, company performance will quickly and drastically decline, too.
Peter Drucker made the distinction that “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
As you take responsibility for the livelihoods of more and more employees, transforming from a manager to a leader is crucial to the longevity of your firm.
If you used to be a solopreneur and now find yourself with a growing number of employees, you’re probably wondering how you can step up your game and become a better leader and get more out of your staff consistently. With that, here are nine guiding principles on how to become a more effective leader at work:
Clearly and frequently communicate the underlying purpose, meaning, and added value of each employee’s role and responsibilities and how it benefits the company, your clients, and the greater economy and society.
Constantly remind staff why their commitment and contributions matter.
Demonstrate that you trust your staff and you have confidence in their ability to independently get critical tasks and projects done.
Support their goals, ambitions, and ongoing personal and professional development.
Always express appreciation for a job well done and leave no doubt that you have their back.
Be easily approachable and advise, mentor, and motivate employees as needed. Lead by example.
Encourage direct reports and all staff to foster new connections and relationships outside of your own team or department.
Listen well, be transparent and authentic, and promote open dialogue and a collaborative environment.
Be adept at giving, receiving, and responding to feedback.
Pushing your team hard nonstop only gets you so far. That old-school leadership approach is not sustainable. If you are committed to driving your firm to new heights, you have to set the tone and provide a positive example and clear direction from the top.
Reach out to RevSherpas to learn how we can enhance your executive leadership skills and help establish better communication and cross-team collaboration throughout your organization so that you can better serve your customers and dominate your competition.
Many business owners struggle with sales. Perhaps you’re one of them?
Let’s face it, not all entrepreneurs realized when they started their business venture that selling would be such a critical skill for them to grow their business, agency, or practice. If you’ve recently encountered a sales slowdown, what should you do? Should you start posting or advertising on the en-vogue social media platform of the month? It’s safe to say that’s probably not going to be your long-term solution.
That being said, what are your options?
While many will likely steer you down one path or another (usually the social media and/or expensive advertising route) without really attempting to diagnose and understand the root cause of your current sales decline, I’d like to provide you with a time-tested 28 question framework to identify your sales process bottlenecks and substantially enhance your sales close rates.
Many of my small business clients come to me frustrated or stressed out over their sporadic lead flow and unsteady and even declining sales results. Sometimes these business challenges are connected. Sometimes they are not. For instance, some entrepreneurs are tremendous at finding leads, but they struggle to convert them into sales. Others are relatively great closers, but they lag behind on getting qualified leads into their pipeline.
To assess and elevate your sales performance, walk through the questionnaire below. I assure you this is not an exercise that will immediately conclude that your only option to succeed is to be an aggressive, in-your-face by the book sales closer. As you’ll soon see, this is quite the contrary. Moreover, this framework does not favor more new-school tech-savvy entrepreneurs that can easily create high-converting sales funnels. Nor was it created for old-school business owners who can sell with the best of ‘em in person, but are very hesitant to jump into the Digital Age. Rather, this approach is predicated on my internationally proven and proprietary Client Connect!™ formula, which is all about cultivating deeper relationships with your prospects, clients, and strategic partners and mastering and leveraging your financials so you can work less and make more!
Let’s dive in and commence the diagnostic to address your lackluster sales results based on your unique situation:
How many outbound dials/emails/messages/connections do you make every month? – Leads and customers are the lifeblood of your business. The lack of leads is a huge demoralizer for any business owner, especially the ones that are in their infant stages. After all, leads don’t just magically appear. You have to relentlessly take action every day to increase your lead flow and get your top prospects closer to becoming a client.
How many leads per month do you generate and what is the source? – Don’t merely count your lead flow. Also, be sure to rate the quality of each lead and track how they were obtained (e.g. website, landing page, social media site, referral, networking, cold call, etc.). Having these insights will allow you to maximize your time and effort on the outreach activities with the biggest ROI.
How many lead qualification and discovery calls per month do you book? – Unqualified leads are just that, unqualified. It’s important to know and understand your numbers on how long it typically takes to qualify a lead and convert it into a prospect.
How many demos, presentations, or proposals per month do you provide? – As your leads become interested prospects, how many of them received demos, presentations, and/or official bids, and how many went on to become paying clients?
How many sales per month do you close on average? – More importantly, based on the preceding questions, what lead generation activity is needed to win a client? Until you are in tune with this data, you will not have a reliable blueprint to create and forecast predictable, steady cash flow. Saying you want to make $10k, $20k, or $50k per month is not sufficient. You need to be aware of how many calls it takes to find a lead, and from there, how many more meetings and steps you need to go through in your sales funnel to eventually close the sale. Know your numbers!
Lead qualification and nurturing
Have you clearly defined your target market? – A rapid-fire, yet thought-provoking discovery process is a great way to effectively and efficiently qualify your leads. Remember, many markets are overlooked and underserved. The deeper and more narrow your niche the better. As much as you might not want to, particularly right after launching your startup, you have to be so crystal clear on your ideal target client that you are willing to disqualify and even walk away from some deals. Doing so will separate tire-kickers from serious prospects, reduce “no decisions”, and speed up your sales cycle.
Do you have distinct nurturing automated email drip campaigns in place? – It’s necessary to have separate campaigns consistently dripping on your new prospects, longer-term prospects, and existing clients.
Do you document and maintain an inventory of the most common sales objections that you receive? – This is one of the best exercises you can ever do as an entrepreneur, particularly when you are just starting out! Practice really does make perfect in this case. Put in the reps and simulate the objection handling conversation so you don’t sound robotic (and rehearsed). If you view objections as buying signals rather than frustrating, insurmountable boulders, you’ll find that you’ll welcome them, and, in turn, have more informed, productive discussions that lead to more sales. After all, that’s what you want, right?
Do you have a consistent sales conversion and follow-up playbook and do you quickly pivot to an efficient client onboarding process? – The best way to get off to a good start with your clientele is to immediately welcome them aboard and promptly explain and execute the next steps for them to receive and benefit from your product or be able to take advantage of your services and see the money they just invested begin paying off for them. Any delay in the onboarding process will result in the emergence of buyer’s remorse and lead to unnecessary client conflict and tension from the outset. Don’t let this happen to you! Once you win a deal, express your gratitude, over-communicate, and aggressively service their account so that they will not just be a customer but rather a client for life!
What do you do that very few or no one else is doing to make you stand out during the sales cycle? – For example, do you mail hand-written thank you notes or educational articles with personalized messages to your clients? Or do you record and send quick Loom or Dubb video messages to help you bond and connect more deeply with your prospects?
Sales opportunity pipeline tracking and analytics
Do you diligently track and analyze your sales opportunity pipeline? – Leveraging a CRM can save you time, streamline and automate your sales processes, and deliver actionable insights on the health of your pipeline, your client/stakeholder relationships, and your business overall.
Do you forecast your sales opportunity revenue amounts and probability to close? – Even if you’re a solopreneur, do this activity at the same time every week and emulate being the Global Sales Director of a Fortune 500 company. Contrary to what many entrepreneurs think, there are advantages to the corporate world, including many of their rigorous and recurring sales pipeline review meetings. Stop playing small ball! Put structure in your days, be on top of your numbers, commit to data analytics, and better position yourself for reliable, recurring revenue streams.
Do you track your month-to-date (MTD), quarter-to-date (QTD), and year-to-date (YTD) sales target to goal results? – Don’t stop there, though. Go next level and also track month-over-month (MOM), quarter-over-quarter (QOQ), and year-over-year (YOY) trends as well.
What is the duration of your typical sales cycle? – Through your analysis, you may notice that there is a certain segment you serve that usually has a shorter sales cycle compared to others. If so, and assuming you’re not sacrificing profits to achieve this result, go all-in on that segment! What are you waiting for? Do it now!
Who are your most profitable strategic partners? – It’s critical to spend as much time as you should with the referral sources that repeatedly send you leads exactly matching your ideal target customer and that convert into clients that pay, stay, and refer.
Do you know why you win deals? – Over time, as more sales come in, you will discover the one result or outcome that your customers are looking for when they purchase your products, enroll in your program, or invest in your services. This key finding should be leveraged to drive and refine future marketing messaging and sales efforts to amplify your sales results even more.
Do you know why you lose deals? – Be sure to track which competitors you lose deals to and the reason(s) why so you can be more prepared to compete with them and prevent their erosion of your market share.
Have you ever thought about how your product/service/solution may actually complement your competitors’ offerings? – Very few do this. Keep in mind you probably are not the only one that lacks bandwidth or is overworked, struggling to come up for air, and operating at capacity. As odd as it sounds, strategic alliances can be formed in which larger companies pass along deals to smaller competitors in the same space. Plus, a prospect may express that what you offer is redundant or identical to what they are already using and paying. In reality, if you probe and dig deeper, you’ll often find that is not the case.
How many of your sales come from online vs. offline? – Industry leaders have a blend of both and are not solely dependent on one over the other. Are you?
What is your top producing sales channel? – It’s imperative to constantly monitor and analyze the percentage of overall sales that come from each channel or medium. Again, a diversified revenue stream is the go-to model for best-in-class companies.
Sales renewals and repurchases
How long on average does your client stay with you? – Increasing your average client lifetime value (CLV) should be at the heart of all your customer-driven growth strategies.
How many products/services do your client family members typically own? – Note that the higher the number, the longer they stay with you!
Do you know what the next best product/service is for your client? – Everyone on your staff should know this, not just you as the business owner.
What percentage of your revenue comes from new clients vs. existing clients vs. former clients? – A great way to better serve your client base, deepen those relationships, and ultimately aggressively grow revenues is to implement a formalized cross-sell and upsell program. Another highly effective, yet underutilized way to revitalize your sales and get some quick wins is via a “former customer reactivation program.” Provided they left you previously on good terms, any stale or prior customer relationships can be reactivated and even expanded much more easily, quickly, and cost-effectively than trying to find a new client.
Do you segment your opportunities and clients and focus most of your time cultivating relationships and exceeding the expectations of your most profitable ‘tier 1’ accounts and deal pursuits? – Prioritize your to-do’s that bring in new clients or preserve existing clients, particularly the more profitable ones. Follow this guiding principle if you want to scale your business.
Do you proactively forecast and prepare for client renewals? – If you don’t, your competitors are ready to pounce and poach your beloved clients. Don’t let this happen to you!
Sales enablement and simplification
Do you invest in sales training? – It’s vital that your sales team adheres to the same sales methodology. Your sales operating model and process needs to not only be standardized but also as simple as possible for all parties involved from sales support to inside sales to outside sales to sales management. Compared to twenty years ago, it’s much easier to coach up and train your sales force. Always encourage underperformers to read books or watch videos on how to improve their selling skills and sales delivery.
Have you ever had an independent business growth advisor assess your current state marketing, sales, and client service process? – He or she can share leading practices for your industry to standardize and simplify your workflows and improve your business performance.
So how did you do?
Did you identify immediate areas of improvement? If so, which of these breakthroughs will you act on to boost your sales and ignite the launch and expansion of your business?
Contact RevSherpas to help turn around your sales, accelerate your revenue growth, and elevate your small business to the next level TODAY!
Below are some highlights from the results of the PwC survey in which 5,050 CEOs participated in Jan. and Feb. of 2021:
76% of surveyed CEOs are projecting that the global economy will improve in the next 12 months
If that seems bullish, it is…In fact, it’s the highest sense of optimism expressed in the survey over the past decade. Moreover, it’s almost 20% higher than the previously recorded survey high. CEOs are more optimistic than ever about a global economic comeback.
36% expect to grow revenues in the next year
47% assert they will increase revenues over the next three years
Evidently, there has been a clear recent uptick in CEOs’ confidence in their own company’s revenue projections.
COVID-19 and the ensuing shift to more of a remote operating model definitely propelled digital investments and projects in 2020. That trend will only continue.
Speaking of trends, while revenue potential has rebounded for many, is this sentiment shared across the board?
Clearly not, as the technology sector has thrived and is well-positioned for growth, while hospitality, leisure, transportation, and logistics, have more ground to make up due to prior lockdowns and ongoing restrictions in certain regions. Bear in mind the GDP did contract 3.5% in 2020, which is significant since it had not performed so poorly since the Great Depression!
As a small business owner, how do you feel about the current and future economic and business environment?
If you are not yet as optimistic as many of the larger CEOs in the PwC survey, why is that and what’s your next move?
RevSherpas is committed to helping small businesses refocus, recover, regrow, and revitalize their lost revenues and profits from 2020 due to the pandemic. Our business breakthrough strategies are designed to enable you to outperform in any economy.
CONTACT US to schedule your free business health diagnostic and profit acceleration plan and strategic roadmap. With the economic bounce back and recovery clearly underway, don’t get left behind!
It’s been a full year for a lot of us working from home. In the beginning, it was all new and exciting and unusual, and we weren’t sure what to make of it. But a year later? Many of us are worn out by the dual-duty that we’ve been doing, especially if we have kids or other family members at home with us. And it can be hard to keep working without connecting in person with your co-workers. There were lunches and meetings and other times to look forward to.
Unfortunately, that’s led to a reduction in engagement, and employees who are not as engaged are not as productive or loyal. Even before the pandemic, only about one-third of employees described themselves as engaged. But companies with engaged employees have a better per-share price than their competitors. What can you do about it and why should you care? This graphic from Ten Spot explains it.
Stop letting disengaged employees and high turnover impede your company’s progress and performance!
CONTACT US to learn how the management consulting services of RevSherpas can transform your culture and increase employee engagement and staff productivity so you can better serve the demanding needs of your growing client base and execute change and your backlog of strategic initiatives at a much faster rate.
As a salesperson or business owner, you’re probably quite busy every day just keeping up on accounts and following up on new leads. It can be hard enough to remember to update contact information much less anything else about a business that you rely on for sales or one you hope to develop. But it is extremely important for you to spend some time regularly going through accounts, making a plan to not only update contact information but do what you can to make the whole experience more personalized.
Most of the sales process is built on the traditional model of account planning, which buckets companies into various categories without much leeway. However, you can layer in more complex pieces of data in order to better understand needs and motivation, and think through the potential for revenue (or lack thereof). How do you do that? This graphic explains the steps you should start implementing today.
The purpose of today’s blog is to expound upon why it’s so important for your business to clearly identify your target customer, and how it will enable you to build the business you’ve always dreamed of having.
Your target customer is the customer who shares your passion for your product or service. These are customers who want what you offer… instead of just need what you offer. They don’t just use your product or service, they love it. They don’t just purchase what you sell; they actually feel they couldn’t live without it.
Your target customer will result in fewer returns and complaints. They’re thrilled with you and your business. They buy from you today, and they’ll keep buying from you tomorrow. They’ll demand you create additional products and services for them to buy… since they trust you and know you have their best interests at heart. They’ll tell their friends and family all about you and encourage them to do business with you.
Perhaps best of all, they’ll spend more money with you over their lifetime than your average customer will. Your target customers will provide your business with tons of referrals… and they’ll offer you unsolicited testimonials. They’ll post their praise about you and your business on social networking sites… which garners you free publicity.
When you identify your target customer, you find yourself loving what you do. The end result is you begin to work less and start earning more—a lot more. This exponentially impacts your business long term. It positively impacts all future products or services you develop. It impacts the customer service that your clients receive. Plus, it impacts all of your marketing and sales efforts, especially when you begin to develop your marketing materials and sales scripts.
In closing, knowing and understanding exactly who your target market and target customer are plays a vital role in building a successful business.
For even more proven small business marketing and sale tips and insights, be sure to also connect and stay in touch with us onLinkedInand Twitter.