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How many calls should you make?

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I often get questions, such as this one from a subscriber to my newsletter: “Wendy, do you have any cold calling metrics? We would like to know how many cold calls a sales representative should make per day?” 

The answer to this important question will vary depending on the experience level of the sales representative, the product or service being sold and, of course, the market. 

The 80/20 Rule. This is where I usually start. A new sales representative just starting out should spend about 80 percent of her time looking for new business. If she does that for 3 to 4 months, at the end of that time she should have developed a pipeline of qualified opportunities. 

At this point, the equation flips. Now she should need to spend only 20 percent of her time looking for new business. The challenge is that many new sales representatives do not put in the time to build their pipelines and so never reach this point.

If your process starts with an appointment, the metrics you would want to track when prospecting are dials (the number of times you dialed the telephone), conversations (with a decision-maker) and appointments. If you don’t make appointments but conduct your process entirely over the telephone, you should track dials, conversations and opportunities. Ideally you would use some type of software to track these numbers.