Teleprospecting at Christmas

This year Christmas is in the dead smack middle of the week and so is the New Year.  On Wednesday, December 25th and Wednesday, January 1st, most corporate offices will be closed for the Holidays.  Many prospects will be in a Holiday stupor days before these holidays begin.  So what is a Teleprospector to do?

As a 20 year veteran of inside sales and Teleprospecting management, I highly recommend that companies give their Teleprospecting teams a well-deserved break from phone work, starting December 23rd through January 3rd. If you don’t have a great sales funnel from leads, you won’t get one at the end of the year.  If you have a very successful Teleprospecting team, who consistently generates a slew of SQLs each month, the leads will sit, untended by sales, because the sales team will be focused on bringing in end-of-year deals.  And in general, it will be more difficult to get prospects on the phone, as they too are trying to close deals, close books and shop (online from their desks) for gifts.

So, what should a Manager do with the team during the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day?  Here is what I recommend: train, refresh, plan and cleanse:

Train: This is a great time to train teams on sales methodologies, call strategies, new products and new productivity tools. Teleprospectors make over 13000 dials per year (260 work days * 50 dials per day).  During all this dialing, skills can take a beating.  Use the 6-8 days around the holiday to do role plays, learn new sales methodologies and up the team’s game.  You may also consider running a “demo” day, where team members learn how to demo your solution.  This is a great way to get the team to grasp what your solution is and how it helps your clients.

Refresh: Use the Holiday down time to refresh the team on your corporate and product message. Over time messaging can get sloppy. If you can, bring in your product marketing expert to run a mini-training to review messaging, updates to your solution and customer stories.

Plan: To ensure that the year starts out right and that your Teleprospectors will meet outlined goals, have them work on their GOSPA or Success plan for the coming year during the Holiday period.  Your team will have several days to think about the goals, objectives, strategies, plans and activities which they will implement to meet next year’s quotas and Key Performance Indicators.

Cleanse:  The holiday period is the perfect time to cleanse the database.  Contacts and companies change a lot during a 365-day period.  Which companies and contacts are still valid?  Who has moved on to a new company?  Which of your prospect companies have been acquired? Which companies should the team target to call over the next few months?  Which leads should go back to marketing for nurture? I advocate that companies do a regular database cleanse and this should be the last cleanse for the year.  During this period, Teleprospectors will have time to research companies and create their list of “call” tasks that will help them to kick-start the New Year.

Making Teleprospecting calls during the holidays can be frustrating.  Your prospects will, for the most part, be in “Holiday” mode.  It will be tough to get people on the phone or to engage them during this time.  Leads that are generated during this period will probably sit for 2 weeks or longer and will need to be re-qualified.

Teleprospecting during major Holidays can be frustrating.  Give your team a well-deserved break from the telephone this Holiday season.  Train, refresh, plan and clean.  Come January 6th, your team will be ready to pick up the phones.