How to Implement Smart Calling with a Smart Plan – Plus: A Case Study from Mike Dunlap

What is Smart Calling

Smart calling is the act of making prospecting sales calls with a plan. In this instance, having a plan entails utilizing a known process and systems you can trust.

Dunlap Marketing has been in the business of conducting smart prospecting calls since 1996. Over the years, we have developed a smart plan that we utilize with every campaign we work on.

The following are crucial steps, developed by our team, that should be followed as you and your team prepare to make smart calls:

  1. Data Records – clearly identify the businesses you want to call (ie: current customer list, idle customer list, specific industry categories, specific sizes (revenues and/or employee count), defined geography
  2. Identify the Decision Maker – know who the right person is you want to talk with; if this information is not available to you, know the proper title and/or department
  3. Messaging – prepare a message that is brief, quickly gets to the reason for your call, asks good qualifying questions, asks about current satisfaction levels, and defines next steps
  4. Utilize Technology – have a data-capture tool that allows you to properly document the valuable information you gather, a tool that allows you to define and schedule next steps, and might allow you to send follow up emails
  5. Schedule – develop and commit to a schedule for making your smart calls; create a schedule that is reasonable and achievable, then follow your plan and be patient
  6. Commit – trust your plan

If you follow the above steps, you will be implementing a Smart Calling campaign with a Smart Plan, a plan that is targeted specifically to a group of companies, some of which might become your future customers. There are common industry phrases that describe this type of work such as cold calling, telemarketing, teleprospecting, or lead generation. No matter what you call it, when it’s done properly, it is an excellent way to fill your pipeline with qualified prospect opportunities.

Personal Case Study

At Dunlap Marketing, we like to make a habit of practicing what we preach. The following case study, dictated by Mike Dunlap, Founder and President, tells the story of Dunlap Marketing’s marketing and advertising journey over the past 7 months. While utilizing various modes of marketing, such as PPC and social media, we wanted to see what would happen if we included smart prospecting calls in the mix.

For the last 7 months (July 2018 through January 2019) our company, Dunlap Marketing, has been focused on a growth plan. As part of the plan, we implemented a few initiatives to assist in our growth. We committed to launching multiple PPC and social media campaigns, along with an internal calling campaign. The results have surprised me.

We began tracking the monthly activity, expenses, and ROI associated with our PPC and social media campaigns. Having committed significant dollars and time, and learning a great deal along the way, we have been amazed at our findings. The world of PPC, Google Ads, Bing, LinkedIn, and Facebook advertising is expensive and very difficult. It is also constantly changing, and we find ourselves competing for keywords with companies that provide differing services. For our company, each and every marketing dollar is important to us and we are not in a position to compete for relative, yet high dollar keywords.

I mentioned earlier that we also maintained an internal calling campaign. (And for the record, we followed all the steps listed above as we ran the campaign!) Below outlines the findings of our growth initiatives thus far:

Budget / Time: Over the past 7 months, approximately 74% of our budget has been allocated to PPC / social media efforts and 26% has been assigned to internal Smart Calling. Something far greater than 74% of our management time has been devoted to work associated with PPC and social media .

Measurement: At the end of the day, we track our sales progress based on the number of proposals delivered to qualified prospects.

Results: Over the last few months, virtually every proposal delivered was the result of our internal calling campaign. Our overall ROI is overwhelmingly in favor of sales activity resulting from Smart Calls. We remain committed to PPC and social media, primarily because we feel over time, these methods will reach prospects that we cannot connect with via Smart Calling efforts.

Utilizing a smart plan while implementing smart prospecting calls has proven to be a successful addition to Dunlap’s overall marketing strategy. Being a low cost, positive ROI-producing solution, consider adding smart calling to you company’s growth strategy.

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