Prospecting Statistics Show 48% of Reps Quit After One Call

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 11-03-2008

I wrote our sales training manual a couple of years ago and this week went back to review and update some of the information.  The material was written for people who are new to the office products industry and includes information for outside reps and for tele-sales reps.  During this weeks one-on-one meetings I have with all my direct reports a comment was made about the difficulty this rep had in obtaining new business, i.e. prospecting.  Granted that there are not many things more stressful than spending a day out cold call prospecting for new business.  I teach my reps to do their homework in advance before they ever contact the prospective company.  But that process wasn’t the issue.  The issue was that only one call was being made, no follow up calls were being made, the rep assumed the prospect would be so impressed with his information they would want to call him back for the appointment.  I guess in a perfect world that could happen, but in reality that rarely ever happens.  This rep is a very good sales person and an excellent customer champion. His problem did remind me of a page in my training book that specifically addressed his dilemma.  Let’s look at some industry statistics.

  1. It takes an average of 6 calls before the prospect buys.
  2. 80% of New Account Sales occur after the 5th call.
  3. 48% of reps quit after the first call.
  4. 25% quit after the second call.
  5. Only 10% of reps make more than three calls.

You can see that this rep was falling into the 48% category which clearly identified part of his problem.  We could actually prove that most of his new account acquisitions actually did occur after at least five calls once we looked specifically at some historical data.  Therefore, if he continued to call on the prospect every two weeks (my recommended call rate) it would take on average of about three months to open the account.   This wasn’t new information but as we all get so busy in our every day business activities he had forgotten this valuable statistic.  Don’t fall into the 48% who quit after the first call, instead be a part of the 10% who get the business because of your diligence, professionalism, and relationship building skills.

“Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” -W. Clement Stone

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