Thought Leadership: Direct Dial vs. Utilizing the Operator
By: Robert H. Osgood – Research Manager
If you are in IT sales, you probably spend the majority of your time researching contacts online and making phone calls that get you nowhere. At DiscoverOrg, analysts spend the majority of their time calling in to IT contacts directly, with a lot of success.
Recently we tracked outbound analyst calls on our 70+ person research team to Vice Presidents in IT at Fortune 1000 Companies. Our goal was to quantify the power direct dial phones have on prospecting, efficiency and connect rates. The results were telling:
- Time Before Pickup using Direct Dial
- 27.4 seconds
- Time Before Pickup using Switch Board or Dial-By-Name Directory
- 102 seconds
- Time Spent On Phone Before Reaching Contact Direct Dial (per 30 contacts)
- <16 minutes
- Time Spent On Phone Before Reaching Contact Switchboard & Dial-By-Name (per 30 contacts)
- >58 minutes
Leveraging the switchboard or dial-by-name directory, it took analysts an average of a minute and fifteen seconds longer to reach Vice Presidents. Some hold times exceeded the five minute mark, while operators were not always authorized to transfer calls to IT executives. Several analysts also noted occasions when they were transferred to the incorrect individual. As the graph below shows, those in sales reaching out to a VP of IT can reach out to the same amount of contacts in 16 minutes using direct dial numbers as they would in 60 minutes utilizing the corporate operator or dial-by-name directory. This makes a person using Direct Dial Phone Numbers 375% more efficient than one without.
While looking over the statistics, we were not surprised to find that individuals were more likely to answer their phone when called direct, though we were surprised to see that the number was as much as 36% higher. This is compared to the 3.33% of VPs who answered when analysts were transferred by an operator or dial-by-name directory.
- Percentage of pickups using Direct Dial
- Percentage of pickups using Switch Board or Dial-By-Name Directory
The average salesperson probably spends about four hours a day cold calling. Leveraging DiscoverOrg direct dials, a salesperson can leave around 29 voice mails and have 19 one minute thirty second conversations with Vice Presidents per hour. Per week this is 580 voice mails and 380 conversations, per month this is 2,320 voice mails and 1,520 conversations or 30,160 voice mails and 19,760 conversations per year.
Without Direct Dial Numbers, a salesperson would leave 27 voice mails and have 1 one minute thirty second conversation with a Vice President per hour. Per week this is 540 voice mails and 20 conversations, per month this is 2.160 voice mails and 80 conversations. That is 28,080 voice mails and 1,040 conversations per year.
- Number of voice mails and conversations using Direct Dial (Per Year)
- 30,160 voice mails / 19,760 conversations
- Number of voice mails and conversations using Operator/Dial-By-Name (Per Year)
- 28,080 voice mails / 1,040 conversations
For those in IT sales, DiscoverOrg just makes sense. A salesperson would leave 2,080 more voice mails and have 18,720, minute and a half conversations per year utilizing our direct dial phone numbers. Making a sales rep with DiscoverOrg Direct Dial Numbers able to have 18,500 more conversations with VPs of IT at Fortune 1000 companies than their counterparts without direct dials.
With our ever-growing database, currently containing over 200,000 contacts you will find real time data on projects as well as an unparalleled 95% direct dial phone rate. You’re wasting your time doing web searches to find contacts, and when you add the time it takes to actually get transferred to a contact (if the operator will transfer you), we’re talking hours of wasted time each and every week.