Help! My Boss Is Clueless about Cold Calling

Last Updated Apr 24, 2010 6:58 AM EDT

Some sales managers are still living in the 1980s. A Sales Machine reader writes:
I turn to you after a particularly frustrating day at the office.

I've been in sales since 1995. Mostly selling ad space...in technology magazines, online, for TV, radio and even the yellow pages. After 15 years selling, it's pretty much instinct at this point, and not in a salesy-voice way.
Six weeks ago I started working for a company (18 employees) that does IT support and it's pretty rare to find companies that are experiencing problems that we address.
Here's the dilemma: my boss thinks the answer is to make more calls. He's asking for 80 calls a day from me.
He's not interested in researching companies or finding trigger events. He just thinks I should dial more. I'm having days of 60 or more calls without an appointment.
It doesn't make sense to me to just call without using today's sales tools or business information.
Is there any rule of thumb for quality vs. quantity in sales?
MY RESPONSE:
Sure. The rule of thumb is "your boss is an idiot."


He's trying to work the numbers in order to build a pipeline. This idea of selling is like a guy asking every woman he meets if she wants to have sex. Eventually -- after getting his face slapped 10,000 times -- he's going to get lucky. Maybe.

Your best bet is to leave for another firm. There are plenty around in your industry, so why would you want to work for an idiot?

If you decide to stay, you must somehow convince your boss that you can fill the pipeline better with better leads and more preparation per lead.

The easiest way to do this is to ignore his request for 80 calls a day and find out what he'd like to see in terms of opportunities per day.

Then craft a lead generation and nurturing routine -- all by yourself -- that produces that result. Then show him what you did.

Unless he's a complete idiot (which is very possibly the case), he'll give you a pat on the back and ask to you teach everyone else what you're doing.

Or he'll just tell you stop screwing around and make your 80 calls. In which case, it's time to hit the road.

READERS: Can you believe this silliness still exists?