How to Improve Connect Rates for MSP Cold-Callers

One of the hardest parts of cold-calling is simply getting hold of the right decision-makers. 

Decision-makers are extremely busy. They are either going into a meeting, leaving one, slaying Slack or Teams messages, putting out fires somewhere within their org.

I think most of us would agree it's not easy to catch a C-Level at a "good time"?


Why should we care?


We should be concerned with connect rates because if a Business Development Rep (BDR) can't connect at least 4 times a day, the odds of MSP appointment-setting going well declines substantially.

And not only that, low connect rates also lead to BDR burn out faster than  New York minute.

So in this article I'll share a just a few simple ways to overcome abysmally low connect rates.


Develop a Repeatable Gatekeeper Process


Receptionists, or as we call them, "Gatekeepers", are often the first barrier BDRs encounter. 



In our experience, the key to navigating the secretary is to be patient. Let's not burn the bridge by being pushy or desperate!

Instead, let's have a repeatable process for how we will get gatekeepers on our side.

For example, a cold-call sequence may include 6 call tasks spread over a couple of weeks time, which means we could be interacting with "Mary," the gatekeeper, many times!

Therefore, let's document the talk track for each, shall we?

Call 1 - Good morning. John Smith please... (a simple and straightforward ask)...No? No problem, may I leave a voicemail? When's a better time for me to call back?

Call 2. Good afternoon [Mary], how are you doing today?...Great! I missed John the last time -- can I catch him now? (recall her name is Mary and try a different time of day)

Call 3. Good morning Mary, this is Derek again, you're probably recognize my voice by now. How are you? Good to hear. So, I haven't had any luck connecting to John. Maybe you can help me out. Is John the one who oversees technology decisions there or would that be Sean?


What matters isn't so much what you say, but it's how you say it and that we have a different talk track to gather intel progressively on each subsequent interaction.

When asked "What is the reason for the call?" you have to have an answer that is not related to sales. Think events. Think stories. What value are you bringing to the decision maker and relay that in a simple way.

"I'm calling about a cybersecurity incident that happened with local firm -- we wanted to share this with the person in charge of IT."


Leave Voicemails to Drive Reply Rates


According to Orum, a SaaS calling platform, in over 7 million calls placed on their tool, they've observed that leaving voicemails leads to a higher pick-up rate.

We have seen a similar impact. Voicemails lead to higher email open rates and replies.

For example, here is a simple voicemail template:

"Hi John, this is Derek. I emailed you today with subject line "cyberinsurance readiness." If have a moment, please let me know what you think of my question. Thank you and have a great day."

Use voicemails to point prospects towards your emails because not only can you calmly ask your question in the body of the email, but prospects who are interested will tend to open your email many times and sometimes even forward it others internally, thus sending your more signs of interest with 5, 10 or 20 email opens!

And remember, any email reply is better than nothing - a "no, thank you" means we can stop wasting our previous dialing time on a prospect who's not ready to talk!


Work the Account, not the Contact


Unless an MSP is targeting very small businesses or start-ups, it's fair to say that most decision-makers aren't deciding on vendor relationships alone, in fact, they are part of a committee with many decision-makers and influencers.

According to Gartner, the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they've gathered independently and must deconflict with the group.

This is why BDRs should hunt the account and not the contact.

So what does this look like in practice?

During cold-calls, it means the BDR can ask for different decision makers. In emails, BDRs can enroll more than one contact in a sequence, and we may even have different email copy depending on the persona.

An IT director looks at co-managed very differently than say an CFO!

Therefore, it's a good idea to hunt more than one person and to keep track of your progress as you go.








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