Nowhere is efficiency more important than in our lead engagement activities. Over the next couple of weeks, Message from the Mentor will look at ways to improve our effectiveness and efficiency in engaging leads for improved sales performance.

Extensive research conducted by James O'Droyd, PH.D. and CEO David Elkington looked across three years of data, 15,000 leads and 100,000 call attempts in an effort to determine how to optimize time and effort in making contact with leads. According to the O'Droyd/Elkington research, Thursday is the best day to get ahold of prospective customers, with Wednesday coming in second. And the beginning and end of the day are optimal times to place the call. The most productive hour for reaching prospects by phone is 3:30-4:30 p.m., followed by 8-9:00 a.m.

Another key metric examined is our persistence as sales professionals when we don't succeed in making contact on the first try. The research shows, overwhelmingly, that there is benefit to making at least seven attempts to reach a lead by phone, yet the average sales rep makes 1.5 attempts to reach a lead. Even more alarming, more than 30% of leads are never contacted at all.

No sales professional wants to waste his/her time with fruitless effort trying to engage leads. These insights help us use our time more wisely to improve our overall effectiveness in lead engagement.