ATM and Your 10 Digit PIN

As a sales development rep or anyone who is responsible for top of funnel lead generation, you need to pay close attention to your daily ACTIVITIES, the accounts you are TARGETING, your MESSAGING and your MINDSET (ATM).  Similar to the way you monitor your bank account, this is where your MONEY lives!

If you had a chance to read my last post, I outlined a simple strategy that I call “Bucketing Leads for Success” to help anyone who is responsible for lead generation find massive success over time.  If you missed the post, you can read it here.

Once you have your four buckets setup and you begin engaging your leads there are four key levers you can control to make sure you are maximizing your success.


I hate to beat a dead horse, but do not get sucked into all of the hype around COLD CALLING IS DEAD, Social Selling, or hyper personalized emails are the only way capture your prospects attention.  If you are not putting in enough ACTIVITIES each and every day regardless of the channel you will not find success.  It is important to note that these ACTIVITIES are not random but are hyper focused on a list of accounts that meet your Ideal Customer Profile and on contacts that align with your key Buyer Personas.   You need to be doing at least 100+ ACTIVITIES (hopefully more) each and every day.  If you are in your first 1-2 years of selling,  I highly recommend that you subscribe to the phone first and leave email and social to the marketing and demand generation team because ……… Spending time making these calls, having the hard conversations, and learning how to engage cold prospects will help you develop into a seasoned and successful sales professional. Also believe it or not, the phone works!

Bonus Read: If you want to be a top 5% sales development performer make sure you are doing 120+ calls per day and read this article posted by Execvision to understand the how they are producing 26 meetings every month.


Now that you know your ACTIVITY goals, focus on reaching out to accounts and contacts that meet your Ideal Customer Profile and key buyer personas. As you track your activities it is important to pay attention to your dial to conversation rates.  If you are not within a 1:20 – 1:30 ratio you will need to find better phone numbers (direct dials can be purchased today) or attempt personas who might be more likely to answer your calls. Check out the SDR Math video below:



If you are doing the right amount of activities to the right accounts you should be producing enough conversations every day to fill your pipeline … if you are delivering the right message … This is a BIG IF.

A few important questions: Are you working off of a script?  Is your script personalized to the types of accounts and personas you are reaching out to at these accounts?

If you are not consistent with your messaging you will struggle to know if your lack of success is because you are targeting the wrong accounts and contacts or even worse you might think COLD CALLING IS DEAD.  If you look at the math on the Top 5% from the Execvision article above, you will see that they have an average dial to conversation rate of about 3.5% or about 1:30, but they are making those conversations count. Their conversation to meetings complete rate is about 30%.  The average rep only converts between 10% and 15% of their conversations to meetings.  Over the course of a month, this will have a significant toll on your success. The Top 5% of reps are setting 26 meetings and the average is only bringing in between 8-12 on the same number of activities and conversations. If you are putting in at least 100+ activities each day, MESSAGING is by far the most important lever to optimize and will have the largest impact on your long term success.

Bonus Resources:   Read Ch.8 of Mike Weinberg New Sales. Simplified and go through his power statement exercise.   You can also leverage Jill Konrath’s free value proposition generation kit.


Out of all of the levers you can control, your MINDSET is easiest to master early in your career but can also be the most detrimental for first time reps.  A Sales Development Job is not easy.  Be prepared for people to say some nasty things, hang up on you, no show on appointments, lie to you, and more.  Do not get discouraged because this is all apart of the profession and it only takes one positive outcome every day to set yourself up for a lifetime of success.  It is vital that you do what you can to keep a positive MINDSET.  Putting in all of the ACTIVITIES to your TARGET accounts with the right MESSAGE but having the wrong mental MINDSET can be detrimental to your success.  When you are feeling down or beat up from a few bad calls remember to take a walk, do a power pose, get out of the office, or do whatever it takes to shake it off.  Focusing on the positive and getting back to work with the right mental MINDSET will make a tremendous difference on your next call!

Bonus Resource – Andrea Waltz “Go for No” Philosophy on David Dulany’s Sales Development Podcast

Now that you know the levers you can control you will have an easier time managing your buckets for success.   As you track your ACTIVITIES to the right TARGETS, and improve your MESSAGING with a positive MINDSET you will establish a baseline for your top of funnel conversion metrics.  To maintain constancy over time it is important that at the end of each day you replenish your lead list with the right amount of accounts and contacts.  If your conversation to meeting rate is 10% and you are able to set up a meeting a day, how many leads need to replace that lead that converted to a meeting?  The answer is not 1…  If you remove a lead from your list where you only convert 1/10 to meetings, then you need to replace that 1 lead with 10 new ones so that you can keep the funnel metrics moving.

By leveraging the “Bucking Leads Strategy” and controlling ATM, I challenge you to maintain at least 120 outbound dials per day.  You will find that you might stop fearing the phone as a sales weapon and start seeing every new phone number as the next PIN that unlocks life changing wealth in your sales profession!

If you adopt the framework, send me a note and let me know if it makes a difference in your performance. If you want to learn more tips and trick to launch your career you can join our Free Online Bootcamp at We also have a growing community on #SLACK you can join at

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