It amazes me how people can spend months planning a vacation but not take an hour to prepare a calling plan or contact plan when they are looking for new sales opportunities.
What background information do you have about your prospects´ company and their industry or niche? Do you understand their business problems, if so — what are they? Use resources to assist you — articles on the Web, press releases, Hoovers, company web sites, and other business tools.
Before you pick up the phone, know the purpose of your call — either to find your decision maker, learn more about a need, get an appointment to learn more, or get more facts and contact info. Based on your objectives, prepare good questions that will gain you knowledge into what the opportunity is, and other qualifying information.
This way, at the end of your day (or calling session) you can measure your activity, and objectively assess how things went. Plus, you have some clear next steps to follow, which makes things easy.