One of the common mistakes folks make when they invest in software for marketing automation is they don’t use that same power or leverage in their sales process. We double sales results and make sales people excited to work by stripping away all the garbage that sales people hate and leaving only the parts that they love to do, so they can earn higher commissions by selling more stuff.
For many businesses, over the phone sales is (and for many that don’t, should be) the best way to increase revenue and profit.
As one of our co-founders noticed from his own experience making outbound sales calls, sales people fear automation and therefore usually fight against it. Here’s why. A salesperson doesn’t want the automation to send a different message from their interaction with the prospect/lead. Too many automated systems don’t take into consideration the salesperson, therefore most salespeople will fight against these systems.
The solution? Allow the sales reps to start the automation. I know, that sounds like work, but really it’s not.
Allow me to illustrate. Assume the sales rep is making a call to a warm lead and that lead doesn’t answer. The salesperson click on the “Leave Automated Voicemail” button and the system leaves the pre-recorded message the salesperson had previously prepared. Next, the choose the call outcome “Left Voicemail” which then triggers a text and/or email to the contact with a message such as “Hey, I left you a message about XYZ, let me know when is a good time to talk.”
Now you are probably thinking, “Great, but what about the next time they call that lead and leave a voicemail? Won’t it be annoying to use automation over and over?” Yes. Exactly. You seem to get it. That’s why we adjust the message and media used between each call attempt. If this is the 4th time I call that lead, they will see a completely different message by text or email from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd calls.
You see, salespeople love it because it’s easy to know exactly what to do, they know what message is being sent to the prospect/lead AND they look like a super star salesperson with amazing follow up skills. and they have more conversations.
The best part? Because we are communicating with the lead via 3 mediums (email, phone, and text) we are giving them more ways to respond. In almost EVERY situation in which this has been applied, we have seen at minimum DOUBLE the contact rate of leads. and they have more conversations.
In fact, we see many people respond to the texts with something like, “Hey, I am interested, you just keep catching me at a bad time. Can we talk tomorrow at 5pm?” Would your salespeople like to have more sales conversations with less effort? We thought so.
Captured leads go into a sales call system that automatically queues up leads for a call at the right time without any thought on the sale person’s part. The system takes them out of the call list and puts them back in based on a predetermined pattern of contact. Each time a sales person misses the contact and leaves a message, different automated emails and or text messages go out without a thought or any extra time from the salesperson.
When we work with companies to design their automated sales processes, we usually have them start with our Outbound Call Worksheet.
The worksheet leads you through a process of identifying the context of your sales call. This includes identifying the potential outcomes of a call and the when as well as how often to auto schedule the follow up calls.
Normally we’ll start calling more frequently and space out calls over time, but this really depends on your sales cycle. Do you have a 6 months sales cycle or a 6 day sales cycle? Many factors will determine the strategy behind your call campaign.
Because of how we know we want to sell, when we design a sales process we usually end up working back into the lead generation processes. We WANT to have the ability to prospect and this requires permission. There are some very powerful ways to do this. My preferred is getting the prospect to text a keyword to our phone number, but we also include a check box with an added benefit if they opt in to text in a web form. We have a super powerful strategy HERE that leverages Facebook Lead Ads to get 75%+ of the leads to give us their mobile phone with explicit permission to text them.
The reason that I want the text message channel opened with the prospect is because the most common outcome of the outbound phone call is getting voicemail, whereas the most common outcome of an outbound text is it gets read and people often respond.
Each time a sales person hits up against the contact’s voicemail, it’s like a drop of poison in their food. It slowly kills their mojo.
But what is really interesting is that a voicemail represents one of a few different scenarios:
With the text message channel open we changed one thing and had over 3X the conversations per 100 leads generated with our outbound calls.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also incorporated a pre-call text message which we send a few minutes before attempting a call to a lead/prospect which identifies who we are and why we are going to be calling. This single tactic instantly doubled our phone conversations to dials made ratio! Can you imagine what kind of difference that made to sales revenue? To profit margins? To the satisfaction of sales people?
What happened when we sent that text is what really got our salespeople excited. See, when our salespeople started sending these text messages they started getting responses. And those responses were very curious.
When our sales people started getting appointments and answers and feedback on when to call, they got really excited. But when they realized that the number of people who said they were not interested was very few, they became more confident!
With the exception of the super star salespeople who are probably lacking a gene in their DNA, most people don’t look forward to rejection. And the fear that they will be rejected with each call can be debilitating. With pre-call text messages, it was like we handed them a magic feather, and suddenly they could fly!
No, I’m not talking about putting a bucket on your head to think. I’m talking about looking at your sales calls as contexts or buckets of progression. Some sales processes are very simple and involve one bucket, others are slightly more involved and require a few buckets. Each one is a calling context and when set up properly can feed from one to another or work individually. For a case study of how this works for a business we set up, go HERE.
When you organize your sales calls in this way it removes 90% of the decision making from the process and makes it easy to just focus on the next step or commitment to educate and motivate the lead/prospect to make a buying decision.
The first step is to download the Outbound Call Worksheet and fill it out the best you can for each of your call contexts. Then text STRATEGY to (760) 621-8199 and set a time to speak with Trent. He’s our resident sales process super charger. He’ll guide you through how to set up the campaigns and organize your sales calls to reduce the waste and increase the return on each minute spent calling.