How to leverage SMS / text messaging to accelerate sales

February 28, 2017
Priyanka Vermani

Leverage Texting to accelerate sales

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” said Abrahim Lincoln, one of the finest leaders in the American history.

Inefficient tools waste energy. Which is why it is critical to find the best tools for any task.

Let’s apply the ‘axe’ analogy to your sales team, that is assigned the most important task of bringing home the bacon. Have you given them the appropriate tools for reaching out to the millennial customers? And are they sharpening their tools often?

The age-old tools that the sales team have in their arsenal are cold calling and emailing. Phone culture is slowly dying. Let’s accept it. Phone continues to be one of the biggest workplace interruptions, with email trailing behind. In that case, how are sales teams supposed to reach out to the prospective customers?

SMS / Text Messaging – New kid on the block

A study reveals that text messages, on an average, are read, in under five seconds. Another study suggests that 90% of leads prefer to receive messages vs calls from a sales representative. No wonder, those who have embraced the power of text messaging find that their sales conversations have increased by 40%[1].

How do sales teams leverage the power of SMS / text messaging?

Let us understand this through the example of Jeff, who is heading the Sales team of a leading SaaS company.

Challenge: With so many leads trickling in every single day from multiple sources, Jeff’s team found it extremely challenging to engage and nurture leads, who were in different phases of the sales cycle. It was also difficult to keep a tab on the different conversations with the leads.

Opportunity: Jeff thought of leveraging texting to consistently maintain a pipeline of warm leads.

To take advantage of the potential with text messaging, Jeff implemented the following:

1. Immediately respond to lead requests via SMS / text message

As soon as a lead is created, Jeff triggered an automated text message to welcome the lead and introduce him to the sales representative. Jeff also shared key information, based on the lead’s industry, to begin the conversation.

Here’s an example of the text message Jeff created:

“Hi <Firstname>, Thank you for your interest in Software X. Our representative Joe will connect with you shortly. You can go through our resource to understand how others in your industry are using Software X for increasing productivity. http://bit.ly/2bR
2. Stay on top-of-mind of buyers with consistent, relevant SMS / text conversations

Jeff knew that to keep the sales pipeline warm, it was important that sales representatives touch base with the leads regularly. However, looking at the daily tasks of sales representatives, it seemed impossible. Jeff thought of automating these conversations. Based on the lead’s industry and use-case, Jeff periodically shared links to relevant content via texts.

“Hi <Firstname>, Solution X has helped <functional area> in significantly increasing sales conversions. Here are 10 ready to implement use-cases http://bit.ly/2bk If you wish to discuss your specific requirement, reply CALL with time and date, in this format: CALL-Time-DD/MM”
3. Automated texting to manage more leads

Jeff also found that there was a direct correlation between prospects who attended a demo and sales conversion. The demo meeting would generally result in an immediate sale. Unfortunately, he also found that these demos had an exceedingly high no-show rate, which not only negatively impacted closure rates, but also led to wastage of the sales rep’s time.

Jeff implemented automated reminder messages for their demo meetings. When the lead scheduled the demo, he was sent a confirmation text. Sequential reminder messages were delivered at appropriate intervals. The lead was given an option to either confirm or reschedule the demo by replying to the reminder messages. This helped Jeff’s team in successfully managing more leads in less time.

4. Optimize SMS / text conversations for best results

Advanced analytics provided Jeff powerful insights into what specific piece of content moved the leads to action. Jeff shared industry specific use-cases, whitepapers and case studies. By closely monitoring the text conversations with leads, Jeff found that case studies helped in triggering the most buying behaviour.

Using text messaging, Jeff transformed his team’s ability to manage more leads and accelerate sales as they were able to:

  • Consistently keep in touch with leads
  • Maintain a continuous pipeline of warm leads
  • Analyse the content pieces that moved leads to action and thus increase conversions

Summary:

When applied to sales, Lincoln’s theory of ‘sharpening the axe’ means -

  • Finding the most effective communication tool to reach out to prospects: With  64%[2] of buyers claiming to have a positive perception about companies that converse via messaging, this is one tool that sales teams can’t afford to ignore.
  • Analysing results from time to time: Periodically review the contribution of texting in increasing sales conversations, analyse return on investment and brainstorm on ways to leverage that return to optimize your sales process.

To learn more about how you can leverage messaging for your business, Book a Demo Today.

References
[1] [2]: 45 Texting Statistics That Prove Businesses Need to Take SMS Seriously
https://onereach.com/blog/45-texting-statistics-that-prove-businesses-need-to-start-taking-sms-seriously/

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