As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” Unless you’re in sales, that is – then you have to nail both. For example, you can say all the right things on a call, but if you can’t scale that activity, you still won’t hit your quota. Similarly, you can send a million emails, but if they don’t convey the appropriate message, your efforts will be futile.
So how can your sales team ensure that they’re delivering the right messages at the right momentum? And what can you as a sales leader do to support them in their quest for more effective communication? Here are 5 important strategies guaranteed to help your team kick its sales communication up a notch.
1. Balance Personalization & Productivity
Research by Experian shows that emails that are personalized deliver 6x higher transaction rates than those that are not. Yet if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a sales email riddled with “sir” or “madam” and “your business,” you know that with reps sending out hundreds of cold emails a day, truly personal messages are few and far between.
Rather than having to choose between reps hitting their activity metrics or getting clicks and conversions, there are tools that exist to help achieve both of these goals. For starters, instead of making reps bounce back and forth between CRM and inbox, choosing a sales platform with the ability to integrate the two can save time better spent adding a small personalized touch to individual notes.
Another tip is to select a solution that enables both email templates and merge tags. This allows your team to send personalized emails at scale by leveraging pre-written text and inserting tags like “first name” or “company name” that your system will automatically fill in using stored lead and contact information.
2. Record All Sales Calls
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t like listening to your own voice back on recordings. But just like singers who have to play back their records or politicians who have to watch their speeches to improve their performance, salespeople must also make a point of listening to their calls to hone their craft.
Sales platforms that provide automatic call logging and recording make it easy to access and review calls for both reps and managers. By consistently playing back their calls, reps will learn how to better field certain questions and anticipate the flow of conversations. Similarly, even if managers can’t sit in on all their reps’ phone calls, they can still go back and listen to provide coaching and tips for next time. Finally, good calls can be reviewed and emulated by the whole team.
3. Put Notifications to Work for You
It’s been proven that companies that are able to respond to leads within one hour are 7X more likely to qualify the lead than those that reach out after two hours. The instantaneous nature of social networks and Google search has accustomed consumers to receiving real-time answers and attention. But with hundreds of prospects in your funnel at any given time, reacting in real-time is a pipe dream; the secret to making this approach work is to spot key areas of influence and focus on taking the most impactful immediate actions.
To achieve this, leading businesses are employing sales platforms with real-time, custom notifications. Reps and managers alike can go about their daily business and receive alerts notifying them of activities or occurrences that they have defined as important and warranting immediate action. They can then reach out within that coveted one-hour timeframe with highly relevant and timely information. Examples of effective notifications might include when a prospect views a sent document or replies to an email with negative sentiment.
4. Keep All Communication in Context
As a salesperson who sends hundreds of emails and makes dozens of calls each week, without the right tools to help organize your communication, it can be easy to lose track. Did you respond to that prospect’s note? Did your voicemail say you’d call back later? Was it Prospect A or Prospect B who asked for a demo? Mixups like these can damage prospect trust and harm your team’s image.
Instead, leverage an all-in-one sales solution with the ability to capture all communication in the context of each account. Rather than sorting through your inbox, call logs, calendar and CRM to piece together conversation threads, this type of solution makes it easy to refer back to previous interactions and avoid awkward exchanges.
5. Track Team Activities
As renowned physicist Lord Kelvin once said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” Measuring the cadence and outcomes of your team’s communication is definitely critical to optimizing for success. For example, logging the number of reps’ calls, emails and meetings and then measuring their productivity against their conversion rates enables you to determine the ideal number of activities your team needs to hit to make its quota. It also gives reps a fast and easy way to monitor their progress.
What’s more, the ability to track and view the outcomes of these activities, such as email opens or clicks, helps managers identify coaching opportunities and leverage team talent. For instance, say Rep A is visiting twice as many prospects as Rep B, but only converting half as many. Not only can you as a manager provide Rep A with some additional pitch training, but you can also ask Rep B to provide the rest of the team with her top closing tips.
Time to Kick It Up
Refining sales communication is a process that takes time and dedication from both reps and managers, but starting with these 5 strategies will give your team a definite head-start among the competition. For additional strategies to improve your team’s performance, download our free white paper: 5 Reasons Why Your Reps Don’t Want to Use CRM (But Should!).