We live in a world of instantaneous communication. Whether it be text messages, iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, DM, email, or whatever else, we all have our messaging channel of choice. Through it, you can contact anyone in the world at any time.
Thanks to these channels, we are more connected than ever before. Yet at the same time, authenticity seems to have disappeared. Real interpersonal exchanges have been replaced by fragmented blips on a screen.
This fractured way of communicating has also spread to sales, where email is primarily the channel of choice. Email has been commercially available for over twenty years, and its usage mirrors the one-way communication style we have grown accustomed to from our personal messaging channels, so it feels like a natural choice for sales engagement.
Unfortunately, the truth is that email is killing your sales income. Alone, email is ineffective, inefficient, and insignificant. Salesforce states that the average sales email response rate was just .03 percent. Meaning that if you send 100 emails in one day, you’re only going to get three responses. Furthermore, on average people delete 57 percent of unrecognized messages, since they believe them to be spam. So, you could burn through lists, email thousands of contacts, and generate 30 replies. To what end?
It’s not just cold emails that are at a disadvantage. No matter when in B2B sales, it’s rare that business is conducted over a single email. When working the complex sale, you need to get them to reply again, and again, and again before any sort of real progress is made.
If you rely on email in sales, you’re losing money, missing opportunities, and sacrificing wins simply because you are locking yourself into the wrong communication channel.
Emails are not efficient
Emails are fast. With just a few clicks, you can make hundreds of contact attempts in the time it takes to make a single sales call. Yet, sales emails are incredibly inefficient. Consider the impact a single email has on your sales process. How far does it really move the needle on a team or contribute to a relationship?
Sales emails offer no opportunity for engagement, discussion, genuine interest, information gathering, objection handling, or relationship building. Every interaction a sales rep defers to an email, they give up a little bit more control and opportunity for persuasion. Think about every meaningful sales interaction you’ve ever had. Whether it is discovery, demo, follow-up, negotiation, or close, they don’t happen in your inbox.
Even though they take far less time to send, email conversations necessitate an exchange that takes far longer than a phone conversation. It rarely takes a single email to answer questions, clarify solutions, or even simply schedule a meeting. Emails require a volley of messages that can take hours, if not days, to accomplish the same thing a five-minute call can.
Emails are not effective
Emails do not create meaningful interactions that lead to sales wins. The average worker receives 115 emails every day. Besides a catchy subject line, there’s not much you can do to stand out.
In the same way that emails are inefficient because they require a series of replies, they are also ineffective in the sales process. A sales conversation captures attention, demands focus, and facilitates discussion around pain points, and problem-solving. Phone calls also facilitate the use of voice, tone, and emotion, which drive human connection far more than black letters on a white screen.
When you send a mass email, you have to tailor your message to fit the needs of hundreds of recipients, which decreases the likelihood you will hit something personal for every single one of them. If you make a call, your conversation is centered around that prospect, which increases intent.
The better option… a sales call
“Sales” and “call.” When those two words are combined, we immediately shiver at the connotation. Sales calls are loathed, scorned, and disparaged, by both those that make them and those that receive them. However, sales calls generate far more revenue that emails ever will. Not only do calls have an 8.21 percent response rate (double that of email), a phone call is exponentially more powerful when it comes to advancing the sales process and building relationships. Data has even found that phone calls are ten times more likely than emails to lead to a sale.
If you hate making sales calls, you’ve been looking at them wrong. Don’t make calls, attempt a sales conversation.
With everyone sending emails and vying for inbox space, pick up the phone. It may not be answered every single time, but you will stand out from the crowd. Sales consultant Richard Harris posted on LinkedIn not too long ago:
Sales people are afraid of the phone! How do I know? My phone number is in my LinkedIn profile.
Know how many emails I get a day? 3-4?
Know how many phone calls?? 0, zlich, zippo, goose egg.
You’ll also be surprised just how much more you start to engage with prospects, how many deals you sign, and how much more revenue you generate.