Inside sales teams selling large ticket items, take notice. Zogby Analytics polled 1,000 consumers who had submitted an online form requesting information about a product with at least a $1,000 value, asking them various questions about their communications preferences. 75% of respondents reported that they would be happy for companies to call them 2-4 times per month, while one in eight reported that they would be fine with as many calls as it takes.
If you’re in marketing or inside sales, you’re familiar with studies reporting that many online searches are converted by phone. That’s especially true in the world of complex or high-ticket sales. Even those prospects who discover your solutions through online channels are happy to have you call them —multiple times, if needed— so long as they are interested in your offerings.
As we’ve reported in the past, most deals require at least five contacts to close, and most sales reps don’t follow up with leads, which is why 10% of reps close 90% of the deals.
Know Thy Customer
The data is clear. To close more deals, follow these rules:
- Follow up multiple times with prospects, especially those that have specifically expressed interest
- Each time you call, know as much as you possibly can about your prospect
About that second point, here’s the thing – prospects may want you to call them, but they’re likely to lose all goodwill the moment they think you don’t know who they are, or what they’re interested in. For example, if a prospect is actually a former customer, don’t approach them as you would a completely new lead. That just confirms their feeling that you didn’t know who they were in the first place, possibly reinforcing the reason they left you originally.
This is why real-time access to historical sales data – and even social media data – is so important. That data is key to immediately understanding the relationship that a customer has with your company, as well as their current pain points, which leads to more successful sales conversions. That’s why we built contextual data into RingDNA’s Chrome, iPhone and iPad apps for inside sales teams.
Earlier this year, Salesforce.com’s marketing machine began extolling the virtues of using the platform to become “a customer company.” I think it’s more than just a catchphrase. It’s actually a sign of the rising expectations customers have of companies’ communications capabilities.
Consider the existence of a business like Trunk Club, a company that delivers personalized fashion retail to a level once reserved for the wealthy. The Trunk Club uses data from questionaires and conversations that it amasses within its CRM to create a persona of each customer that makes it extremely likely that they are going to love the merchandise they receive.
You need to run your business the same way. When you’re pursuing a customer, act like you want their business. That means taking the time to know everything you can about them during the sales process.