Individuals are linked to their phones 24/7, phone calls are now even more successful at catching a prospect’s attention than they used to be.
Too many salesmen are hesitant to pick up the phone, says Jeb Blount, CEO of Sales Gravy. He explains why using email as your initial (or only!) point of contact is a mistake.
Follow-up emails work when you send them to precisely focused targeted prospects and use a bait that’s not about your company.
How many individuals do you know who grumble about having to use their smartphone for its intended purpose these days? Because they won’t pick up if you phone, they say “just text me.” Perhaps you’re one of those folks.
Nobody can blame you if you are. Texting and email have become the new norms for personal and commercial communication, and they are far less intrusive than a phone call.
Shouldn’t we avoid utilizing the phone to reach prospects if people no longer like it?
Absolutely not, argues Jeb Blount of Sales Gravy. He asserted on an edition of the INSIDE Inside Sales podcast that individuals accept calls and return voicemails far more frequently than you may expect. Checkout these B2B demand generation statistics.
The issue with commencing your sales cadences with email
The most common error we find is salespeople utilizing email as their initial point of contact – and a terrible email at that.
It’s much worse if you’re attempting to create an email sequence to send to a list of cold prospects. It’s no surprise that your emails are marked as spam because there’s no established history, brand recognition, or personal relationship there.
We want you to keep in mind that email is marketing, not prospecting. Your employer doesn’t need you if you can sell your product through email. And in marketing term, we call it sales qualified leads.
Always dial first
Instead of creating intricate email sequences to send to leads who have never heard of you, call them first.
It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s human. And will help to increase the success rates of appointment setting.
Even if you have to leave a voicemail, your voice and inflection are attached to your message, which is powerful.
If you phone first, you’re more likely to have a personal encounter, which may take weeks or months if you solely send emails.
If you follow the rule of thumb and begin every sales cycle with a phone call, some of the prospects you spoke with will exit your sequence and enter the next funnel. You may move them ahead on the board with little time and effort.
But, nowadays, nobody really answers the phone – or do they?
People will tell you that they do not answer calls from unknown numbers or listen to voicemail. But, using this as an excuse not to call your prospects is “a total excuse” used by those who are terrified of having discussions with other people.
Some individuals respond. And, especially if you’re dealing with high-ticket sales and highly focused prospects, a few is all you need.
To summarize, no one answers a phone that does not ring. Because they now have phones tied to them 24/7, more individuals are answering today than they were 20 years ago. And if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Even so, most calls will go to voicemail — but that doesn’t mean you should give up. It is your responsibility to take the time to leave a good impression! According to a Pew Research poll, 67% will not answer the phone if they don’t recognize the number, but they will listen to the voicemail afterwards.
Leaving a voicemail indicates that your call is essential to the recipient. You’re expressing “I genuinely want to talk to you,” rather than just hanging up with no indication of who you are. Voicemails, at least the meaningful ones, boost your chances of getting a callback.
Multichannel sequencing begins following a phone conversation
There must be some level of familiarity (brand awareness) before you take the time to compose an email. You have a stronger chance of getting the email opened if the prospect has previously seen your name or organization on the caller ID or, better yet, heard your voice. Make sure you’ve answered the phone and/or left a voicemail.
It’s time to start the remainder of your sales cycle as soon as you’ve engaged with the prospect over the phone.
Choose a time range (usually 14 to 21 days) and test different channels (social, email, phone, etc.) to confirm you’ve found the prospect’s preferred means of communication. LinkedIn marketing also holds the great success rate in terms of generating B2B leads.
You’ll map out each person’s individual path to a completed sale, touchpoint by touchpoint.
Email is one of the channels available. However, not everyone will receive the same email. Pay attention to your buyer’s stage and tailor your communication accordingly.
There are three sorts of emails:
From the consumer side, we’re used to seeing these one-to-many marketing, B2B list-building. Inbound sales setups are where they’re most valuable.
When you have a large number of warm leads and little time to investigate them, you make your best guess at their pain spots and choose this semi-personalized choice.
These are for your fantasy accounts only. You have to be personal with your communication when you can be super-targeted and have several stakeholders in a single account.
Before you start writing, figure out what kind of email you’re going to send. Otherwise, the reader would lose interest due to your lack of purpose.
The ultimate follow-up email recipe
The next critical step is to get an email correctly. It’s also another area where things might go wrong if you’re not attentive. On the other hand, we have a formula for you to follow. A superb follow-up email has four parts:
This is your first sentence and subject line. It has to be about the prospect, not your business. To get their attention, use facts about people in similar roles or firms in their field.
Continue to focus on the prospect’s experience rather than your offer in your main body paragraph.
This is where you may offer a quick answer to their issue.
You’ll want to ask for one simple action: an email reply, a call, a survey response, etc. Instead of expecting the reader to do the effort, we recommend including a few specified free time periods within the email if you wish to add a calendar link.
To get the most out of your email, keep it to 150-250 words and choose each word with care. When you take the time to personalize an email, you’re signaling to the receiver that you’ll look after their account after they become a client.
Trust on the strength of human contact.
If you didn’t believe us when we said cold calling still exists in an age of text and email, you will after hearing our firm counsel.
Individuals trust other people more than scripted emails sent to hundreds or thousands of recipients. They do not want to be treated like a number. Using a rinse-and-repeat method will not provide results. You’re in sales because you’re passionate about people, and not everyone is the same.
Rather than becoming a spam machine, get the bravery to pick up the phone. If you want to have any chance of establishing a consistent sales cadence, give your prospects personal attention. And if you wish someone to do this for you, feel free to get in touch with us and we will handle the hard part for you.
Vikas Bhatt is the Co-Founder of ONLY B2B, a premium B2B lead generation company that specializes in helping businesses achieve their growth objectives through targeted marketing & sales campaigns. With 10+ years of experience in the industry, Vikas has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses today and has developed a unique approach to lead generation that has helped clients across a range of industries around the globe. As a thought leader in the B2B marketing community, ONLY B2B specializes in demand generation, content syndication, database services and more.