With more people ditching landlines, issuing work cell phones, and/or offering BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), plenty of salespeople and their prospects are both using cell phones for work. In general, using text messaging in sales is still under-utilized because:
- Salespeople are wary of being lumped in with text spammers
- They’ve tried some texting techniques but didn’t see the impact
Those are real concerns. Text spam causes a pretty negative response when it’s unexpected and unwanted, and there are a lot of texting techniques that don’t work. It’s also important to know if and how texting is treated by privacy legislation in your country. Despite these concerns, we see texting being used in some pretty creative ways that help sales close more deals and we thought we’d share those techniques.
1. Texting as a prep for a cold/warm call
Sales reps and SDRs are reporting lower and lower connection rates, and in some industries, they’re getting voicemail 90%+ of the time they try to cold call a prospect. Prospects often don’t pick up calls from numbers they don’t recognize and many delete voicemails without listening to more than 2 seconds. Barring other efforts to improve cold call list quality, such as using local area codes to appear local, one trick we’ve seen salespeople use is to text prospects before a call to prep the prospect. This achieves several things:
You introduce yourself, why you’re going to call, and at what time (‘in 15 minutes’). This gives the prospect time to reply or react:
- They know why you’re calling and answer the phone at the designated time
- They know why you’re calling and reply with a better time
- They reply with a not interested
- They reply with a “we use your competitor Y for that”, which gives you someplace to start
- They reply with “you gotta talk to Bob over in department X for that”
ALL of these options are better than just not connecting, even the prospect saying they’re not interested because at least you know. For these reasons, we’re seeing many SDRs use a text, then call, then follow up voicemail plus email if they don’t connect as their opening salvo. With a platform like FunnelFLARE, sales can perform these actions quickly and effectively.
2. Texting as an alternative to a leave-behind or brochure
At a tradeshow, your datasheet that gets stuffed into an attendees swag bag stands almost no chance of doing what’s it’s supposed to. Instead of paying money for that beautiful brochure that will go in the trash as soon as the attendee gets back to their hotel room, offer to text them a buyers guide or other useful bit of collateral right at the tradeshow. This opens up an opportunity to:
- Give them a link to an online resource that isn’t limited like paper and can be updated with new product features or other changes
- Track clicks on the link so you can see which prospects are actually interested in what you’re selling. If you’ve got the FunnelFLARE Chrome extension, get an alert they’ve clicked the link so you can give them a well-timed call.
- Help track impact from the tradeshow by tracking who was texted the resource link
3. Auto reminders about an upcoming meeting
Prospects miss calls and meetings, it’s a fact of life. To help remind them about meetings, we prefer sending an email reminder on the day of, and a text message 1 hour before the meeting. This is part of the appointment reminder logic built-in to FunnelFLARE by default. You can change that behavior if you prefer more or fewer texts or email reminders.
4. Texting to ask for a review post-sale
If your business needs more product reviews on Google, Yelp, or other industry-specific review platforms, texting the new client right after the sale is a technique to get new reviews from happy new clients.
5. Text as a follow-up or alternative to a voicemail
I wasn’t sure which one to write about, so why not both? Lots of prospects use visual voicemail that transcribes voicemail messages, but that transcription isn’t usually great. A text message follow up or replacement to voicemail lets you send the perfect message AND you can link to your appointment scheduler with a tracked link. FunnelFLARE makes it quick to send templated follow up text messages if you fail to connect on a call.
Texting tips and gotchas
- Local numbers for SMS will get shut down immediately if you try to send text messages to a block of prospects all at once. Don’t spam people over text
- In most industries, using an informal tone will get better results than a formal tone in the text
- Put your name in the text so they know who it’s from
- If a prospect replies with “STOP” or “Unsubscribe” to your FunnelFLARE text message, the system will never let you text that number again