So your marketing team is doing an amazing job of bringing in leads to your business. They’ve done all the analysis. They’ve built the marketing machine. They know the Cost per Lead to the penny for all of your marketing channels. Now it’s over to your sales team to convert those leads. The percentage of those leads that the sales team convert dictates your Average Cost of Sale. This figure is important. If it’s greater than the actual revenue generated by that sale, you’re in trouble. According to Google, even if you’re an online business, 63% of people complete their purchase offline following their search activity. That means talking to the prospect on the phone.
The problem is, we all encounter businesses regularly who don’t answer the phone or don’t return your calls. If this is your business and you’re selling a commodity then you’re in trouble as customers will simply move onto the next business who will answer their call and buy from them instead. In our business, for example, our entry level product is a simple virtual number… very much a commodity product. A website call back request or a missed call not followed up within 4 hours is already a cold lead for this product. Might as well write it off. The figures are pretty stark…
Following up on a website enquiry or returning a missed call within 10 minutes is 4 times more likely to result in a sale than taking 4 hours or more to respond.
Ok, so missing out on a sale for a 99p per month virtual number is no big deal, right? Wrong. We know that 23% of the customers on our entry-level product upgrade to a bigger ticket item within 12 months of signing up, so increasing these conversion rates can make a massive difference to our bottom line. So when it comes to phone sales, there are three golden rules:
Here’s a list of tools and techniques that you can quickly put to use in your business to supercharge your follow up!
ANSWER THE PHONE! CHECK YOUR PHONE SYSTEM STATS
A common reason for not being able to answer the phone is not having the right call handling resources at the right times. If you are using Call Tracking or have a phone system capable of producing call reports for your sales line, check out the time of day and day of week reports to see when your customers are calling you and resource your team accordingly.
Looking at this missed call report we can see that calls are being missed throughout the course of the day with the period between 9am and 11am being most problematic. Having identified this, what can we do about it?
There are generally two reasons for missed calls:
1. Not enough people answering the phones:
Perhaps the sales team are overloaded and calls aren’t overflowing to other staff members. Get other members of your team to agree to help with calls during busy periods or get some extra resources to help. Ensure your team are comfortable answering the phone and dealing with enquiries…it’s surprising how often we hear clients complain about staff who would rather let a phone ring out than answer it!
2. Not enough telephone lines or phone extensions:
If you’re checking your phone system stats you may not even be aware of this as typically it’ll only report on calls that the system receives but if your lines are busy the system can’t record those calls. Call Tracking will pick this up however, as it will report on the total calls sent to your phone system and how many calls are answered.
So what can we do about this?
Call divert on busy:
One quick way to overcome this is to set your phone lines to divert when busy. You could choose to forward calls to another office, a mobile number or a call answering service.
Add more lines/extensions:
If adding more lines and/or extensions to your existing system is not cost-effective or difficult, think about augmenting your system with a VoIP service or even migrate to a VoIP system completely. Typically, adding additional capacity to your VoIP phone system can be done within 24 hours and the system can scale up and down depending on the needs of the business.
SUPERCHARGING YOUR FOLLOW UP
1# GET NOTIFICATION OF MISSED CALLS IN REAL-TIME
Ideally, you won’t be missing calls but if you do, the speed of follow up can make the difference between a successful sale and a lost opportunity. With Call Tracking you can trigger an email alert to yourself or your team or even receive an SMS message with the caller’s details so you can respond quickly wherever you are.
TOOLS: INVOCO CALL TRACKING, ZAPIER
2# DON’T LET LEADS FALL BETWEEN THE CRACKS – GET YOUR CALL DATA INTO YOUR CRM SYSTEM IN AN AUTOMATED WAY
If you’re relying on your team to manually enter data into your Customer Relationship System(CRM) after a sales call, expect stuff to get missed. If your sales line is particularly busy leads will fall between the cracks more and more often. The best way of preventing this is to automate the input of data into your CRM and then build a workflow around the follow-up. With Call Tracking you can push your real-time call data into a huge variety of CRM systems such as Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Pipedrive, etc. New contacts can be automatically created, call notes added to existing contacts as well as Missed Call Tasks create to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. The important thing is to get the data into your system so you can ensure that those follow up processes are carried out.
TOOLS: INVOCO CALL TRACKING, ZAPIER, CRM OF YOUR CHOICE
3# RECORD YOUR CALLS – IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF FOLLOW-UP
If you’re anything like me, you might take down some quick notes during a sales call for future reference but after another 5 or so sales calls have gone by (it used to be 10 but I’m getting older!) you’ve already forgotten some of the finer details of the call even with the aid of your notes. Remembering these details are important during the follow-up as it shows the prospect that you have listened carefully to their requirements, you understand them and are focused on their needs. This can be difficult over time, particularly if a lead goes cold for a while, resurfacing some time later. Recording calls allows you to quickly prepare for a follow-up call or a meeting with a prospect by allowing you to listen to previous calls and refamiliarising yourself with the details.
TOOLS: INVOCO CALL TRACKING, INVOCO HOSTED PBX OR A SUITABLE PHONE SYSTEM
4# CREATE A FOLLOW-UP DASHBOARD
Particularly useful if you’rerunning a team, a follow-up dashboard (preferably cloud-based) allows the entire team (and management) to see at a glance what follow up activities are outstanding.
You may be able to do this in your existing CRM system and if your CRM system has in-built automation features you can even build time-based service levels on the dashboard, e.g., ensuring that all website contact requests are completed within 60 minutes otherwise an escalation task is created for the manager to
TOOLS: INVOCO CALL TRACKING, ZAPIER, GOOGLE SHEETS, CYFE
Even if you don’t have a CRM, it’s surprisingly easy to do this with simple, and often free tools, such as Google Sheets and Cyfe.
5# KEEP YOUR TEAM ACCOUNTABLE WITH THE USE OF LEADERBOARDS
If your team is falling behind on its follow up activities, it could be that individuals within the team aren’t pulling their weight for whatever reason. It’s quite difficult to measure the performance of individuals but what IS easy to measure is activity. Are they making enough outbound dials? If not, why not? The use of Leaderboards makes this activity transparent to the team.
TOOLS: INVOCO HOSTED PBX