SMS messaging

Personal conversations are the holy grail for any sales team. That’s just one reason sales is turning to SMS messaging for interactive conversations. It’s the channel people prefer. Especially in today’s world when people expect vendors to treat them as unique individuals, not the mass profiles we’ve come to think of as “personal.”

Consumers are ready and waiting for companies to reach out to them on this channel. In fact, 75% of people would like to receive offers through text messaging. If you’re not already using S messaging to create personal conversations, chances are you’re already behind your competition.

What happens when you don’t get personal?

There was a time when your sales reps held all the information about your offering, so your prospects had to come to you to research their buying decisions. In our digital world, that’s no longer true.

Prospects move through 75% of the buying cycle before reaching out to vendors. Consequently, they know nearly everything about you before you converse with them. They expect you to treat them as individuals, with a personal touch.

In fact – 79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy, compared to 31 percent of those that met revenue goals and 8 percent of those that missed revenue goals.

Your business depends on a personal touch to be successful. The challenge is how to quickly understand the personal preferences and intention of each audience member. Let’s face it – people no longer want to fill out forms to receive information, and trends in regulatory compliance, such as GDPR,  are making it difficult to require any personal data for content downloads.

So how do you deliver a personal touch in a world that is moving away from sharing personal information?

3 Ways to Quickly Get Personal with SMS Messaging

SMS messaging gives you the solution. You’ll enjoy powerful ways to quickly get personal with each prospect and customer.  For example:

1. Help reps get personal from the first response:

What if your reps already knew your prospect’s needs and priorities before they started their first conversation? That’s just what auto text-to-lead with profiling questions empowers them to do. Your first conversation begins by asking questions that show your prospect you care.  Using this information, a rep can immediately begin an oh-so-relevant conversation. Now that’s a personal touch!

Here’s an example of profiling questions in a contact center:

Text #1: I’d like to get more information from you so that I can serve you better. So I’m sending a few questions.

Text #2: Could you share where you target your staffing business? Do you serve TECHNICAL, RETAIL, or CORPORATE markets? They then reply with the keyword corresponding to their industry.

Text #3 Super. Do you serve SMALL, MIDSIZE or LARGE staffing needs. They then reply with the keyword corresponding to their market focus.

Text #4: Which is most important to you? Reply   SIMPLICITY, CAPABILITIES or being able to TUNE the solution to your audience? They then reply with the keyword corresponding to their primary intent.

Asking simple questions will allow the rep to begin the conversation confidently, with a relevant focus. They can dive directly into solving the customer’s problem and providing the appropriate solution.

2. Leverage already collected marketing insights for every prospect

If your marketing team is using messaging for nurtures and profiling, you’ll have even more access to personal data for your reps.

Marketers can easily use questions and keywords within outreach programs (such as nurture campaigns) to subtly profile each individual prospect as soon as they enter your pipeline. Just as we did above for a lead that came directly to sales, bypassing marketing.

Be sure your sales team has access to the 360° marketing history (and  your service team too). Many messaging vendors keep conversations in silos so you can’t share insights across departments, so be sure to ask if you have 360˚ access.

3. Always converse in the right context

Be sure you can see every related conversation from this individual so you know about their past experience with your business.

You should be able to access a complete history of every interaction between your company and this individual, so that you can start with a relevant and timely discussion, vs rehashing old discussions, wasting time and frustrating your buyer.

Your history should include all conversations and requests, including service cases for current customers that are seeking to expand their relationship with your company.

For example, you’re in a conversation with a sales prospect and you want to be able to see if they’ve ever talked to anybody else in marketing, sales or service. You should be able to easily find related conversations and learn that this prospect bought your product 1 year ago. You find an old service conversation about it, but nobody’s heard from them since. So you can actually say to them, “I understand you bought Product X from us about a year ago, but then had some questions. Are all those questions resolved?”

By understanding a complete history, it shows the customer that you care.

Be sure you also use SMS messaging analytics so you can dive into deeper details and analysis of how to converse with different personal profiles to optimize your conversion and retention rates.

  • Understand which responses to which questions tend to predict a high probability of a quick successful sales cycle.
  • Understand where you’re losing business, locate which reps know how to close this type of request and then send these prospect requests  to those reps.
  • Find the winning responses that quickly convert buyers with specific needs, then share them across your entire sales team so everyone is using the most effective responses via SMS templates.

The Bottom Line

You need a personal touch to win business. We’ve shown you a few ways to do that with SMS messaging.

  • Make sure your reps are able to start conversations with relevant and personal information by using profiling questions to better get to know prospects.
  • Leverage information you’ve already collected and make sure your team has access to the 360° marketing history.
  • Finally, ensure you’re always in the right context by reviewing relevant conversations.

Your audience will notice the difference if you are taking these steps, and you’ll be rewarded with loyal, long-time customers.  And a distinct competitive advantage called a personal touch.

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