Business Text Messaging

We all know researching new products can be a pain. So here’s our first tip for anyone purchasing business text messaging for sales reps or call centers: not all messaging products are created equal. Certainly not when it comes to handling sales conversations.

Many of them promise the same capabilities but they don’t deliver the same results. The deltas between products can make the difference between effectively handling 10X more sales leads, or losing those leads forever. What’s worse is that the wrong product can increase your lead volume in marketing, then tank your revenue  due to sales overwhelm, dropped opportunities and a reduction or complete loss of your personal touch.

Research shows that conversions increase by 391% when a demo request gets a response within one minute. On the flip side, your chances of ever qualifying a lead drop by 80% if you take more than 5 minutes to connect. When you consider that 55% of companies take longer than 5 days to respond, it’s obvious that the right business text messaging solution will help you immediately respond and significantly increase your revenue results.

Here are some buying questions that will guide you to accelerate your purchasing decisions, and make sure you get all the facts.

Top 5 Buying Questions for Business Text Messaging

If everyone says the same things about their products for business text messaging, how do you, as a sales leader, know what to believe? What questions should you ask? What capabilities should you expect?

Whether you’re selling a product or service or recruiting students or candidates, you need the best business messaging possible.

Here are some key questions you need to think about when choosing your solution.

1. Do they offer easy-to-use automated responses and profiling abilities?

Because conversions increase dramatically when a request gets a response within one minute, having the ability to auto-respond to requests can be the difference between gaining and losing a new customer. When that response includes  profiling abilities, you capture the insights your reps need to create personal conversations right out of the gate. Here are key questions to ask a vendor:

  • Do they provide auto text-to-lead for a fast response?
  • Do they offer automation with custom keywords so that you can ask simple questions to capture initial profiling information about the lead? Before the rep enters the conversation? Is this information shared with reps so they can begin the conversation with that personal touch?

2. How do they guide reps to find and effectively manage more conversations?

Messaging is proven to drive 6-10x more leads. That means your reps need the right tools to effectively manage that volume increase to close more revenue. Key questions to ask your vendor include:

  • Is the solution interface familiar and user-friendly? Having a messaging UX that integrates with your reps “home” environment (CRM, call center, etc) will ensure your reps never lose time trying to find lead history or past conversations.
  • Is the UX, or desk, designed to help reps handle the high volume  of conversations you’ll receive? Your solution should include features like new message alerting via multiple channels, custom  lists (to track different types of opportunities,) filtering/sorting conversations to quickly find and respond to messages, assigning a lead to another rep, seamlessly accessing the CRM record from the messaging interface, and easily viewing all historical conversations with this individual, whether they were with marketing, sales or service.
  • Do they provide support for custom rapid response templates? These pre-written proven responses allow reps to quickly share the best possible information.

3. How do they assure reps have all the information they need to deliver a powerful personal touch?

To quickly cultivate personal, relevant conversations, your reps must have access to a complete history of all conversations, current and past, for  every individual buyer. When considering a messaging solution, think about:

  • Do they provide full-context messaging? Most messaging products lock their conversations in the individual CRM objects, like lead, opportunity and contact. A rep can’t see conversations in other objects, so they have no access to that rich personal history. Be sure to ask if the product shares conversations across Salesforce objects? Can a rep can see all of the automated and interactive messages between your business and this lead in a single view?  Can they see the responses to profiling questions and other information that gives them a deep background?
  • Can reps easily access and take actions on buyer and account information in the CRM record directly from the messaging UX?

4. Do they offer a way to share winning responses across all sales?

We all know a small percentage of reps close a lot of business. When you understand the messages they use to win those deals, you should be able to share them across all of your sales team. That way every single rep is leveraging consistent, winning information. When your lead reps develop even more powerful messages, you should be able to easily update your responses. That’s a powerful way to get more productivity AND a personal touch that’s successful for each rep.  Here’s what to ask:

  • Do they support  text message templates that can be customized for your specific messages? How do reps easily find the right template  to quickly respond to buyer questions with winning answers? Is there any limit to the number of templates they support?
  • Do they provide an easy way to update template content? Is there a library that captures all rapid responses for easy review?
  • Can reps all share the templates? Can you control who sees what template at an individual, team and overall sales level?
  • Can you analyze your reps responses to quickly identify which reps are winning and which response messages are working?

5. Customers are done with sales teams that repeat questions and that don’t seem to have any knowledge of previous conversations. They do not want to start the conversation over again and again, in service or in sales.

Questions to ask include:

  • Can reps dynamically assign and share conversations across their sales team? For example, if John is sick today, can Becky take his calls and immediately know of any history with an individual buyer?
  • Can managers easily and dynamically assign permissions so that  team members have full access to history to eliminate those annoying repetitive conversations?
  • Can managers or admins route messages in a way that assures the buyer always is sent to a rep who has access to their history, personal profiling and more information to assure a powerful personal touch?

The Bottom Line

We all know that messaging drives more leads into the pipeline for your reps. A true sales messaging platform makes the difference between dramatically increasing your revenue and losing even more of those deals due to a lack of a personal touch.

Many messaging programs claim to be designed for sales productivity. Unfortunately, they are designed for simple messaging interactions across a wide range of uses.They don’t include the key capabilities a sales team needs to offer buyers the personal touch that closes the deal.

Be sure your messaging platform offers the above capabilities. Anything less will mean your reps have to work harder to get personal, even as they have to handle dramatically more leads.

The right platform makes handling that volume easy. The wrong product will reduce your personal touch, conversations will be lost and your revenue will be impacted.

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