SMS text messaging was once considered an alternative communication channel. Now it’s become a preferred channel for most consumers – 97% have said they want text messaging to be part of the sales conversation. But they won’t tolerate just any text message. Texting can help close sales faster, but if used inappropriately, it can hurt your chances of making the sale.
The Ideal Buyer Experience is Enabled by Text Messaging
Research from Ellie Mae finds that consumers are more than just receptive to text messaging with sellers. Texting is the 2nd most preferred method of communication for buyers and its popularity is growing:
- 58% of consumers respond to text messages within 10 minutes, 17% in under 1 minute
- 76% of buyers believe text messaging speeds up the sales process
- 328% increase to sales conversions with text messaging as part of the sales process
The study also found that consumers are just as comfortable texting with businesses with which they have a relationship as they are with colleagues. While texting may not be the way to initiate a relationship, sellers can certainly take advantage to speed time to revenue by using texting to grow the relationship as the buyer becomes aware and engages with the brand.
3 Misconceptions Cause Sellers to Drop the Ball
Even though an overwhelming majority of buyers want to communicate via text message, only 28% of sellers currently do so. Three reasons are holding sellers back from using text messaging, but they shouldn’t be.
- 50% of sellers say there’s no convenient tool available for texting
Technology has come a long way. An intelligent text messaging platform does exist that not only enables sellers to text consumers from within their CRM, but to automate campaigns and outreach with preconfigured applications.
This includes alerts to a sales rep when a buyer responds to a message, so they can step in and have a 1:1 personalized conversation. With a complete conversational history tracked in the lead record, your sales rep will always know where the conversation stands and how to make the next message even more relevant.
- 56% of sellers are concerned about compliance
Yes, text messaging is regulated by the TCPA. However, gaining consent for email communications is also considered to be a best practice by consumers. Intrusive communications that violate customer preferences are never a good idea.
Opt-in can be handled easily with an automated App that uses a best practice double opt-in process to record consent with a time stamp in the lead’s record in your CRM, providing an audit trail for compliance. Should the buyer text STOP to opt out, our text messaging platform handles that automatically, as well, flagging the lead record and removing the buyer from any active messaging campaigns.
Since texting buyers prior to establishing initial contact reduces the likelihood of response—plus, it’s a violation of regulations—make collecting opt-ins for text messaging part of the early engagement process so you can interact with buyers in the channels they prefer.
- 34% of sellers don’t want to use their personal cell phones to text buyers
We removed this as a reason in #1 above, but to be clear, if your sellers are using their personal cell phones to text with buyers and customers, your company has no record of those communications, limiting your visibility—and potential exposure for compliance violations. With the Converse Intelligent Text Messaging Platform, your company gains a 360° view of the buyer’s conversational history and has proof of compliant opt-in.
There’s a Huge Payoff for Sellers Who Text with Buyers
It has been found that sending three or more purposeful text messages—after contact with a buyer has been made—can increase conversion rates by as much as 328%. This growing trend in preference for text messaging certainly makes it possible that text messaging could become the most preferred method of communication with buyers in the years to come.
But even at #2 as a communication preference, text messaging is giving email and phone calls a strong challenge. Sellers who use text messaging to increase their responsiveness will meet buyers’ expectations for speed and a low friction, low effort buying process. In fact, 87% of sellers say they plan to increase the use of text messaging over the next five years.
Why wait? Get started now and use text messaging to differentiate your business, captivate and engage your buyers, and accelerate your sales process.