“They’re evil.” “We’re getting blackballed.” “What is the matter with that company?” They’re typical responses among b-to-b sales execs when, after some persistence, their e-mails and/or voice mails are not returned. They’re all legitimate gripes. Maybe you are getting blackballed. Maybe the prospect is a bit of a tool. It’s more likely, though, the prospect didn’t ascertain any value in the offer, according to Steve Richard, co-founder of Vorsight, which provides b-to-b sales training.
Richard shared some of his insights and tips on how b-to-b sales reps can generate better response rates from inside sales for a ZoomInfo-sponsored Webinar titled, “Email and Voice Mail Ideas that Intrigue, Provoke, and Actually Work.”
Richard, heavy on the metaphors, which is a good thing, provided advice on how b-to-b sales reps can separate their e-mail and voice-mail techniques from the pack and add value with each touch point. Half the battle in pitching prospects, he said, is managing what can be a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. To avoid sliding toward the “annoying” end, Richard recommended that sales reps manage the flow of information they are sending prospects – whether through e-mail or voice mail – but make sure it’s a steady flow.
Richard stressed if they want to get their message(s) across the plate, sales reps must “break the mold.” For example, the typical voice mail is about 59 seconds; so make your voice mail either shorter or longer. If it’s a shorter message, “tease” the prospect; if it’s a longer message, be sure the voice mail is crisp and there’s no waste involved.
With social media exploding, sales reps can “sprinkle” their messages with personal details, Richard said. When everyone has Facebook page, mentioning that you attended the same graduate school (cap) or have worked with a mutual acquaintance is fair game. The response from the buyer may be “one of 100 people who has learned something about me,” Richard said. “It’s unacceptable in a LinkedIn age not to learn something about that person and to tell them.”
To access the Webinar, please click here. The session featured some informal polls on how often b-to-b sales reps contact cold-call prospects and how much voicemail is part of reps’ prospecting outreach process.