Persistence is the singular characteristic that every sales representative is expected to show without fail every day. However, according to an article on Salesforce by sales expert and best-selling author, Colleen Francis, “In sales, there’s a fine line between perseverance and pestering.” That line is typically every four weeks for most prospects, according to Francis. However, our experience is that every industry and prospect is different, making it even harder for salespeople to tell how much contact is too much.
While persistence definitely does pay, it can backfire if your sales representatives are annoying prospects or coming off as desperate. In this post, we’ll give you three ways to ensure that your persistence in sales is measured, balanced, and effective.
Use the Right Language
Your prospects are inundated with calls throughout the day–from clients to telemarketers to team members and perhaps even family. No matter when you call, you are likely interrupting something. Use the right language to make sure your prospects will want to listen to you.
Forget the fluff introductory questions and statements such as “How are you today?” and “I just called to check in,” or “I just called to see how you were doing since we spoke last.” Introductions like these do not add value to the conversation, and prospects quickly tune out salespeople that they feel are wasting their time. The key is to be professional and speak like a professional.
You need to tell your prospects the purpose for your call and what you need to discuss. No vagueness. Be upfront and tell them why exactly you are calling. Is it to find out whether they read your proposal? Is it to find out if they reached a decision? Is it to ask whether they signed the documents they previously agreed to sign? They may not be able to recall what exactly was discussed in your last interaction, so this will make it easier for them to get up to speed, and they will appreciate your directness.
Onboarding and training your sales representatives is the best way to help your reps use the right language, and it builds their confidence to persist in their sales efforts. Using a sales engagement platform is the perfect way to scale your training efforts across your sales team. Not only can you put established, automated workflows and processes in place, but you can also create and have handy scripts and other sales tools for your salespeople that will help them engage prospects.
Establish the Right Cadence
As we already mentioned, contacting prospects at the right time with a determined regularity is key to persistence in sales. And while some prospects don’t mind repeated phone calls, many are more receptive to varied methods of contact on a more frequent basis.
Marrying your quality content to the perfect cadence will make sure no prospect slips through the cracks and that you are delivering the right messaging at the right time to the right people. Carefully devised follow-up plans such as the one below will provide structure to help your teams more efficiently improve conversations to qualification ratio by giving your reps ways to be persistent in sales without turning off their prospects.
Sharing relevant content and communicating via different channels will create value and equip your sales reps with something to talk about without appearing to be stalking the prospect. After a phone call, have your rep send the prospect an email, perhaps an article or white paper highlighting your company’s expertise that is relevant to the prospect’s problems or pain points. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are also a good time to touch base and let them know that they are on your mind. You may also send your prospects a company newsletter or product/service announcement or an offer. As long as it is relevant to the prospect’s needs, the sky’s the limit.
Get the Right Insights
Knowing what to send and say and when to do it will make persistence in sales seem natural for your reps. Getting the right insights will help you determine what works best along with what doesn’t work.
A sales engagement platform such as Salesvue can help you track interactions and determine how many calls and touches it takes to close a sale. And with sales activities tied to marketing initiatives, you can save time and identify the most productive plans. Our reports show you all that goes on throughout the sales cycle and help you dig deeper to uncover and understand how your prospects are reacting.
With the right insights, you can fine-tune your searches based on campaign, sales reps, time of day and day of the week. Plus you can easily record prospect data and take note of their preferences to close more deals in the future.
The bottom line is that when you know where you stand, you are better prepared to follow up. By controlling how and when leads are touched, Salesvue makes sure that persistence in sales does not equal pestering. To see how Salesvue can help your sales team close more deals, check out a quick video demo, or request a personalized demo.