It may surprise you to hear, then, that your telephone sales could be eating into your total sales numbers in a bad way.
When it comes to one-on-one sales with a prospect, telephone sales still make up the bulk of the work done in most industries. Email has its place, instant and text messaging has picked up steam, and it’s hard to match a face-to-face when one is feasible, but the combination of immediacy, sociability, and convenience offered by a telephone still can’t be matched with other forms of communication. It may surprise you to hear, then, that your telephone sales could be eating into your total sales numbers in a bad way. That maybe, just maybe, you need to put the phone down and focus your efforts elsewhere. In this article, we’ll discuss three reasons to put the phone down for a moment and focus your efforts elsewhere–because sometimes, the obvious solution isn’t the best solution.
Interfering with your funnels is the easiest way for your telephone sales to interfere with your bottom line, by far. What do we mean by that? Let’s say you have a mobile site that feeds individuals into a high conversion funnel–but you also prominently advertise your phone number, or collect it to make a telephone sales approach. Your instinct may be that you’ll close more telephone sales than web sales, but do the numbers really bear out?
Too often, a look at the metrics will reveal that you’re breaking even while wasting time at best and outright damaging your outcomes at worst. Some products sell better through other funnels, but if you treat the phone as your ultimate weapon too often, you shoehorn it in where it’s unneeded and unwanted. Again, this can include cutting into the process with outbound calls OR giving the prospect a place to jump off and place a call. Split test and figure out what works best for your situation–because you should never assume anything in sales that you could test.
Similar, but not identical to the previous problem. This is more an issue of never even setting up those other sales funnels. Not spending time setting up your web presence, not taking the effort to reach out on social media, not setting up a PPC ad campaign, not crafting perfect emails to potential clients. This is the next stage of telephone overreliance, where you don’t even consider the other routes. Maybe you’re hot stuff at telephone sales and can’t write a word of copy to save your life–but that doesn’t mean you should forsake other avenues of approach.
Again, you need to research, you need to experiment, and you need to make sure you’re using your time right. It’s possible you’re in an industry or targeting a demographic where telephone sales are on the way out–don’t be a dinosaur in the new world. Telephone sales are a tool in your bag, not the holy grail of sales.
So you’re not caught up in your telephone to the point of letting other areas of your sales game suffer, good. But are you approaching other sales methods as their own thing, or are you forcing your telephone sales experience where it doesn’t really apply? It’s easy to keep doing new things the way you did old things, but reaching for telephone solutions doesn’t work everywhere. For example, a good sales email has very little in common with a good sales call.
You can’t just repurpose your telephone sales pitch for your mailings! You can’t talk to the audience on a website the way you would a living person on the other end of a phone line. You need to rethink your strategies and approach each task with respect–or you’re going to be slapped down.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.