Your customer acquisition team starts with a major strike against them – and it’s not even their fault! Years of irrelevant sales calls from crummy salespeople soured consumers to outbound calls. In short, bad apples have spoiled the bunch.
However, we’ve found that successful outbound sales acquisition is well within the realm of possibility – they just need to be equipped to overcome the horror stories of the ghost of cold calls past. By breaking your outbound sales team of these four bad habits, your strategies for customer acquisition will turn more prospects into eager customers.
BAD HABIT #1: THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL SELL
Consumers recognize the bold-faced negligence of a generic sales pitch. It’s impersonal, automatic, and indifferent to the audience. When a prospect is greeted with blanket statements on the phone or in an email, they’ve already pulled up their welcome mat and are waiting for you to show yourself the door.
The fact is, there’s no longer any excuse for this plain-oatmeal approach to salesmanship. All of the information you need to know about a prospect is obtainable through preliminary data-driven research. Data gathered from social media accounts, your CRM, and other sources fuels deeper understanding of customer segments and your individual buyers. With that insight, you can write sales scripts that better address individual pain points.
Yet, there’s still another hurdle to overcome. Sales scripts written in a Mad Libs style are only one degree better than the one-size-fits-all sale. What do we suggest? Take a page from the mobile app development world and create modular sales scripts. What does that mean? Basically, write responses to a variety of unique challenges or objections and swap them in and out based on a customer’s specifics. That way, you get the advantages of customization without all of the effort.
Your team should be savvy enough (through training and the right contact center agent profile) to balance your branded messages with these personalized messages addressing differentiators and pain points.
BAD HABIT #2: OVERWHELMING YOUR BUYERS
We’ve all experienced it. A tenacious salesperson is reaching out too often early on in the process. They’re calling as often as an overbearing parent before they’ve even built a firm relationship. The sale doesn’t have time to breathe. What these sales people are forgetting is that customer acquisition benefits from two key elements: timing and cadence.
With all of the data at our disposal, it’s much easier to time your outreach efforts along with buying triggers. The moment your target buyers are ready, your business is reaching out with a solution that fits their current needs. This situational awareness accelerates the process and leads to faster lead conversions.
For those consumers who need more coaxing, the goal is distribute your sales communications via the voice channel, email, or both. Successful businesses find their own unique rhythm across communications. It might look like this.
What’s important is that your outbound sales program is designed around the times, days, and methods when your customer segments are available and receptive to your message – not when salespeople are feeling the strain as the close of their sales quota approaches.
BAD HABIT #3: TELLING (NOT ASKING) CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT
Show, don’t tell. It’s common storytelling advice that also applies to effective outbound sales. The old mentality of telling consumers what to do (“You need to buy now”) often ignores a customer’s wants and needs, relying instead on strong arm tactics to win the sale. Customer satisfaction never comes from coercion.
It’s important for your outbound sales team to understand the customer’s journey. Get in their headspace. Analyze their concerns. And when in doubt, ask open-ended questions to allow customers to reveal their motivation and challenges in their own words.
BAD HABIT #4: WEAK CUSTOMER SERVICE
Your customer acquisition and customer care strategies are interconnected. When a customer complains about your brand on social media, those criticisms poison the waters for future sales. In fact, Zendesk found that 88% of people have decided whether to buy based on an online customer service review. Whether the review is good or bad depends on the quality of your customer care.
The knowledge you’ve gathered understanding customer needs is a great first step. When you grasp the expectations of your audience, you improve your ability to satisfy their needs. Combining that knowledge with voice and social media customer service best practices, you can create a positive perception of your brand that encourages buyers to trust your salespeople.
What if you’re too focused on building sales to handle customer service? You can still harness the power of exceptional customer service. Working with the right outsourced customer care partner can magnify your ability to deliver a complete experience to your prospects, keeping them engaged throughout the sales cycle and beyond!