Sales Organizations spend a lot of time worrying about, crafting messages for and tracking “outgoing” sales activities from calls, to emails to face to face visits. What we often don’t spend enough time on are “incoming” sales activities.
What do I mean by “incoming activities”? These are the activities, processes, scripts etc. Reps leverage when customers and prospects call you. They may be calling in response to a voicemail message, they could be a referral, or maybe they saw some of your company’s online marketing materials and you happen to manage that geographic area.
Mark McCarthy, Director Sales Competency and Training for Deluxe Corporation is very passionate about this topic and recently Tweeted “Each call that comes into your business for whatever reason is a Marketer’s Dream. 100% response rate. Orchestrate the moments.”
I caught up with Mark to find out more….
Mark, why are you so passionate about coaching sales leaders to maximize opportunities on inbound calls?
“More and more the consumer is in control over what messages, media and marketing they wish to expose themselves to. When a client or a potential client chooses to call you ( no matter what reason), you can’t do what we’ve always done and just rely on giving great friendly service or support. Those are “table stakes” now. What you have to do is truly differentiate yourselves in these call opportunities, brand or re-brand your company and maximize every minute of the experience.”
Can you share a sales success story on this topic?
“In our business, a simple example is that we have empirical evidence that by simply acknowledging an existing customers specific number of years of doing business with you, you are significantly more likely to be able to cross sell an additional product. Can’t get much cleaner than that. “
What are your top 3 recommendations for fully leveraging the “inbound experience”?
- The first 60 seconds of the inbound call is far more important than any other time in the connection.
- Credibility Credibility Credibility. Never assume your customer or prospect knows how credible you or your company is. Find ways to “prove” that credibility by inserting those salient points ( 3rd party testimonials, awards, personal tenure, # of customers etc) into the conversation.
- Be different in a good way. These “impressions” must actually leave an impression. If you customer / prospect gets off of the call and is inspired to share ” wow that was different” with a friend, you win.
Are there any resources on the web or books that you’d recommend on this topic?
“Invest in 2 books. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin and Rethinking the Sales Force by Neil Rackham. The principles are many and when you break them down and apply them to an inbound call experience; the results can be astounding.”
Thanks Mark! To read more about Mark and his ideas, thoughts and recommendations follow him on Twitter: @growthebusiness