Things change quickly in the world of sales. Until recently, you had a good chance of reaching someone on a landline with a phone call. However, now that smartphones are everyone’s new best friend, landline phones are losing their relevance. In 2004, more than 90% of households in the U.S. had an operational landline phone – now it’s less than 50%.
SMS Messages See a 45% Response Rate
With everything moving to mobile phones, SMS messages have become most people’s preferred method of communication. There is a 45% response rate for SMS messages, while email has just 8%. More importantly, the interaction with these texts is also significantly higher than other marketing tools. Text messages is less intrusive in that it allows the person on the receiving end to read the info and get back to you on their time.
Sales reps can send and receive text messages just like everyone else. When used effectively, SMS is an excellent method to communicate with prospects and customers. Many customers prefer getting short and sweet messages via SMS over lengthy emails and voice calls – it’s the way of the future.
SMS Messaging Properly for Sales Teams
In today’s world, SMS often provides a more significant opportunity to have quality sales conversations than landline calls. As opposed to sending emails, texts are delivered quickly, and customers read them immediately. The speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of SMS give reps the ability to send relevant messages at the right time. Reps can make sure to jump on a lead and establish an open channel of communication right away.
How to Use SMS Messaging Correctly
That said, it is still crucial for reps to have guidelines to make SMS messaging most effective. Using SMS in the right way yields the most success. Your organization wants to make sure to send the right thing at the right time while following all the rules and regulations laid out by the FTC.
There are two main ways that sales teams effectively use SMS messaging to communicate with customers.
1) Reach Out to New Leads with SMS
SMS can help you drastically increase contact rates. Maybe you haven’t been able to get ahold of them on a phone call. In this case, you drop them a text to try to get them on the phone or spark their interest. However, just because you’re using text messages instead of phone or email doesn’t mean any guarantees. Here are some tips for building templates that get better contact ratios and increase sales power.
Don’t send a text message at random. Even if you have communicated with your prospects before, maybe they didn’t save your information. As a best practice, include a name and company at the top of the first message, so they know who you are.
Keep it Brief
Text messages are meant to be short and to the point. Some devices limit message length to a certain number of characters, so longer messages are split up or cut off. No one wants to piece together a bunch of different messages so keep your texts short – your prospects appreciate it.
Don’t just reach out without something of value to offer. Always offer your prospects something that benefits them, such as links to articles that help nurture the prospect, answer a question, or get them excited about a sale. For example, a text message that says “Check out the proposal we sent you in our email” is a great way of leveraging both channels. If you include a link, be sure to tell them where it takes them, so they feel more comfortable clicking it.
Avoid Mass Messages
Text messaging for inside sales teams works best with a one-on-one, personal approach. Personalization makes customers feel appreciated and respected.
Hit the Right Tone
Find the right balance of casual and formal for your audience. You want to be professional but not stiff or robotic. Moreover, it’s best to limit the amount of emojis and slang you use.
2) Build Rapport Using SMS
The second way that sales reps can use SMS most effectively is in building rapport. It’s important to keep up communication with clients over time to maintain their interest and continued business. Contacting clients you already have a good relationship with maintains a sense of comfort and empathy. Here are some tips for building templates that help build rapport with your existing clients.
You already have a relationship with this client, so sometimes a simple text is all you need to maintain positive communication. For example, you can build templates that say “How’s it going?” or “Did you have more questions for me?” These show the receiver that you’re thinking of them, greatly increasing how they feel about your professional relationship.
Customers often appreciate updates on products or services that they have purchased before or news that could be related to them. For instance, a text saying “Just wanted to let you know we have made some changes to our services that you might be interested in,” or “You might benefit from checking out some of these new features.” These show a customer that you appreciate their business and want to take care of them.
You can use SMS messages to build rapport and extend follow up offers to customers. Consider saying, “Since you’re a valued client, we wanted to check in and offer an additional month of services at a reduced fee.”
Work SMS Into Your Business Plan
SMS messaging is one of the best ways for sales agents to nurture leads and also stay in touch with existing clients. If you aren’t using SMS messaging in addition to landline calls and emails, now is the time to get on board!