Plenty of sales reps love the convenience of email and LinkedIn prospecting. But rapid-fire, stock messages do little to build rapport and trust with your prospects.
That’s why, as much as some people despise it, you have to pick up the phone.
As young reps continue to phase into the sales force, there is a growing challenge for them to get beyond the keyboard. And while the pandemic certainly didn’t help matters, fostering those face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) connections has become more critical than ever.
Suffice it to say that salespeople can’t afford to rest on their laurels. We have to fight harder to build pipeline, persuade prospects, and win deals.
That means moving from behind the keyboard, picking up the phone, and utilizing videos in prospecting.
If you’re ready to crush it in 2023, here are seven tips that can help our reps make the most of phone and video in their prospecting efforts.
1. Don’t rely on email alone
It’s important to connect with people on social and email, certainly. But think about it: when’s the last time you bought something over email?
Never mind that people are wary of scammers and phishing attempts. No one buys from text on a screen.
People buy from other people. More importantly, they buy from people they trust.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use email. But there are ways to make email more engaging and personal.
For example, emails that use video get a 96% higher click-through rate than those that don’t. It makes sense: video shows off your face, which helps to foster that personal connection.
So if you’re relying on a “spray and pray” approach to email where you’re sending as many as you can hoping for something to stick, just stop. You’ve got way more tools at your disposal.
2. Make your videos watchable
Just getting started using video in your prospecting efforts is a great first step. But if you really want to maximize your chance of success, then you need to make your videos as watchable as possible.
Most people drop off of videos 70-80% of the way through. So it’s important to structure your video so you get their attention and deliver necessary value as quickly and efficiently as possible—before they click away.
Here are some tips to make your videos more watchable:
- Start with empathy. Show the prospect that you truly understand the problem they’re facing.
- Lead with value. Catch the prospect’s attention by offering something to help with that problem as early in the video as possible.
- Use a list to structure your video. “3 things before our call tomorrow,” or “4 things I noticed on your website.” That will help make the video more scannable and increase the prospect’s likelihood of retaining that information
- Caption your video. Adding captions to videos can increase the watch rate by up to 80 percent. Captions also help with scannability.
- Put your call-to-action in the middle. It logically makes sense to throw the CTA at the end. But by that point, most people have dropped off. Put it in the middle to increase the likelihood that people will actually see it.
3. Use the prospect’s name off the bat
The first few seconds of a video are key to getting your relationship with the prospect off on the right foot. One great way to do this: use the prospect’s name.
This goes back as far as Dale Carnegie: people perk up when they hear their own name. When you use their name, you set the tone of the relationship as a familiar one, which increases their likelihood to trust you.
What’s more, when you use a prospect’s name in a video, it’s proof that you aren’t batch sending messages. You’re taking the time to record a personalized message, which shows that you’re putting effort into building that connection.
4. Don’t just call prospects once
It’s no surprise that phone calls used in tandem with email help to increase the likelihood of a response.
The problem, however, is that only 10% of sales reps make more than three attempts to reach a prospect. Calling more than three times may seem like a lot, when you consider that it takes anywhere from seven to fourteen touches to get a conversation with a prospect, then frequent follow-up is key to make that conversion.
Also remember that while email and social media are powerful tools, they have one purpose: to get you on a call with the prospect. That’s the only way you’ll be able to sell them.
5. Don’t waste time following up if your data is incorrect
Spray and pray is popular because it’s quick and easy. Even if half the data is incorrect, you’re spending so little time on each prospect that it nets out positive.
But when you’re taking the time to follow up multiple times, record videos, and build relationships with prospects, investing in the wrong people can be a significant time sink.
That’s why it’s important to do your homework. One tip we recommend at Factor 8 is if you get a voicemail, hit the 0 button to find the directory or talk to someone else in the company.
What I tell people is: try to be James Bond for about 10 dials. You’re going to learn something critical that will help you find the right person or provide you with important information that you can then use to land the deal:
- Who reports to who?
- What system do they have?
- How long has your decision maker worked there?
- Are there any current projects that are a priority?
- How many employers/locations are there?
- Other key influencers that you should include in the process?
Use your personality, talk to people, and get some critical account information that can help you become more successful as you build your relationship with them over time.
6. Qualify, qualify, qualify
First of all: sales qualification is not the same as lead qualification. The latter is a marketing indication that a prospect may be ready to buy due to their engagement. Sales qualification is about how much money you can make with a particular account—what’s the potential that they’ll buy from you?
There are a number of factors that go into play here:
- Size of sales team—more reps means more revenue
- Is the company B2B or B2C?
- What tools or platforms does the company already have (especially important if you sell SaaS)?
- Do salespeople have to acquire their own tools or does the company provide them?
One great tip for this: don’t blow past the gatekeepers! In your haste to get to the decision maker, you may end up missing the opportunity to gain some vital information on the company that can help you tailor your video and phone communications.
7. You were hired for your personality—use it
If marketing could source leads and close deals on their own, we wouldn’t need sales.
The reason you have a job is because salespeople can do something marketers just can’t. You weren’t hired to send canned messages. Marketing can do that more efficiently than you.
Salespeople are there because personality makes a huge difference in how prospects feel about potential vendors. For many businesses, it’s the people that are the differentiator between themselves and their closest competitors.
So let people get to know you. You’ve been hired to be a personality. Use it!
If your sales team struggles to use phone and video effectively, Factor 8 can provide the training and resources needed to get everyone up to speed. Learn more about our training and coaching services here.
Want more prospecting and sales intelligence tips?
Join one of our upcoming Virtual Sales Training Masterclasses! We offer 4 different classes for BDRs, SDRs, ISRs, account executives, and account managers all focused on areas like prospecting, objection handling, running virtual sales demos, closing, and more!