With the large volume of flashy new mobile apps out there, the original mobile app, text messaging, has been largely neglected by sales professionals in their selling efforts.
While text messaging has quickly become one of the most widely used forms of personal communication, in business, sales professionals have been slow to adopt the mobile tool that has been embraced by their marketing counterparts. In fact, a study just released by Velocify found that only 2.1% of sales prospects received a text message during the sales cycle. The research examined more than 3.5 million prospect interactions of businesses who use Velocify to power their sales engines.
We are particularly excited about this new research, because it reveals that texting at the right point in the sales process can drive significant conversion gains of up to 328%. Although it’s not possible to launch a text messaging program with most CRMs available on the market today, for those with the ability, it is not recommended that you turn on a program without first evaluating proper uses and the responsibility that comes with messaging to an individual’s mobile device. Following are three key insights uncovered in the research, “Text Messaging for Better Sales Conversion,” that can help inform your sales organizations automated text messaging strategy:
- Establish a relationship before sending a text message. Texting in business is an earned privilege, requiring a sales representative to first ask for permission before sending a message. And even if marketing receives permission to send text messages to a prospect, our research suggests sales reps should make contact themselves before sending a text message. Sales reps that sent text messages before contacting a prospect, cut the probability of contacting a prospect by 39.2%. However, texting after contact can help significantly improve conversion rates by more than 100%.
- Send text messages with purpose. Velocify research shows that most organizations that use text messaging to communicate with a sales prospect do so responsibly. While very few prospects are sent three text messages after contact is made, our research strongly suggests that salespeople may want to send as many text messages as the interaction with the prospect requires. More texts, equates to greater engagement, and thus a higher rate of conversion. In fact, three or more purposeful text messages after contact is made with a prospect can increase conversion rates by 328%.
- Use text messaging when there is something timely to be said.Phone and email are obvious and effective ways to communicate with a prospect, but at times there is nothing better at getting the attention of your prospect than a text message. When evaluating if text messaging makes sense to add as a third channel of communication for sales, take inventory of the various touch points you have with a prospect throughout the sales funnel and look for opportunities when there is something timely and important to say in a few words via text message. Some examples:
- Follow-up on a commitment made
- Reminder of appointment
- Quick acknowledgement of receipt or approval of document
- Notification about missing information or an upcoming deadline
And if you are still not sure if text messaging is a fit for your organization, consider this. According to a 2012 Forrester study, more than two trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, which equates to more than six billion SMS messages sent per day. Text messaging users send or receive an average of 35 messages per day. SMS messages allow quick, direct communication that works on most mobile phones today. In addition, US adults are more than twice as likely to have adopted SMS as any other form of mobile messaging, such as email, MMS, or instant messaging. And the trajectory will only grow with Gartner predicting that mobile devices will pass PCs as the most common Web access tools this year.
This new report is a must read for any sales executive leveraging text messaging today or considering it in the future. Download the full report, Text Messaging for Better Sales Conversion. Additionally, learn more about Velocify’s automated text messaging functionality, designed with the needs of sales in mind.