Wouldn’t it be great if salespeople could reach more prospects more easily and more often? What a question – of course, that would be great!
Well, sales magic only happens when reps actually connect with potential customers. To make meaningful conversations that can lead to closed sales happen, sales teams first have to reach their prospects. But the standard ways reps try to reach prospects come with notoriously low response rates. Response rates can be as low as 6% when salespeople try to make contact through a phone call or email! Maybe that’s because sales calls and emails are often perceived – either by the recipient or by software – as spam.
Incorporating business texting into a sales team’s workflow can help salespeople reach more prospects because it has a much higher response rate than phone calls or email. The average response rate for texting is 45%. That’s one of the reasons more and more businesses are turning to text to reach out to their clients – and why most customers prefer texting over other communication channels.
What is it about texting that makes it have such a high response rate, though? Here are six key reasons texting is a successful tool to contact people – and how your sales teams can use it.
It may not come as a surprise that everyone is already using texting, but did you know that texting is the world’s most popular communication channel? According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans text regularly. And these numbers aren’t limited to a younger generation. Text messaging has overtaken email as the communication tool most used by adults aged 50-69 to stay connected.
Most texts are also read within three minutes of being sent, so it’s no wonder that texting has a higher response rate than other mediums. It’s because that’s where your customers already are, and you want to reach your customers on platforms they’re already using.
Like a cell phone, businesses are also mobile – especially in the B2B space, where your sales prospects are likely always on the go. You want to be thoughtful about how you connect with your leads who are working away from their offices. These leads might often be in a car, in meetings, or on frequent flights for work.
It’s easier for prospects to read and reply to texts than it is to get them to take phone calls or reply to emails. That’s why your sales teams will have a higher chance of getting a reply via text than any other medium. On average, it takes 90 seconds to respond to a text – and 90 minutes to respond to an email! Again, it’s all about reaching your prospective customers where they are. Studies show that 90% of leads prefer to be texted rather than called. That makes texting a better choice for quick follow-ups throughout the sales process.
Since texts are read and replied to more than calls or emails, your call to action (CTA) is more effective in a text message, too. Texts are shorter than most phone calls or emails, so it’s easier to ask a prospective customer to take a specific CTA without overwhelming them. For example, you can be more direct in a text message when requesting a prospective customer to schedule an appointment with you.
You can also include links in your texts to direct your prospects toward particular actions online, like paying a bill. Links in texts have a clickthrough rate that’s eight times higher than other marketing channels.
We have direct conversations with our friends and family daily with texting. Texting for business is no different. With texting, you can keep tabs on your leads to stay on top of their needs and assess when they’re ready to make a purchase – or keep in touch with them for upsell opportunities once they become customers. Or you can use texting to send quick and thoughtful messages, like a birthday wish or congratulations, which wouldn’t warrant a long phone conversation.
Texting is as personal as a phone call and as scalable as an email – making it the ideal place to build a relationship with your prospective customers. Relationship building is crucial in sales since people are more likely to reply (or buy) if they’ve already established a relationship with you.
Your salespeople can handle multiple leads simultaneously with texting, compared to phone calls, which can be time-consuming and yield no replies. Business texting software like Textline also makes texting accessible on a computer or mobile app, so all sales conversations are in one place. You can automate personalized messages on a business texting platform to get to your leads quicker – increasing your chances of getting a response sooner.
While we’re obviously cheering for texting, we understand that each medium serves a unique purpose. Sometimes a call or email is better than a quick text. We aren’t recommending opting out of phone calls and email entirely, but your sales teams can use text as a supplementary tool to increase the number of responses to your calls or emails. Texts have a 98% open rate; you can text someone to remind them of a phone call you have scheduled – or let them know you sent them an important email – to increase your chances of getting a reply.
As we said before, everyone is already texting, which means your sales teams are also texting outside of work. Because there isn’t a learning curve, your sales team is more likely to use texting in their workflows.
Real-time feedback is a crucial tool to help your sales teams become more effective and value-driven. But listening to sales calls can be time-consuming, and most sales managers cannot provide constant feedback to their team members to course-correct any conversations gone awry.
A centralized texting platform makes it easier for managers to jump in and read sales conversations to provide real-time feedback. Some platforms, like Textline, also allow managers and salespeople to send private messages to each other within customer conversations to ask clarifying questions or get immediate support.
Texting started as a popular platform for people to use in their personal lives. Now, it is growing as a go-to communication channel for businesses. Because people are overwhelmed by spammy calls and emails, texting stands out as a golden opportunity for sales teams to connect with their prospects in a meaningful way. When used correctly, business texting can increase your chance to speak with leads and actively help your sales teams close more deals.
If you’re still on the fence with using business SMS for your sales teams, ask yourself: Would you rather get another phone call or a text message instead?
AJ Chan is COO of Textline, the most secure business text messaging platform for modern customer support and sales teams.