A lot of sales organizations today have a sales communication strategy that looks something like a black hole.
The organization works hard to get lead data, either from their own marketing team, an in-house list from sales, or elsewhere (This is the most economical way to research.) They then communicate with those leads via email, phone, and social media with a variety of messaging – but with little or no quantitative feedback on their process or content. It then becomes hard to follow up in a logical way, or prioritize leads. This cycle continues until they salesperson feel they have exhausted the list and the process starts all over again with a new list. It’s hard to learn anything in this cycle. It is a communication black hole.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
Marketing teams have been going through a data renaissance for several years, thanks to technology that allows them to better track their efforts and the behaviors of their leads. Similar technology is now available to sales teams: Closed Loop Sales Communication (SLSC).
How Closed-Loop reporting works
Perhaps the most important aspect of closed-loop sales communication is that fact that all phases of the sales process (including the prospect) are tracked and analyzed for performance. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry: With the right technology, it’s probably easier than what you are doing today.
Closed-loop sales communication includes the following parts:
- High-quality lead data
- Personalized, data-driven messaging
- Prioritize prospects on behavioral data
- Automatically update CRM
- Analyze, iterate, and improve
Follow these steps to ensure nothing is missed, everything is tracked, and the process self improves the more it is used.
1. High-quality lead list data
The entire sales process depends on having a great accurate, robust lead list. If your reps don’t have good sales intelligence, they’re bound to waste a lot of time trying to communicate with people that aren’t there, or who aren’t good candidates for your solution. Lead data often comes from the marketing team, a third-party provider, or reps who source leads themselves. Regardless of the source, the data needs to be accurate in order to avoid wasted time – and high email bounce rates.
Integration between sales and marketing automation systems is a critical component of data accuracy. Take this statistic: Research shows that responding to a web form-fill within the first five minutes increases the likelihood of conversion by a factor of 10. Without seamless integration between webhooks and sales and marketing systems, and accurate ancillary data, this easy sales win is impossible. Passing qualified leads from marketing to sales also requires timeliness and accuracy – or leads grow cold.
2. Personalized communication
Sales teams spend a lot of time learning to interact with customers. They’re trained to handle objections, practice closing, and many other techniques – but surprisingly, most sales teams do very little to track the effectiveness of their emails or phone messaging. If the initial messaging is poor, there might not be a chance to use those other skills that are typically further downstream.
With closed-loop sales communication, it is important to measure and test outbound sales messaging. It all starts by standardizing and personalizing emails and voice messaging. This does not need to be complicated or take a lot of time. Your team is already using some level of messaging today; use that as a starting point. The key is to use sales acceleration software like Tellwise to track the effectiveness of the emails and voicemails, and provide a way to analyze phone conversations.
3. Prioritized prospects
Customers leave digital footprints of their interest and engagement with sales touches. Did they open the message? How many times, and on how many devices? Did they open the attachments or click any links? All of that information can be used to prioritize prospects based on engagement data that surrounds the communication, informed by an ideal customer profile. That prioritization allows sales reps to focus on the most likely prospects to convert first.
Engagement information is central to closed-loop sales communication. Start with a great lead data, send contacts personalized messages and relevant content – then let their interaction with that content guide how you follow up with them. No more shooting in the dark or guessing which prospects to focus on.
Another element of closed-loop communication is supporting technologies. A thoughtful, integrated sales tech stack is often a distinguishing characteristic of a successful sales team. Good sales acceleration software can tell you exactly who is most engaged and as a result need some attention.
4. Automatically update CRM
When sales reps are doing administrative work, they aren’t communicating with customers and potentially closing deals. But updating notes and contact data in the CRM is critical. The right solution is an automatically updated CRM, which provides two significant benefits.
First, sales reps save time and have only to focus on the customer and provide a personalized experience for their customer. The details of the interaction via email or the phone are captured and automatically updated into CRM. This leaves the rep time for more research, touches, and revenue-generating activities.
Additionally, an automatic CRM improves data quality, allowing more accurate analytics. As reps manually enter their own data (when they actually do it) they often enter it inconsistently. They use different labels and different terminology, which makes it difficult to generate useful reports. An automatic CRM improves accuracy because the stored data that is more structured and consistent. All emails, phone calls, and associated activities can be tracked – and searched – in the same way.
5. Analyze, iterate and improve
Collecting sales performance data is not very helpful if you don’t do the most important step: analyze it to continually improve. The manufacturing industry uses a concept of continual improvement, originating in Japan, called kaizen. It means measuring, analyzing, and improving the manufacturing process in a continuous fashion. The measuring and analysis does not stop. As new ideas and processes are implemented, they, too, are measured, and it soon becomes clear if the change was successful. The goal is continuous, incremental improvements that optimize the process over time.
That same rigor is now possible with the sales process. Sales communication does not have to be a black box. Closed-loop sales communication add more data and transparency to the sales process. Initial contact messaging performance updating CRM, close rates, and more can mostly be automated. Emerging voice-to-text call recorders like Gong, auto-schedulers like Chili Piper, and other ingenious sales solutions are helping SDRs and reps win by focusing on their job.
Using data to tweak your sales processes in a continuous fashion produces better sales professionals and better business results for the organization. And it just got a whole lot easier.
Learn how Tellwise integrated sales communication is revolutionizing an industry. Our sales acceleration platform combines phone, email, chat, live slide presentations, and sales analytics. The universal, web-based tool can be built into your email client, CRM, or data tool for efficient communication and predictive analytics.
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