Establish a greeting to use when answering the phone.
Smile while talking to callers.
Say “please” and “thank you.”
When looking for tips on how to convert more callers, there’s no lack of general information to read online. But if you’ve been working in sales for a while, these are all things you already know.
They’re common sense. You’re looking for techniques that will help you stand out.
These five unique inbound phone sales techniques may be just what you’re looking for.
1. Ditch the IVR
Let’s be honest: there’s nothing more impersonal, and occasionally frustrating, than calling a company and being forced to interact with its IVR.
Forcing inbound prospects to wander through a complex IVR menu before connecting with a sales rep doesn’t exactly leave them with a great first impression of your company and customer service.
Inbound sales calls should be answered by a human—not a computer.
At the very least, have a receptionist on hand to answer all calls and route them to the right representative, or use a professional answering service.
Even better, have sales reps themselves answer inbound calls.
Here’s how to do it:
- 1. Create unique phone numbers for marketing campaigns that are designed to drive inbound calls.
- 2. Then, use a routing service to send calls using those numbers directly to sales representatives.
This creates a great first impression of the type of customer service your company provides and prevents lost sales due to frustrations with an IVR.
2. Avoid Putting People on Hold
The other advantage of sending inbound callers directly to sales representatives is it prevents them from sitting on hold for too long.
No one wants to listen to hold music, and too-long wait times encourage prospects to hang up and take their business elsewhere.
But even if you need to use a receptionist or professional answering service, it’s possible to limit long wait times.
Make sure that the receptionist checks in with the caller every 60 seconds or so while they’re waiting.
This lets the caller know that they haven’t been forgotten, and it also provides an opportunity for the receptionist to collect contact information that a sales rep can use to call the prospect back at a better time.
3. Make Important Information Easy to Access
If all of your sales reps have been with your company for a long time and know your products inside and out, then all of the information they need to make the sale is probably housed in their own heads.
Otherwise, you need a way for sales reps to access information instantly.
There are two types of information sales reps need to know, or have access, to make more sales.
The first is how to respond to common objections. Naturally, there will be recurring objections that prospects trend toward.
Your best sales reps will have discovered effective rebuttals to those objections. Record those rebuttals and make them widely available.
The second type of information is the types of questions and concerns common for prospects in different roles and industries. The things that someone in IT needs to know will naturally be different than the things someone in marketing needs to know. Document the differences in the types of customers who call in, and make sure all reps have access to that information.
4. Uncover Prospect’s Interests Without Asking
One of the quickest ways to frustrate inbound callers is by bombarding them with dozens of questions before asking why they called. But this is problematic because you want to personalize the conversation, and that’s impossible if you know nothing about the person who’s calling.
By connecting your marketing analytics platform with your CRM, it may be possible to gather data on callers’ interests without asking. By simply asking for a caller’s name or business name, you may be able to see the marketing materials the prospect interacted with before calling.
As much as 90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before prospects reach out to a sales rep. Being able to view the research prospects have done before making a call allows you to personalize the conversation without peppering prospects with a thousand questions.
5. Learn from Completed Calls
Conducting a call retrospective is an important part of improving your skills as a sales rep. Or if you’re leading a group of inbound sales professionals, listening to completed calls provides evidence of who’s doing well and who needs additional training—as well as great examples of how to handle difficult calls and questions.
Record all inbound sales calls and listen to them later. This will help you identify mistakes, create plans for improvement, and document effective practices that can be shared with the rest of the team.
4 Tools That Make It Easy to Adopt These Techniques
Of course, these techniques are very difficult—if not impossible—to incorporate without the right tools. The following four tools offer the features you need to make these techniques work for you and your sales team.
The days of sales reps sitting at a desk all day have passed. Today’s sales reps are mobile. They work in the office, at home, and while travelling.
Dialpad allows sales teams take calls from anywhere. It’s a phone system that works just like outdated desk phones, except calls can be answered on a laptop or mobile device from anywhere.
Dialpad helps by making sure sales reps are available to accept inbound phone calls, allowing you to provide coverage for inbound calls at any time of the day—and when everyone’s away from their desks.
2. Ruler Analytics
Our own platform, Ruler Analytics, provides many of the features you need to implement the techniques listed below:
- Record all inbound phone calls and listen to completed calls later to identify great approaches, failed approaches, and team members who need additional training.
- Create custom phone numbers for different marketing campaigns and have those phone numbers connect directly to expert sales reps who can handle the calls without putting prospects on hold or forcing them to interact with an IVR.
- Send all marketing data to your CRM. Find out what campaigns and content prospects viewed prior to calling. Ruler connects directly with your CRM to make all marketing data available instantly to sales reps in the system they use during calls. Learn more.
Calendly is a calendar sharing platform that your receptionists can use to book calls on sales reps’ calendars. Say a prospect calls in but there’s no one to take the call immediately. Instead of leaving that prospect on hold for who knows how long, the receptionist can offer to schedule a meeting with one of the sales reps.
Using Calendly, sales reps list their availability on their calendars, and the receptionist can book the call during an open slot. This lets the sales rep know that they have a prospect they need to call and prevents losing customers due to long waits when all sales reps are busy.
Guru is a knowledge management tool that provides all of your sales reps with the information they need instantly. Using a browser extension or Slack bot, sales reps can search multiple information sources such as, their inboxes, CRM system, department wiki, to find the information they’re looking for instantly.
Don’t know the answer to a prospect’s question about a product? Ask Guru and see how other sales reps have answered the same question before. Not sure what types of concerns IT executives have about your products or services? Ask Guru to see how other sales reps have addressed those concerns successfully.
Guru basically allows sales teams to combine all of their collective knowledge and techniques, and access that information instantly during sales calls to inspire more conversions.
Modern Inbound Phone Sales Techniques Require the Right Tools
With the right tools, your sales team can overcome some of the biggest obstacles to conversion.
Sure, you’ll still want to have a dedicated greeting and be polite during calls. But to really excel and increase revenue, and your own commissions, adopt techniques and technologies that allow you to stand out with incredible knowledge and impeccable customer service.