Marketing campaigns that drive incoming calls to your business are proving an effective mix of traditional and digital marketing these days.
The numbers back that up. Due to the raging popularity of smartphones across the globe, Google recently determined that 70 percent of mobile phone users have used click-to-call features in ads to immediately contact businesses. A recent BIA/Kelsey study outlining the bright future for call marketing estimates some 73 billion calls are made to businesses annually. Then there’s the research proving inbound calls are 10 to 15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads.
Still, staging a successful call marketing campaign does require strategy and skill, both in generating quality leads and turning them into revenues once they roll in. Converting inbound callers is entirely different from making outbound calls because the salesman often lacks comprehensive information about the lead.
As such, consider the following advice for attracting and optimizing such calls:
Rounding ‘em up
- Make your phone number your call to action, and keep it highly visible in every ad in every medium. Use distinct, brightly colored click-to-call buttons when possible.
- Give customers the options of requesting callbacks instead of making calls. That allows the sales rep time to assess the lead and customize his pitch.
- On your website, keep your phone number on a “sticky header” that remains at the top during scrolling.
- Ensure your ads either list viable times to call or show up only when call centers are open. Send no callers to voicemail.
- With Google AdWords, ensure your “Click to Call” and “Call Extensions” features are enabled so your number and click to call button is included on your search engine results page.
- Invest in a call tracking tool. That lets you zero in on who’s calling and identify which ads are producing the best ROI so you can better target your marketing dollars.
Making ‘em work
- Syncing your CRM with your call tracking software provides you instantaneous and actionable info on caller demographics, buying habits and previous interactions with your company. DNI insertion pinpoints which ad (in which media) spurred each call, offering clues on the caller’s positioning in the sales funnel.
- Effective sales training can turn even inexperienced salesmen into star performers.
- Salesmen should start by determining the caller’s purpose, i.e., qualifying the lead. The caller may not be ready to buy and may still be researching your competitors. Teach staffers to ask lots of questions, avoid assumptions, listen to what isn’t said and think beyond the obvious before re-confirming what they think they’ve heard. That will help them find a solution or alert them the caller is unlikely to buy.
- HubSpot recommends determining the caller’s goals, plans, challenges, timeline, budget, authority, consequences and implications before offering a solution. The last two indicate what will happen if the caller fails or succeeds in reaching his goals.
- Teach salesmen to focus less on pitching your company or product and more on listening and trying to solve caller pain points. They should aim to establish credibility along the way by avoiding leaps to generic solutions and acknowledging whether your company has the right answers. Their primary conversational topic should be “How can I help you?” instead of glowing descriptions of product features. The more they can empathize with the caller, the better they’ll understand his probable thought processes.
- Ensure your salesmen memorize FAQs so they can immediately answer all queries to improve the odds of closing. Update FAQs as new ones emerge.
- Experienced salesmen can serve as on-the-spot backup for newbies so no caller is left with unanswered questions.
- Sales scripts can work when they’re loosely interpreted and used as flowcharts, allowing staffers to effectively engage without sounding insincere.
- Caller word choices provide clues as to their level of expertise about your product or industry. Establish credibility by reusing their terminology when you explain possible solutions to their challenges. But avoid using jargon or acronyms with callers who seem to be laymen.
- Teach salesmen to recognize reservations callers express through long pauses and hems and haws, then to address them. They should ask questions like “I sense you’re losing interest. What else might you need to know to consider making a purchase?” The answers may indicate the caller is unlikely to buy, in which case they can politely conclude the call.
- If your salesmen can’t close the sale on the phone, they may ask the caller if they can send supplementary print collateral.
One final note: You need to keep your company abreast of new technology that can help you drive and optimize incoming calls even more efficiently. As the world continues to develop and harness the capabilities of big data and AI, groundbreaking new tools should become available that will make call marketing less an art and more a science.
Talk to Dial800 about the latest tools on the market for optimizing your next call marketing campaign.