When generating new business, it’s important to have a live, human touch incorporated into the process. Other marketing communication channels are important and should be part of the strategy, but cannot take the place of a one-on-one conversation with a prospect.
Here’s why a live conversation at the top of the sales funnel is so important:
Builds a rapport
While communication via the web is quick and efficient, it lacks the personal connection that can be established via a phone call. When a prospect speaks to a sales representative on the phone, they are more likely to build a rapport with that person (and company) which establishes trust. When the time comes to make a purchase, they’ll remember this personal connection that was established right from the beginning and it can potentially be the deciding factor in which company to buy from. In a competitive business environment, this should not be discounted.
At the very top of the sales funnel it’s tempting to present prospects with more information that can easily be found online, such as case studies, whitepapers, and other marketing collateral and then go from there. The problem with this approach is that this information isn’t catered to the specific needs of the prospect. They want to know exactly how your service or product is going to help them and expect a customized solution. This top of the funnel marketing collateral isn’t giving them what they need. The prospect is already gone before the sales team gets involved. When a sales representative has a conversation with a prospect early on, they are able to better gauge what the prospect needs, determine whether they are a good fit, and create a customized solution that is relevant to their current situation. Engaging in this type of conversation helps to convince the prospect to move forward.
A point of contact
Prospects are going to feel more comfortable with a company when they have a specific point of contact. As they go through the decision making process they are likely to have questions that arise that can’t be answered by quickly browsing the company website. They want to be able to have a conversation with someone on an as needed basis. When their questions are answered promptly and professionally, they will feel more comfortable with giving the company their business.
While having live conversations at the top of the sales funnel requires an investment in an internal team or an outsourced sales partner, it’s important to think about the return on that investment. If an initial live conversation is going to help create a relationship that eventually leads to a sale, the investment is well worth it.