Communications skills? Product knowledge? No matter which of these wins your vote, it’s also necessary to have the right technology solution that supports your sales activities. One of the most important tools in your sales technology arsenal is a reliable cloud telephony solution. Using cloud communications for both sales and marketing rage are on the rise with both new and established businesses.
There’s a pretty good reason why cloud telephony’s become so popular with sales departments everywhere – they skyrocket your sales productivity, giving you much more time to focus on the actual selling bit! A cloud communications platform might be the best thing to boost your sales growth.
You probably know that a cloud communications platform costs just a fraction of a traditional telephony system – to set up and operate. But the benefits of the cloud go far beyond saving money. It can help you grow your revenues in multiple ways.
Here are 10 ways in which Cloud Communications can boost your Sales Growth
1. Create Better Proposals
Another feature often found in any business cloud communications platform is the ability to record calls.
How does this help your sales team? Think of it this way: One of your sales stars has a great lead. They’ve called up (or have received an inbound call) the prospect, and now have to come up with a proposal that’ll blow their socks off. Sure, they’ve been taking notes, but what’ll be of more use is the ability to play back the sales call. You’ll often be able to catch details that might have been left out of the notes.
Apart from that, conversation isn’t just about what’s said – it’s also about how the prospect outlines his or her requirements, and the emphasis they lay on what’s being discussed. You need to pay attention to the specific terms and phrases they are using and include them in your proposal – verbatim. All that can help your sales team prepare a pitch that’s got a great chance of succeeding.
But call recordings go further than that (we’ll soon come to how they help in training your agents) – they’re great for tweaking your pitches and sales conversations by helping you refine and focus on what works.
2. Stop Missing Leads
One of the biggest avoidable sales mistakes is your team not being able to take every inbound call. And hey, even a novice sales agent knows that a missed call can be the missed deal of the century.
So get the basics right – for a sales team, that means attending to every call, making sure every lead is followed up, and doing so as soon as possible. Miss a call, follow up on a lead too late, and you might discover that you’ve lost out to a competitor who was there, ready to engage with the customer.
If you’re looking for a call handling system which takes care of these concerns, a cloud telephony platform might be a perfect fit for you thanks to features that seem tailormade for sales teams: Missed calls will be a thing of the past with automatic routing to the next agent, and even if you have a small team who can’t answer all the calls, you can set up a call-back system. Meanwhile, location independence becomes a reality thanks to mobile apps (Knowlarity offers an app for its SuperReceptionist call center solution) and the fact all a cloud telephony system needs is an Internet connection.
3. Training your Team
Coming back to call recordings for just a moment, that’s one feature that’s perfect for training your staff. Playing back calls handled by your experienced personnel can create an immersive atmosphere no handbook could provide. It can also help when training new and inexperienced agents by making feedback a lot better.
Cloud telephony’s ability to make your training programme better goes further than this – features like call whispering let your trainer guide new agents on live calls, while call barging lets an experienced agent take over if a new salesperson finds himself out of his depth.
Then there are other way you can ramp up your performance monitoring – easy access to performance details and insights go a long way in keeping your department in fighting form.
4. Keep Track of RoI
One area where cloud telephony really shines is the ease of setting up virtual numbers. You can assign separate numbers to your marketing campaigns and channels.
How does this help? Well, first up is the fact that assigning separate numbers to various campaigns and channels it lets you track RoI rather easily. Running banner ads on different ad networks? Assign different virtual numbers and see how easily you can determine what’s working better.
But virtual numbers also help make inbound sales calls more meaningful. You’ll find a detailed explanation in our detailed Inbound Sales Guide, but by unique numbers across the board (whether AdWords campaigns or newspaper ads), your sales agents will be armed with the knowledge of how the caller found you – and tailor their sales pitches accordingly.
5. Filtering your Leads
Want to let your sales team focus on their core responsibility? Then you need a filtering mechanism which helps sort calls much before an agent comes online. You can start with assigning virtual numbers but there’s a lot more you can do with a cloud telephony solution.
IVR is one feature that’ll help you boost efficiency (and reach, as you’ll see). By giving callers IVR options in advance, you can ensure calls reach the right department. Why waste your agents’ (and the caller’s) time by letting calls go unfiltered?
At the same time. Multi-language IVR can be a boon in markets multiple languages are used – whether it’s Europe, the US, India, or South East Asia. Allowing callers to pick the language they’re most comfortable with doesn’t just make them feel welcomed, but you can also assign your agents with the correct language skills on as required.
6. More Personalized Pitches
Data is king. That might as well be the mantra of every forward-looking business today. All the data you collect, on everything from sales calls, to a support tech’s visits, comes in handy for refining and improving your services in the future. At the same time, the more information you have on the caller, the better you’re placed to offer the kind of personalised services that separate customer-centric companies from the competition.
Cloud telephony, being an SaaS platform, is perfect if you want to do just that. Post-call hooks into your databases make it easy for agents (whether sales or support) to update information which comes in handy later, while CRM integration means your agents can use a caller’s history to offer a personalised, better targeted pitch. A great cloud telephony system will display all the callers information to your salesperson who can customize his/her pitch accordingly.
7. Get More Inbound Leads
There’s a reason why businesses focus so much on a web presence. Live demos, videos, FAQs, pricing info and more – all that gives any visitor a lot of relevant information on your offerings. That also means anyone calling your sales agents has a fair idea about you, and even better, might even be actively considering a purchase. Virtual numbers help here by letting you agents know they can expect someone who might have gone through your website.
But what if you can make it even more likely that a website visitor calls you? And you can do that by using click-to-call integration on your website. Place a button to let visitors call, or request their numbers to arrange a call-back, that’s up to you, but the easier you make it for a prospective lead to speak to a sales agent, the more leads you will get.
8. More Relevant Conversations
We’ve spoken about how moving to a cloud-based call handling solution can give your organisation many ways to improve agents’ efficiency while providing a better customer experience. Whether you use IVR to offer custom call routing, or prefer to let caller ID and CRM integration to handle this, the effect is the same. Taking this a step further, why not create as many custom call flows as required?
For example, you could divert existing customers (who might be looking at an upgrade) to sales agents who’re also comfortable with technical aspects of your product. Or you might want your high-value customers to be handled by your most experienced agents. Not only does this reduce the time your most valued customers will spend waiting for their call to be answered, you’ll also reduce the likelihood of need to transfer the call midway through a conversation. At the same time, your team’s resources are optimised by ensuring that agents are paired to customers who are the best fit.
There can be as many use cases as you see fit – industry-specific, based on service tier, advanced users… see what works best for your sales department and implement it. That’s what cloud telephony offers.
9. Special Offers and Upsells
Post-sales feedback and follow-up is a vital part of creating a good customer experience. Some ways you can do this is by integrating post-call SMS or IVR surveys. Marketing and special sales drives also stand to gain through SMS integration – perhaps you want to offer you most valued customers early access to a sale? Perhaps you’re launching a new service tier (or product) and want to pitch it to your existing users? Or you might want to share discount coupons before the festive season.
Cloud telephony makes all this possible, and even better, it stays out of your way (as we’ll show in our final point), letting you focus on your core responsibility.
10. Move Faster than Ever Before
One of the best things about using cloud communications is the ease of use, ease of deployment, and ease of management.
A cloud communications system can be set up in as soon as couple of days – complete with integrations with your other sales tools, customized call flows and more. Compare that with the time it would take to set up a traditional telephony system – not to mention the exorbitant costs!
Every penny you save on building a telephony infrastructure is something you can spend on training or on hiring more agents. Every second your supervisors save on adjusting call flows and managing your calling system is something they can utilise on ensuring operations are going as expected.
That’s what makes cloud telephony such an attractive prospect – for small companies, it means saving on infrastructure and reducing operating costs, while for a bigger corporation, it means easy large-scale deployment with none of chaos that’s often associated with traditional enterprise-level deployments.
Cloud telephony has now become an indispensable part of the business landscape. From banks to pizzerias, from taxi aggregators to online retailers, you’ll find businesses of all sizes using cloud-based communications service. And one of the reasons why uptake of this new tech has been so swift is that it can act as a force multiplier for sales teams – the very people operating on the frontlines of any business operation!