"Everything on your resume was a lie...I like that! Welcome to sales!" ~Unknown
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OK, first of all this article has nothing to do with physically pummeling a bird. The rooster symbolizes your sales staff strutting around your office and making lots of noise. Sales people are a special breed and understanding them is easier than understanding your IT staff. Managing them is a whole lot more difficult. Sales people are an unruly bunch.
The sales staff is also the lifeblood of the company (and don’t ever let them hear you say it’s operations or they will show you!). Sales people love to be appreciated. Sales people love to win! Sales people are sensitive and they experience mental highs and lows that can be traced back easily to their performance. They are the face of your company.
This can be a great thing or it can be tragic. One bad employee can sink an entire company. In fact, sales people get companies sued all the time. The challenge business owners face with their “roosters” is that when they leave, they take their book of business with them. Their book of business is YOUR business! The customers trusted the person who sold them their account on some level. If they didn’t, they would not have signed the contract, right?
So that leaves a few key questions for your operation:
1) How do you keep the roosters you want to keep?
2) How do you keep their clients if they do leave?
3) How do you deal with real or potential lawsuit risks?
These are complicated questions, and luckily this article is focused on text implications for answering these. Let’s look at these one at a time.
HOW DO YOU KEEP THE ROOSTERS YOU WANT TO KEEP?
If there is feed for the rooster, you can’t get rid of the damn things. You need to have a way for them to eat!
There are 4 main channels of feed for your starving staff:
1) Friends & Family
2) Existing Clients
3) Prospects (includes purchase leads)
Every single one of those categories involves building a relationship to close the deal. 80% of sales occur after the 5th follow up. 12% of roosters follow up more than 3 times! 44% of the average sales people give up after the first contact. Do you see the problem? ”Interesting sales statistics”
Text message marketing for businesses is an outstanding way to build those relationships across the board. At a bare minimum, having your hungry roosters sending all of their connections birthday and holiday messages will keep their names and your company in their minds all year long. Text messages are personal, and 91% of people have their phones within arms reach at any given time. When you get on a texting basis with your customers, you are immediately moved closer to the inner circle. Does texting increase your chance of closing business?
Well a massive study by leads360 (now Velocify) of over 3.5 million contacts found that when a sales person sends 3 or more texts to a prospect, the odds of closing that lead were 328% higher than not being on a texting basis. ”Text converstion statistics”
Sales people don’t leave companies when they are achieving unless management is an issue.
In 2007, 65% of sales people were at or above quota. In 2008, the number dropped to 64%. In 2009, the number dropped to 53.3%.
Involuntary and voluntary sales attrition both hover around 12%.
94% of business owners said it took at least 6 months to be productive. 23% said it was over a year. ”how long it takes a sales person to be productive?”
How much faster can your company get sales people productive when they can reach every contact in their database (phone and other) almost instantly anytime they need to? How much more productive will each sales person be when he or she is on a texting basis with prospects and contacts? What does a 328% increase in conversions look like for your business?
In a comparison to marketing strategies I did earlier, texting was the clear winner over email, direct mail, telemarketing and pay per click. ”comparing fundraising marketing solutions”. If you want to keep your roosters fat, you have to keep them fed. Your business needs a viable business text-marketing platform.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CLIENTS IF YOUR SALESPERSON LEAVES?
Attrition is EXPENSIVE? You think it’s just an employee? Think again. As Accenture so aptly found, it takes at least 6 months to be productive and in almost 1/4th the cases a full year. Attrition is estimated to cost up to 2.5 times an annual base salary. Why? Because the sales person takes your business to your competition!
How can you stop the bleeding and transition their “book of business” to a rooster that stayed? Easy…you must own the rooster’s database.
Did you know that the ” Supreme Court ruled you own your employees cellular phone data”? Well…the catch is that you must have purchased the equipment and be paying for the service monthly. If you don’t own the equipment and pay the bill, you can’t even read the content on that phone.
I know what I pay for my cellular bill a month and I’m always on WiFi (sales people in general may not be so data sensitive if they aren’t paying). Is it worth you covering the cost of equipment to be able to read the correspondence with their customers? Perhaps. But if they delete the records then you aren’t going to read a thing, will you?
There is one other major issue. You may have the phone and read the texts, but how can you transfer that to another salesperson?
Enter a web-based business texting platform. Now you can see all the correspondence between sales people and customers and what was actually said and promised.
More importantly, you own the number and the data. It will take a minute or two to change the login, and then a new employee can reach out to the entire customer groups with personal messages to announce they will now be handling the accounts.
Is this a silver bullet? No, but it sure beats the alternative. Now that new rooster can start sending holiday and birthday messages. The relationship can be transitioned from one particular employee and over to YOUR COMPANY. Own the data, use the data and then own the relationship.
If you don’t have a process in place to transition leads from employees who leave, this is a good time to start because the price for not having one is too high.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH REAL OR POTENTIAL LAWSUIT RISKS?
Employers can read emails and listen to phone calls. Emails are on your server. Why aren’t text messages that are business related on your server too?
If you don’t pay for the phone equipment and phone bill you have NO right to read those texts. None.
If you do pay for both the equipment and the bill you can read the texts if and only if they don’t delete them and the phone company provides them to you.
Here is a nice ”list of what you can and can’t do as an employer.”
If you provide your employees with a texting platform then you now own the messages. If a lawsuit arises you have a record of everything said in writing. If a marketing campaign takes place, you now have a way to make sure the outbound messages are approved. For more on ”how to limit your risk when using text campaigns”
Is it worth risking a lawsuit not to have conversation records and controls? There are 250000 reasons why it is not.
A texting platform for business usage can help you retain your top roosters, keep your clients from being taken to your competition, build and leverage your database and protect your company from unnecessary lawsuits.
Beating the roosters requires you employ new tactics and provide them with lots of ways to get fat. A business oriented texting platform can help them hit the ground running with friends and family, build relationships with clients for repeat business, earn the trust of prospects and generate repeat and referral business.
Keeping your top roosters is a key element to growing your business and texting is a crucial tool you will have to look into. Once your roosters are nice and fat, the next question you will need to address is how to get rid of the noisy things!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bio: Eric Beans is CEO of Texting Base, Inc., out of Orlando, Florida. Texting Base is a cloud-based software that adds efficiency and power to business texting communications. Combining the efficiency of a “mass text” and the effectiveness of a personal text message, Texting Base uses patent pending software to allow businesses to build relationships with their customers like never before. Prior to Texting Base, Eric owned Premier Mortgage Capital, Inc., a nationwide state charted mortgage company. Eric is an inventor, entrepreneur and has a experience in radio, TV and entertainment.