Sales Communication Survey: 92% of Prospects Prefer Text and Email Over Phone

Text messaging isn’t just a source of communication between friends, family, and colleagues anymore. In an age where spam calls are expected to represent nearly half of all mobile traffic in the United States this year, businesses have to tread lightly when thinking about cold-calling prospects, and text messaging has proven to be a far less intrusive sales communication tool to contact prospects.

With text messaging as a primary sales communication tool, businesses can have one-on-one conversations with their targeted audiences quickly and actionably. Sales reps can briefly introduce themselves to new prospects, ping current customers about upcoming meetings, and check in with customers about their overall satisfaction with a certain product or service.

Companies still clinging to the hope that making phone calls and leaving voicemails to prospects and current customers will boost their sales conversion rates and results in 2019 may find some eye-opening statistics from a recent Lunar study that puts text messaging at the very top of all sales communication channels.

Sales Communication Survey Results

The Lunar survey discovered that:

  • 94% of respondents cited voicemail as the least convenient way to communicate.
  • 92% of people would rather receive texts or emails from a business or salesperson than a phone call, compared to just 8% who prefer to receive a call as a first point of contact from a company.
  • Regardless of age, the majority of consumers approve of receiving texts from businesses, but only 60% of such respondents had received such messages in the last three months.
  • Despite some perceptions that older consumers may not be as technologically savvy as younger generations, respondents aged 45-60 preferred texts to other forms of communication at a higher rate than younger counterparts aged 18-29.
  • Compared to younger adults, respondents 30 and older were more likely to have received a text from a business.

As mobile devices have become extensions of our hands, sales teams need to take full advantage of text messaging as a way to communicate with prospects, regardless of their age or demographics. Despite text messaging’s wide acceptance, the survey results show that companies haven’t yet tapped into text messaging as a sales communication tool, giving businesses able to utilize texts to increase sales a significant advantage over competitors still relying on older tactics.

Personalize Your Sales Outreach

Text messaging isn’t just a convenient sales communication method, it’s also a universal one utilized by all types of age groups on a global scale. In 2017, people sent an estimated 16 million text messages every minute, and this figure has undoubtedly grown since, as there are currently more than 5.1 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide.

In addition to their widespread usage globally, text messages also have high open rates compared to other contact methods typically used for follow up on sales opportunities. Given the direct one-to-one interaction through a text message, salespeople don’t have to hope and pray that their phone calls will be answered, their voicemails listened to, or if their emails are ever opened at all. With phone call connect rates steadily decreasing, text messaging helps ensure that sales reps’ time is being used efficiently, allowing reps to focus more on building connections and progressing deals, and less on trying to get prospects and customers to pick up the phone.

Although there’s no denying that email is still very much a widespread communication method, with industry estimates projecting approximately 5.6 billion active email accounts worldwide in 2019 alone, the likelihood of sales reps’ prospecting emails finding their way into spam folders is far too great to ignore. In 2017, an average of approximately 103.5 million spam emails were sent every minute.

For business emails specifically, spam email has also become a growing nuisance that may be clouding sales reps’ ability to gain traction among new prospects. Despite having protections against unwanted messages, spam is still making its way into recipients’ inboxes. According to the Radicati Group, an average of 19 spam messages will bypass spam and security filters for business email accounts on a daily basis in 2019, an increase from the average of 12 in 2015.

Additionally, spam filters may capture emails that shouldn’t be classified as spam. This is especially detrimental for reps that rely on email to follow up on active deals or upsell existing customers.

For sales reps pressured to close more deals, email simply isn’t the answer, while there’s a world of possibilities associated with targeted text messaging. Despite the convenience of text messaging in general compared to email or cold-calling, sales teams can’t just decide one day to start texting prospects out of the blue and expect to boost their conversion rates. They have to have the right foundation in place to maximize this sales communication tool, and pairing text messaging seamlessly with a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce can empower sales reps and managers to:

  • Strengthen brand loyalty by sending personalized messages to prospects and customers wherever they’re located and through their preferred communication channel (text)
  • Visualize and store all customer interactions within the CRM without needing to utilize a third-party messaging app or requiring reps to manually log messages
  • Boost conversion rates
  • Transfer numbers to new reps to pick up the conversation if a sales rep leaves the company or goes on vacation
  • Provide coaching and training on effective sales text messaging strategies

Businesses can no longer ignore the proliferation of mobile devices as it relates to sales opportunities. With the ability to close more deals at their fingertips by pairing a text messaging strategy and a CRM system, sales reps shouldn’t be thinking about whether they “should” use text messaging to reach new prospects and send personalized messages to current customers; they should be asking themselves “how” to utilize this sales communication channel more effectively and rely less on outdated methods like phone calls and emails that have become more challenging in an age dominated by smartphones and their touchscreens.

If you’re looking to better leverage text messaging as a sales communication tactic, make sure you’re thoroughly recording and analyzing outcomes in the CRM. Uplink by Lunar helps sales teams capture and visualize prospect and customer text messages directly in Salesforce. Start a trial of Uplink below and experience it for yourself.  

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