Omnipresence is defined as “the ability to be present everywhere at the same time.” For sales professionals, the definition of omnipresence is “my job description.” Salespeople today are constantly looking for more effective ways to multitask and be in several different places at a given time. Established sellers know, as hard as it may be to admit, that this utopia is a frustratingly unattainable destination. Yet, as our profession has evolved through the centuries, so have the tools and mediums we use to perform our craft.
In the beginning, the marketplace (quite literally the marketplace in town) and house calls were the primary approaches consumer-based selling. From there, business canvassing, mailers, and selling via catalog were customary techniques. It might be surprising to some that, according to the AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that technology became innovative enough to justify the implementation of call centers. It was this revolution that spawned the boom of “telemarketing.” This form of selling has now been utilized across countless industries and sectors in business throughout the last four decades. Most recently, sales professionals have integrated voicemail, email, in-mail (social selling), and video into their repertoire.
Of all the essential resources we’ve listed to help sales professionals excel in their roles, we’ve neglected to mention the one medium arguably taking our industry by storm more than any other: texting.
Many salespeople have been using text messaging as a form of communication with their database, marketing list, existing clientele, or prospects before phones could even flip. It would be foolish to bill texting as the “hot new sales tool to hit the market.” Well, what if we told you…actually it is! Before we dive deeper into what we mean, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of texting as an enterprise for corporations.
Many business professionals today have the privilege of a “work” cell phone in addition to their personal device, which can dispel the cons listed above. However, for those of us who don’t have that luxury, or who are just tired of managing two (or more) phones…there is a solution.
Over the last few years, texting with businesses has become far more prevalent. It’s now possible for you to text with ESPN if your fantasy football points aren’t adding up, Lyft if you didn’t enjoy your ride, and Burton if you need help picking out your first snowboard. However, these companies didn’t buy each of their representatives work cell phones. Instead, they text-enabled their existing phone numbers. With the help of an enterprise platform provider like Teckst, they integrated the capability with their CRM software, and provided an easy to use interface from which professionals could send and receive text messages.
With a simple form of communication like text messaging, efficient and enjoyable is how the experience should be. However, not all platforms are created equal. Here are some things to consider when choosing the texting software that’s right for you:
Be thoughtful about what is important to your organization.
Is it important for text messages to tie to opportunities? Should each text message count as its own activity or should messages be grouped together within a certain period of time and count as a single activity? Are you interested in one-to-one messaging, mass messaging, or both? When exploring texting platforms you’ll find that some solutions are standalone web applications with the ability to simply push data into CRM, while others like Teckst are true integrations that allow salespeople to text within the CRM interface itself. A good texting partner will work to learn your organization’s needs and what makes your business unique. It’s hard to find an “out of the box” solution that works with the customized nature of your business. Instead, look for a platform that can be tweaked to fit your needs.
Look for features that enhance productivity, not detract from it.
The ability to text will be great for your organization, but will the ability alone suffice? When evaluating solutions, ask the tough questions:
- What happens if a client texts outside of business hours? Does the provider have a mobile app from which a salesperson can respond?
- Will the solution recognize that you have a client’s number in CRM and attach the text to that client?
- Can the provider text-enable each salesperson’s office line so that they don’t need to use their personal phone?
- Will a salesperson know if they are texting a client’s landline as opposed to a mobile number?
Make sure you’re evaluating and choosing a platform that not only lets you text today, but solves for what might become unforeseen business problems down the road.
Keeps client relationships at the forefront.
Business texting shouldn’t be seen as a substitute platform for engaging prospective clients and fans alike. Instead, it should be seen as a necessary complement. The best business texting solutions understand this. Interaction and relationships remain vital within the sales process. However, the marketplace is communicating differently and we need to adapt our approach accordingly. If used correctly, business texting will create a path for enhanced client engagement, an increase in face-to-face meetings, and, most importantly, shorter decision-making windows.
As sales professionals, we not yet have achieved omnipresence, but with tools like business texting we are getting closer than we’ve ever been. It is time to embrace the new age of selling– one text at a time.
This article was co-authored by Adam Vogel of Sports Business Solutions, LLC and Kristi McMillin of Teckst, Inc.
Adam Vogel is the Senior Director of Training and Development with Sports Business Solutions. For more than five campaigns Adam led successful Inside Sales programs with the New York Mets and Miami Dolphins; directly over-seeing the promotion of 68 sales representatives in to Senior Sales or Services roles in the sport industry. Adam also served as a top revenue producer in ticket sales with the Pittsburgh Pirates. For more information on the services Adam can provide for your sales culture, email him today firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristi McMillin is the Director of Growth Operations at Teckst, a platform that enables real time, human-to-human communication between businesses and their customers. Since 2016, Kristi has worked hand-in-hand with companies like ESPN, Lyft, and Caviar to successfully implement & grow mobile messaging channels. To learn more about messaging and how it can improve your business, you can email Kristi at email@example.com.