April 01, 2015
By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor
New research has shown that a mere five minutes of preparation can help boost success with sales calls, yet four out of five prospective customers says it appears that callers haven’t bothered to do their homework.
That’s the gist of findings from NewVoiceMedia (News - Alert), a global provider of omni-channel cloud customer contact technology. The research was conducted recently by Opinion Matters, which analyzed responses from 910 U.K. employees who regularly take sales business calls.
“Five minutes of researching prospects and customers prior to engaging with them on a call can increase performance,” New Voice said in its report. “Yet despite this huge revenue opportunity, the majority of respondents (60 percent) felt that more than half of sales calls they received were poorly researched.”
There were other disturbing findings as well. Following a sales interaction, only 57 percent of respondents could recall if a sales rep demonstrated an understanding of their needs, and an even weaker 28 percent recall if they portrayed evidence of prior research.
“Not only does the content of a sales call matter, but also its timing,” NewVoiceMedia said. “Researching the best time to make a call can result in more wins. While afternoon was cited as the preferred time for sales calls, agreeing to a time beforehand is key. Eighty-eight percent of prospects would be more open to a sales call if asked when would be most convenient for them and 86 percent dislike when salespeople follow up at unspecified times.”
Still, the findings were not that much of a surprise.
"We have entered a new era of sales that requires a more intelligent and genuine approach to engaging and connecting with today's customers and prospects," said Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. "Despite the increased access to customer data, this research highlights gaps between what sales teams are capable of doing and how they're actually executing on these strategies. By better understanding customers and prospects and strategically using data to connect with them, sales teams will be able to bridge these gaps and positively influence the entire sales journey."
A snapshot of the research can be found at NewVoiceMedia’s website.