I often say there are no shortcuts in sales. Optimizing your sales team takes hard work and consistency, and it's usually a couple of months before you see any change.
That being said, one of those rare short-term techniques that often goes overlooked is giving your team fresh "Reasons to Call," or in the world of sales follow-up email, "Reasons to Contact" (RTCs).
What Is an RTC?
You can think of an RTC as a mini-campaign. It’s a new reason to call clients, or a fresh new angle to use on the phone with prospects. Salespeople love RTCs, as they reinvigorate reps' approach to outbound calling and/or emailing and keep prospects from slipping off their radar.
Many companies generate organic RTCs, such as a new product release, pricing changes, or feature improvements. The problem with these types of RTCs is that the sales team is dependent on other departments to make them happen. Engineering resources are costly, and while it can be beneficial, I’m not sure your product team should be building things just so your sales team has a new pitch.
Why Use RTCs?
Active salespeople get into a groove. They get their story down and they iterate on it with every conversation. But after a while, even the best salespeople fall into a rut, and their story starts to sound stale.
Once a salesperson start going down this slippery slope, their confidence and conviction often takes a nosedive. This happens most often with follow-ups, where reps aren't as persistent as they should be because they don’t have a good enough reason to call the prospect again.
Some top sales reps will go back to the drawing board, and they might rewrite their pitch to sound fresh. Others get "creative" with the pitch they have. This is where you’ll see outright deceptive sales tactics come into play as metrics get exaggerated, and false stories spun. Very quickly the pitch starts to sound like a tall tale.
It's also worth nothing that feeling "stale" is at least 50% percent mental. The salesperson may not in fact sound stale -- it may just be their perception.
Five Fresh RTCs That Give Reps Purpose
Regardless of whether the pitch has indeed outlived its usefulness or the salesperson simply feels it has, you can head negative situations off at the pass with RTCs.
Give them something fresh to say and you will see confidence go up. Your PR team spends its days coming up with newsworthy stories to give to the press, so why can’t you do the same for your sales team?
Here are five examples of interesting RTCs:
- Breaking industry news. Example: “I came across this article, and I thought you might find it useful.”
- New client stories. Example: “We just did some work with Client X, and I thought you might finding it interesting because they’re similar to you in Y and Z ways.”
- New data. Example: “The first time that we spoke you mentioned you wanted proof that our product works. Here are some more recent stats.”
- Upcoming nearby events. Example: “I’m heading to X location for Y conference, and thought it would be a good opportunity to grab a coffee with you.”
- Inbound marketing. Example: “I noticed you opened our white paper on X, and I thought I could help you better understand how our product can help you do Y.”
Bonus tip: Combine a new RTC with a call or email blitz where your team sits down and reaches out to 15-20 new prospects or old opportunities.
Your team shouldn't always be burdened with thinking of fresh reasons to call. Invest time in helping your salespeople tell a fresh story. Make this a top priority amongst your managers. Work with PR to get a new sales RTC every quarter, and your reps will feel they're being better supported by the organization.
Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Building the Sales Machine blog, and is republished here with permission.