Don’t give up on your phone yet!

Yes, there are other reliable sources of leads. A phone ringing off the hook is no longer symbolic of a busy business today. You can be making connections online and communicating with your clients digitally.

But, consider this: according to media research and consulting company BIA/Kelsey, over $64 billion is spent yearly to generate inbound calls. And, of companies surveyed, 66.4% rank inbound calls as a high-quality lead source.

So, don’t take your inbound calls for granted. When you pick up the phone, make sure you’ve taken the necessary sales cycle steps that put your closer to transforming your callers into customers.

Sales Cycle Steps /1: Track Your Inbound Calls

It is not enough to know the volume of calls that you get. You also want to know where these calls come from, and which of your online and offline marketing efforts are sending them your way.

Use current technology to keep track and assess your inbound calls. CTI integration includes several call tracking features that help you understand what drives the best leads.

When you know what drives prospective customers your way, you can up your investment in these marketing channels.

Sales Cycle Steps /2: Turn To CTI For Data-Driven Sales Calls

Take it from Founder and CEO Dave Elkington: “You have to generate revenue as efficiently as possible. And to do that, you must create a data-driven sales culture. Data trumps intuition.”

Your CTI integration comes with a pop-up screen that can be configured to show relevant information about your caller. Make the most of this feature. It can help personalize conversations and improve the call experience. A good rep can use this to establish rapport with the caller. It won’t be long before they become your customers!

Here are a few caller data your reps should know in real-time:

  • the caller’s location
  • their job and company
  • referring website or marketing source
  • search words
  • past calls
  • purchase history

Sales Cycle Steps /3: Make The Most of Your Call Routing

Not all inbound calls are the same. So, when you want to make the most of calls that come in, make sure they’re handled by your best people. Choose a call routing system that increases caller conversion. What works varies per business, according to location, industry, and the skill-level of sales reps, among other factors.

Availability routing is possibly the most commonly used routing system in call centers. However, unless you have sales reps who are similarly-skilled, it might not be your best option. When you want to transform callers into customers, then you’d want them to talk to the best rep for their specific needs. Use skills-based routing to route calls according to products or expertise. This improves the call experience and can be the start of a business relationship.

Another consideration is time. If your prospective customers are in different time zones, then you need to have reps available during the operating hours in these zones. Choose time-based call routing so you’re sure somebody will pick up the phone when prospective customers call.

Sales Cycle Steps /4: Offer Actionable Content

There is a good possibility that your caller will need more time and information before they buy. This is where your actionable content comes in. The simple definition of actionable content is content that educates and drives a prospect into action. This could be something as basic as FAQs or how-to guides. It could be your rave user reviews or your viral online videos. Or, it could be case studies and whitepapers.

You should be able to provide whatever your prospect needs to take that next step and buy. As Oracle’s Head of Social Selling, Evangelism & Enablement Jill Rowley says: “The modern sales professional doubles as an information concierge – providing the right information to the right person at the right time in the right channel.”

Sales Cycle Steps /5: Follow-Up

Your prospect’s first call to your sales team might not transform them into customers. But, what about the next call? Or, the one after that?

As you offer further information and actionable content, make sure to follow-up consistently through different communications channels. Follow-ups can be automated through your CRM system. So, relax, there’s no need to stay on top of your gazillion leads. Configure your CRM to follow-up according to schedule and user actions, such as revisiting your website.

This way, you can be “present” as your prospects make their decision. Ideally, they’d pick up the phone again to give you a call.