A guest blog by Diego Pineda, Senior Content Creator at CloudTask
Have you noticed how Facebook “bribes” business pages owners to respond quickly to messages?
They offer you a "Very Responsive to Messages badge” that will automatically appear on your Page if you have a response rate of 90% or more and response time of 15 minutes or less.
Why do they do this? In their own words: “People appreciate when a business is available and responsive to their questions and product inquiries. The Very Responsive Badge indicates to anyone who comes to your Page that you have an established and recognized commitment to customer service.”
Research shows that 75% of all new business goes to the company with the fastest response rate. In other words, quick action is good for business.
If not, you may be losing sales. So read on to learn how to be the first on scene and improve your sales.
A Couple of Lessons from First Responders
First Responders are those people (law enforcement, firefighters or EMS) who get to an emergency scene before anybody else.
Because they work in life-or-death situations, First Responders must be at the scene quickly, ideally within 10 minutes of getting the call. In an ideal world, there would always be an ambulance ten minutes away when you call 911 - but the truth is that it would take a lot of resources to make it happen, and those aren’t always available.
In the same way, it would be ideal if you had unlimited resources, unlimited sales reps to visit all your clients and prospects at once. Of course, that’s not the case. So let’s learn from what First Responders do (and don’t do).
1) First Responders are NOT Multitaskers
Can you imagine the ambulance driver taking emergency calls and filling out paperwork while trying to get to the scene on time? Of course not! They focus on getting there as fast as they can and rely on 911 operators to guide them to the scene and handle the rest.
Unfortunately, the average outside sales rep only spends 36% of their time actively selling (cold calling, following up, visiting, making presentations, etc.). The rest of the time is spent commuting, planning, processing orders, doing paperwork, or eating lunch.
Focus on reducing paperwork and non-selling activities for your sales reps. Hire support staff, outsource inside sales reps to support the outside sales team, or reassign tasks to other people within the company.
2) First Responders Keep Information Flowing
In the midst of a natural disaster or emergency, information is key. Everyone on the ground must be kept up to date with everything going on, quickly and in real time.
Your sales success depends on the flow of information as well. Everyone in the sales process, especially your clients must have the information fast. That means responding to emails and phone calls quickly; being available on social media and chat around the clock.
Do you have an omnichannel approach for communicating with potential and existing clients? Having a live chat box on your website, for example, is a great way to respond quickly and keep information flowing. Sales chat ensures someone or something (in the case of a bot) is always on hand to chat or interact with visitors, whether they're browsing your site during the day or checking out what you have to offer at night.
As discussed earlier with the Facebook badge, people want answers fast. In fact, according to research, there’s a 10X decrease in your chance of making contact with a prospect after a wait time of 5 minutes.
How well-equipped is your outside sales team to communicate with your customers rapidly? Do you have a CRM system in place with automated responses or does the sales rep have to be connected when the lead comes in to reply?
Set up a process where you can respond to queries within five minutes or less through different channels and see how your sales increase. Don’t forget to measure response rates and set goals for improvement all the time.
3) Always Quick
Do you remember Domino’s "30 minutes or it’s free" pizza-delivery guarantee? They made quick service part of their brand.
Faster response times will not only increase your sales but will improve customer retention. Make quick action part of your branding, of how you take care of your customers - consistently. Thus you’ll not only be the first on the scene, but you’ll be number one in their minds.
About the Author:Diego Pineda is a Senior Content Creator at CloudTask, a managed workforce provider for growing companies looking for B2B Sales, Customer Success and Customer Support solutions. Their mission is to find prospects, nurture leads, close deals, and satisfy customers, to enable you to reach your business goals.