In order to close a sale, you have to be able to demonstrate value to the client. Easy enough, right? You know your product or service is great, but how do you communicate that to a new prospect? Effective sales communications closes the gap between your offering and a new lead.
How you position the conversation can make or break the deal. For example, using collaborative terms like “we” instead of “I” has proven to increase sales success rates by nearly 40%. On the same coin, starting a sales conversation with “How are you?” instead of “Did I catch you at a bad time?” increases the chance of booking a meeting by over 3.4x. It just goes to show that sales communication, and what you say, can be the difference between a dead-end lead and a new customer. And we know all too well that drumming up more business for your organization is the end goal—so sales communications skills are crucial.
If you’re still unsure how to up-level your team’s sales communication skills, we’re here to help. But first you need to understand the basics.
What is sales communication
Sales communications defines any messaging or sequences that keep sales teams engaged, informed, and connected to their prospects and customers. Typical sales communication might include emails, phone calls, or presentations. Regardless of the mode of communication, your messaging should be consistent and on brand.
The audience will likely dictate what your communication sequences look like. Are they dormant users, current customers you’re trying to upsell, or totally new to your product or service? Tweak your sales communications based on the clients’ needs and familiarity with your company. When curating different messaging, department leads who own certain projects within the business should be involved to help establish guidelines that align with their efforts. For example, the sales team should collaborate with executives and product managers on positioning of new services or features, and get final sign off from marketing on any written communications.
Why are sales communication skills important
If you’re familiar with the sales cycle, you know that communication is a crucial component to nurturing both new and old business. A positive customer experience is what makes your prospects want to do business with you, and that starts with good communication. But more than that, sales communication is how you’re representing your company. How are you communicating product changes, demonstrations, benefits and features? These types of things matter when you’re trying to recruit new customers. Your sales communications reflect the overarching goals of the organization, and should be treated as an extension of the brand.
How to cultivate effective sales communication
Consistency, frequency, and engagement are three major pillars of effective sales communication.
Consistency is key. This stands true for any business plan, but especially when it comes to effective sales communication. Your sales communications should always be on brand, and consistent with your company's overarching message. For example, if marketing is positioning a new product feature one way, and the sales team is communicating it differently, there will be a disconnect with customers. Make sure your communication is consistent through the entire customer journey— that means your voice, tone, and positioning should remain the same from your first introductory call all the way through onboarding new customers.
To help cultivate effective sales communications, you have to understand the importance of being persistent and the frequency of your efforts. A study shows that 60% of customers say no four times before eventually saying yes. In order to earn that coveted “yes”, frequency is your secret sauce. Any sales rep will tell you the importance of following up on a lead until they’re blue in the face. In fact, 80% of sales transactions require five follow-up calls before closing a deal. Take a look at how frequently you’re following up, and what your communication sequence looks like.
According to Salesforce, 79% of sales teams currently use or are planning to use sales analytics technology to increase efficiency and fine-tune the engagement of sales assets. If you can’t get your client to engage, all of your communication efforts are for naught. Instead of talking their ear off on a phone call, or hitting them with a lengthy email that they likely won’t read, engage with them through a visual presentation. By simply turning your numbers and data into visually appealing infographics, you’re increasing the likelihood of a more engaged and interested prospect. Afterall, 65% of people are visual learners. You can also include a pre-recorded demo video in the middle of the deck so that they can see the product or service in action.
Our free, pre-built sales proposal template, created by industry experts, is a great jumping off point if you don’t know where to start. Our smart slides handle the heavy lifting, using the principles of good design from the professionals, so all you have to do is add in your content and watch the slides come to life. Don’t worry, it’s fully customizable so you can adjust the theme with your branded colors, fonts, and company logos. Another perk? You can send them the proposal as a shared link following the meeting, and use the analytics tool to see which slides they viewed and if they made it to the end of the deck.