How Inside Sales Teams Can Leverage the Human Connection
In the days where sales were negotiated face-to-face, most sales wisdom focused on leveraging personality to establish a rapport with a customer. But in modern sales, technology has largely gotten in the way of good old fashioned people skills. CRM, email automators, even the structure of our teams all make it more difficult to build a human connection with a customer. But the best inside sales teams are finding ways to leverage a human connection in spite of the challenges.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” – Victor Borge
Humor is one of the best ways to break down the barriers inherent in the sometimes cold world of inside sales outreach. It creates a positive emotional connection between the seller and the potential buyer, and holds the buyer’s attention on the product being sold. Even if a prospect is prone to immediately deflecting a sales pitch, the brief entertainment value of humor can often hold their attention just long enough to pique their interest in what you’re selling. Incorporating humor into outbound emails and calls and keeping the tone of conversation jovial and positive is a great way to connect with prospects despite the digital divide between you and them.
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
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Empathy is the ability to put yourself into another person’s shoes and perceive things from their perspective. This is helpful to sales professionals at first glance because determining where prospects have problems is the most obvious path to close a sale. But empathetic inside selling goes a lot farther than simply identifying a prospect’s pain point. Empathy can permeate every element of the sales process to help establish trust with a customer. Showing that you honestly care about a customer’s business must be a key consideration when making any outbound calls, and should be a serious consideration when building your email templates. If you can employ empathy effectively, you can build credibility and connections with customers at scale.
“There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.” – Mark Twain
Everyone has heard the maxim, “Honesty is the best policy.” This goes for sales as well, especially inside sales. As a profession, sales suffers from a few unsavory stereotypes, not least of all is the image of the manipulative snake oil salesman who takes advantage of customers. Demonstrating honesty, even when it might not be in your best immediate interests, differentiates you from the rest of the automated, generic sales pitches a prospect will inevitably encounter. When using cold calls and email templates to reach out to potential customers, you’re starting from behind in the journey towards building a rapport that ends with a signed contract. Honesty is the best way to demonstrate to a prospect that at the end of the day, you’re only interested in delivering excellent value for their business.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein
Creativity can fall by the wayside when teams employ call scripts, automated outreach and other time-saving methods to achieve success at scale. Inside sales strategies are designed to reduce the amount of time spent on each sales activity, and therefore shorten their sales cycle. But there exists a happy medium between customizing every single outreach email and simply spamming leads. Your product likely has different value propositions for people in different roles at the company using it, so spend adequate time crafting custom email templates for each role that could be an influencer on a deal. This will save you time while still allowing you to send a concise, tailored message.