Voicemail Disruption in B2B Prospecting Land

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Some fun facts about using voicemail in your sales prospecting process.

There is disruption happening is voicemail land. You want to be aware of the changes and do what is necessary to stay ahead of your competition. Let’s review some statistics on voicemail volume, rates of retrieval, abandonment and why transcription and smartphones should have your restructuring the voicemails you do leave. Then I have six recommendations for you.

There is no question that voicemail use, on both sides of the phone is changing. These are statistics I’m seeing consistently from various sources.
Voicemail volume is dropping 8% a year.
Retrieval of those voicemails is dropping 14% per year.
30% or more of voicemails left are not listened to until 3 or more days later.
Voicemail abandonment rate is 50%- 75% and increasing.
30% or more of voicemails are being read (not listened to) via voice to text services on smartphones.

So not a surprise to those of us in sales prospecting and appointment setting land. People are leaving fewer voicemails. More and more are not listening to their voicemails. More and more callers are reaching voicemail and bouncing rather than leave a message. And, significantly about 30% of voicemails left are being read, not listened to, but read, on a smartphone.

What is happening in voicemail land is not change, it is disruption. The increasing numbers of those that don’t leave or listen to voicemail is not a trend, it is a stampede.

So, if you are a sales manager tasked with generating opportunities by use of phone, voicemail and email, or an individual salesrep whose paycheck is dependent upon generating sales appointments that convert, what does all of this mean and what do you do?

1st point. Yes, the trend is thundering away from voicemail. That does not mean that NOBODY is listening. There are fewer and they are much quicker to say bye-bye, so when you use it adjust your expectations and make your message count.

2nd point. If you leave a prospecting voicemail today recognize the new reality. If people are listening to your voicemail at all, they are deleting quicker and a significant number are reading it on their smartphones. So, what they see on the first 2 or 3 lines determines whether you get dismissed or they read further.  The days of you leaving a voicemail starting with “Hey this is Billybob over at Mega industries and I know you are busy and I will only take a minute but we are a full-service blah blah blah yada yada are over.

To have even a shot of success with voicemail today you must lead with an interruptive statement wedged next to credibility or you are toast.

“Sally, is your widget service performing satisfactorily? More than 500 companies in the East Yazoo area chose us to get big benefit A, mega benefit B and humungous benefit C, yada yada yada…” Boom, Boom and Boom.

No name up front, no how are you doing, no wasting time by telling them you won’t waste their time, drive home with clarity and impact right up front so that the buyers, those that know they have a need, can immediately recognize that you might help them and that you are worth more time.

Those rules were always the case when leaving voicemail but they are even more important now.

3rd. You must be ahead of this curve to compete. You must make your voicemail messaging more effective today to beat your competitors. If you are leaving voicemail messages today craft them to have the greatest chance of success. In addition to that, as voicemail effectiveness declines, you must integrate alternatives into your prospecting process to beat your competitors. You want your competitors eating your dust, you don’t want to be left scrambling for the crumbs they leave behind.

4th. Emailing is emerging if not already here. I’m seeing in some industries that most appointments and discovery calls are being made by email without phone calls. In some industries, I think this is now dominant but across the board, effective use of email is becoming rapidly more important. If you are going to beat your competitors it means knowing how to craft an email to get a response, no small challenge, and getting very familiar with the great tools out there today that enable you to find and send emails to your targeted decision makers. Tools like Hunter, getprospect, anymailfinder, findthat.email do an amazing job of providing accurate email addresses. Some even integrate with Linkedin Sales Navigator. Review these tools and decide which ones will help you.

5th. A word about cold emailing. Companies ahead of the curve have learned how to integrate email into their appointment setting and discovery call process. They integrate calls, voicemail and email into their process for best results. Some, that see great results from email have said “Wait a minute. Our emails are getting responses and meetings. Why not just email those top prospects we don’t have the time or resources to call for even more meetings now?” They are doing that, parallel to their more traditional phone outreach effort and reaping a lot of opportunities because of it. This can give you a big boost quick if done correctly. Look at tools like outreach, persistiq and quickmail for cold emailing those you cannot call.

And finally, point number 6. Like fashion trends from the 90’s that are coming back what’s old is new again and marketing tools like direct mail are getting more use and attention. Now, am I advising you to ditch what you are doing and start mailing? No. But I am telling you that as calling and voicemail become more challenging that you will need to add more techniques to your repertoire to stay ahead of the competition. Certainly, as to your best prospects, your highest potential value prospects, you should at least think seriously about what other marketing techniques make sense, and direct mail should get your consideration.

So that’s it. Some fun facts about the state of voicemail and six tips to help you stay effective in generating new opportunities.

If you need some help in this area or want to talk about your situation, contact us for a chat.

Prospect and prosper,
This is Scott Channell

 

 

 

Scott Channell sales scripts & appointment setting