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Businesses vastly underestimate impact of a personal connection in customer acquisition and retention according to NewVoiceMedia study

NewVoiceMedia, a leading global provider of omni-channel cloud customer contact technology, has released new research revealing that sales teams are failing to use data-driven insights and personalisation to close deals. 86 percent of prospects claim that just five minutes of preparation prior to sales calls boosts success, yet more than half of calls are poorly researched.

“We have entered a new era of sales that requires a more intelligent and genuine approach to engaging and connecting with today’s customers and prospects”, said Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. “Despite the increased access to customer data, this research highlights gaps between what sales teams are capable of doing and how they’re actually executing on these strategies. By better understanding customers and prospects and strategically using data to connect with them, sales teams will be able to bridge these gaps and positively influence the entire sales journey”.

Key findings show that sales teams can boost performance and increase customer and prospect satisfaction by incorporating data-driven insights, personalisation and familiarity into sales activities:

  • Sales teams underestimate the power of research
    • Five minutes of researching prospects and customers prior to engaging with them on a call can increase performance. Yet despite this huge revenue opportunity, the majority of respondents (60%) felt that more than half of sales calls they received were poorly researched.
    • Researching and understanding prospects makes a lasting impression. Following a sales interaction, 57 percent of respondents recall if a sales rep demonstrated an understanding of their needs and 28 percent recall if they portrayed evidence of prior research.
    • Not only does the content of a sales call matter, but also its timing. Researching the best time to make a call can result in more wins. While afternoon was cited as the preferred time for sales calls, agreeing to a time beforehand is key. Eighty-eight percent of prospects would be more open to a sales call if asked when would be most convenient for them and 86 percent dislike when salespeople follow up at unspecified times.
  • Incorporating a personal touch boosts success
    • Businesses are struggling to use automated calling to their advantage. Findings show that prospects are not receptive to automated calls, with 77 percent reporting that they will hang up if they are not speaking to a human and 52 percent reporting they will not return automated voicemails.
    • Creating connections with prospects is key. Proven knowledge of the individual and company encourages prospects to make a purchase. Those surveyed stated they would be more likely to make a purchase if the caller took time to research the business and understand their goals (86%), identified gaps or needs within their business to support their product or service (86%), referenced projects they’re working on (64%) or researched their career history (50%).
    • One of the most important things sales people need to do is listen to customers and prospects. When it comes to committing to a sale, 68 percent of respondents claim that a sales rep who listens to their needs and shares relevant information can make the difference between winning or losing a deal.
  • Familiarity matters
    • Localisation matters with research showing that only 39 percent of prospects would answer a call from a withheld number, yet two-thirds (65%) would answer a call with a local area code. This indicates that sales teams should present numbers that make sense for their targeted audience.
    • Just 41 percent claim they would open an email from a sender they don't recognise.

New sales technology can drive growth by intelligently incorporating customer data, personalisation and familiarity into sales strategy. NewVoiceMedia’s ContactWorld for Sales and Marketing solution seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, giving the entire sales team, whether they are in the office or out on the road, complete access to customer data. With unparalleled customer insight, sales organisations can tailor pitches to each individual customer, ultimately resulting in a higher conversion rate. Additionally, reps can choose the number they display when outbound dialling so they can best serve their customers and enhance every connection.

The research conducted by Opinion Matters analysed responses from 910 UK employees who take sales business calls.