Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, teleworking has become widespread in France and is, by now, the norm at most companies. However, it presents a new challenge for sales departments: how can sales representatives be as effective remotely as in person? We spoke to Pauline Brun, Head of Sales at Ringover, to get her unique insight and answers relating to the challenges faced by companies today, much of which draws upon her experience managing a team of business developers in France (Île-de-France and Provence) and an inside sales team. Keep reading to learn about her solutions to make the telephone channel an exceptionally productive tool.
What are the challenges facing companies in terms of telephone prospecting?
For several years now, many salespeople have traded in their briefcases for an email address or a LinkedIn profile. Today, with the health risks of the pandemic and the boom in teleworking, companies need to equip themselves with collaborative tools for prospecting (CRM, VoIP, etc.). Physical meetings are becoming rare and relationships with prospects or customers can be disjointed. Yet telephones remain the quickest way to get in touch—and cost much less than in-person travel. Three hours of telephone prospecting can generate more appointments than 3 hours of physical prospecting. I see telephone prospecting as a way of making contact, building relationships, gathering data, and exchanging information with a prospect. And at a time when human contact and relationships are a core concern shared by all companies, the telephone is a great lever. Telephone prospecting can be perceived as intrusive if it is not well organised and customer-oriented, so it’s essential to equip oneself with solid tools in order to monitor and make prospecting effective. The right tools will also help divide the phone prospecting phase into several key stages: qualification, taking requirements, and demonstration.
What’s new in telephony today? And how can businesses respond to these challenges?
One of the main challenges faced by businesses is the creation of a winning sales pitch, which requires a focus on training and coaching. Coaching salespeople on call techniques is essential and, luckily, IP telephony makes it easy. Thanks to listening in on calls or even ‘whispering during the call’, salespeople can be coached on the sales pitch and guided during their first calls. It is very easy, for example, for a new salesperson to listen to recordings of exemplary sales calls in order to learn the pitch. Personally, and as part of my role as Head of Sales, I also analyse the statistics of calls made on a daily basis in order to constantly improve the results of prospecting.
How does cloud telephony make telephone prospecting more effective?
There are many advantages to IP telephony:
For sales teams, access to numerous time-saving features such as click-to-call (which allows calls to be made from a web page or a CRM platform), automatic calling (which allows calls to be made without interruption), the delivery of a pre-recorded voice message in one click if the prospect does not respond, and even SMS or voice message campaigns.
For the company: the accuracy of customer information collected and entered by employees on the customer service, support and sales teams. Thanks to our ability to integrate with CRM and business tools, we guarantee that 100% of telephone, SMS and email interactions are reported and logged in the customer's file.
Finally, IP telephony helps teams to be more efficient thanks to numerous advanced features, but also to improve the way they collaborate, which is essential for the growth of a company.