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‘’80% of calls go to voicemails, and 90% of first time voicemails are never returned’’
Voicemails are and should be a thing of the past, you’re living in 2020 and if you are still considering this technique to help you in your sales actions, you need to reconsider.
Your sales actions are conducted in a certain manner so that engagement with the prospects can take place smoothly, but when you conduct that sales actions with a solution that is outdated, slow and will make you frustrated for days, is it really worth it?
Sales in 2020 need to be easy, it requires a quicker response rate and engaging with prospects needs to be much more efficient, “67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers before taking them through the full sales process.”
And why does this happen, because your sales actions are poor especially when you depend on tools such as voicemails to help you engage with your prospects?
The agenda of this article is to help you understand that using a traditional approach such as voicemail will not help you cater to successful lead generation and we have proof of that.
What you will understand in this article?
2. Why is using voicemails in 2020 is a big NO?
What we want you to understand here is that your brand can engage with leads better, in fact, it can grow twice better with relation to lead generation and all this without the use of a voicemail, ‘’67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.’’
Let’s get started.
When you go to your landline and press a button and you hear all the messages for the day because you couldn’t pick your call, that is called a voicemail message.
The reason why voicemail was very popular earlier was that landlines were a huge thing when compared to our present scenario, anything important or any calls being missed can be heard with the touch of a button.
But what happened in the years to follow?
We changed, our needs changed and we realized that the digital platform will revolutionize the way engagement with prospects will take place, the way businesses will start to sell, and more.
Slowly, faster communication mediums started to pick their pace, emails, cold calls, social media became the identity for how a business should engage with prospects, ‘’Email marketing has 2x higher return than cold calling’’, ‘’27% of sales people say that a B2B call is still an effective first step in a well-thought-out prospecting strategy’’,
“63.4 percent of sales reps engaged in social selling report an increase in their company’s revenue (compared to just 41.2 percent of non-social sellers).“
Now when you consider voicemails in today’s sales picture, how does that work?
With voicemails the process would be longer such as you will record your message and then have to wait till your prospects hear it and then revert to you, during this time, chances are your prospects will ignore or either forget to hear the message.
Interesting Read: Why real – time support is crucial for your business?
Nora Lara, an employee at Santa Clara County Superior Court had to say this about voicemails,
“Let’s say I get a phone call from my brother, “I’ll ignore it. And then he’ll text me. When people leave me voice messages, I just delete them without even checking. If they want to get hold of me, they can text me.”
And why would she prefer texting because it’s easy, you have another solution that can help you engage with your peers quicker, why would you or anyone still rely on voicemails?
Let’s answer this question with better clarity.
‘’The term Voicemail was coined by Televoice International (later Voicemail International, or VMI) for their introduction of the first US-wide Voicemail service in 1980.’’
1980 was an era where mobile phones weren’t still made a necessity, the audience in this era was different, that time voicemails worked well as that was only the one source of communication from one end to another.
You’re living in 2020 right now, and you have a smartphone, social media handles, text messages, emails, and more for anyone to reach out to you. With the growth in online platforms, where with just one click all your queries are solved, do you still believe that voicemails can imprint their mark again?
Jens Hartman shared his view on this topic with his Quora answer,
‘’Nowadays a lot of people also have a “preferred communication channel”, which means that people have a lot of choices. Some might respond only to text messages and never listen to their voicemail. Some might take ages to respond to an email but respond immediately to a WhatsApp message. A lot of people don’t like phone conversations anymore because they have little control over when and where the phone rings. Especially in business communication ti can be critical to understand for example your clients and their preferred channels to get good a quick responses without annoying them.’’
Jeff Beals, a sales consultant stated in one of his article regarding this topic saying,
‘’People have discovered that texts and emails are way more efficient than phone calls and voicemails. Several studies conducted by business consultants and time-management gurus have concluded at only three-to-seven percent of all business-to-business voice mails are actually returned by their recipients. Even worse, only about a third of people even bother to listen to voice mails in the first place!’’
As stated earlier, those days especially in the traditional times where smartphones weren’t yet a discovery, voicemails were a great way to understand a message sent from a brand or a loved one, but now when you are aware that with the digitalized world, your prospects are depending to be heard or engaged with via the digital platforms, why would you use voicemail here?
Voicemails are being ignored, and in an environment where a potential lead doesn’t revert, brands need to engage twice more with them.
Would you be comfortable speaking to a brand when you realize that you’re being recorded?
You would feel uncomfortable and would end the call sooner, so doesn’t voicemail make you feel that as well?
There isn’t any comfort when a prospect wants to reply back to a prospect using voicemail, the certainty isn’t present.
Let’s understand this with an example:
Now you had a doubt and you can’t reach a peer, you would send a voicemail message but you won’t tell the entire information because you would find it odd to record your message. Hence your peer would listen to your voicemail and would find it as not urgent due to your half message and would hence revert to you later..
Honestly, in 2020 and the years to come none of your prospects are going to wait and listen to their voicemails because the fact is simple when you have another communication medium that is quicker to identify a message, why would anyone rely on the voicemails?
There are multiple other faster communication channels that can draw your interest better which Ali Linthorst, owner at Salt+ Pine shares in her Quora answer,
‘’It’s 2020. Which is just another way of saying that things will never be the same again—especially when it comes to how we communicate.
Many now rely on modern mediums such as messaging to communicate as their new MO. This turn to mobile convenience and functionality is no surprise, especially considering the fact that Americans check their phones a staggering 96 times a day—once every ten minutes. So what communication channels should you be using to connect with your customers nowadays? Answer: ones that can be accomplished through messaging. Text, social media, live chat, and reviews.’’
Wouldn’t you agree?
If you are using social media and still have a voicemail platform, you would hardly make use of the latter because whatever you want to know or if any brand needs to engage with you, your social media handle is the place you would expect, so why would you waste time using a voicemail platform that will keep you for hours waiting?
Brands realized this, which is why a well-established brand, JP Morgan decided to eliminate voicemails from their communication medium.
Gordon Smith, Head of JP Morgan’s consumer and community bank stated which is also covered by Bloomberg in their dedicated article,
‘’We realized that hardly anyone uses voicemail anymore because we’re all carrying something in our pockets, that’s going to get texts or email or a phone call. So we started to cut those off.’’
McKinsey in one of their article where the topic was written about the future of personalization shared their views stating,
“Personalization is becoming more pervasive. Only by acting today, however, can companies hope to be in a position to deliver value to both their customers and their brands.“
Voicemail doesn’t add that personal touch.
Let’s understand this with an example:
Say that you have a query and you had asked for clarification from saying brand A. Now since you were not available, the brand left you a message sharing information on the same in your voicemail, now what would the impression be of that brand in your mind?
Would you be comfortable with their actions or would you prefer them to reach out to you in a better manner such as emails or calls since they are also the easiest communication medium now?
You need to understand that your brand needs to scream volumes of how dedicated you are to assist and engage with your prospects. Every action of yours needs to be personalized because that is what will help your prospects want to explore your brand better.
Interesting Read: How leading B2B companies are shifting digital marketing strategies
“Leads are 9x more likely to convert when businesses follow-up within 5 minutes.”
And with voicemails, this cannot take place.
Let’s understand this better with an example:
Now as a sales rep you tried reaching out to your prospect and since the prospect couldn’t answer the phone, you went to leave a voicemail message. You start to wait for a reply and just like that a few days pass away. You again tried to do the same thing to contact the prospect and you reach the voicemail.
Now in this scenario, the clear factor here is that you have no choice but to wait for your prospects’ reply which can take days and more time hence making your lead generation process slower.
Now if you hadn’t used voicemail, you would use other mediums such as emails, cold calls, and more. When your prospect hasn’t replied you can always contact them again and do multiple follow-ups such as contacting them again the next day or sending personalized emails and more.
This action will make your prospect to ponder upon your action to connect with them and get themselves to engage with your brand. The process is easy and quick and gives you the opportunity not to miss out on any leads.
“Recipients don’t return 90% of first time voicemails”
Your prospects are busy and there is one thing you need to be aware of, just one voicemail or one email isn’t enough to get your prospects to come towards your brand, “80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.“
With so many follow-ups, do you still believe that voicemail can help you in such a manner?
Your entire time will go leaving voicemails and waiting for your prospect to revert to you, instead couldn’t you switch this time in generating more leads?
This is exactly why voicemail gives you another reason to say no to its existence.
Your prospects have needs and they want to cater to those needs sooner the better, so if you’re going to engage with them in a sales process that is longer and quite ignored by multiple of your prospects, would your lead count have a difference?
You need a sales process that is quick or which taps your prospects instantly before your competitors do, which voicemail can’t do.
So tell us, what did you think of this article? What are your views on voicemail? Would you like to share your opinion with us?
If you do because we would love to hear from you, reach out to us by tweeting us.
Never underestimate the power of passion. With over 17 years of experience in building internet businesses, 5 successful bootstrapped b2b brands. Sathish spends most of his time executing ideas into niche internet brands through a lean team and enjoys being a wanderlust.
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