We get asked how to solve this problem a lot, so read on to learn the answer!
If we took every inane reason or list of ways to call your prospect and see where they are in the pipeline, I guarantee the recommended scripts boil down to some of our most despised phrases: “I’m just checking in” or “I just wanted to touch base.”
There are endless posts of creative ways to rephrase those same words. They will tell you to “erase those old words from your memory and use these instead”, when their new words are essentially identical. What really replaces these? If every celebrity sales leader, business owner, and blogger is urging you, begging you to stop pestering them and their colleagues with unwanted follow up calls on every day of the week that ends in –day, then what do you do?
When you’re in a sit down meeting with a number of clients and could pitch face to face, you’d easily tell their body language. Are they playing on their phones and do they look bored, or are they sitting up, asking questions, and double-checking their printouts? Under these circumstances, this gets almost too easy. Humans have spent the past millennia evolving our senses, and at this point we’re instinctively very good at reading emotions on other humans.
However, when you only know your prospect as, say, Phil@newprospectivecustomer.com, you’ll have no idea if his short reply to your pitch email “Looks great- I’ll give it some thought” really means “Not interested, go away” or “I want to learn more about this”.
Without the aid of a face to face meeting, “touching base” gets really tempting with prospects like Phil. We get it, you’ve got a quota to meet or a big deal is close. We’re in the business of educating sales teams how to read digital body language. No, we don’t mean dissecting the meaning of every word in Phil’s “Looks great- I’ll give it some thought” reply. We’re talking about learning how they’re going over your content, and matching the information you gain in your email client to what you would learn in the meeting room.
What is Digital Body Language?
Digital body language is essentially the aggregate of the digital activity seen from an individual, as described by Steven Woods in his book on the subject in 2009. Here’s the big clue – 88% of buyers don’t want a face to face meeting anymore. Let’s not think this translates into a dislike of reps, but these days there is more and more work conducted over the internet, and therefore more keeping your prospects in their seats instead of meeting you for coffee.
This is why Inside Sales as a business model has exploded in popularity over the last decade.
Working the phone and emailing leads is how many startups and larger companies are pushing through to get in touch with their prospects, who have less and less time for them. On the other side, we’re expecting our SDRs to work through numerous leads each day. Imagine, as a field rep, that you were expected to meet 300 clients a month. That’s 10 meetings a day. Obviously our SDRs aren’t having meetings taking nearly as long as a field rep’s meeting, but they’re not just talking to 300 clients a month, they’re hitting factors of that number. How do you find success in such volume? How does your sales team not get caught up in the endless stream of contacts and emails, and find workable, interested prospects out of the noise?
Our sales reps get on top of this with programs that help them read digital body language. Just recently, John Simpson of Insidesales.com and Khuram Hussain of Fileboard hosted an educational webinar on reading the Digital Body Language of your prospects. Obviously we want to make a connection through at least that first phone call, but then what’s the real value in learning digital body language?
After I email Phil back with a proposal, the key factor is knowing looking at what pages of your presentation or proposal he’s actually looked at. For example, when one of my SDR’s sends out a prospecting email and their lead spends more time looking at the presentation slides regarding Fileboard’s screen sharing software, my SDR’s next call to that lead is going to chiefly include a discussion of that software – an identified point of interest to that lead.
Imagine you’re a manager (or maybe you are a manager) and you need to onboard 10 new, fresh out of college SDRs. Are you going to spend the couple of months it takes teaching them to not be afraid of the phone, waste valuable leads, and take time away from your other responsibilities? If they’ve gained these insights into their clients, they can spend their time confidently pitching to their leads with the same enthusiasm that got them hired in the first place, instead of asking their leads what to pitch to them. “What are you interested in?” is another phrase our SDR’s just don’t say.
That’s not because we’ve told them not to, but because we haven’t needed to tell them not to say it. With software that reads digital body language, they already know the answer to that question with each and every lead.
Reading Digital Body Language correctly isn’t just going to help your team out, it’s helping Sales across the world become more efficient and have more meaningful conversations. Realizing when you’re holding some dead leads and moving on quicker gives your reps more time with interested prospects. As more team members access the DBL of their prospects, we’re generating more data points to make smarter decisions about our buyer’s journeys. The bottom line is; our sales team can learn what their prospects actually want.