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Dollars and Sense: How to improve sales with business SMS

Fatima Puri
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Sales teams are an integral part of any business. They’re the ones at the front line handling new leads and converting them into paying customers through an often tedious process. The average cost per lead, or CPL, can range from $162 for healthcare industries and up to $208 for IT businesses.

Because lead acquisition is costly, sales teams need whatever resources they can get to qualify leads, respond faster, and drive more conversions. Business SMS for sales is a worthwhile investment because it’s a profitable way to help sales teams facilitate all of these tasks. This article will cover common pain points for sales teams and how business texting can alleviate those problems while improving workflows to earn more revenue.

The ROI of business SMS throughout the sales funnel

Business texting works well with the sales funnel because it seamlessly integrates with existing call and CRM workflows. Textline customers have integrations for common sales tools like Aircall, TalkDesk, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and more.

To better understand adding texting to existing workflows helps improve sales teams’ metrics, let’s break down the math of common KPIs throughout the sales process before and after implementing texting. 

Top of funnel

One of the most common KPIs for tracking the start of a sales process is the average initial response rate of a new lead. Texting has a much higher response rate than email; texts have a 45 percent response rate compared to email at six percent. 

Texts have a 45 percent response rate.

To demonstrate the stark difference between texting and email response rates, let’s imagine a medical supply company called Jaeger Medical Supplies. Jaeger Medical Supplies paid $16,500 for 100 leads (that’s $165 per lead.)

Jaeger Medical Supplies sent their new leads an email to initiate a conversation, but only six percent of the leads responded.

6% email responses x 100 leads = 6 responses.
$16,500 total lead spend / 6 responses = $2,750 cost per response. 

After seeing their low response rate, Jaeger Medical Supplies began using texting to reach new leads. From there, they saw a 45 percent response rate.

45% text responses x 100 leads = 45 responses.
$16,500 total lead spend / 45 responses = $366.67 cost per response.

When comparing their results from using email and text, the medical supplies company saw a vast increase in responses and a considerable drop in the cost per response.

45 responses (texting) -  6 responses (email) = 39 more responses from text 
$2,750 cost per response (email) - $366.67 cost per response (texting) = $2,383.33 savings in cost per response from texting

Theoretically, Jaeger Medical Supplies can now use their excess lead budget to spend on higher-cost leads or more leads since their cost per response significantly decreases. So, not only did they receive more initial responses, but they also saved a ton of money and can now go after more leads. 

Mid-funnel to close

Texting is helpful because sales teams can use it throughout the sales funnel. Sales teams can continue conversing with prospects via text to develop their relationship and close more deals.  

Jaeger Medical Supplies didn’t see enough success with email alone, so they decided to start calling throughout the sales process since their spend per customer was $1,000. After adding calling to their sales process, the medical supply company increased conversion to 15 percent.

15% conversion rate x 100 leads = 15 new customers. 
$16,500 total lead spend / 15 new customers = $1,100 cost per acquisition. 
15 new customers x $1,000 average spend per customer = $15,000 total new customer earnings.

While Jaeger Medical Supplies was happy with their results with phone calls, they wanted to see if adding texting to this part of the sales funnel would help them increase their conversion rate even more. According to studies, texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions by over 100 percent. After implementing texting, in addition to the phone calls, Jaeger Medical Supplies saw similar results. Their response rate jumped from 15 to 30 percent when adding texting to their existing workflow.

30% conversion rate x 100 leads = 30 new customers.
$16,500 lead acquisition spend / 30 new customers = $550 cost per acquisition.
30 new customers x $1,000 average spend per customer = $30,000 total new customer earnings. 

With texting, Jaeger Medical Supplies cut their cost per acquisition, also known as CPA, in half, from $1,100 CPA to $550 CPA. They also earned double in total new customer spend from $15,000 to $30,000

Customer repurchase rate

Texting saves conversation threads and keeps account managers in the loop with existing customers, so they can use it to keep a pulse check on customers ready to repurchase a service or product. Texting also has a higher response rate than other communication channels, a key component for success when talking to customers. Think of texting as a place sales teams can easily tap into because it keeps new and old customers at arm’s length.

After all of their hard work to acquire new customers, Jaeger Medical Supplies wants to implement business texting into their re-selling efforts to increase each customer’s lifetime value, or LTV. Before using business texting, 35 percent of Jaeger Medical Supplies’ first-time customers made a second purchase. 

35% repurchase rate x 400 customers = 140 customers who repurchase.
140 repurchase customers x $1,000 spend per customer = $140,000 total repurchase sales.

Jaeger Medical Supplies can keep a pulse check on their existing customers to track when they’re ready to repurchase with texting. Once they use texting to keep the conversation going with their customers and building better relationships, Jaeger Medical Supplies increases their second purchase rate from 35 percent to 40 percent

40% repurchase rate x 400 customers = 160 customers who repurchase. 
160 repurchase customers x $1,000 spend per customer = $160,000 total repurchase sales. 
$160,000 total repurchase earnings (with texting) - $140,000 total repurchase sales (without texting) = $20,000 additional repurchase revenue.

Jaeger Medical Supplies was increased their sales KPIs through business texting significantly and made an overall additional revenue of more than $35,000. Because texting is personable and quick, it made it easier for Jaeger Medical Supplies to reach out to their leads faster, respond to more of their customers, and keep conversations going long after a sale closed. 

Other benefits of business texting in the sales cycle

Let’s take a closer look at how business texting can improve various parts of the sales cycle.

Sales texting and response time

In an instantaneous world, people want replies as soon as possible. While it’s impossible to tend to every lead the second they come in, business texting can help you respond to them quickly to meet expectations and earn their loyalty. Business texting software makes it easy for sales team members to collaborate, allowing them to respond to more customers and win more business. 

Companies who attempt to reach a new lead within an hour are seven times likelier to have a sincere conversation with decision-makers than those who wait even 60 minutes. And sales teams know better than anyone that the quicker you can get to the decision-maker, the better chances of closing a sale. As we mentioned previously, the average response time for texting is 90 seconds. Texting is typically a rapid back-and-forth conversation to get the ball rolling.

Companies who reach out to a new lead within an hour are 7x likelier to have a sincere conversation with decision-makers.

Sales texting and qualifying leads

Getting a lead is a thrilling experience, but not all leads are the right fit for your business. One part of sales is to filter leads into different categories and understand what leads aren’t worth the time investment. With business texting, sales teams can qualify leads faster to make sure they’re prioritizing the right prospect. After all, time is money, and texting helps sales teams save a ton of it.

Sales texting and no-shows

Getting a lead to schedule a demo or meeting with a sales team member is only part of the goal. The other part is making sure the meeting happens according to plan. Unfortunately, no-shows happen all the time for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is forgetfulness. Sales teams can send appointment reminders via text to reduce no-shows. Text messages have an open rate of 98 percent to ensure prospects will see them. They also allow for two-way communication, making it easier to have conversations about rescheduling if needed.  

Sales texting and quantifying success

The cost of running a winning sales team is increasing every year. Companies have to pay their salespeople, continuously add more as their teams grow, and pay for all of the resources and systems they need to succeed. These tools include customer relationship management, or CRM, call tools like Chorus, prospecting software, and more.

With so many tools, companies need to track their value to see what software is worth the investment. The easier it is to quantify data and translate it, the easier it is to assess a system’s value. Texting offers tangible metrics that show real-time results, unlike enablement software like call tracking or learning and development tools. You can also directly compare texting’s results to phone call and email metrics.  

The bottom line

Sales texting is a lucrative investment for most businesses. Texting’s high open rate, quick response time, and casual nature make it an impactful sales tool to connect with decision-makers on a deeper level. One of the biggest pros of using business texting in the sales process is that it helps sales teams save time and work more efficiently. 

With the pressure to close deals and hit targets on sales representatives, they need all the help they can get to succeed. Business SMS helps speed up the sales process and keeps the conversation open for support teams to jump in once a lead converts into a paying customer.

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