Thomas Parbs of SMS Magic talks about how to use texting in sales and how you can best use it to optimize the sales cycle. Read on to find out more.
RELATED: When and Why Sales Professionals Should Text Clients
In this article:
- Why You Should Use Text Messaging in Sales
- The Role of Texting in B2B Sales
- How to Use Texting in Sales
- How to Use Texting in Marketing
- How to Use Texting in Sales the Right Way
- Where to Use Texting in Sales
- How to Use Texting in Sales Effectively
How to Use Texting in Sales | How to Sell Over Text
Texting as a business communication channel is working for a lot of individuals, including B2C and B2B companies. Yet there is still so much room to grow.
To help us understand more about how to use texting in sales, we brought on Thomas Parbs. He’s the Senior Manager of Sales at SMS Magic.
He’s also the President of the AA-ISP Chicago chapter and a recipient of the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Leader award. Parbs manages a team of sales and marketing reps in the U.S. and has 18 years’ worth of experience in sales and sales leadership.
SMS Magic is now on their 11th year in the business and they’re native to Salesforce. They’re the number-one ranked, most widely used text messaging platform.
Why You Should Use Text Messaging in Sales
Parbs is passionate about using text messaging for sales. Yet, why should others care about it in the same way when there are other communication methods available?
Parbs reiterated the importance of text messaging in selling. He also admitted that phone calls, emails, direct mailer, and social selling (though it’s new for some) aren’t going away anytime soon.
The reason why salespeople should use text messaging is so they can cut through all the noise. The problem with the other existing communication channels we have is they create a lot of noise because most people use them.
People receive tons of emails and get a lot of calls every day, but what catches their attention is when their text message alert goes off. Why? Because the message might be from their family member, friend, or business associate.
Parbs shared that people who need to get ahold of him know they can send him a text. Because it’s more personal, and he’s not receiving tons of text messages a day, it’s cutting through all the noise.
He even admits to personally reading the text messages he receives 90% of the time, even if it’s from someone he doesn’t know.
Parbs reported that text messages get read and response rates are higher than those of other popular communication methods. They get even better if you’ve built a relationship with the person prior to sending them an SMS.
While Parbs champions the use of text messaging in sales, he also reiterates the importance of not abusing it. “You should use it as a channel to your advantage, but don’t abuse it,” he said.
The Role of Texting in B2B Sales
Some people might be hesitant in using text messaging for sales because they regard their SMS inbox as something for their personal use and not for business.
Due to this dilemma, we asked Parbs what the role of texting is in B2B sales. He told us how he was able to close deals over text messages with the help of emails and phone calls.
Parbs shared that once, he was out of the office when he received a text message from a customer about a concern they had with the contract he sent. He was able to respond faster, and soon enough, the customer sent him back a signed contract for their deal.
Sometimes you need to follow up with a client, but it may be an inappropriate time to call. The fastest way to reach them is through text.
Parbs reiterated that the role the best sales text messages play is very important. It can help you not only with follow-ups, but also in closing deals.
How to Use Texting in Sales
When you’re cultivating leads, whether inbound or generating more intent, a good strategy is to combine your email marketing with text messaging.
If somebody wants to download something from your website, you can ask them to agree to certain terms and conditions for you to send them a text message. If they agree, you can send them a text that’s relevant to the call-to-action email you sent.
This doesn’t mean you should blast someone with text messages, Parbs reminded. You also need to ensure there’s compliance, and that you give people the choice to opt-out of receiving text messages from you.
Parbs shared that at SMS Magic, they encourage the use of an opt-in form. This will ensure you always comply with the data privacy acts in place.
If someone asks you to not contact them anymore, you need to comply with their request.
Parbs assured that SMS Magic is fully compliant and they stay ahead of the game. Not only do they give customers an option to stop receiving text messages, but they also ensure their system doesn’t allow them to do so when asked.
If the customer expresses a desire to keep receiving text messages, they also give a double-opt in option to ensure they’re compliant.
The best way how to use texting in sales is to remain compliant.
RELATED: 7 Texting Mistakes Salespeople Should Be Aware Of
How to Use Texting in Marketing
When it comes to marketing, Parbs encourages having your text messages follow the message and tone of your email marketing.
He revealed as well that their clients find success when they use automated text messaging in their marketing. SMS Magic provides this kind of service where you can send relevant texts automatically.
With email, you have a lot more space to include more content. With text message, Parbs advises to keep it simple, straight to the point, and relevant to your persona and message.
You can also set up long strings of automation where the AI is conversing with the prospect and is also offering sales rep guidance. The goal is to interest them in booking a meeting.
When they express their intent to book a meeting, the system can alert your SDRs or ISRs. This way, they can pick up where the automation left off.
Parbs reminded that it’s important to follow standard operating procedures so the marketing to sales hand-off flows easily.
How to Use Texting in Sales the Right Way
If you’re still hesitant about using text messaging for your sales team due to privacy issues, Parbs recommended that you consult a professional lawyer. But, he assures that the rules and protocols around text messaging are exactly the same as those around emails and phone calls.
Data privacy acts don’t differentiate between different forms of communication — they’re all governed in the same way. The rule of thumb on how to use texting in sales is to not make an intrusive approach.
You can incorporate text messages in your cadence. For instance, when you send a marketing email and don’t get a response after a day or two, follow up via text message.
Here’s a follow-up text message sample: “Hey [prospect’s name], any thoughts on the article that I sent you? Here’s the link.”
If your prospect didn’t text you back or ask you to call them, you can use SMS Magic to track their customer journey. You can see when they visit your website, which pages they checked out, and even what directed them to your website.
The bottom line is, text messaging is simply another communication channel. Don’t be afraid to do it, and don’t overdo it.
Keep it professional, simple yet effective, and you’re good to go.
Where to Use Texting in Sales
Parbs suggested using text messaging early on in your cadences from your inbound leads, the hand-raisers. These are the true inbound leads who expressed their interest in booking a meeting, getting a demo, and seeing the pricing.
For instance, you have a 14-business day cadence with 10 to 12 touchpoints. If somebody expresses interest, you may call them, leave a voice mail, send an email, or connect with them on LinkedIn with a note.
On the second day, you call again and send them an email. On the third day, you may call again, but also send a text message with an option to stop receiving text messages from you.
If they choose to prevent you from sending them text messages, comply with their response.
For outbound, you can apply the traditional communication methods first. Yet as you start getting in the latter part of your cadence, use text messaging.
Every message is going to be different, but Parbs gave us a professional text message sample:
“Hey, it’s [your name] from [your company] looking for a chance to connect. I’m not sure if you got my other messages, but here’s a link to my calendar if you want to chat.
If you want to stop receiving text messages from me, just reply STOP.”
That’s short and to the point. If you’re worried about your reps sending something you don’t want them to, have them stick to your approved templates.
How to Use Texting in Sales Effectively
According to Parbs, the most effective way to use text messaging in sales is for meeting reminders. Every sales organization he talked to saw an exponential increase in booking meetings when they used this method.
If you want to increase the show-up rate for your meetings, send your prospects a text message to remind them about your meeting. This will jog their memory even if you booked the meeting with them days or weeks ago.
They can tie your text message to their calendar reminder. You’ll also know in advance if you need to reschedule the meeting if they won’t be able to make it.
Parbs recommended you use text messages as a meeting reminder to see a significant increase in your show-up rate.
If you want to personally reach out to Thomas Parbs, you can send him an email at email@example.com. You can also call him through his direct line at 815 994 7244 and visit SMS Magic’s website.
Learning how to use texting in sales can benefit your organization in so many ways. It can help you book more meetings, improve your show-up rates, and help you close more deals.
Remember to apply the best practices on how to sell over text so you can best maximize this communication channel.
Which communication channel/s would you like to maximize better for your sales organization? Let us know in the comments section below!