Most salespeople call a prospect with the goal of getting them live on the phone. While there is a chance you’re calling at the right time, with the right message, the majority of the time, this is not likely.
Interrupting someone’s day for a sales conversation is a breeding ground for a bad conversation. Even worse, you are guaranteed to lose control. As soon as the prospect answers the phone, they are in the driver’s seat, and you’re typically just an annoying passenger they want to drop off.
The solution is leaving a voicemail, which ensures you can communicate your points clearly and effectively. In addition to leaving the voicemail, it has to be the right message. A proven strategy that I’ve used over the years is called Sphere of Influence Selling, created by sales expert Daniel Hughes. Here’s how to implement Sphere of Influence Selling:
Find Multiple Contacts From the Start
Do your research on the organization and establish a connection with multiple people within the company from the start. The ultimate goal is to identify the best person in the organization to move the process along, however, with multiple contacts for outreach, you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket. You have plenty of people to contact if one goes dark.
Involve and Mention Multiple Contacts
Knowing multiple contacts is not enough. You must reference each of them during your outreach. This establishes influence and a sense of urgency. For instance, if I left you a voicemail saying that I’m going to reach out to your boss, and your boss’s boss within the next few hours, wouldn’t that light a fire? After all, you wouldn’t want to seem unprepared in front of your bosses. And, no matter my message, it must be important enough for your boss’s boss to be informed.
Here’s a sample voicemail script:
“I am reaching out to you, as well as Joe, Matt and Jen at your company, to have a conversation about X solution that we have to help you do XYZ. The reason for my call is to determine the best contact at your organization to begin this process of evaluating what we can do for you. Please call me back at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thank you.”
A key aspect of this outreach approach is utilizing the person’s expertise to identify the right contact. In the prospect’s mind, a quick call back will resolve that, and ensure that their boss (and boss’s boss) feels that they’ve got it covered. Boom. There’s your call back.
Establish Metrics and ROI Based on Quality Conversations
We have closed many deals using this exercise, however, it is not a quick process. If your quota is focused on quantity, such as number of dials, monthly revenue quotas, etc., then this is not the strategy for you. This approach is about quality. You are leaving voicemails for the right people, at the right organizations, at the right time, because you’ve done your research. In addition, your voicemail message is so specific and engaging, that you will get that call back and have that next conversation.
Therefore, consider these metrics for Sphere of Influence voicemail measurement and ROI:
- Volume of callbacks
- Deal flow
- Opportunity flow
A Nod to the Right Data
Sphere of Influence Selling requires upfront work. You need to do the research to find the right contacts, including their titles and phone numbers, and to determine whether your product or service is a fit. Quality data, as well as using helpful tools to pull accurate contact data, will streamline this process, and should be a major part of your approach. According to a CSO Insights Study, Salespeople spend 20% of their time researching contact data. Even worse, hours each day are wasted reaching out to the wrong contacts, or dialing bad phone numbers. Check out this calculator to determine your wasted time. Avoid all of this with quality data.
Photo: Salim Fadhley