Miley Cyrus and Your Sales Team’s New Reluctance

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will this work

Kyle Boerner

Cofounder, Chief Creative Marketer and Strategist

The solution is deep and simple, yet perceived as unattainable.

I just read a powerful article by sales guru Michael Pedone titled, “Sales Call Reluctance – Why it Happens & How to Get Rid of It!”

You want to know something?

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would add Sales Call Reluctance to the other two certainties in life (death and taxes). No matter how successful you are at sales, you’ll experience call reluctance at some point in your career.

But what about Email Send Reluctance?

As you know, the days where you used a telephone and the yellow pages are gone. Now sales teams use automated dialers to overcome forms of call reluctance, and CRM, business intelligence and marketing automation to improve sales confidence.

Unfortunately, the reluctance virus has spread from the phone to the mouse. You would think that empowering your sales team with on-demand, content-packed emails that trigger automated, content-laden email workflows would cause carpal tunnel of the index finger. Not so.

There aren’t many metrics for this form of reluctance yet (a survey is being planned – stay tuned), but consider that only 60% of marketers believe email is an ROI-producing activity (the ROI is somewhere around 4,300%).

In addition to a poor perception of value, the fear of rejection has evolved. Disgruntled email recipients now respond with language and visuals that they wouldn’t or couldn’t communicate over the telephone. Trust me, I’ve seen some gems, including images of squirrels and hot tubs that accompany a verbally harsh opt-out request. Email send totals decline.

Ask yourself: Does my sales team suffer from Email Send Reluctance?

Before I talk about Miley Cyrus, do me a favor…

Google “Sales Call Reluctance” (use quotation marks for this exercise).

It’s a pretty popular topic.

Now Google “Email Send Reluctance”.

Zero results.

Google “Email Reluctance”, and it’s a low quality search.

Email Send Reluctance needs to start trending today! #justclicksend

Sales and Marketing Managers — Here are 3 things you can share with your sales team to help them overcome Email Send Reluctance:

  1. Email Marketing is Necessary
    • Email should be calling’s best friend, not it’s ugly step sister. When you’re speaking to your sales team about call attempts, you should also be speaking about email sends. Share with your sales team that the email inbox is the first and most frequent thing their leads check on a daily basis, not their voicemail. This will help them understand that just because a lead doesn’t respond to an email, doesn’t mean they don’t engage with an email.
      • 72%check email 6 or more times a day
      • 88%check email via their mobile device each day
  1. It’s a Numbers Game
    • Numbers don’t lie. Inner-office competition is healthy. And transparency builds adoption. When I started sharing weekly individual and team email sends in the office, email marketing adoption skyrocketed. So much so that we had to increase our email allowance. Why? Because sales reps/teams who were succeeding on the most difficult projects were sending the most emails; shrinking their call attempts to contact and their overall sales cycle. People took notice. Create new, exciting KPIs, especially ones that incorporate Email Marketing and Sales Calls side-by-side, and share the results with your team. Here’s some inspiration:
  1. Miley Cyrus is HOT!
    • I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. Did you know that Miley Cyrus was the most Googled person in 2013? Seriously! She currently sits at #4 this year. How do you think she achieves such a ranking year after year? Viral Content. This is the third thing you should say to your sales team:
    • “ Imagine for a moment that you were one of the million facebook users to share Miley Cyrus’ infamous ‘twerking’ or ‘MTV VMA’ videos on facebook. Why would you share it? You’d share it because you find the content to be valuable to your friends, maybe not all of them, but a select targeted audience. Lo and behold, 17% of your friends like the video, 7% of your friends comment on the video (both positive and negative), and 4% of your friends decide to share it on their wall with their network. Did you succeed at what you were trying to accomplish? Yup. Now if likes were open rates, comments were response rates, and shares were referrals, you’d be the biggest email marketing advocate in the office. Because, to many marketing thought leaders, Email Marketing was the first social media, and clicking send should be just as easy as clicking share on Facebook. 

There are more Email users than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined, and then some, yet Email Send Reluctance is alive and well, and Social Media use grows day by day (I don’t think Social Media Reluctance exists).

Let’s put a stop to Sales Call AND Email Send Reluctance!