The Fall of the Sales Call – and How To Save It

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

Overall communication skills have declined dramatically in recent years. Thanks to the onslaught of new technology, there are many ways to communicate like email, instant message, video conferencing, and social media. As a result more traditional communication skills – like phone skills – have practically disappeared. While that may not affect your entire company, this decline can dramatically affect your sales department.

Many companies have noticed a correlation between a decrease in sales and a decrease in sales calls. Like the rest of us, sales people have turned to new ways of communication, like email, instead of picking up the phone. Why? Because they can reach thousands of potential customers with a click of the mouse. They’re able to reach more people in less time. So what’s the problem?

Sales emails don’t work as well as sales calls.

Your potential customers likely receive thousands of emails annually, and many of those are sales emails. Unless your potential customer is actively looking for what your company is selling, those emails are probably going straight to the trash bin – or are being filtered out before they ever reach their inbox.

Many customers actually prefer calls to online communication. Emails are typically sent in batches, which leaves little room for personalization. Even if your sales people are tailoring every single email to a prospect, there is no way for them to see how that prospect reacts when they read. Your sales people aren’t able to respond to possible objections or answer any questions immediately.

So why are sales people making less sales calls?

Convenience is often cited as one reason sales people are making less sales calls each year. Even though emails aren’t as effective, they are much faster. You can reach thousands of people daily by sending emails, while sales calls take much longer and require more effort.

But some sales people simply think sales calls are outdated and are simply seen as interruptions. They prefer emails or text messages to communicate with prospects, even if that means reaching out to more prospects with a lower conversion rate. While that may be their preference, it’s up to their managers to determine if that’s the right method for their company. And for many managers looking at declining sales, they’re realizing one thing:

Sales calls matter.

So what can you do if your sales people are afraid of the phone? It’s easy. You can train them! There are many online courses or live in-person trainings that teach phone skills, including cold calls, sales call planning, and how to overcome objections and close a sale. It’s possible to save the sales call; it just takes a little effort.