How to Build an Inside Sales Team: Best Practices in Voicemail

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A key tip most professionals in the inside sales industry will tell you is it’s a best practice to not leave voice messages. The truth of the matter is that voicemail is one of the most misunderstood and misused tools in terms of gaining a better lead response. To follow is a list of some best practices we have found from our research and experience regarding effective use of voicemail.

Best Practices of Voicemail

  1. Leave a message with the person you are directly trying to reach. You may need to get permission from their secretary in order to do this.
  2. Keep your message brief (30 seconds or less.) Research shows the optimal length is no more than 18 seconds.
  3. Give enough information that your lead wants to call you back. This means, don’t tell them everything.
  4. Don’t be irritating – only leave three voicemails over a two week period, tops.
  5. In conjunction with your voicemail, send a follow-up email. Even better, mention the voicemail you left in the email and vice versa.
  6. Speak slowly and clearly – there is nothing worse than getting a voicemail full of a bunch of mumbles and slurred speech.
  7. Be sure to say your name and phone number at least twice in the message.
  8. Give them a call to action! Invite them to visit your website, email or call you back.

There is so much to be gained from incorporating voicemail into your sales process that XANT has built it into our platform. As email is getting used more and more as a marketing and sales tool, voicemail is getting more effective in generating contact. By using these best practices, our callback ratio is 4.8 percent. Keep in mine that the ratios go even higher when you send your message through multiple channels including email, fax, and direct mail. (Maybe add social media in the near future? Keep an eye on this site.)

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