Sales friction is a vitally important, yet seldom discussed topic in our companies.
In physics, F = MA. More mass and/or acceleration leads to greater force. Friction, the enemy of acceleration, causes the force to decrease. This is why a bowling ball rolls faster down a wooden bowling lane than it does across shag carpet. Can you imagine trying to roll a strike if the lane were carpet?
In sales, friction is the reason why most companies don’t throw strikes. To throw strikes, you need to reduce the overall friction of the sales process. You must identify every aspect of your sales process that might make it more difficult for your customers to say “yes” and come up with executable solutions to overcome the friction.
Let’s look at some things that commonly cause friction in the sales process.
- Making it difficult for people to find your contact information
- Forcing people to call you to schedule an appointment
- Scheduling appointments too far in the future
- Making customers reiterate their concerns instead of putting into a CRM
- Not setting clear expectations for when the technician will come out or checking in
- Not offering to fix the problem same-day
- Not having easy payment options
- Etc., etc., etc.
There are tons of things you could improve to make the sales process flow better. Let me tackle just one area that most companies could improve.
One of the biggest areas of friction in the sales process for most customers is actually the process of picking up the phone, dialing your number digit-by-digit, and knowingly sacrificing 5-10 minutes of their day on a “new customer phone call.” There are a number of things that all must align perfectly in order for the new customer to execute a successful call.
- The customer must decide that they are going to commit to an appointment with your company.
- The new customer must be willing and able to sacrifice 5-10 minutes to speak on the telephone at that exact moment.
- Your office must be open to picking up the new customer’s call at any hour, including the middle of the night.
All three of these criteria must align perfectly in order for a new customer to call your office and speak with your team.
I would like to suggest that this age-old method of waiting on new customers to call us is outdated, inconvenient (for the customer and company), and represents the single greatest point of sales friction in most companies.
Professionally managed live chat solves this problem in our companies. Let’s look at how online chat annihilates this “wait on them to call us” problem.
- Customers don’t have to decide that they are going to commit to an appointment before interacting with your company. They can chat in to ask a simple question. Then, the chat agents subsequently build value in collecting their contact information. Bingo! New customers!
- The new customers can chat at any time that is convenient for them, even in times that would have otherwise been awkward or inconvenient for a call. They can discretely chat in while sitting in a conference for work, waiting at the DMV, while their kids are at soccer practice, etc. Bingo! New customers!
- Chat agents are live on your website while your office is closed, making it routine to collect new customers information at all hours of the day. Chat in on Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.? Bingo! New customers!
After implementing chat on your company’s website, you should expect a higher conversion of web visitors into new customers. In our experience after handling thousands of chats, our average company client returns 45 new customer leads per month and a 40X ROI.
Is it time that you start throwing strikes? Ruby is the perfect solution for you.