Remote sales: Using CRM telephony to make connections

We know that many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges at the moment. While it may feel normal for you as a salesperson to chase every lead and meet your sales targets even while working remotely, it is wise to remind yourself that nothing is “normal” about this situation. It is crucial to stay connected with your customers right now, but not just for closing deals. Let them know that you care about them and their families. Let them know that you will support them to the best of your ability.

Telephony in Zoho CRM, apart from giving your business a competitive edge, can help you connect with your customers and extend your support during these tough times. Here are some helpful tips you can follow:

Personalize your greetings

Dynamic call pop-ups instantly appear whenever you get an incoming call from a prospect. They display information about the caller, like their name, company, deal size, and location. Use this info to greet your customer by name immediately after picking up, and you can ask after their well-being and current situation. Show genuine concern, and make them feel valued. Be mindful of their financial situation, and refrain from driving them to spend on something that they don’t need right away.

Take notes for unique requests

Use call pop-ups to take notes during the call. Many potential deals in this period may require an unconventional approach. For example, customers might need very specific shipping processes, or prefer unusual modes of payment. Customers in a cash crunch may want you to sell to them on credit, and you may need to get approval from your boss. Jot all these details down in the form of notes that are automatically associated to the respective calls, and refer to them later.

Follow-up with care

80% of sales normally require an average of 5 follow-up calls. However, it’s best to exercise prudence during these troubled times, as people have less purchasing power than they did before. If a prospect says a firm “no”, or if you identify that your product is not a good fit for them, back down respectfully. Bombarding them with emails or calls after that will show insensitivity on your part and may put them off your business for good. However, in case further follow-up is needed to assess their requirements or address their questions, you can choose to schedule a follow-up call, meeting, or a demo immediately after ending the current call.

Use autoresponders

If your business is working at a limited capacity, you may be swamped by calls due to a shortage of agents. Set up thoughtfully drafted autoresponders to put your prospects at ease, even if you miss critical calls. Here are some samples that you can use:

1) “Hello, I’m so sorry for missing your call. Your time is very important to us, but as we are working at limited capacity in light of the current situation, our response times may be slow. However, I will get back to you within (specify duration). Thank you for understanding!”

2) “Hi there! I apologize for keeping you waiting. We value your time, but are unable to respond right now as we have limited staff on hand due to the current situation. I will return your call as soon as I can. If you need urgent assistance, please email (contact email address) and someone will get in touch with you immediately. Thank you for your patience.”

3) “Hello, I’m sorry for making you wait. The current pandemic situation has put us at reduced operational ability, and our response times are slower as a result. Please be patient, and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. If you need assistance immediately, you can contact me on my personal mobile – (your number). We appreciate your support!”

Make it your highest priority to respond to all missed calls as soon as you can. Our timely missed call alerts will come in handy.

Automate situation-specific call actions

The newly revamped call workflows in Zoho CRM can be used to intelligently automate certain actions that are essential for a sales rep working remotely. For example, calls from potentials above a certain amount of money can be configured to trigger an alert to your boss so that they can monitor the progress of the deal. If your business is working with limited staff, you could be juggling the roles of both sales and support. If a customer calls you with an issue, you can configure a workflow so that it will be automatically assigned to the person in charge of troubleshooting. This could save you valuable time and effort, especially when you’re working remotely with limited resources.

Recommended reading: Collaboration—for successful sales in the remote world

Show your appreciation

Finally, whatever the outcome of the call may be, thank your customer for their time. Appreciate them for choosing your business. Sales may be slow, but this is just temporary. The love you show for your customers now is key to the survival of your brand. Keep your spirits up, and theirs, in this period of social distancing. Remember that a cheerful human-to-human interaction over the phone could brighten up your caller’s day!

These are a few ways in which you can utilize telephony in Zoho CRM while working (and selling!) remotely. What feature did you personally find most useful? Please share in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.


Note: This blog is second in a series of articles focusing on how our CRM can help you perfect your sales strategy to suit these turbulent times. You can read all the articles that are part of the Remote Sales series here.


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