NVM found that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of sales reps believe building a personal or emotional connection with a prospect increases the likelihood of them entering the sales pipeline, yet just 3 percent felt they made emotional connections with most of the prospects they talked to (at least nine out of every 10). The biggest segment (14 percent) said they had connected personally with just three or four prospects out of every 10 they spoke to.
With revenue potential significantly impacted by a brand or rep’s ability to develop personal connections, emotive interactions have emerged a competitive differentiator for sales teams worldwide and an area in which most reps are underperforming.
When asked to select the key drivers behind a prospect feeling emotionally connected to a brand, nearly half of respondents (48 percent) identified the ability to get immediate assistance from a highly qualified rep as the most important. 44 percent flagged speaking to a rep who listened closely to their problems, and 36 percent think being connected to a highly knowledgeable rep is a key driver for prospects. Almost one in three (29 percent) believe that personalizing sales conversations is essential; close to a quarter (23 percent) said getting connected without a long hold was crucial; and a further 20 percent cited not having to make multiple calls and appointments to get the information they need.
The research follows NewVoiceMedia’s 2015 Cost of Poor Prospecting study which revealed that sales teams are failing to use data-driven insights and personalization to close deals. 88 percent of prospects claimed that just five minutes of preparation from a sales rep prior to a call would boost the likelihood of closing a deal, yet 54 percent admit that more than half of calls are poorly researched.
“At NewVoiceMedia, we believe, and this study reflects, that emotive interactions are critical to winning the hearts and minds of sales prospects in today’s Age of the Customer,” said Dennis Fois, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. “But sales professionals are not doing enough to create the types of experiences that close sales. For brands to compete – and win – in CX in 2018 and beyond, inside sales reps must focus on making strong emotional connections with prospects, and they must understand and document the emotions that are likely to drive the prospect to purchase.”
For further information, download the research whitepaper.