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A/B Testing Sales Calls To Increase Prospect Engagement

Posted by Margarita Yepes
on Dec 7, 2017 8:56:42 AM

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A/B testing has become a great method to figure out the effectiveness of marketing strategies.You can use it to test everything from subject lines, body copies, landing pages, to search ads. The goal is to take all the elements from your messages that generates the best responses from your prospects and combine them to make them more profitable.

But A/B testing shouldn’t be reserved to marketing efforts/materials, sales reps should be able to test and optimize all channels they use throughout the buyer’s journey, including sales calls.

Thousands of top salespeople use the phone daily to successfully qualify prospects, set appointments and open sales conversations, however, many campaigns suffer from low reach rates. So, instead of avoid using the phone out of fear of wasting time on dial tones and voicemails, you should be A/B testing to increase prospect engagement.  

Sales calls optimization is about thinking intelligently about every variable of your call campaigns that you can control, from call times and script, to how best to segment your contact list. In this post we’ll go over how you can A/B test your sales calls by measuring specific variables and the impact of the changes in your conversion goals.

Optimize Your Message

Most sales teams sales calls are driven by style or instinct. But if you don’t have a consistent messaging, it’s impossible to find patterns or angles that are working better. Though reading directly word by word is never a good idea, making an outline of key points to cover can make a huge difference when testing your rep’s calls, as messaging variables are minimal.

Similar to how you’d test your marketing emails, you build two call scripts with one general message but apply some minor changes to it and then measure which one performs best. You can also choose one variable to be tested at a time, so you know is that one variable that affects your prospects reaction to it. You can try different greetings or introductions, one with a closed question and one with an open question:

  • Did I catch you at an OK time?
  • I’m sure you’re busy so I’ll be brief.

Product positioning is another variable that is easy to test than other abstract elements of your script. You can test one-line pitch to see which resonate the most with prospects.

If you have several sales reps making calls, you can divide them into two groups and assign script A to the first group and script B to the second. Make sure to listen to the feedback from your sales reps: Did the prospect ask questions? How often did the sales rep have to deviate from the script? Does the script is clear for your reps? Even if it can be subjective, some of the best input comes from their own experience using the script with real prospects.


Capture And Analyze Call Data

Implementing an A/B test to your call script is the first step of optimizing your sales calls. In order to measure the effectiveness and provide results, you need to analyze the data.

While is important to listen to your sales reps’ feedback, you can now leverage a sales call platform or CRM to capture all call data and turn it into an easy-to-manage, automated reports.

With VOIQ’s AI-powered call campaign analytics you can follow the success of your script test by tracking call conversion rate -number of calls that moved your prospects forward on the sales funnel divided by total of calls made using that script. How can you prove it? After a call ends, your sales reps select the correspondent call disposition, and automatically our software logs the outcome in your CRM under your contact’s profile. Call outcomes like “Interested”, “email follow-up”, “meeting scheduled” are those that impacts positively your conversion rate. By comparing the conversion rate generated with each call script, you’ll determine which one got a better response.

Besides testing specific variables, our platform identifies what selling points are working better, what’s best to say at each stage of the conversation, and adjust your script automatically to fit your target audience. It also pulls common elements from the conversation like goals, problems, objections, supplier mentions, etc.so you can leverage those insights to shape your messaging.


Test Your Voicemails' Script

A/B testing sales calls not only applies to live calls. Sales voicemails can also be tested and adjusted to increase response rates. Just like you’d A/B test call scripts (as explained above), you issue two different voicemail scripts at a time and prove which message generate the best response. 

Furthermore, using voicemail drop for sales reps to select from a library of pre-recorded voicemail messages, ensures higher quality, allows for personalization and minimize delivery variability, making it much easier to test which messages get the most responses.

The trick however is to keep a low number of active messages so you can test one variable at a time. Here are some high-level variables you can look at when catering your scripts:

  • Build a longer/lengthy message vs. a short and sweet message
  • Start with a question or introducing your name and company
  • Reach as a senior executive vs. an inside salesperson

To measure which message have higher response rate, you need to capture if your prospect has taken action based on the voicemail. For that, every voicemail must have a clear call-to-action: request a call back, or a reply to an specific email, or schedule a meeting. A successful voicemail will drive more conversions.

Well-planned A/B tests can make a huge difference to your bottom line. By A/B testing your sales calls, you can figure out exactly which messages brings in more conversions and focus your call efforts on those. Just remember to keep testing regularly. What’s working today or this month can change over time. Once your team has an A/B call test method defined, start planning the next round of testing to keep improving the winning iteration.

Have you A/B tested your sales calls? What were the results?

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Topics: Outbound Calling, Marketing

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