Ultimate Guide to SMS Texting for Salespeople & Sales Teams
Ultimate Guide to SMS Texting for Salespeople & Sales Teams
Feb 20, 2021 - 30 min read time
Texting for sales: Read the ultimate guide to texting sales messages to prospects, leads and more. Learn how to use SMS text messaging in your sales pipeline.

Texting for Sales: The Ultimate Guide to Sending Sales Messages to Prospects, Leads and More

Deals don’t get done without communication. This is true for every sale and for every salesperson.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo-entrepreneur doing B2C sales, going door-to-door selling landscaping services.

Or if you’re a sales development rep or account executive at a large B2B software company.

But what’s tricky is knowing who to talk to, when to talk to them and how to talk with them.

And this is getting even more complicated...

B2C and B2B customers across all segments and verticals now demand more sophisticated, personalized, human, ways to communicate.

They don’t want pushy salespeople. They want genuine, human experiences in their own time.

This is why 76% of customers wish they could simply text with a business representative for answers to questions.

So salespeople are starting to text customers.

But...

  • Why are customers texting more with salespeople and businesses?
  • Why should salespeople include SMS text messaging in their communications strategies?
  • How can sales teams incorporate text messaging into their sales pipelines?
  • How should salespeople use texting to engage with leads and prospects throughout the buying journey?
  • What are some proven SMS templates for sales that close more deals?
  • What should salespeople and sales teams look for in a good text messaging app?

For answers to these questions and more, we’ve written this three-part guide. It’s all about text messaging for salespeople. It's for everyone from B2C solo-entrepreneurs to B2B sales teams.

Read on for more.

Part I: Sales Pipeline Foundations and Text Messaging Insights

  1. SMS marketing funnels vs. SMS sales pipelines
  2. Text messaging for Inbound and outbound sales
  3. 6 reasons why salespeople should text leads and prospects
  4. 4 reasons why salespeople shouldn’t text from their personal phones

Part II: Text Messaging Strategies and Techniques for Sales

  1. What and when to text prospects, leads, and opportunities
  2. How to prospect with text messages and do cold outreach
  3. 4 ways to use texting as a follow-up and quick response tool
  4. How to retain, upsell and cross-sell customers with SMS text messaging
  5. Sample SMS templates for sales

Part III: How to Choose the Best Sales Messaging App for Team Text Messaging

  1. Choose a business text messaging app that integrates with your CRM
  2. Check out an app’s plugins and extra add-ons
  3. Look for custom fields as a solution to score leads and track lifecycle stage
  4. Look at how the app handles multiple conversations and phone lines
  5. Understand how the app automates and schedules text messages
  6. Know how automatic touchpoint sequencing and campaigns work
  7. Look for accessibility on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices
  8. Check out the app’s pricing structure
Chapter 1

Part I: Sales Pipeline Foundations and Text Messaging Insights

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Part I: Sales Pipeline Foundations and Text Messaging Insights

Marketing Funnels vs. Sales Pipelines

If you’re a veteran salesperson then you can skip this bit of introductory information. But there’s an important distinction to make between marketing funnels and sales pipelines and it's worth explaining here.

Having a clear grasp of how funnels and pipelines work is fundamental. It gives you a better understanding of when, how, and what to text prospects, leads, opportunities, and customers.

What’s a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel visually represents the ideal path or journey a lead takes to become a customer. In this model, leads first become aware of a problem they have. Then they evaluate your product or service as a potential solution and ultimately decide on becoming a customer. Every marketing funnel breaks down the customer or “buyer’s” journey into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, a potential customer may or may not be aware of the problem they’re trying to solve. At this point, they’re still looking for answers and starting to research solutions.

A potential customer isn’t ready to buy at this stage. Salespeople can use text messaging at this stage to reduce friction and become more available to answer questions.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, potential customers understand their problems and become aware of various solutions. In this stage, potential customers are considering all of their available options in the context of the problem.

Potential customers may or may not yet know that your product or service is a potential fit for them. You could use text messaging at this stage to share more media and information. Texting is just another way you can help make someone more aware of your product or service.

Decision Stage

In the decision stage, potential customers are aware of what your product or service does. They also understand how it can potentially solve their problem. So by this point, many of their big questions have been answered.

But a potential customer in this stage frequently looks for proof or validation. They need to see that your product or service will actually solve their problem. In this stage text messaging can help demonstrate how communicative and receptive your team is. It can also give them an idea of what customer service might look like.

What’s a Sales Pipeline?

A sales pipeline visually shows you where prospects, leads, and opportunities are in your sales process. Sales pipelines consist of recurring actions divided into pipeline stages. For every pipeline stage, you can see how many potential deals every salesperson is working on. This includes their value and how many deals are expected to close in a given week, month, or year.

Sales pipelines are often depicted visually as kanban boards. Kanban boards look like a series of columns or stages that a deal progresses through from left to right. The idea here is to see at a glance where a deal is and how it's progressing through the sales pipeline.

Common Sales Pipeline and Customer Lifecycle Stages

Sales pipeline stages differ from company to company. But the following are some of the more common pipeline and customer lifecycle stages.

Qualification (Prospect)

The salesperson asks questions to understand the prospect’s needs, budget, and authority to buy. Texting works well at this stage to quickly answer questions and qualify a prospect into a lead.

Meeting (Lead)

The salesperson and lead discuss solutions that might solve the prospect’s problems. At this stage, texting can make it easier to set up a meeting or discovery call. Instead of having to go back-and-forth, both parties can get an instant response.

Demo (Lead)

The salesperson demonstrates how the product or service works as a solution to the lead’s specific problems. In this stage, texting can make it easier to set and follow up after a demonstration of your product or service.

Proposal (Opportunity)

The salesperson sends a detailed quote or proposal to the opportunity. This details what’s provided, at what cost, and for how long. Proposals typically get sent via email as attachments. But text messaging offers yet another way to deliver these to opportunities and to get immediate feedback.

Closing (Customer)

Final negotiations get made and contracts get signed in this stage. The opportunity is now officially a customer. Texting can help seal the deal here and politely nudge an opportunity to ink the contract. Texting also works well for getting temperature checks.

Why Funnels Aren’t The Same as Pipelines

Funnels are a top-down, visual way of broadly describing a customer’s journey. Whereas a pipeline is a left-to-right visual way of describing specific steps in a sales process.

Funnels sit at a higher level than pipelines. Depending on your business and the type of sale, you might find multiple pipelines. Sometimes there’s one for each stage of a funnel, with multiple sales managers.

Funnels show you a customer’s lifecycle stage. But a pipeline will show you exactly what’s going on with a customer in that given lifecycle stage.

So when it comes to metrics, a pipeline shows you exactly what to do during the sales process. A funnel shows you the percentage of deals that are moving through the buyer’s journey.

You’ll hear “funnel” and “pipeline” get thrown around a lot. Some people may say “sales funnel” when they really mean pipeline. Much of this really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is knowing both the funnel stage and the pipeline stage of a prospect, lead, or opportunity. That knowledge makes it easier to know when, how, and what to text.

At the end of the day, effective sales teams and sales pipeline management will work hand-in-hand.

Pro tips:
Is a prospect in the awareness stage? Then it's best not to send them information about product or service pricing.
Is a lead in the consideration stage? Then you’ll want to try and qualify their intentions, determine their needs, and set up a meeting.

Text Messaging for Inbound and Outbound Sales

We’ve established the difference between funnels and pipelines. Now let’s address how text messaging works for both inbound and outbound sales.

What’s Inbound Sales?

Inbound sales is a sales methodology that puts the needs, challenges, goals and interests of potential customers first. Outreach is less aggressive here. Conversations are solution-oriented and don’t focus exclusively on making the sale.

Instead, Inbound salespeople wait for a potential customer to “raise their hand” and demonstrate an interest in your product or service. Once a potential customer raises their hand, you act as their guide. You supply the potential customer with resources that address pain points throughout their decision-making process.

What’s Outbound Sales?

With outbound sales, a salesperson engages potential customers first. You might prospect for potential customers using a prospecting tool like apollo.io. You might also “cold call” or send bulk emails based on information gathered from a mailing list.

The difference between inbound and outbound sales comes down to who initiates the sales conversation. Inbound sales are more passive and driven by the potential customer. Outbound sales are more aggressive and driven by the salesperson or sales team.

6 Reasons Why Text Messaging Works For Inbound And Outbound Sales

The inbound sales process starts when a potential customer raises their hand. This is the signal that they have questions and they’re willing to talk to sales. An outbound sales process starts when a salesperson reaches out to a prospect.

You can think of inbound sales as a “net” approach. In this scenario, a salesperson waits for a potential deal to fall into their net and raise their hand.

Whereas you can think of outbound sales as a “spear” approach. Instead of waiting for someone to raise their hand, the salesperson actively pursues someone based on the specific information they’re gathered.

Text messaging works well in both sales scenarios.

1. Text messaging gives potential customers fast and easy access to a salesperson or sales team

Text messaging makes it easier for potential customers to raise their hand and get in touch with sales. Remember that customers want their questions answered in their own time.

Try advertising “text us for faster response” on your website. You’ll give potential customers an easy way to start a conversation with you and your sales team.

The goal here is sales enablement. Texting makes it easier for potential customers to get instant answers to questions. It's a tool that can help salespeople reduce friction throughout the sales process.

2. Text messaging is more accessible than a chatbot

Texting isn’t so different from starting a conversation with a chatbot on a website. It’s now a common inbound marketing and sales strategy to include chatbots or widgets on a website.

But there’s a big difference between texting and a chatbot. With a chatbot, the potential customer needs to be on your website to continue the conversation.

And chatbot conversations (especially automated ones) typically aren’t as friendly. In fact, 74% of consumers prefer to talk to a real person versus a chatbot. And 3 out of 4 customers get frustrated when they can’t respond to automated messages.

With some of the best text messaging apps you can even achieve this same level of automation. And you’ll still get loads of personalization features like tags for dynamically inserting a first or last name.

3. Texting feels more personal and friendly

Texting used to feel too informal for business interactions. But today, so many conversations occur over text. The reality is that texting is a more personal way to connect with someone. This includes professional connections.

Texting can build trust with prospects and leads. This all varies from business to business and sale to sale. But with text messaging, you have the opportunity to strengthen relationships.

Simple “Happy Birthday” texts or a photo of you and your team can go a long way.

Regardless, you’ll still want to be aware of text message etiquette and best practices. You’ll need a voice that meshes well with your customer's typical expectations for SMS.

If you’re confirming a demo or sending “transactional” texts, then keep it professional and brief.

Are you texting a post-demo follow-up after you’ve built up a rapport with the prospect or lead? Then you might be able to text more like you would with friends.

4. Texting can help you qualify prospects and leads faster with answers to specific questions

One of the best uses for text messaging is getting quick answers to questions. Knowing early on if a prospect or lead is qualified can save you a lot of time. Instead of playing phone tag or waiting for an email, you could just send a text.

Maybe you’re building a proposal for a potential customer? But you realize halfway through that you forgot to ask a simple question. No worries - send the question via text.

77% of the United States population owns a smartphone. So it’s likely your prospect or lead will get to your question pretty quickly. And since SMS doesn’t feel like a distraction (like email) you could get your answer in seconds, not hours.

5. Texting can help automate outreach to more people in a unique way

Daily, weekly and monthly outreach apply to both inbound and outbound sales. Once a potential customer enters the sales pipeline, it’s the salesperson’s job to follow up.

Typical outreach includes either a phone call, email, or both. But text messaging can help here too. This is because 90% of text messages get read within three minutes of receipt.

Since text messages also feel more personal and friendly, they work well for scheduled follow-up messages. These messages can even prevent prospects and leads from going cold. Texting gets the point across that the recipient should probably get back to you sooner rather than later.

With the right text messaging platform, a salesperson can even schedule a week or months worth of pre-saved follow-up messages.

You can also nudge a prospect with a text. This works well if you’re waiting for them to approve or confirm a meeting time or to book a demo. Texting just accelerates the whole outreach process without feeling too aggressive.

6. Potential customers don’t always answer the phone or respond to emails

Phone calls used to be one of the only ways to do cold outreach and follow up with potential customers. That’s since changed with email and now text messaging.

There will always be a debate between email vs text and texting vs calling and which one’s best.

But it all comes down to using each tool as part of a unified conversational messaging strategy.

We know that Millennials are twice as likely as Gen X’ers to reply to texts from an unknown sender. So it makes sense to use text messaging as a follow-up tool for that audience.

In fact, some 76% of consumers recently reported that they don’t like talking to businesses on the phone. Plus, 1 in 4 consumers won’t even listen to a voicemail.

But text messages (when done right) can have up to a 98% open rate and up to a 45% response rate. Compare that to the averages for email: 20% open rate and 6% response rate (on a good day).

Email vs Text Engagement Rates

Open Rate [3] Response Rate [3] Spam Rate [1]
Text Messaging 98% 45% 3%
Email 20% 6% 53%

4 Reasons Why Salespeople Shouldn’t Text from Their Personal Phones

We’ve seen six ways to use text messaging for inbound and outbound sales. And we know that salespeople need to prioritize building close relationships with prospects and leads. And we know that text messaging is one of the best ways to do that.

But there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t text prospects and leads from your personal phone.

It makes sense why a business might allow salespeople to text from their personal phones. Why use a dedicated business text messaging app when you can handle conversations from your own phone, right?

Yes, businesses can save money. They don’t have to purchase company phones or set up a separate text messaging service.

But here’s why salespeople shouldn’t text from their personal phones:

  1. You can’t save or sync business or personal information
  2. There’s no way to record all correspondence or control access to information
  3. You’re missing out on advanced features like scheduling and automation
  4. You have no way to manage opt-in and opt-out TCPA compliance

1. You can’t save or sync business or personal information

There’s a lot of information that gets exchanged as prospects and leads move through your sales pipeline. We’re talking about both business information and personal details.

What happens if this information gets lost or just isn’t recorded?

Do you or your sales team use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool? Then most likely you’ll need to keep prospect and lead information up-to-date, and accessible.

With your personal phone, there’s no way to sync or save contact information or text message conversations. For any salesperson or sales team to scale, you’ll need a dedicated business-grade text messaging solution. One that syncs with your CRM.

2. There’s no way to record all correspondence or control access to information

Privacy is a two-way street when it comes to sales. The prospect or lead’s privacy is a liability. But not having a full record of all correspondence is a liability for your business as well.

Text messaging (as a technology) isn’t secure because all messages travel across carrier networks and get stored in various servers.

No one’s figured out how to encrypt text messages yet. But some tech companies are working on it.

But beyond encryption, the real concern is not having a historical record of correspondence. For sales teams, this is especially important.

What if a salesperson leaves the company or loses their phone? At this point, access to all of that information is out of your company’s control.

The first case is a simple one. This is where a salesperson may need to go back and historically look at an exchange of messages. The second case is having a record of all messages purely from a business's legal liability standpoint.

Hopefully, this won’t be an issue for you. But it’s better to have a text messaging system that makes it easy to save conversations historically. This doesn’t happen when your entire sales team is using their personal phones.

3. You’re missing out on advanced features like scheduling and automation

You can’t schedule or automate text messages sent from your personal phone. It’s just not possible.

But you can schedule and automate text messages if you use a business text messaging app.

Most all of the business text messaging apps out there allow users to schedule text messages. This includes recurring scheduled messages, autoresponder keywords (for things like out-of-office messages), and text message campaigns.

Most all business text messaging apps also come with an array of personalization tools. Personalization is one of the keys to getting the most out of text messaging.

You’ll want to take advantage of features like personalization tags (merge tags but for SMS), templates, and custom fields. These are all features that can improve your response rate from potential customers.

4. Opt-in and Opt-out TCPA compliance

The FCC regulates texting and businesses aren’t exempt. This is especially true when it comes to SMS marketing and promotional messages.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) outlines the FCC’s boundaries, restrictions, and policies regarding business text messaging.

But all you need to know is that there are three different levels of consent (implied, expressed, and expressed written). Each applies to all forms of business messaging. The level of consent you have from your contacts determines the kinds of messages you can send to them.

Businesses must have express written consent for promotional messages - this is the highest level of consent.

If you’re texting existing customers, you have an existing business relationship. This means you have implied consent. At this point, you can send messages regarding their current service.

Regardless, prospects and leads will need a way to opt-out of text messaging from your business by texting STOP.

Text messaging services like MessageDesk manage and automate this process. They’ll keep track of who opts-in and out of your text messaging. You can’t do this with your personal phone.

For the complete guide on TCPA compliance, check out our Complete TCPA Compliance Checklist and Guide.

Suggested Article: TCPA Compliance Guide and Checklist

Chapter 2

Part II: Text Messaging Strategies and Techniques for Sales

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Part II: Text Messaging Strategies and Techniques for Sales

What and When to Text Prospects, Leads, Opportunities

Timing and context are everything when it comes to the best sales text messages. It doesn’t matter you’re running an inbound or outbound sales process.

So the trick is always knowing what to say and when.

The first step in this process is to identify where a lead or prospect sits in your sales pipeline.

Think of this in terms of entry and exit criteria:

Sales Pipeline Entry Criteria

What are entry criteria? These are criteria that you define. They describe when a potential customer enters into a certain stage of your sales pipeline. They’re definitive actions that a potential customer takes.

What if a prospect doesn’t complete a specific action (like scheduling a meeting)? Then they don’t become a lead and they move to the next stage of the pipeline.

Sales Pipeline Exit Criteria

Like entry criteria, exit criteria are definitive actions that a potential customer takes during the sales process. These criteria specifically define when a prospect, lead, or opportunity exits a stage of the sales process.

Below is a simplified example of the various sales pipeline and customer lifecycle stages.

Your pipeline and sales process may differ. But the general principles with entry and exit criteria are universal.

What and When to Text Prospects, Leads, and Opportunities

Qualification Meeting Demo Proposal Closing
Lifecycle Stage Prospect Lead Lead Opportunity Customer
Entry Criteria Prospect raises hand, or submits contact information. Lead schedules a meeting. Lead schedules a demo meeting. Opportunity asks for a proposal from the salesperson. Opportunity agrees to the final draft of the proposal.
Exit Criteria Prospect meets qualification criteria, and becomes a Lead when they schedule a meeting. Lead schedules a demo meeting or requests more information. Lead asks for a proposal and becomes an opportunity. Opportunity agrees to or makes revisions to proposal. Opportunity signs off on the deal and becomes a Customer.
Text Messaging Goals Introduce yourself and ask short, simple questions that help determine if the Prospect is a good fit. Attempt to schedule a meeting. Schedule or ensure the Lead’s attendance by confirming and following up on their scheduled meeting time. Based on fit, try and schedule a demo or second meeting. Follow up with the Lead after the demo and answer further questions. Lead becomes an Opportunity if they ask for a proposal. Follow up with the Opportunity once they receive the proposal and work with them to make revisions as needed. Follow up on the final draft of the proposal until the Opportunity signs off on the deal and becomes a Customer.

How to Prospect with Text Messages and Do Cold Outreach

Depending on your sales process you may or may not want to use text message prospecting and cold outreach. As we noted above, text messaging can be a more powerful tool than email.

98% open rates and 45% engagement rates are no joke.
But in some cases, it’s more ideal that you schedule a call or exchange a few emails before you text. Especially before making the leap into sending full-blown, conversational SMS messages.

Typically this all depends on the complexity of your product or service.

As a general rule, the more complex the product or service, then the more explaining you’ll need to do. The more explaining, the more you’ll need multiple touchpoints and multiple forms of communication.

This can change when the sale is simpler and more direct. In these cases, you might find it’s better to text someone as soon as they submit their contact information. So consider collecting phone numbers on your website or ask for it when a user downloads a piece of content.

It’s always best to follow general texting etiquette. But once you establish the initial relationship and create a connection, then you’re free to start texting.

Suggested Article: Texting Etiquette | Text Message Etiquette for Business

6 Steps for Prospecting with Text Messages

  1. Collect phone numbers and use autoresponder keywords
  2. Tell prospects who you are and how you found their information
  3. Send your texts at the right time, in the right time-zone
  4. Add personalization and be human
  5. Be succinct and direct, don’t waste time
  6. Include a clear and compelling call to action

1. Collect phone numbers and use autoresponder keywords

Don’t waste your money on lists of phone numbers. The contact information in these lists can be unreliable, out of date, and sometimes useless.

The better way to collect numbers from prospects is by advertising a “text-keyword-to” phone number.

You can advertise this 10-digit phone number and the keyword anywhere too. Storefronts, websites, web forms, and printed materials are all great places for this.

You can also ask for a phone number when a prospect or lead requests some sort of content. This could be a quote, downloadable case study, an e-book, or anything else.

In this scenario, your workflow would look like this:

  1. You present an offer.
  2. Your prospect sees the offer alongside your phone number and keyword.
  3. Your prospect texts the keyword to your number.
  4. The prospect gets an autoresponder text message with the content offer.
  5. You start the text message conversation.

This is more of an inbound SMS strategy. But it works well when paired with paid advertising and a landing page builder like Unbounce.

You could also use Facebook Ads to collect phone numbers and automatically follow up. This is where autoresponders come in handy for sending links to prospects that deliver more content or a new offer.

2. Tell prospects who you are and how you found their information

You don’t want your prospects guessing who’s texting them. The first thing you want to include in a text is your name and business or organization.

By saying “I saw you downloaded our pricing calculator” you’ve explained how you got the prospect or lead’s info.

If it’s the first time you’re establishing contact, then it’s crucial you do this.

Don’t assume that prospects and leads will save your name and number.

Even after your introductory messages, it’s best practice to include a text message signature.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. Just add “- first name from company name” at the end of your message like “- Kyle from MessageDesk”

3. Send your texts at the right time, in the right time-zone

Sending texts at the right time is what makes text messaging incredibly effective.

Have you ever received unsolicited texts at odd hours? Well, early morning, middle of the night, and weekend texts are obviously not the right time to text prospects and leads.

But this can depend on your organization and the type of business you conduct.

Bottom line: you want to know your customers and understand their text messaging preferences

4. Add personalization and be human

You’ll want to greet prospects and leads in the most personalized and human way possible.

Text message personalization tags make this easy. You could be sending the same message to a hundred people. But with personalization, you can make each text feel like you’re only talking to one person.

Some text messaging platforms like MessageDesk also make it easy to auto-insert customer information like {{ FirstName }} into a text message.

But when it comes to personalization you’ll also want to:

  • Avoid text message abbreviations like “LOL”
  • Don’t use all CAPS
  • Limit exclamation points

5. Be succinct and direct - don’t waste time

Text messages for notifications, updates, and promo offers work best when kept short and to the point. Text messaging isn’t a platform for lengthy messages. It’s designed for quick answers to questions.

When it comes to professional texting etiquette, time is literally money. No one likes having their time wasted.

6. Include a clear and compelling call to action

Whether you text appointment reminders, notifications, updates, payment reminders, or even promotional messages, your message needs to be clear.

Always convey the action you want your customers to take with a call to action (CTA).

CTAs are always very simple and direct and they typically start with a verb.

Effective CTAs look like this:

4 Ways to Use Texting as a Follow-Up and Quick Response Tool

There’s an art to following up. The real trick is to not sound too naggy or overbearing. Since texts are short, sweet, and to the point, they can actually work better for instant responses.

Follow-up texts can be as simple as a check-in. They’re great ways to ask questions, create a sense of urgency, or even inform of a sales promotion.

The best way to send follow-up engagement texts is to schedule your text message and use pre-saved templates. Templates can even help you save time and scale your outreach when the timing is crucial for marketing and sales messages.

Many business text messaging apps like MessageDesk support text message scheduling, recurrence, campaigns, templates, and other advanced text messaging features.

Here are 4 ways to use texting as a follow-up and quick response tool:

  1. Use text messaging to automatically check-in with prospects and leads before demos to limit no-shows
  2. Text demo invites immediately at the end of a discovery call
  3. Text to check in with colder prospects for last-minute discovery calls or demos
  4. Add a text message touchpoint after leaving a voicemail or sending an email.

1. Use text messaging to automatically check-in with prospects and leads before demos to limit no-shows

Potential customers are sometimes flaky. You may not be their first priority and sometimes they’ll simply forget about you. So they’ll skip out on a scheduled meeting.

Aside from being rude, missed meetings are also a waste of your valuable time. You’ve taken time out of your sales schedule. This is time that could have been reserved for a more qualified lead or prospect.

The solution, in this case, is to use text messaging as an appointment reminder to prevent meeting no-shows.

Has your prospect or lead previously confirmed the meeting? Then you could set up a series of scheduled text messages reminding them of the meeting. You can also take this a step further by providing additional content or building excitement for the meeting.

The best thing is that these messages don’t have to be lengthy. All of this communication for a meeting reminder is quick and brief.

So what’s the outcome? You’ll get better attendance for more meetings and ultimately move more deals further down in your sales pipeline.

Here’s an example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just wanted to remind you and say that I’m looking forward to our phone call today. See you then. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

2. Text demo invites immediately at the end of a discovery call

You’re in the middle of a discovery call and you’ve got a really engaged prospect on the line.

Everything is going well:

  • The prospect has immediate buying intent.
  • They have a need for your product or service.
  • They seem to understand your product or service.
  • They have buying authority to purchase your product or service.

That’s all awesome. But how can you further reduce friction and ensure that they make it to a demo after your discovery call?

Send the prospect a text message.

You’ve got to strike while the prospect is hot and a text message makes this easy.

You don't need a long message either. It just needs to be human and have a clear CTA that gets the prospect to book a demo meeting.

Here’s an example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, so happy I could answer questions and better understand your needs today. Thanks again for chatting. I can already see potential for a great fit here.
When you’re ready, follow this link: {{ Link }} to schedule a demo with me. Looking forward! - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

3. Text to check in with colder prospects for last-minute discovery calls or demos

It's inevitable that some number of prospects and leads will go cold on you. When this happens you might give them a call or send them an email.

But you can also send them a text.

You could even do this in bulk if you’re cold texting prospects in bulk.

One of the best ways to warm someone up again is with fresh content. Remind them that you were thinking of them (be human). Then give them something that they might find valuable for free.

Here’s an example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, the last time we talked was a month ago. But I came across this new industry report that you might find interesting: {{ Link }}. Let me know what you think. Always happy to talk or set up a meeting - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

4. Add a text message touchpoint after leaving a voicemail or sending an email

Text messaging can also help you augment your outreach from other messaging channels.

Voice and email will always have a place in the sales process. But text messaging can help you get more engagement out of these touchpoints.

Try sending a text message after you get sent to someone’s voicemail. We know that Millenials are more likely to respond with a text than answer the phone or even listen to voicemail. So why not try to reach them with a text?

The same strategy works with email. Did you email some sort of sales offer to a prospect? Did they open the message but didn’t respond? Then try texting them.

Here’s an example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, I emailed out some new information. I’m not sure if you had a chance to look it over. Just reply back if you did so that way I know you’re in the loop - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

How to Retain, Upsell, and Cross-Sell Customers with SMS Text Messaging

We talk about how text messaging helps improve your overall customer experience in another article.

But it’s worth touching on again because...

How your current customers feel about you and your business is wildly important.

Why?

It’s far cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones.

Customers are also your greatest referral source. When things go well for them, then they tend to tell their friends. When things go bad, they tend to do the opposite.

Bottom line: Retaining customers and gaining referrals are both excellent drivers of revenue and growth.

But you can also be proactive with text messaging.

Texting is perfect for asking for referrals, getting feedback, sending surveys, polls and even getting more Google or Yelp reviews.

Consider a customer who’s had a great experience with your business throughout the sales process. You know they’re happy. So why not send a text message asking them for a referral?

Here’s an example:

Hi there {{ FirstName }}. My team and I were talking about how much success you’ve gotten with our service. That’s when it dawned on us. Maybe you know of someone else who needs solutions to the same problems you were experiencing.

Do you know of anyone off the top of your head? - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

When it comes to being reactive, SMS texting is also immediate. Potential customers who have questions about your product or service get near-instant replies.

There’s no need to hold or wait 24 hours for a response from a real person. This increases your chances of making the sale.

With text messaging, you and your team become more available to solve problems on the spot. This improves your chances of customer retention.

When it comes to upsells and cross-sells, text messaging can be a great, low-impact way to check in.

But it’s best to target customers who are already having success with your product or service. That’s an indicator that they might be willing to upgrade. Regardless texting works just as well for doing this kind of outreach.

Sales Text Message Examples and Templates

As we’ve seen, the best sales messages are short, sweet, and to the point. We know that effective sales messages are always personalized and direct too. And that they always have some sort of call to action.

The following is a collection of sample SMS templates for sales. Copy, paste, and edit these templates to suit your needs when sending sales SMS to customers.

First touch sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just saw you downloaded our ultimate guide to texting for salespeople. Let me know if you have any questions as you read it over. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Invitation to meet sales template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is {{ SalesPersonName }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. Are you free for a quick meeting or phone call?

Let me know if you are. You’re also free to put me on your calendar by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/1OmE4Zq

Meeting follow up reminder sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just wanted to remind you and say that I’m looking forward to our phone call today. See you then. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Demo follow up sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, so happy I could answer questions and better understand your needs today. Thanks again for chatting. I can already see the potential for a great fit here.
When you’re ready, follow this link: https://bit.ly/1AmJ6Rl to schedule a demo with me. Looking forward! - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Trial invitation sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }} thanks again for joining me today during our demo. I’ve put together a special link that you can use to start your trial.
This link: https://bit.ly/5UhJ9Ve is just for you and it expires in 14 days. Let me know if you have questions. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Following up with a cold lead sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, I emailed you some new information. I’m not sure if you had a chance to look it over. Just reply back if you did so that way I know you’re in the loop - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Suggested Article: The Ultimate List of Free Text Message Templates

Chapter 3

Part III: How to Choose the Best Sales Messaging App for Team Text Messaging

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Part III: How to Choose the Best Sales Messaging App for Team Text Messaging

At this point, you may have already identified that you’re ready for a business SMS platform.

We’ve shown you how text messaging works in a sales pipeline and what a solid sales messaging strategy looks like.

So now it's time to understand what to look for in a good team text messaging app for sales.

If you're interested in business-grade text messaging you have a myriad of options (including MessageDesk). But what you really need is a way to know which texting app will work best for your business or organization.

Here are the big questions we’ll address:

  1. How important is integrating your sales CRM with your texting app?
  2. What should you look for in business text messaging app plug-ins?
  3. How can a business text messaging app help prioritize leads?
  4. Do business text messaging apps allow for multi-conversations and phone numbers?
  5. Can you automate demo request scheduling with a text messaging app?
  6. Do business text messaging apps allow you to do automatic touchpoint sequencing?
  7. Do business text messaging apps work on the cloud or do they offer a hybrid deployment?
  8. What’s a good pricing structure? Is it a price per daily active user on a running timeline, like Slack or is it just per user?

1. Choose a Business Text Messaging App That Integrates with Your CRM

Most salespeople and sales teams have some way to organize information about their prospects and leads.

Are you part of a larger sales team? Then you’re probably doing this in a CRM like Hubspot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, or Close.

If you’re a solo-entrepreneur, then maybe you’re just storing contact info in Google Sheets.

Regardless, you’ll want a business text messaging app that can integrate with whatever you’re using to store contact information.

The key is that your text messaging system stays up-to-date with all changes to a contact’s info. Storing info in separate places can be a mess. So you’ll want to prevent mix-ups as much as possible.

2. Check Out an App’s Plugins and Extra Add-ons

Some text messaging apps offer an array of extra plugins and add-ons. This may affect your decision making but it depends on your needs.

Some business text messaging apps like MessageDesk have integration plugins for accounting software like QuickBooks Online and Xero. This can be handy if you’re doing payment collection.

Others may help you integrate with an email marketing tool like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or Customer.io for better email and SMS marketing campaigns.

But this all depends on your needs and how you want to integrate your sales and marketing efforts.

Apps without many plugins and add-ons typically aren’t the best choice.

3. Look for Custom Fields as a Solution to Score Leads and Track Lifecycle Stage

Most business text messaging apps don’t offer a native way to score leads and organize them by lifecycle.

But some apps do allow you to create custom fields. Custom fields allow you to store extra information in a contact’s profile.

If the business texting app is flexible, then it’ll be easy to create and edit custom fields any way you want.

Lead scoring and lifecycle stage automation may also be determined by how well the texting platform integrates with your CRM.

Regardless, a good texting app should have some sort of support for custom fields.

4. Look at how the App Handles Multiple Conversations and Phone Lines

This is an important aspect of managing multiple conversations. The best text messaging apps will allow you to manage multiple conversations at the same time.

Typically this gets done in a messaging inbox. Here you’ll find conversation management features for opening and closing conversations.

You’ll also typically find some sort of internal notification system for telling you which messages are more urgent than others. This will often include a way to change various filtered views.

Depending on your needs, you’ll also want to determine if the app allows for multiple texting-enabled phone lines. Some will also offer the ability to text enable an existing landline.

5. Understand How the App Automates and Schedules Text Message

Every texting platform worth spending money on will offer some degree of automation. Automation is what saves you time and helps scale your messaging. Without it, you’re just less effective.

Many SMS platforms offer autoresponder keywords. In this scenario, a prospect or lead will text a keyword and get an automatic response back. Features like these work well for out-of-office messages and more.

But this kind of automation is just the start. You’ll also want to be able to schedule messages in advance and set up multiple recurring text messages in sequences.

6. Know How Automatic Touchpoint Sequencing and Campaigns Work

Scheduling text messages is just the start. This is the number one feature you don’t get when you text from your personal phone. So it’s worthwhile to move to a business texting app just for this.

But the best texting platforms will take your message scheduling and automation to the next level.

Look for texting platforms that allow you to chain multiple text messages together into sequences. These sequences are typically called campaigns. They work well for scheduling automatic touchpoints and keeping prospects and leads from going cold.

Some campaigns will even have automatic firing triggers. You can customize these triggers to fire once someone schedules a meeting or a demo.

7. Look for Accessibility on Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile Devices

Everyone’s used to getting SMS text messages on their phones. But you and your sales team may also want a way to text from your desktops or tablets.

Do you work your sales process from a mobile device in the field? Then you’ll certainly need mobile support as well.

Many business texting platforms are desktop-oriented. But you’ll want an all-in-one solution that gives you the same experience across all devices. You need to have access to the same features on the mobile app and desktop and visa-versa.

Whatever gives you the most access to your data and is the fastest will be the winner.

8. Check Out the App’s Pricing Structure

Pricing is always important whether you’re a solo-entrepreneur or part of a sales team.

This varies widely, but nearly every business text message app operates on some sort of subscription model. These models gate features, cap contacts, messages, and users at some level.

But what you’ll want to look for is a text messaging provider that scales your price based on your usage. You can think of this as “metered billing”.

The more messages you send and the more success you experience, then the more you pay. But you only pay for what you use - that’s the important part.

This can also come in handy when it comes to calculating your monthly messaging costs.

Providers like MessageDesk offer monthly metered messaging. Each message costs a flat rate and you get billed at certain thresholds for the messages you send. It’s simple “pay as you go” metered text messaging.