Now it’s personal.

The relationship between a brand and a customer is no longer only professional or transactional; it has become personal.

Every person representing the brand must know the customers, their likes, dislikes, and pain points, inside out.

It goes beyond a sales rep hiding behind the curtain and observing their buying patterns. It demands a detailed understanding of why customers make those choices.

For instance, 72% of consumers expect companies to understand how their needs and objectives change during times of disruption.

A customer profile makes it easy to document all observations plus insights from your experiences and customer data to create a repeatable and scalable business strategy

Let’s look at what a customer profile is, how to build one, and tools that can help in the process.

In this article:

✔️ What is a customer profile?
✔️ The importance of creating customer profile
✔️ Benefits
✔️ What’s the difference between a customer profile and an ideal customer profile
✔️ 7 Ways to create your first customer profile
✔️ Foreseen Challenges
✔️ Customer profile checklist
✔️ Ready-to-use customer profile template

What is a customer profile? 

The customer profile or buyer persona is a document containing information about individual customers. It consists of age, gender, location, spending habits, and other details, helpful for determining the needs and preferences of target audiences. This information helps you perfect your sales pitch and marketing messages while being relevant to the buyers.

Customer profile data that is up-to-date and reliable is critical for business. It generally comprises of the following information:

  • Demographic details such as age, marital status, gender, and so on.
  • Geographical information includes nationality, race, state, city, and residence. 
  • Psychographics consists of habits, values, lifestyle, and interests.
  • Socio-economic status, which classifies them into various categories of salary, education, and job. 

If you’re wondering why it is necessary to create customer profiles, I’d like you to imagine the following scene.

The importance of creating customer profile

Say you’ve invited your partner’s friends to dinner at your home for the first time. You have no clue who eats what and, your partner blithely tells you her friends aren’t picky. You follow their words, and lo and behold, someone has a nut allergy, someone’s vegan, and someone is on a strict diet. 

And your menu is none of those things. Oops. 

We don’t want to make such mistakes when selling to consumers. We’d rather know what our consumers have in mind than blindly selling. 

Customer profiling helps here.

  • Demographic details give you insights into what product will and won’t work. For example, you can only sell a stroller to parents with infants. 
  • If you have geographical details, you’ll also know the weather and climate conditions. That is, if you sell umbrellas, people living in high rainfall areas will be more likely to buy them. 

  • It helps you hyper-personalize the product, making it one of a kind to the customer. 

  • You can price products according to the customer’s economic status. For instance, you can’t market expensive meals to broke college students when they can’t afford them.

Now let’s see the benefits of customer profile information. 

Benefits of creating customer profiles

As we see, customer profiling helps you streamline your sales and marketing efforts. Instead of shooting in the dark, you’ll be approaching potential buyers wisely.

benefits of targeted marketing statistics

You can also use the customer profile information to:

  1. Devise scalable strategies. Prioritize campaigns for those who fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
  2. Create highly targeted marketing campaigns.
  3. Personalize your messaging.
  4. Explore the untapped market potential.
  5. Identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  6. Update and customize your offering as per market demands.

In short, customer profiling opens a lot of doors to explore customers, their needs, and more. 

However, a  lot of people confuse customer profile and ICP. Are they the same thing? 

No. 

Here’s why:

What’s the difference between a customer profile and an ideal customer profile (ICP)?

Customer profileICP
GoalIdentify buyers who might need your product/serviceIdentify who would benefit the most from your product or service.
Data involved Market research, surveys, historical data from CRM to identify demographic, geographical, and firmographic details.Analyze data from CRM, ERP, and other systems (e.g., predictive analytics) to identify firmographic, environmental and behavioral attributes.
Target audienceTotal addressable marketFocuses on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy.
Expected outcomeMore salesFaster sales cycles, higher conversion rates, greater average customer lifetime value
UsabilityMarketing, sales prospecting, UI/UX developmentAccount-based sales and marketing

Now let’s look at the steps to create and use customer profile information.

7 Ways to create your first customer profile

1. Assess your target customers

To explain this concept, let me give you an example.

Not more than a decade ago, Canon was struggling to sell their low-range DC cameras.

“Consumers’ preferences and behaviors have shifted. They now prefer smartphones for capturing snapshots at the expense of digital cameras,” says Maggie Wong, director and general manager, Canon Hong Kong.

However, there was a window of opportunity.

Parents were reluctant to buy cell phones for their children as they didn’t want their children texting, talking, or using apps. 

This psychographic information about buyers helped Canon realize the potential to sell digital cameras to kids.

They created a marketing strategy that tapped into children’s passion for photography. And within a year, they had a 40% share in the low-range digital camera industry.

So, follow these steps to assess your target customers.

  1. First, identify the people who have a practical use for your product. What does your product offer for its users? Who can overcome an issue using your product?
  2. Once you discover who benefits from your product, identify your regular customer’s lifestyle, demography, geography, and socioeconomic status. 
  3. The final step is to discern what context your customers inhabit. Do they use your product to aid their business? Or does your product cater to fulfilling personal needs?

Remember that creating a customer profile is a collaborative process. That is, sales, marketing, customer support, and other teams must discuss their perception of customers. Also, when in doubt, don’t just assume. It’s better to over-communicate.

You can use tools like Mural or Airtable to collaborate effectively.

2. Track and map your customer journey

The next step is to track and map the lead-to-customer journey.

A customer journey map depicts a customer’s interactions with your company. These representations show how a client progresses through your sales funnel. Include all possible touchpoints in your customer journey map. 

The idea is to get a sense of the behavioral pattern of your target customers. For instance, buying habits – do they decide instantly, or do they research thoroughly before buying. It will help you craft your sales enablement strategy.

Lead management or CRM tools are helpful to track the customer journey. They record all the interactions a client has with your brand and present them in an easy-to-understand fashion. Some of the tools that can help here are LeadSquaredZoho, and Salesforce.

See lead activity updates in CRM

In case you’re thinking that tracking customer data is impossible, you’re possibly wrong.

87% of Americans are ready to have their activity tracked if: 

  • They can get better rewards in exchange for sharing information and
  • Companies can personalize products to suit their preferences.

3. Choose criteria to qualify and score leads based on their profile.

70% of marketers say that improving lead quality is the foremost goal of their lead generation strategy.

You can use the customer profile information to improve leads quality.

Let’s take an example.

You own an e-commerce site where you sell various types of puzzles and board games. 

Your ICP consists of an English-speaking, high-income family. Most of their traits relate to interest levels in games that cater to large groups of people.

So, you can filter your leads based on those specific traits. If you can only ship to specific regions, create a filter for that as well.

Also, whenever a lead fulfills a criterion, say they are English speakers, you can increase the score and prioritize them. The goal is to find people who are most likely to buy and to whom you can serve first.

You can use tools to automate the lead qualification process. Many CRM software tools (such as LeadSquared) provide lead qualification facilities.

lead scoring and qualification criteria

Thus, in this manner, you can use your customer profile to build a highly functional sales pipeline

4. Get feedback and information directly from customers.

While inputs from your team members are inherent, you should not overlook customer perceptions.

Here’s one example.

In 2017, Spotify started crafting its listeners’ personas. 

First, they analyzed the song preferences of the US audience but soon realized that this does not give the reasons behind those preferences. (Studying market)

So, they expanded their scope of study to include listeners of different ages, incomes, family types, lifestyles, music cultures, and more. (Studying behavioral and socio-economic patterns)

They noticed a consistent pattern in the listening habits of people. However, this data couldn’t reveal the value consumers saw in paying for the music.

So, in the next attempt, they interviewed people to understand if they could pay for music or not. (Customer interviews)

Rest is history. 

Today, Spotify has 172 million paid subscribers worldwide.

And they achieved this by studying their customers thoroughly and by interviewing them.

You can read the full story here.

So, to understand what your customers want, the best way is to ask them. You can do it through:

1. Interviews

It will give you an in-depth understanding of what your customers are like.

While it’s okay to be candid with the customer, preparing a questionnaire will help you have a targeted conversation.

For example, you can prepare questions about their job responsibilities, challenges, etc.

2. Surveys 

If interviews are much too expensive and time-consuming, surveys are the next best option. Customer feedback surveys are a quick and effective way to get inputs from your consumers.

All you have to do is request them to fill out a questionnaire and then review the findings. Both methods have their positives and negatives, and the best would be to try out both sources.

You can use the following survey tools.

5. Encourage reviews and engage with your customers on social media.

Customer reviews help get online traction. But they also serve as an excellent source of customer profile characteristics. 

A review gives you insights primarily into customer experiences and satisfaction levels. Several reviews inform readers about the pros and cons of a product, which is also a source of feedback for your company.

customer review statistics

6. Make it easy to read and understand

There are two most popular formats for building customer profiles.

  1. The who (demographic information), what (their challenges and requirements), why (your differentiation from others and how you can address their pain points) format
  2. A brief biography or biodata format (describing all relevant characteristics of a customer)

For example, here’s a customer profile we’ve built recently.

Sample customer profile example

If you noticed, it puts together  a complete picture of the customer in just a few words. That is, you can get a sense of  their likes, interests, personal and professional life.

Don’t make your customer profile document text-heavy or theoretical. If it looks like a textbook, not everyone would like to read it. So, to make it easy to consume,

  • Use pictures
  • Use different font styles and colors
  • Write short texts, preferably bullet points

There’s no hard and fast rule to add visuals. But putting a face to the profile makes it interesting to read and understand.

Also, since you’ll have to update the customer profile information frequently, keep an editable version handy.

You can use design collaboration tools like Canva to create interesting graphics and update them whenever needed.

HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool is also a great place to start building your customer profiles.

7. Update your customer profiles frequently

Your customer profiles will evolve as time goes by and improve in their accuracy. 

Typically, brands update customer profiles when:

  1. They introduce new products or features
  2. Expand market reach across geographies
  3. They have to accommodate/manage changing customer preferences.

The first two scenarios are more operational, and you will automatically update your ICP. 

But the third scenario requires behavioral reports and analytics to facilitate the updates. Without analytical tools, you won’t be able to figure out when your customer profile needs an update. 

Customer profiling and updating customer profiles are far easier if you use CRM software. With this, you can get a 360-degree view of customers – from the first interaction to buying and retention. 

However, a lot of us tend to get overwhelmed by the wealth of information we receive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we might feel like we don’t know enough.

Don’t worry. 

Anybody would feel that way in the beginning. 

But it is also important to address challenges along the way.

Below are the problems you might face while creating customer profiles and their remedies.

Challenges when creating a customer profile

1. Unintentional biases

Customer profiles aren’t biographies written by your customer. The information you receive can end up stereotyping or grouping your customers. 

For example, you may believe that only men buy some skilled sports equipment. But several women want to buy this equipment, and you’ll end up not selling to them. 

Narrowing down customer profiles may end up feeding into negative stereotypes. So, when you view a profile, verify their level of interest first and don’t make any assumptions.

2. Data privacy

Data privacy is another challenging aspect of creating customer profiles. These concerns aren’t coming from a small group of people as:

  • 79% of Americans worry about how businesses use their personal information. 
  • 84% of customers seek greater control in terms of how companies use their data. 

Data security and privacy concerns are greater than ever. Creating customer profiles demand a level of personal information that may feel invasive. But this doesn’t mean customers aren’t willing to share information. Rather they prefer to know whether they can trust your brand with their data.

Do customers want to share their personal data - statistics

3. Ideal, but not ideal

Sometimes, we create a perfect customer profile, to only forget it exists. 

For instance, we may come up with all the categories and segments we’re targeting. But salespeople may never make use of these data points because of slow implementation. 

In another case, the ICP may be far too narrow for any actual person. So, your reps will discard the persona you painstakingly made. 

That is why create an ideal persona who exists and share it across the board. 

4. Misalignment

Lack of involvement of all departments that are part of the selling process may again lead to ineffective customer profiles. 

For example, the sales team is bound to know more about who fits into your customer profile. And your customer service will know what changes customers want from products. 

Your marketing team will help get information through campaigns. Finally, your product team will help personalize what your client wants. 

If any of these teams fail to communicate with each other, you may face profound losses. 

So, make the information accessible to all the relevant teams. 

The bottom line

With most of the interactions between brands and customers happening digitally, it’s hard to stay in touch with customers in real-life.

That’s why building, updating, and using your customer profile info is crucial for your teams to deliver a consistent experience across channels.

You can fetch a big chunk of information for customer profiling from your CRM software itself and start making sense of the data. Try LeadSquared, a one-of-a-kind CRM software to track the entire customer journey with a real-time dashboard and automated report generator.

To help you get started with customer profiling, I have two useful resources for you.

Editable customer profile checklist and template

These are free, editable pdfs. You can use them whenever you need or create copies and share them with your colleagues and friends. 

  1. Customer profile checklist
  2. Customer profile template

You can edit and use the customer profile template anytime you wish. Or, if you want to create your own design, you can follow the customer profile checklist to ensure that the information you plan to include covers everything.

If you need any further information/resources, feel free to write to us. :)

“Value”—the one term every salesperson hears about everyday. You must always add value for your customers to drive revenue, but how does one do that? By enabling your sales teams with the right tools to be able to do so.

The sales engine drives most of the revenue for a business, and it needs the fuel to boost through rough patches. We conducted a survey and found that 33% of businesses aim to improve customer retention while 26% want to increase salesperson efficiency. Sales enablement teams can help enterprises to achieve both these goals and much more.

Sales goals for 2022

What is Sales Enablement? 

Before we dive into a few failproof strategies, let’s understand what sales enablement means. The sales team needs to be enabled right from the start, and the process begins with the right hiring and onboarding. It includes providing them with the necessary market research, sales assets, and tools along with consistent training and monitoring.  

As virtual selling continues to be a priority even in 2022, a good sales enablement strategy helps in increasing customer engagement. It also improves the team’s performance and remote management of teams. We invited two sales experts, Pearl Singporewalla, Director-Training, upGrad, and Vineet Tiwari, Director-Sales, LeadSquared. They shared sales enablement strategies from their experience of training and mentoring sales teams. Pearl has been a core contributor in building up the sales team from scratch at upGrad, and Vineet looks over multiple sales teams and mentors them with his 13+ years of experience in sales. You can watch the recording of the webinar here:

Why does your sales team need an improved sales enablement strategy? 

The ultimate deliverable from a sales team is the revenue that they generate. The targets always seem sky-high and to make them achievable, the sales teams need to be highly efficient.  

The overall efficiency can only be achieved when each stage of the sales cycle is optimised. Salespeople often lack good training or valuable sales resources that may help them close a deal faster. 

42% of sales professionals agree that an incomplete understanding of the product slows down sales cycles. While the other top reasons include poor customer relationships and a lack of content that can be used as sales assets.  

Slows down sales cycle

With the right tool, your sales teams can close faster and much better. 76% of organizations have seen 6% to 20% increased sales after they improved their sales enablement techniques.

Sales enablement teams bridge this gap by bringing in changes that benefit in the long haul. It also makes the scattered sales process a lot more organised and hence productive. They tackle these individual problems by bringing in changes right from the hiring and onboarding stage.

Hiring and Onboarding 

 “Till you don’t have the right kind of people in your teams, it’s going to be very difficult to build the environment that you want to create, to have a highly efficient sales team,” said Pearl Singporewalla

1. Setting the right expectations: Every recruiter and potential employee have certain expectations from the role. A gap in these two expectations can be bridged with a comprehensive job description. The recruiter should list out the required skills and set achievable expectations for new team members.

Since most sales depend on excellent communication skills, Pearl suggested that it is an important skill set for each team member.  

“At the time of hiring, we must identify the kind of attitude the person has towards his work and the product, and the amount of effort an individual is willing to put in to achieve a sale. Their perseverance towards sales is a critical skill. Evaluating all of these skill sets is very important,” she added.

2. The Onboarding Process: A well-defined onboarding process creates a precedent for the salesperson. The onboarding must make the salesperson feel like he’s a part of the organization. You must share the company’s vision, mission, and growth strategies to make the salesperson feel proud of the organization.  

An in-depth onboarding also reinstates the faith and belief that the salesperson has in the company and the product. This is important because if a salesperson doesn’t believe in a product, sales will be a tough journey for him. The new team members also benefit from an in-depth session on the organization’s work culture and growth opportunities that they can expect.  

Training Enablement 

With the right team on board, you’re a step closer to higher sales closures. But sales is a battle that can’t be won without rigorous practice and training. Your sales team may be diverse, so everyone needs to be on the same page before facing the clients.  

“When you’re designing your training programmes, it is important to identify the kind of people that you’ve onboarded based on their past experiences. You should customize your training programmes as far as possible to benefit people from various backgrounds.” shared Pearl Singporewalla

These are the three essential aspects that every salesperson’s training programme must cover: 

1. Knowledge about the product: Every salesperson must have a comprehensive knowledge of their product. They need to have a clear idea of the feature details, use cases, USP and how the product fares against competitors. Businesses in every industry face a lot of competition, so knowing the differentiating factors is extremely important.  

2. A deep dive into the sales process: For an effective sales cycle, the salesperson needs to create multiple touchpoints to interact with the client. 54% of salespeople reach out to their prospects 5-10 times before closing a deal. 

Average number of touchpoints

To streamline this process and ensure that the prospects are being nurtured, each salesperson must know the proper stages of the sales process. The process begins with the customer finding out about the product, followed by the first conversation. The stages that follow are—closing the sale, payment, and onboarding the prospect. The sales process and its sub-stages differ for B2B and B2C businesses, but the customer journey should always be well-defined.  

3. Utilizing the right sales tools: Sales representatives spend a lot of time tracking their prospect’s stage in the customer journey and following up on conversations. While the sales tools that different teams use can vary from a simple excel to a complete CRM, the salespeople need to be well versed with them. Sales tools help in creating a data-driven approach to track sales closures and potential deals too. So, salespeople must be trained to make the most of the sales tools to increase sales efficiency.  

After the right training, most of the salespeople feel ready to hit the field. As a manager, it is important to provide that extra nudge that moves them towards working independently. To provide this nudge, a buddy mechanism can be devised where a peer or a manager supports the salespeople in the first few calls.  

Building the sales environment

In sales, things often don’t go by the plan. It can sometimes become emotionally taxing as salespeople have to face many rejections. The right environment and support from your team can drastically improve a salesperson’s day.  

Pearl said about creating a good sales environment, Culture is a very important word in my dictionary. The environment that you create for your teams speaks volumes about the kind of work that you do, the people working for you and the people that you work with as well.” 

A healthy work environment brings down stress levels and decreases sales pressure. Here are a few tips to help you build a sales environment: 

  • Provide some downtime for salespeople to be able to catch up on their energy 
  • Keep a focus on organizational values 
  • Promote healthy competition  
  • Work in collaboration and have each other’s backs  
  • Encouragement from the upper management 

Sales cadence and optimization 

To optimize the system, the most important requirement is the trackable data for the team to draw insights from. It enables managers to set achievable expectations that the salespeople can break down into weekly sales goals

“The yearly target can seem huge for a salesperson. Once the manager breaks it down into weekly tasks, it begins to seem doable. It’s just a way to present the data and makes it digestible for team members,” Vineet Tiwari shared with the audience.

  1. Standardize the process: The system provides a helping hand for the team managers to track the team’s inputs. A system, such as a CRM, reminds and shares updates on daily tasks to automate sales processes. It eventually makes the process efficient by increasing productivity.  
  1. Prioritizing leads and tasks: The aim is to always close as many deals as possible. With a high influx of leads, sales cycles can get delayed because salespeople can’t figure out whom to contact first. Here’s where a good sales system can sort the leads based on the amount of interest the lead has shown towards the product. 
  1. Sales Regimentation: Utilize sales tools that help you structure the salesperson’s day. A detailed schedule creates a regimented process, especially for field sales reps. The dashboards on various sales tools also help managers keep a tab on the metrics to track performance.  
  1. Reporting and analysis: Generating insightful reports which show comparative team performance, the number of new leads, an estimate of targets met can motivate your sales teams. You can also use it to evaluate which processes or stages need improvement and which ones are working well.  

A two-way feedback system

With all the processes in place, the manager ends up with a performance report at the end of a quarter. He must ensure that in the next quarter, the performance improves. The way to do this is to communicate the problems by providing appropriate feedback effectively.  

“Effective feedback ensures that the team’s performance is improved and there is no laid-back attitude. It makes all the processes very transparent and helps managers understand what they can do differently,” shared Vineet.

There are two types of feedbacks that a sales team can benefit from—internal and external feedback. The internal feedback is from the stakeholders within the organization, such as the managers.

Internal feedback includes analyzing the metrics for improvement and updating processes. It is like an audit of the sales teams to find any gaps that are affecting sales. It is also advisable to set up a feedback management system for external feedback from your customers. They’re the end-users of your product, so their feedback can help in product development as well. This feedback can be collected throughout the nurturing journey or in any stage of the post-sales process.

At the end of the session, the speakers summed up the best practices for sales enablement and shared some tricks to close sales quickly. Implementing these tips into the sales process guarantee faster closures and higher sales efficiency.

Tricks to close every sale

  1. Complete and in-depth knowledge about the product 
  1. Knowing how to make the most of your CRM  
  1. The salesperson’s confidence is the key to cracking all sales deals 
  1. Understand your competitor’s offerings and differentiators  
  1. Improve your written and verbal communication skills 
  1. Understand the customer and the requirements of the industry for the right value-proposition  
  1. Opt for a consultative approach to sales by pitching a solution instead of the product.  
  1. Develop a strong follow-up strategy  

Questions from the audience

How do you mentor your team as a leader? 

As a mentor, you need always to be available and approachable to your team. Your team members are always observing you learn from you. You must ensure that your teams have plenty of opportunities to upskill themselves to grow in the organization. Their growth should be your priority, whether they stay in the organization or move out in the future.  

Are sales enablement and sales engagement the same? What should my team focus on? 

Sales enablement empowers your team through training, while sales engagement deals with building conversations with your customers. Sales engagement can be through the external feedback that we discussed in the webinar. Sales enablement is an internal process where the mentor guides the team. While sales engagement  

How does the culture of an organization vary for a B2B and B2C business? 

Even though the business or process may differ for B2B and B2Cs, culture always remains at an organizational level. The culture across all the departments needs to be common and follow the same framework. Work culture depends on how the organization wants to take the brand forward, which should be decided at an early stage. 

What does a good sales workflow consist of? 

A great sales workflow ensures that once a lead enters the system, quality engagement and nurturing are associated with it. The customer’s experience, whether they buy the product or not, should be amazing. This can be ensured by automating the lead distribution and marketing campaigns. All the interventions you do to take the customer from the inquiry stage to the closure stage constitute a good sales workflow.


Speakers

Pearl Singporewalla

Pearl Singporewalla       
Director – Training, upGrad

Pearl has been a part of the core team at upGrad and has played a pivotal role in setting up teams and processes ground up. She currently enables Sales & Business Operations as the Director-Training at upGrad. Prior to this, Pearl spent 10 years looking over critical Customer Service functions for Jet Airways. She’s always on the hunt to learn more whether it’s through new courses or the time she spends reading.


Vineet Tiwari

Vineet Tiwari     
Director – Sales, LeadSquared

Vineet heads the South Sales Team at LeadSquared. He has over 13 years of experience in sales and has worked with IndianMoney and Matrix Cellular in the past. With his experience in building and leading sales teams, he can correctly predict sales closures with 90% accuracy! In his free time, he likes to travel and enjoys playing table tennis and badminton.


“Books are a uniquely portable magic”, says Stephen King in “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”.

A good book educates, enlightens, and leaves you feeling a tad bit wiser. Some even consider them the best mentors because you can keep coming back to their learnings.

Although your days may be hectic, and full of practical learnings, reading a good book is a tiny step you can take towards learning from the masters of selling. There are over 70,000 books about sales, and even though it’s impossible to read them all, here’s a reading list you could start with!

This list includes some of the highest-rated and highly recommended sales books packed with many tips and techniques that you can use. Add them to your reading bucket list and let them work their magic.

Table of contents

1. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

Goodreads rating: 4.21/5

One of the first self-help books to ever be released, it is a gem for aspiring sellers. It has some of the best advice on how to get out of any mental rut, increase your popularity, and make you a better salesperson. It has six sections, each of which takes you through becoming a much better person. This book has been in the Top 20 of Amazon’s list of highest selling non-fiction books for a long while.

How to Win Friends and Influence People” is said to have influenced the lives of many great people including, Warren Buffet and Donna Reed.

Why is it a must-read: Described as an “action book” by Carnegie, the book has continued to hold a great appeal almost a century after it was published. If you are new to reading, this is a good place to start.

A Thought that stuck: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

A reader’s review:

There are some books which you can call classic in the true sense. Particularly this books has much to offer for every reader. The facts and stories presented in the book are awesome. Every chapter leads us to a better person. While reading this, after finishing every chapter I felt rejuvenated and motivated. If anyone tries to stick with the principles described in the book, I don’t think he is going to have any troubles in his future.

Amit Mishra (via Goodreads)

2. “Selling to Big Companies” by Jill Konrath 

Goodreads rating: 3. 88/5

Selling to Big Companies” is for you if you are looking to sell to large organizations. Written by a leading sales strategist, the book helps you identify why you are not getting calls back from the organization, how to identify key decision-makers and in the end, how to advance a sale to these companies. It focuses on the first part of sales—prospecting and making inroads with the first interaction with mammoths.

Why is it a must-read: The book comes with practical advice and easily actionable steps in dealing with large organizations.

A thought that stuck: “If you’re struggling to get into big companies, you probably have a weak value proposition. Pure and simple.”

A reader’s review:

An in-depth analysis of how to gain passage through the labyrinth and make a case with big companies. Based on hard experience, perceptiveness and persistence, and a worthwhile offering. 

Al Czarnecki (via Goodreads)

3. “The Psychology of Selling” by Brian Tracy

Goodreads rating: 4.11/5 

This is another New York Times best-selling book. The author, Brian Tracy, is a speaker and sales trainer who has worked with more than 500 companies. “The Psychology of Selling” talks about the 80-20 rule: top 20% salespeople make 80% of the money and the bottom 80% only make 20% of the money.

Tracy discusses how you can boost your self-esteem and perfect your sales techniques to be in the top 20%. He analyses why people buy and how you can use this to your advantage. A definite must-read for sales folks! 

Why is it a must-read: The book also discusses practical strategies and techniques that apply to every aspect of the sales cycle. It teaches you how to make your way to the top 20% of salespeople.  

A thought that stuck: “Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential.” 

A reader’s review:

The interesting part of this book it’s that it will not bring out the bestselling concept but how to become the best of yourself in every life aspect. For me it’s not just a selling book but a game changer in every angle of my life.

Roman Steven (via Goodreads)

Secrets of closing the sale

4. “Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar 

Goodreads rating: 4.16/5 

One of THE most important names in sales, Zig Ziglar, was a famous salesperson. This book summarises everything that he learned over his lifetime of 86 years and how he became successful in sales. He talks about how you can get everything you want in life if you are willing to help just enough people. 

Secrets of Closing the Sale” is on the premise that everyone is a salesperson, and everything is selling. So even if you are not a professional salesperson, this is one book that you should add to your list. 

Why is it a must-read: The book teaches you how to use storytelling as a tool to persuade people to agree with your ideas. The learnings can be extended to many spheres of life and are not limited to sales.  

A thought that stuck: “It’s far better to use an effective procedure or close if that’s all you know than it is to know all the techniques in this book and not use any of them” 

A reader’s review:

Super entertaining and fun book to read plus Zig is a genius at sales. The biggest idea I took from this book is having the belief and being proud of your product, there’s also tons of other cool stuff but when Zig Ziglar talked about belief it felt really powerful. Really cool book if you’re into sales or marketing, definitely check it out!

Mario Tomic (via Goodreads)

Little red book of selling

5. “Little Red Book of Selling” by Jeffery Gitomer 

Goodreads rating: 3.93/5 

This lovely book contains 12.5 (yeah, that’s right) principles of selling to your clients. It is an intriguing take on selling by Gitomer which is all about finding out why people buy. This, he says, is the most important step in selling. He also discredits the fact that sales are all about the price and relies on factors such as value-proposition and reducing the risk which in turn increase the buyer’s motive.  

Little Red Book of Selling” will help you build value and relationships with your customers. It also stresses the importance of networking and how personal branding can help you win more sales. What are you waiting for? Go get your copy. 

Why is it a must-read: It lists out everything that you shouldn’t do as someone who is new to sales. The nuggets of knowledge and the way that they are presented, make it a quick and motivating read.  

A thought that stuck: “The biggest reason people don’t succeed is that they don’t expose themselves to existing information.” 

A reader’s review:

 Awesome, even for someone not in selling. If you haven’t realized yet, you are probably in sales, whether your job title says it or not. If you are a doctor you sell a certain prescription, if you are a teacher you sell a subject, if you meet someone new you sell yourself. That is why you should read this book.

Shannon Kempenich (via Goodreads)

To sell is human

6. “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” by Daniel H. Pink

Goodreads rating: 3.89/5 

Another New York Times bestseller, this popular book by Pink, offers an exciting take on sales. “To Sell is Human” busts popular myths like how only extroverts are believed to be good salespeople. It talks about improvisation as the key to selling and how you can redefine sales by moving people.

Get this book if you think selling is not just about pitching an idea to your audience. You can learn six other ways in which you can turn a pitch into a sale. 

Why is it a must-read: Pink uses three concepts–attunement, buoyancy, and clarity—which will help you convince anyone. He also explains the three skills which help you apply these concepts in your life, which are pitch, improvisation and service. 

A thought that stuck: “In the new world of sales, being able to ask the right questions is more valuable than producing the right answers. Unfortunately, our schools often have the opposite emphasis. They teach us how to answer, but not how to ask.” 

A reader’s review:

In to Sell is human, the author takes apart the stereotypical myths about sales and shows how all of us are actually involved in sales. He shares 6 strategies on how we can get comfortable with sales and use sales in our life in a way that actually gets everyone what they want. I particularly liked his emphasis on service and the various exercises he included to help the reader apply these ideas. If you want to be a better salesperson or if you want to understand how sales shows up in your life, this is an excellent book to read.

Taylor Ellwood (via Goodreads)

Selling the dream

7. “Selling the Dream” by Guy Kawasaki

Goodreads rating: 3.95/5

This book is written by the guy famous for marketing Apple’s Macintosh back in 1984. He has written several books, and this one for entrepreneurs is something that you should get your hands on. “Selling the Dream” focuses mainly on evangelists and how to succeed as one. It also comes with a short course on how to create an evangelist business plan. What’s better it takes the example of the original Macintosh product introduction plan.

Kawasaki also states how evangelists can change the world, citing Google as an example.

Why is it a must-read: The book is great for leaders and entrepreneurs because it helps you make everyone else believe in your vision. As a salesperson, you will find many takeaways that’ll make your prospect believe that your product is the best solution to their problems.

A thought that stuck: “Evangelism is selling the dream.”

A reader’s review:

Guy Kawasaki is a really interesting author with a lot to offer about both business and faith. The book is a little dated in some areas, but very well written. Although it is probably primarily meant to be a business book, I think as a crossover it is one of the best books on evangelism ever written. Great book, with many applications. 

Ryan Fisher (via Goodreads)

Ziglar on selling

8. “Ziglar on Selling: The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional” by Zig Ziglar

Goodreads rating: 4.12/5

Another gem by the sales expert, Ziglar, draws parallels with his more than 40 years of experience in sales and how aspiring salespeople can mimic his techniques. He also talks about how identifying the right salespeople can boost your sales team’s productivity.

Additionally, he discusses the science and methods behind selling, such as avoiding rude customers and finding prospects. This book is rightly titled, “The handbook for the complete sales professional.” Add it to your list as well.

Why is it a must-read: After reading this book, you will know all the skills that you must work on to become a great salesperson. It takes a deep dive into prospecting, and what a no in sales really means. The book also talks about improving your personal life and relationships to perform better in sales.

A thought that stuck: “Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings.”

A reader’s review:

Ziglar is a sales expert. In this book, he provides us with practical advice on how to be successful in the sales profession. He is a great story-teller, and often incorporates humor in his work. As such, this is a very entertaining book for professional sales people. In addition Ziglar advises us on how to provide excellent customer service.

John (via Goodreads)

Selling the wheel

9. “Selling the Wheel: Choosing The Best Way To Sell For You Your Company Your Customers” by Jeff Cox and Howard Stevens

Goodreads rating: 4.21/5

Is sales a new concept? “Selling the wheel” takes an everyday item into an archaic setting to explain how sales for new innovative products work. The book is structured as a fable about a man trying to sell the first wheel.

It’s also interesting to note how the product needs to be a good fit for the user because even the wheel, which is so useful, doesn’t have a long line of immediate buyers.

Why is it a must-read: Along with selling strategies, one can learn tips on marketing, product cycles, market maturity, and constantly adding value for businesses.

A thought that stuck: “Sell? Me? Minnie, the Wheel is a brilliant invention! One does not have to sell brilliant inventions; brilliant inventions sell themselves!”

A reader’s review:

It is one of the best books to understand how marketing should be done for a product. the author has a unique and a funny way of explaining concepts . This book is definitely for MBA’s and non MBA’s as well. An amazing read!

Reikan (via Goodreads)

Secrets of question based selling

10. “Secrets of question-based selling: How the Most Powerful Tool in Business Can Double Your Sales Results” by Thomas Freese

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

A bit of standard advice that salespeople hear is to listen to the user and understand their problems. But no one tells you how you can get them talking. “Secrets of question-based selling” helps you channel the power of How? What? Why? When? And who? Asking the right questions at the right time in the sales cycle takes you a long way.

Why is it a must-read: The book is a great go-to guide for objection handling, crack a more significant number of deals, and motivate buyers. It has many scripts and parts of email templates that you can use to improve your sales process.

A thought that stuck: “Questions are much harder to mismatch than statements because they ask people to contribute to the conversation.”

A reader’s review:

A fresh approach that revisions the sales process that is respectful to all parties and common sense. The three major moves are not overly complex and reflect the reality of what actually happens in the sales cycle.

Stephen (via Goodreads)

SPIN Selling

11. “SPIN selling” by Rackham Neil

Goodreads rating: 3.99/5

Spin around the way you think about sales by adopting the SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) strategy. The book is not just advice; it’s a compilation of learnings over thousands of cold calls and the years of experience that Neil Rackham has had as an advisor for prominent companies.

The book helps you understand how to tweak your strategy for minor and significant sales. It also challenges the popular notion, ‘Always be closing’ and explains how that doesn’t work for high-value services. Grab a copy of “SPIN selling” and see how it changes the way you strategize.

Why is it a must-read: The SPIN technique is really useful to salespeople who have shifted from low to high-value services. It makes the strategizing process simple and helps them remove the roadblocks in completing the sale.

A thought that stuck: “Skilled people receive fewer objections because they have learned objection prevention, not objection handling.”

A reader’s review:

Whether you like it or not, all business involves sales in some capacity. Written in 1988, Rackham describes his findings from observing 35,000 sales calls over a period of 12 years. He outlines the sales format that most often led to long-term success (Situation –> Problem –> Implication –> Need-Payoff). The recommendations are authentic, powerful and helpful; this book is a must-read for anyone in business!

Jenny (via Goodreads)

The extremely successful salesman club

12. “The extremely successful Salesman’s club” by Chris Murray

Goodreads rating: 4.13/5

To enter this club, all you need to do is start reading. A refreshing book in this list, it teaches you sales in a fictitious set-up. It’s a diary of sorts that a novice salesman writes about the seven core concepts of sales that he must learn to enter the salesman’s club.

Set in Victorian London, this book is a journey you take with this salesman who goes from being an amateur to success in sales. Beginners relate to the protagonist as they join him in his journey through the ups and downs to learn how to sell the right way.

Why is it a must-read:The extremely successful Salesman’s club” feels like a partner for someone who’s starting out in sales. From the challenges to victories, you’ll find yourself relating and also learning in the process.

A thought that stuck: “Listen to people from your heart, as if your life depended on it, and you will find that in turn, people will listen to you with all of theirs.”

A reader’s review:

On the surface this is a manual to teach you how to sell effectively and improve your life. But it is presented in a humorous and very clever fictionalised “Victorian” series of diary entries. Neither of these descriptions do it justice. Very easy to read but makes you think. 

Nicola James (via Goodreads)

Sales bible

13. “The sales bible: The ultimate sales resource” by Jeffrey Gitomer

Goodreads rating: 3.98/5

Another great book on sales by the author who has been through it all. The best part about “The sales bible” is that it is concise and to the point, with every topic divided into lists. All his lists follow the X.5 format where his lists have 10.5 or 12.5 points, and that last 0.5th advice is always a gem.

On days when your job feels too tough, reading this book can offer some motivation to get up and going.

Why is it a must-read: Cold calling, adding value for the prospect, objection handling, or any other sales confusion can be tackled with this book that stands true to its name.

A thought that stuck: “Failure is an event not a person.”

A reader’s review:

This truly is “The Ultimate Sales Resource.” I have read this book through many times and have pulled it off my shelf even more times to reference points that led to earning a lot of business. In addition to all of that, Jeffrey Gitomer is up to date. The information in this book works: these are not your grandpa’s (or grandmas!) selling techniques. A must have! 

Troy Conant (via Goodreads)

Selling the invisible

14. “Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing” by Harry Beckwith

Goodreads rating: 3.96/5

Selling the Invisible” skips whatever’s not necessary and gets to the point. A short read, full of great advice, which can be finished and use fast. Traditional sales focus on the product, its features, and specifications.

But selling the invisible talks about marketing and pitching services instead. It takes an interesting take on competitors because it mentions that since it’s a service, the prospect has a choice to carry it out himself. This means the three options that he has are you, your competitor, and himself.

Why is it a must-read: The book focuses on selling services instead of products and how handling objections and dealing with competitors works in such a set-up.

A thought that stuck: “There’s little point in killing an idea by saying it might fail. Any idea might fail. If you’re doing anything worthwhile at all, you’ll suffer a dozen failures. Start failing so you can start succeeding.”

A reader’s review:

As is often the case though you need to re-read these things from time to time. It’s one of the first marketing books I read that specifically addresses the challenges of a ‘service’ business. Marketing a service is a unique challenge given the intangible nature of what you’re dealing with. This is a quick read, and while not as entertaining as other authors it Beckwith does impart some important tips and ideas.

James Christensen (via Goodreads) 

How to master the art of selling

15. How to master the art of selling by Tom Hopkins

Goodreads rating: 4.11/5

Sometimes it’s hard to be excited about every cold call you make or every task on your to-do list. “How to master the art of selling” brings back the excitement by helping you add joy to the process.

From prospecting to pitching to closing the deal, this book is comprehensive and covers each step. The most exciting bit is that the sales tactics that Tom Hopkins talks about can be applied to almost every aspect of life, from pitching yourself for a job to date.

Why is it a must-read: While helping you excel in every process in the sales journey, the book also puts an emphasis on sales ethics. This helps you perform as a good salesman in the long run.

A thought that stuck: “How many ‘no’s am I willing to accept on my way to success?”

A reader’s review:

This is a powerful but unsubtle book. Its great virtue is that it really starts at the beginning and is full of details. It’s a rabbit stew cookbook that begins, as one should, by telling you how to catch a rabbit.

Bob (via Goodreads) 
 

New sales simplified

16. “New Sales. Simplified: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development” by Mike Weinberg

Goodreads rating: 4.35/5

For a beginner, sales can be overwhelming, but “New Sales. Simplified” provides a great overview of all you need to learn about sales. It’s full of examples and personal experiences, which many it a humorous a funny read.

The title is quite apt because it simplifies sales by focusing on the details, tiny facts, or insights you might miss. These include focussing on pain points and building trust. It’s also a great book to gift to new members of your sales team.

Why is it a must-read: Mike has put the research to use himself and straight-up tell you what works. It’s a good primer for novice salespeople to get going.

A thought that stuck: “Stop talking about yourself and your company and begin leading with the issues, pains, problems, opportunities, and results that are important to your prospect.”

A reader’s review:

FANTASTIC reminder of what sales people should be doing but tend to get away from or make secondary. Mike walks through the entire process from selecting target prospects, writing your sales story to the meeting with the prospect. If you are a salesperson and want to increase your sales today, READ this book.

Chan Pagel (via Goodreads)

How I raised myself from failure to success in selling

17. “How I raised myself from failure to success in selling” by Frank Bettger

Goodreads rating: 4.26/5

We always hope to learn from our mistakes, but there’s a quicker way to go about it. You can learn from the one’s others have made and picking up a book that explains what to do and what not to do is the best way to go about it.

In 11 years, the author changed his life around by making use of the best sales strategies. From being broke to having enough to retire at 40, his personal experiences teach us to become winning salesman. Grab a copy to learn the seven golden rules for closing a sale.

Why is it a must-read:How I raised myself from failure to success in selling” helps you harness the power of enthusiasm and conquer the fear of selling. It’s a great read if you’re feeling stuck and looking for a change in pace.

A thought that stuck: “Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard—but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easy.”

A reader’s review:

This is a very useful book! I love how he lays everything out so practically and uses many stories to illustrate the principles he teaches. He’s very simplistic and straightforward, just as if he were sitting there speaking with you directly. There’s no effort to impress anyone with his knowledge, intelligence, or success.  I would recommend this book to anyone, even if they’re not in sales, simply because it aids in acquiring people skills, which one can never go wrong to improve.

Tara Beck (via Goodreads)

18. “First, break all the rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham

Goodreads rating: 3.93/5

For a well-oiled sales machine, the manager must understand each team member’s talents and how to harness them. “First, break all the rules” is perfect for managers to improve their sales team’s productivity.

The book covers everything from honing your teams’ talents, finding the right fit for a position, and understanding which training can benefit your team members. It is an easy read and challenges most of the supposed rules and norms of management to offer a fresher perspective on management.

Why is it a must-read: This book is a guide for managers to build efficient teams. It helps you encourage your employees and identify their talents.

A thought that stuck: “Any recurring patterns of behaviour that can be productively applied are talents.”

A reader’s review:

The findings in this book would surprise many of us, who do self-development or others-development everyday. It would give you an effective framework in recruiting the right ones, setting the right goals, focusing on the strengths, and assigning the right roles to the subordinates. What would surprise you is that you’ll find many myths that you used to think it is right, but it is not from the findings of Gallup.

Viet Hung (via Goodreads)

19. “Take the cold out of cold calling: Web Search Secrets for the Inside Info on Companies, Industries, and People” by Sam Richter

Goodreads rating: 3.7/5

Once you master the art of cold calling, sales become much easier. This book is a tool that every salesperson can benefit from. The book offers good insight into research before the call, understanding the client’s needs, and making the right offer.

The tips mentioned will help you build long term relationships with your clients and improve margins in the process.

Why is it a must-read: Take the cold out on cold calling” guides salespeople to understand industry trends and what they should look for to make the call relevant for prospects.

A thought that stuck: “In today’s value-oriented business marketplace, the “Fourth R”—research—is the tool that truly differentiates one business from the next and one salesperson from the next.”

A reader’s review:

If you are in college, or in the job market, or trying to land a new client, 
this book is for you! Plain and simple it’s not who you know it’s what you know about who! Sam Richter is the man. Don’t just read this book but carry it around in your car.

Stephen Costello (via Goodreads)

20. “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss

Goodreads rating: 4.37/5

As a salesman negotiating is a skill you need to excel at. Do you know who else needs to? The book’s author, a hostage negotiator in the FBI.

Never split the difference” is written by a man who has a lot of experience in high-stakes situations. While your negotiating as a salesman will hopefully never get as intense as a life and death situation, the psychology behind negotiations remains the same. So, get ready to make and close the best deals.

Why is it a must-read: The book makes you a great negotiator and its learnings can be applied in various situations. These range from buying a call or closing a deal at the right price.

A thought that stuck: “The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas.”

A reader’s review:

Excellent!! The content. The writing style. The summary at the end of each chapter. I make no illusion that I’m going to become a better negotiator just by reading it. It requires re-reading (which I’m planning to do) and practice and experience.

Robert (via Goodreads)

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

21. “Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal” by Oren Klaff

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

The prospect will never know what they need if you can’t tell them what you provide. With the pitching theory, learn how to make the correct pitches for yourself, your ideas, and your product.

Klaff doesn’t believe in scripts; instead, he applies knowledge from neuroscience to teach you how to capture and hold the client’s attention while making a pitch. His “STRONG” principle helps you build the proper framework for any angle that you have to make in your life.

Why is it a must-read: Many blogs and articles claim to give you the best script for a pitch. But Oren Klaff, through his book “Pitch Anything,” helps you understand the neuroscience and psychology behind pitching. Using these learnings, you can build the foundations for your pitch that’ll work every time.

A thought that stuck: “As I’ve said before, the brain is a cognitive miser. Unless it can get value for itself, it stops paying attention.”

A reader’s review:

A must book for anyone looking to raise capital or wanting to learn more on how to pitch their products/service. The concepts and techniques he talks about are not the salesy tricky techniques, he talks about macro and micro concepts that MATTER before and during the pitch. Highly recommend!

Romeu Lorenco (via Goodreads) 

22. “Sell or be sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life.” by Grant Cardone

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

The art of selling must be perfected, not by just salespeople but by everyone. To be seen as trustworthy and capable, you need to be to sell all your ideas.

Sell or be Sold” helps you to work on your sales pipelines and build confidence in yourself and the product. It also serves as a great guide on follow-ups and referrals. Pitching and completing the sale is the most ethical thing to do for a salesperson, and it can be achieved with persistence and great time management. Reach out for a copy to know-how.

Why is it a must-read: This book changes your mindset about sales whether you’re a salesperson or someone in non-sales. It helps you realise that the principles of sales are involved even when you’re just sharing a thought or an idea with someone.

A thought that stuck: “Become so sold, so convinced, so committed to your company, product, and service that you believe it would be a terrible thing for the buyer to do business anywhere else with any other product.”

A reader’s review:

I knew nothing about selling and this book was more than the perfect book to get me started. From techniques, to mindsets, I feel like a different person. I am more assertive in my business, I feel more confident about everything. It’s like Grant Cardone gave me his mind.

Anthony (via Goodreads) 

I hope you find this helpful. 
Do let me know what’s on your reading list next!  

Happy reading. 

The Rolodex years are over.

As you know, the digital era has ushered in the age of buying insurance policies online. Some people may never speak to insurance agents or even come to know them.

Still, as an agent, it’s important to create numerous touchpoints with your clients—even if they’re entirely, or mostly, digital.

Yes, the insurance industry, as a whole, has become less personal and more competitive.

Overcoming this apparent lack of personalization is an obstacle insurance agents must address. Any insurance agent or agency that hopes to grow their client base will need to digitize and focus on customer engagement.

Let’s examine some of the most important digital touchpoints for insurance agents.

1. Welcome email

As soon as you obtain a potential client’s contact information, it’s a good idea to contact them directly. Do so with a friendly, personal welcome email. A good welcome email reassures your client the agency they’re buying insurance from is made of real people that are ready and available to help.

A good welcome email can:

  • Establish a unique value proposition
  • Be visually appealing and easy to read
  • Include at least one call to action
  • Include a link or contact point that connects to a real person

2. Quotes

If a potential client requests a quote for an insurance policy—home, auto, life, health, or otherwise—they are demonstrating a serious level of commitment. These prospects are typically considered “hot leads,” meaning you will want to quickly create another touchpoint before they begin looking elsewhere for a policy.

Once your agency has sent a quote, you should begin sending sequenced emails until you’ve closed the deal.

3. Purchase follow-up

Your prospect became a client. Nice going. Now it’s time to think about retaining your client for the long haul. And you’ll do so by demonstrating your ability to continually provide value.

As soon as new policy becomes active, send a follow-up email. In it, you can:

  • Provide your (the agent) personal contact information
  • Ask if they have any questions
  • Provide resources where they can learn more about their policy
  • Check to see if they have any additional insurance needs

Your follow-up email will serve as an important reminder your agency cares about more than collecting monthly premiums. It shows you’re actively thinking about the client, considering their needs, and providing them with ongoing support. Establishing a basic level of trust is key to client retention.

4. Surveys

Providing questions, surveys, and other resources that call for direct action can help increase engagement with your clients. According to one study, the target response rate for internal surveys should be around 30 to 40 percent, while the target response rate for external surveys should be around 10 to 15 percent—usually much better than the level of engagement you’d get with ordinary emails.

Contrary to what many marketers assume, people are actually somewhat willing to complete short, simple surveys.

  • Surveys help people feel like they did something.
  • When people complete a survey, they are more likely to feel heard and appreciated.
  • People are more likely to respond to a survey when they feel they have been “specially elected.”
  • Surveys are an efficient, direct form of digital engagement.

In other words, a survey is a great way to get your potential customer’s attention. Once they have completed the survey, you will then be able to use their responses and generate further engagements. Issuing periodic surveys and asking for feedback can help send a subtle reminder your company is there, active, and consistently thinking about its customers.

5. Testimonial request

In addition to having your clients answer surveys, it is also smart to ask for testimonials or customer reviews. Positive reviews will not only help improve your insurance agency’s digital presence but the very act of writing a positive review can help solidify your relationships with your clients.

6. Check-in email

There doesn’t always need to be an overwhelming reason to reach out to a current or prospective insurance customer. Sometimes you just want to keep the dialogue alive.

There are many ways to create organic engagement via email. Consider checking in for:

  • Birthday
  • Anniversaries
  • Holidays
  • To announce new rates, policies, or products available

Powered by an insurance CRM platform, you can easily automate your emails and ensure your clients are getting the attention they need.

7. Renewal communications

One of the most natural touchpoints for insurance agents is the policy renewal period. In fact, many people expect to hear from their agent during this time, so it’s important to have a strong communications plan in place.

Some clients prefer to complete their renewals over the phone, while others prefer email. Knowing your client’s personal preferences can help create a better customer engagement process.

During the renewal window, you’ll find opportunities to upsell or modify their policy, answer any questions they may have, and further reinforce your relationship.

8. Payment communications

The most common interaction an individual will have with their insurance provider is when they pay their monthly premiums. Don’t overlook this touchpoint.

Instead of just saying “Thank you for payment” every month, send an email that also contains some useful, actionable information. Notifying your clients about changes in the insurance industry, giving them general financial advice, and incorporating outbound links into your payment receipts will help establish a deeper level of engagement.

Texting is easily Gen Z’s preferred communication method and a powerful way to engage prospective students.

Source

College texting reaches prospects more quickly and effectively than other platforms.

Addressing needs at each stage of the admissions journey with texting

Texting can help your college develop relationships with prospects throughout the student’s decision-making process by addressing specific needs and concerns. Texts can also urge specific actions at specific times.

Texting can help position your school as a valuable resource and build trust with prospective students. College texting can:

  • Communicate important information, such as deadlines
  • Provide application resources
  • Answer questions quickly and effectively
  • Celebrate admitted students

College texting is also beneficial to staff and leadership, who need ways to streamline communication and collect data. Strategically planned texts help staff: 

  • Reduce number of phone calls and emails
  • Quickly identify student concerns
  • Collect useful insight on student engagement
  • Pinpoint areas for process improvement

4 smart college texting tips 

Prospects respond best to clear, positive communication tailored to specific needs. The following best practices can help nurture prospective student relationships—and spur action:

  1. Make taking action easy
    Reduce potential barriers by including links and direct contact information.
  2. Include specific calls to action
    Build a sense of urgency by highlighting deadlines and explicit next steps.
  3. Offer supplemental information
    Cross-market different opportunities for engagement. If a prospect declines an invitation, offer a relevant alternative.
  4. Employ a positive and friendly tone
    Adopt a welcoming and congenial tone to reinforce positive brand perception—and build trust with prospects. Use exclamation points and emojis to convey friendliness.

Texting throughout the admissions journey

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When crafting a college texting strategy, align messages with each stage of the admissions funnel. This approach ensures leads are nurtured throughout the admissions journey, from prospective to enrolled student.

An integrated approach also prioritizes personalization—a key tactic for reaching Gen Z. Messages are automatically tailored to the student’s needs at a specific point in time.

Below, we recommend content for each stage of the admissions journey, with different examples to illustrate the approach. 

Prospects

Prospects are just starting to explore your school’s offerings. Beginning communication early offers a valuable opportunity to shape your brand.

Prioritize content that offers learning and relationship-building opportunities. Demonstrate the impact of your programs through stories or statistics which demonstrate student outcomes.

The content might include:

  • Invitations to school information sessions
  • Ways to connect with current students
  • Alumni success stories

This sample text markets an upcoming info session, offering prospects an interactive chance to learn more about (the fictitious) Signal Vine University (SVU). Signal Vine provides the registration link and an easy way to confirm (Yes or No). SVU also provides upcoming event information – and does so with a positive and inviting tone.

Inquiries and applicants

During the inquiry stage, build on your initial strategy by sharing ways to engage and learn more. Consider extending invitations to:

  • In-person or virtual open houses
  • Program-specific webinars
  • Free college counseling appointments

Mine additional personal details to help personalize future messaging. Strategies include texting more targeted questions or requiring details for event registration (think: lead generation).

In the applicant stage, focus on guiding students through the application process. Consider breaking your process into mini pieces, then build messaging to address each step. Be sure to include deadlines and follow-up if applicants don’t respond.

Signal Vine checks in with Mark, a new applicant, with a deadline reminder for his application. When he doesn’t respond, SVU sends a second message. The school provides a link for easy access and a deadline reminder at the end to help build urgency in response.

Admitted and enrolled

The admitted stage is an opportunity for celebration and comradery—and for next steps. Consider texting to:

  • Congratulate and welcome accepted students
  • Break down registration process steps
  • Provide contact info for questions

The admitted stage is also a good opportunity to learn more about students who do not attend. If a student indicates non-enrollment, ask why.

SVU’s academic advisor checks in with David, an admitted student, to outline the five registration steps. She communicates the registration deadline and helps address David’s concern about dual enrollment credits.

Lastly, in the enrollment stage, focus on conveying important next steps through links and contextual information. Content might include:  

  • Information on FAFSA and scholarships
  • Orientation details
  • Deposit deadlines
  • Next steps for housing

Hone your college texting strategy

After you’ve piloted college texting, set a regular cadence for evaluation. Like any marketing initiative, you’ll want to track results and adjust as knowledge evolves.  

Consider the following tactics to deepen your strategy.  

Coordinate across departments

Be sure to coordinate with other departments which also use college texting. Nothing deters prospects more than receiving multiple, repeated text messages.

Signal Vine demonstrates the impact of un-coordinated college texting on an admitted student.

Set regular meetings to discuss goals, content, and timing. Aim for an integrated texting plan which supports multiple department goals.    

Give a heads up

Let prospects know you’ll be sending texts. Setting expectations helps build trust and demonstrates respect—two important lead nurturing strategies. Offering a “heads up” also helps build a college texting-friendly culture by normalizing usage.

Consider adding a college texting blurb to:

  • Staff email signatures
  • Social media profiles
  • Marketing collateral
  • Program webpages

Offer an SMS hotline

During particularly busy periods (like when applications are due) consider creating an SMS hotline. Employ a single phone number for students to text questions. SMS Hotlines can help streamline and simplify communication—and ensure questions are answered quickly.  

Here’s the story of how NC State managed their SMS hotline during student orientation (which includes the example above).

Use personas to personalize

If available, use student personas to inform your evolving messaging strategy. Personas provide valuable insight into students’ motivations, essential data for personalizing content. Use persona data—including demographic information, goals, and go-to information sources—to help answer questions like:

A powerful lead nurturing tool

With the right approach, college texting is a powerful lead nurturing tool. By aligning with the admissions journey—and employing tools like marketing automation—colleges can use texting to drive enrollment and build lucrative student relationships.

Note: A shout out to SignalVine, whose excellent ebook inspired many of the ideas here, and is the source of several sample texts shown above.


The Covid – 19 pandemic drove businesses and entrepreneurs to embrace technology like never before. We’re looking into the role of innovations in solving age-old call center issues and growing businesses in the post-pandemic world.

Key Discussion Points:

  1. The changing landscape of call centers in the post – pandemic world
  2. How the latest innovations are solving age – old call center issues?
  3. Increasing the efficiency of call centers
  4. Accelerated Sales with Leadsquared & CallHippo

Speakers

Priyanka Agarwal

Priyanka Agarwal
Manager – Sales, CallHippo

A seasoned sales and marketing enthusiast with a thorough understanding of complex sales cycles and CRM’s. She currently leads the sales activities for CallHippo.


Piyush Singhania

Piyush Singhania
Inside Sales Team Lead, LeadSquared

Piyush is an experienced sales consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and sales industry. He is working his way through the SAAS industry. providing solutions and solving challenging use cases.