Webinar – CallConnect – August 2022
Daniel Cross: Hey Hillary. Guess what?
Hillary Anne: What?
Daniel Cross: CallConnect™ is here.
Hillary Anne: Oh my gosh.
Daniel Cross: Welcome everyone. You’re here because you wanna know what CallConnect™ is and why it is here and why we are so excited about it? My name is Daniel Cross. I’m the director of business development at Verse. I’m here with Hillary Ann. Introduce yourself, please, Hillary.
Hillary Anne: Hey everybody. I’m Hillary. I’m SVP of revenue here at verse hanging out with Mr. Cross. One of my favorite humans in the world. And we’re so excited. So excited to show you guys CallConnect™ today.
Daniel Cross: And I thought Will Ferrell will help us to launch this. If you’re not paying attention, start now. CallConnect™ is here. What is CallConnect™? You ask. We’re gonna talk about good questions. So CallConnect™, solves a problem. Let’s look at the problem.
First, The problem is how businesses are engaging with their customers today. And I’m sure you’ve experienced this problem because everyone experiences it. This problem is a disconnect between the way that customers want to be treated and the way that businesses are communicating with their customers. So right now, if you go online and you’re interested in something, you will fill out a form with your name, your phone, your email, all your contact information, and the company receives the business, receives this information and you usually get a call, whether that’s a fast call or a slow call, you may receive more than one. You may receive a voicemail drop and you get a canned email, right?
Hillary Anne: That’s it. A hundred percent.
Daniel Cross: And the question is, what’s wrong with calling? So it sounded like I was pushing down calling… and I am because cold calling sucks. Americans received 50.5 billion robocalls in 2021. That’s actually an increase from the year before there was a decrease in 2020, because call centers were winding down with COVID. So there was some lag in the number of people who are going to work and working in call centers. So that number decreased a little bit, but it’s back. And 90% of consumers had an omnichannel experience anyway with seamless service. So they don’t just want to receive calls. We get calls on our phone now and we know. We don’t know who it is. And if we do know who it is, maybe we didn’t wanna talk with him anyway. But most of the time, I don’t. How often are you picking up your phone, Hill?
Hillary Anne: I never answer my phone. I will very specifically answer my phone, obviously, if I knew who it is, but not, that’s not also not a guarantee. But I don’t answer my phone a lot. It’s definitely not if I don’t know who it is.
Daniel Cross: Yeah. And I, we talk about the psychology of this because. When our phone rang 10 years ago, we were excited because psychologically, it was tied to something good. Usually some but some, a friend wants to talk or you, they want to hang out or you’re trying to connect with someone and it, before robo dialers took over. A call was a, the phone ringing was a positive trigger. And now the phone ringing is a negative trigger and it’s the opposite. A text is a positive trigger. Most of the time you get a text, it’s gonna be something interesting. And what the consumers are saying is they want to have a combination of both.
Hillary Anne: Right. They’re looking for something authentic, they’re, I don’t think anyone really, truly wants to be in a cold calling sales experience. That’s not what people are looking for, even if they’re interested in buying the thing, right? Like they’re still, that’s not what, how they want to engage with the company.
Daniel Cross: Yeah. Or if you like awkward situations. If you get a kick out of it, there probably are people who enjoy telling people off. I know there’s people who say I had a, one of those, the story that tells me, I told that telemarketer off. Whatever it is, you’re. I think people do sometimes pick up their phone because they wanna engage with those people, but that’s not how, like a healthy relationship between you and the customer should exist, and this was a stat I found and 85% of consumers in 2022, prefer receiving text messages, just messages over a phone call. And this includes millennials, gen Z, but it also includes like boomers and everyone else. These people, like my mom, are now also screening her calls. It’s like people got wise.
Hillary Anne: Yeah.
Daniel Cross: So the number among millennials I think is even higher. There were some like the next statistic I think is one of them, 81% of millennials report getting anxiety when the phone rings, like I think everything gives them anxiety, but it particularly the phone ringing gets ’em.
Hillary Anne: In particular. That’s how you scare a millennial.
Daniel Cross: So I, oh, go ahead. Sorry.
Hillary Anne: I was gonna say you’re right on the previous slide. My, my parents actually got rid of their home phone recently. And it’s just because one it’s a home phone landline, right? What’s the point? They’ve had the same phone number since I can remember. I still remember the phone number. It just, it doesn’t go to them any longer. I was a little sad for a minute, ah that was like ours, but they said they go, the only people who call that number is “Spam Likely,” our buddy, trying to sell something we don’t want. So it’s absolutely multi-generational at this point, it’s not the right way to get in touch with somebody.
Daniel Cross: The only thing they were good for is leaning against the wall and twirling the cord around with your finger. And now they don’t have that anymore, which is a bummer, but I get it. So we, I wanted to make a distinction and Hill, I think you actually maybe coined this, or you told me, when we were talking about it, I think I heard it from you, but that we wanted to make a distinction between cold calling and warm calling. Because we were, someone was saying like a cold calling is dead. And we were saying okay. Calling itself is not the problem. People do want us to talk on the phone. I wanna talk on the phone when I want to get stuff done. Like, I have a question. I don’t wanna type it out via text. I wanna call someone and get it on, get it, get the question answered. But I also wanna talk to a human as fast as possible. So we wanted to make a distinction between cold and warm calling. So cold calling is where people are buying your data lists of, your name and your phone number. And you’re getting calls from, for products that they want you to buy. They don’t, unless you’re on the do not call registry, they don’t have to opt in. You don’t have to opt in, they can call you and you can tell them to stop calling you, good luck, but it’s unexpected, you get a phone, your phone rings, you pick it up and it’s a salesperson.
I said it’s effective for some businesses. Hill, can you expand on that? Like what do you, where do you think cold calling actually works?
Hillary Anne: Gosh, does it?
Daniel Cross: Put you on the hot seat, I know.
Hillary Anne: I’m not sure I agree that cold calling works. And I like the distinction here in the separation, right? A cold call is an unexpected call, right to your second bullet. Like people are not looking for their phone to get blown up, the example I think about is I was shopping for car insurance. This was probably a year and a half ago. and I accidentally filled out a lead aggregator, which I didn’t know I was doing. And my phone number and contact information got sold to 11 companies like that. And my phone rang off the hook for the next three days. Yeah. So, my point is I was shopping for a car. I. , but I was not trying to get 11 different companies to call me about car insurance, like I was trying to have one conversation with an actual person from the company that I thought I was reaching out to specifically. Daniel and I are not we’re not slamming calls like being on the phone with your customer is ideal. That is exactly what you’re looking for. How do I get this person to have a conversation with me where you can focus on the sales process, build trust, build rapport, be helpful, and answer their questions. It’s just very difficult to do that from an unexpected cold call place because statistically and Daniel already showed you guys like. People are defensive about the phone call, right? Like they are not looking to have a long conversation with you, even if they pick up, they’re literally looking to get off the phone with you and figure out what this is, so that they can, categorize it and move it into their don’t call me anymore bucket. And if you’re a business owner and you’re out there wondering, Hey, you know how come. How can we improve this? How can we make this better? Which is what we hear a lot, right? From our customers is, Hey, how do we make this process better? You really need to start thinking about flipping this concept of cold calling on its head, into generating a warm call.
Daniel Cross: That’s a, and you made a really good distinction. You said you put your information in, and it was a lead aggregator, meaning they’re gonna sell that information to a bunch of different companies who are all buying the same lead.
Hillary Anne: Right.
Daniel Cross: You were. You said you were shopping for car insurance, you might not have even been shopping for car insurance. You might have been trying to find out if your car insurance is more expensive than someone else’s you’re not necessarily shopping. You’re you might be curious about a rate and all you wanna know is the rate. And if someone will text you and out of this the delusion of phone calls that were coming in, if someone was respectful enough to text, you might have done it back and forth. So that. That’s what we’re, as you said, we’re looking to try and create warm calls where people say yes to a phone call where we try and get permission and we’ll go into what that is obviously. But to finish up the bullet points say, cold calling feels salesy, cuz it feels like you’re being tricked. It feels like you’re being manipulated into talking. There are a million different people. Telling you the best way to cold, how to the best opening lines. And you’re like all of that, even when you fall for one, game respects game, right? If you get, if someone gets you on the gets you to start talking with them, you’re like you all right. All right.
Hillary Anne: Yeah. You give one minute.
Daniel Cross: But even then it feels salesy you’re you don’t, you’re not, you don’t really, you haven’t really established trust. And it also results, low answer engagement rates. We know. It’s bad for sales morale. Most eighties don’t want to cold call anyone. So let’s go into warm calling. Hill, do you want to guide us through what we calling a warm call?
Hillary Anne: Yeah, and I just wanna add one more comment there too. Something we focus a lot on, this is generally speaking something we focus a lot on here at Verse is bridging the gap between marketing and sales. And I think. In fact, I think we know that marketers over the last decade have spent a lot of time figuring out how to get people, to feel stuff out and how to get leads generated. But there’s a conflict, right? That sort of naturally led in this world as marketing’s feeding more and more things to salespeople. There is an over-emphasis on the data side of it and a less emphasis on the, are we being helpful to this person, to this consumer? And so that’s the frame of mind. I’m not saying data doesn’t matter. Cross as I, we live in data all day long, right? Trying to figure out our world too. It’s extremely important, but you don’t wanna remove it.
The rapport trust building and the baseline of sales, which is how do we help this person, and you’re, you will find a, it much harder to be helpful if you’re starting those conversations off in sort of an obtuse way, from a cold call, it becomes defensive and very hard for that person to say, yeah, sure. Come into my house. Let’s talk about solar panels or come into my house, let’s talk about refining my mortgage or whatever it is, it sets them into the wrong framework. Warm calling on the opposite is a much nicer way to get the invite into the conversation from that consumer. So it starts with getting consent. To have the phone conversation in the first place. So you start with a text. We’re not saying don’t generate leads, generate ’em just start with a text message, right? Acknowledge that person, introduce yourself, use AI and automation here if you can, we’re not saying hire a hundred SDRs who are hand texting every lead that’s coming into your business. That’s inefficient and let’s get their permission, right? Let’s figure out what works for them. Hey, when do you wanna have a conversation about your roof or your fencing project or your financial needs, or, your real estate transaction that you’re looking to have, right. When does it work for you? Cause what it’s not mentioned on here, but we see it a lot over half of all leads are generated outside of business hours. People are laying in bed in the middle of the night and they’re filling stuff out. Like they don’t want to, first of all, they definitely don’t want a cold call then. But how much more polite of an experience is it to ultimately schedule that follow up, get their consent, say, Hey, this is who we are. We’re looking to help you. We’re really pumped about talking to you when it would be a great time for us to connect and chat and let them guide, let them drive and they get to do that via text message. And this creates a warm call. So they’re expecting the call. They know who the company is, they know what the call’s gonna be about. It leads to much higher answer rates. Our warm calling answer rates are like 90% of the time. People will pick up the phone call when they’re expecting it versus cold calling, which is somewhere around 4%. It’s a rate for those of you out there, fact check. If you’re getting a better cold call answer rate, let me know. But I’d be shocked if it was above 10.
Daniel Cross: What’s funny though, Hill, we say that 90% cause that’s true. If it’s 90, whatever, it’s 90 something of people when they do agree to a phone call via text message. So you text back and forth, you say, “is now a good time?” They say, yes, you call and it fails. That’s 90%, the 90% of people answer at that point. It’s really funny because I get, I would bet that an extra 5% would go on top of that, where they text back and go, oh my God, I’m so sorry. I ignored that call. Call me, try me again. And then it succeeds. I bet like a decent percentage of that 10% is actually people who go, oh Sorry. Sorry. Call me again. It’s yeah, if you agree to a call via text, someone calls you it’s cuz you wanna talk with them? It’s cuz. You’re interested. So, all this is good, it’s not calling that we hate, it’s unexpected or want a cold call. So it’s good. How do we turn a cold conversation into a warm call? Because that’s the challenge. The benefits of cold calling without an opt-in is that you can’t, you can buy a list of 5,000 people and you can plug in your dialer and you can roll outta bed. Dial all day and try to turn a cold call into a warm call. And we say, okay nobody likes that. Let’s do this. Let’s do it the other way. You have another challenge, right? How do we make that happen? How do we turn these people who just filled out forms into warm calls? And that’s why we’re so excited about CallConnect™. This is how businesses communicate with customers today. We went through this is a bad idea. We shouldn’t do this. We should do this instead. We use CallConnect™. Essentially starts the conversation via text message. So a form comes in and the text goes out right away that says, are you free now for a call? Is there a different time? What would be better for you? They say Friday would be better. So I’m looking at this conversation here at this example, and then they go back and forth and when they say they’re ready, Then we can queue up a call for the business. So businesses are hiring verse using CallConnect™ to turn these forms, fill leads into warm inbound calls, which is just like magic. Like it’s some kind of alchemy we’ve taken straw and spun it into gold, which is it’s an incredibly hard thing to do, but because we’ve been working at doing this for so long we actually have methods and scripts and ways of doing it, that, that work and people can’t believe that we’re that we can do it the way that we do. So I wanna show what the process looks like. It’s essentially what I just described to you, but lead forms come to us, usually via an API from a CRM, the verse text, the pro text, the prospect on behalf of your business, offering a text conversation or a. If they opt in for text, then we’ll have a text conversation, usually a really quick qualifying, maybe one or two questions that we want answered. And then when they say they’re ready for a call, we dial out, they receive an inbound call. It looks like they’re some, they’re getting a call. They pick up and there’s an IVR recording that says, hi, you’ve reached. So and so press one. To be connected, they press one that converts to an inbound call. To the inbound sales team who is now picking up a Le essentially, they’re calling you now. And it’s gone from a form filled with interest connected directly to the people who are smartest and most capable of talking to this customer about your offering and taking them to the next step.
Hillary Anne: Yeah. And I just wanna add, cuz you touched on a really critical point here with the other side of the fairytale here with CallConnect™. We can do some qualification via text message first. So depending on Y like we’re not just driving every call, right? Every single person who responds back to the business, we’re able to build scripts in campaigns that can ask these consumers questions that are important to your business. So I’ll use an example. If you’re a solar company, whether or not that person owns their home might matter. Right before that lead is qualified. So we can actually take that step via text message right before we turn it into a warm call. So the second part of the magic here is it’s not just more calls coming to your business. It’s qualified phone calls coming to your business, right? Every person that’s coming through on the. Has met the criteria that you’ve set out with verse when designing your campaign. And it makes it just a win, win for everybody. The consumers are delighted, cuz they’re getting approached the way they want. Businesses are getting the results they want out of the leads and your sales teams are gonna be happier, right? They’re not chasing people and they’re not having. Nonsense conversations with people who would not otherwise be qualified to be in those conversations.
Daniel Cross: And the third part of the magic, which you didn’t even mention. We’re adding another one, those qualifying questions that Hillary mentioned. So it’s a solar company. They wanna know what type of roof you have. Do you own the home? Maybe, is your bill over $200 or something like that? Those qualifying questions, the answers to those can be updated within the CRM. So in the event that let’s say two of those things are true. They own the home. They have the correct roof, but their bill is under $200 and they don’t want to talk with that person who is unqualified. There’s a cadence that happens there, or a camp, a campaign or script that happens that lets them down easy or potentially puts them into a queue to be called later to confirm that information. The person, maybe there’s a hierarchy at the solar company where there’s an SDR level and there’s an account executive level. And now we can suddenly confirm that information just to make sure that we’re not, leading at any sentence and keeping the account executives focused on the high level priorities. The benefit that you have even from unqualified leads is that you get to disposition them correctly within the CRM. So they get sent on the right journey that you know exactly how to reach out to them next with some context. So how much better than how much better that they have this information, then they try to call, call, call, never get a hold of them. Don’t know why, don’t know any of that information. And aren’t able to market stuff properly moving forward. I wanted to show an actual CallConnect™ example. This is on the verse platform. This is the part of the dashboard that you’ll see if you’re a reverse customer. And our using CallConnect™, essentially what it shows is a text message that goes out that says, thank you for contacting us will be reaching out shortly. And then hi, Amanda. This is Casey. Just wanted to follow up, say I can talk, but I prefer emails or texting for now. Is that okay? And if you’re not a robot and so there’s little litmus test here, maybe a touring test actually of she’s testing, right? She’s getting in a way that you wouldn’t answer Alexa. She’s making a complicated answer so that if this is an Alexa, if it is a bot that doesn’t know what to do at first, we use a combination of AI learning and humans. So when the AI is confused or the automation is confused that a human jumps in and says silly AI, here’s what you say next. And we say, perfect, just to confirm if you had a bankruptcy, cuz this is the only qualifying question for this particular company. And they say, great, the next step is to connect with one of our helpful loan associates. Do you have 10 to 15 minutes to connect now? And she said, no, here, but now that she knows that we’re not a robot, she goes, all right. And this is 15 seven minutes later and a call goes out and it’s successfully connected. Wow. And there was a transfer and they talked for 13 minutes. She’s just, again, this is somebody who said no, probably wouldn’t have answered the phone. Cause she told us she wasn’t gonna answer the phone. And we get her to say yes, a call and now she takes the call and this didn’t even take very long to find Hillary when I was looking for examples I don’t know, it took two or minutes to go find one that exactly outlined and illustrated our point. But so the fact that it wasn’t that hard to find is really cool, but companies are doing it, they’re using ver to drive more and more inbound calls to their team. And on, on this company side, essentially their phone rang and Amanda was on. Without bankruptcy, ready to talk to somebody in the loan industry to try and get a mortgage, which is cool.
Hillary Anne: Amazing. It really is magical.
Daniel Cross: So that’s CallConnect™. We’d love to talk to you about it. If you’re not with Verse, already. To talk to you about what we can do. CallConnect™ is one of the products that we offer. We have tons of other things that we can do for you as a business, mostly based around starting conversations with your customers that never, or potential customers that never responded. Customers that you have another thing to sell them, or you wanna communicate with them for whatever reason you can use first to initiate those conversations and keep your inbound teams or your outbound teams focused on what they’re doing Verse does what we do. We have instant text response, 24/7 and conversations are genuine. We build them with you and your team, and they reflect the values of your business and the attitude and culture of your business. We’re just helping out. So we’d love to do a demo for you. We’d love to talk to you about what Verse can do for your business, Hillary, any, anything I missed anything to add?
Hillary Anne: I’ll just double down and say, come bring us your problems. Come talk to us about. What’s not working in your customer’s journeys today. We have a ton of ways we can help businesses, power conversations with their customers. Obviously, CallConnect™ is one of ’em. It is a brand new product and we are. We are really pumped about it, cuz it really solves a huge challenge inside of this world. But for anybody out there, come talk to our sales teams, come talk, call Daniel.
Daniel Cross: Don’t call me.
Hillary Anne: Tell us your issues. Tell us your problem.
Daniel Cross: Call Hillary.
Hillary Anne: And no, don’t call, text him.
Daniel Cross: Text me.
Hillary Anne: And text me too, actually. If you hear my voicemail literally says that, hi, you’ve reached Hillary texting me, but try that and I’ll probably get back faster. That’s our message of the day. Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Daniel Cross: Yep. Thanks for being here. Bye.