Improving the call to sales ratio

The global response to the coronavirus crisis is having a significant impact on sales revenues across all industries, but even in these tumultuous times there are still opportunities for companies to increase global sales interest by optimising their media position.

There is a direct correlation between editorial content in the trade, technical, business and mainstream press and an immediate hike in sales interest.

For instance, editorial mentions, more than any other form of marketing, is proven to result in an immediate increase in the number of visitors to a company’s website, generating more incoming sales interest, and thereby reducing the number of telephone interactions sales teams need to make to achieve sales targets. It saves time and can reduce operational costs.

According to sales consultant Brevet, 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone and it takes an average of eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect.

What’s more, frequent editorial mentions in the press boosts the sales conversation-to-appointment ratio considerably. So, rather than having, say, twenty conversations to get one appointment, more appointments can be achieved for significantly less effort.

By getting your story across in the media you are ostensibly making that tricky first call, but instead of just calling one potential customer, you’re reaching out to considerably more, potentially thousands. So, for sales teams, the increase in editorial mentions means doors are already open and potential customers know about you before they make the call.

Unlike advertising and advertorials, which one has to pay for, editorial is the more trusted content because no financial transaction takes place between the supplier (the company/PR Agency) and the consumer (the journalist/editor/publisher).

Content is published on merit and therefore considered an informed and independent endorsement by the end-user, the reader, the potential purchaser. “Editorials build businesses; advertising helps maintain them”, to paraphrase @cynthia-kocialski

As Kendrick PR explains in a blog posted in 2017, “[editorial] is free media coverage that usually materialises as a result of hard work and strong media relationships. This is why it is so important, from a PR and marketing point of view, to build media contacts and relations, as they can be a huge asset down the line. This isn’t to say that advertorials are to be overlooked as they can be great for widespread exposure, but if you can secure editorial, you are saving money and gaining credibility.”

As a case in point consider the integrity and newsworthy value of the story “JD Wetherspoon pubs to reopen with staff in goggles post-lockdown”, published today in The Guardian newspaper, against the source material published on the JD Wetherspoon website, which I also link.

While the aim of Wetherspoon with this story is to ultimately generate more customers to its pubs – when they eventually re-open – and to promote the fact the company is still active and in business – the landlord’s PR department/agency has ensured it has achieved far greater exposure and credence than simply posting the story on the company’s website or social media platform and hoping for the best.

Reading the story in The Guardian compelled me to visit Wetherspoon’s website to see if indeed pubs are opening any time soon, and while there is sadly no news to report on that front, you get the drift.

Placing company content on your website and social media channels is useful, but it is passive, considered advertising, and should be used in concert with your external marketing activities, not replace them. No matter how good your story is it will not benefit from the same market reach and sales interest as having it published in a bona fide media outlet.

If your story’s in the press, the phones will ring.