When you want a surefire way to create engagement with warm prospects to move them through the sales funnel, you need text messaging.

This isn’t about selling with short code or sending generic CRM reminder texts. People want and expect real-time interactions with businesses and other humans at those businesses — yes, that includes in the B2B world. Neither of those options provides your prospects a way to genuinely converse and get to know you.

What your sales funnel needs is conversational text messaging. That’s how you ensure people not just see your messages but actually reply.

Before you start blasting out messages to your new prospects from your personal phone number, here’s what you need to know about sales texting.

Skipio’s sales texting checklist to get more responses

These are 10 things our team at Skipio has found most beneficial for implementing text messaging in sales to get replies and ongoing engagement. Not only do we do all of these things here at Skipio, we’ve helped businesses across the country do the same.

Capture cell phone numbers

You can’t text people unless you have their number. No duh. When gathering contact information through form fills on your site or in ads, include a field for mobile phone number. Include this basically anywhere you capture contact info already.

Just make sure new prospects consent to text message communication when submitting their info.

For the prospects you’re already talking with through email, simply ask if you can exchange numbers to talk through texting. When you present it as a faster and more convenient way for them to get in touch with you, it’s unlikely they’ll decline. People don’t want to be stuck checking emails or hopping on phone calls when a few texts convey the same info.

Make opt-ins simple

You already require prospects on your website to opt in to receiving communication from you. At least, you should be doing that when gathering contact info like email addresses. So, include texting in your current communication opt-in language on your site or landing pages.

Clearly state that people will receive automated marketing and informational text messages. This is key to remaining compliant with TCPA.

Use a dedicated sales text messaging platform

Sales reps should never have to use their personal number to reach out and communicate with leads. That way you keep your private number private and the company doesn’t risk losing prospects’ contact info and conversations.

Even better, Skipio gives you automation and personalization features that simply will never exist on a phone’s native text messaging app. Skipio is built specifically to help teams start and continue conversations — what more could you want?

Plan for multi-channel follow-up

Texting is an amazing communication method, but it doesn’t need to completely replace emails or phone calls with prospects. Instead, text messaging should precede any emailing or calling your team does. It’s way faster to reach out and make a connection through texting and more convenient too.

JobNimbus uses Skipio as part of their three-pronged outreach strategy to new prospects. The sales team saw significant improvements to calls and emails because the reps first introduced themselves over text message. This made all future text message follow-up easier to complete as well.

Personalize every message

Let people know that there’s a real human on the other end. When contacting someone for the first time, always tell them who you are and what company you’re from.

If the contact came in on a form fill and had an opportunity to provide information about what they need from you, reference that in the message. Similarly, if you know anything else about the prospect’s job, employer, etc., write a message that speaks to what they do and who they do it for.

The more relevant your first message, the better impression you make and the more likely that prospect will engage.

Keep messages short and ask relevant questions

The longer a message, the more likely someone will be to skim it and miss the point or ignore it completely. Get to the point and encourage responses by asking simple open-ended questions. You’re not texting your best friend here, so be careful not to info dump and send message after message.

Your questions should clearly tie back to any previous information they may have given you.

Schedule messages at convenient times

Monday mornings are super busy for everyone, so why would you text someone at 9 AM? Schedule texts to send at times when people are more likely to respond.

This is advantageous for you as the sender too. If it’s 10:30 at night and you just had a great idea to send to a prospect, you wouldn’t want to send it then. Schedule it to send at a time they’ll actually appreciate it.

Automate your follow-up

It takes up to 7 touch points to get a response from a prospect. Most reps stop after 3. Have follow-up ready at all times — not just by scheduling messages manually.

By automating your initial outreach and continued follow-up, you give yourself the best chance of starting a genuine conversation. People appreciate being helped quickly!

With Skipio you do this efficiently with drip messaging campaigns that send messages at set intervals. You write the messages, set the delays, and add rules to trigger other messaging (if wanted or needed). No more forgetting to reach out to someone!

Practice trial and error

Never blast a text to all prospects at once. Test messages over and over and keep making changes until you get responses. Especially if you plan to use prewritten messages or templates, take the time to customize and rework them.

We recommend that you send messages in small batches to test out language and cadence. Here at Skipio we continually iterate on ideas and tweak text messages until they reliably result in responses.

Respond and respond fast

Once a prospect gets back to you, reply to them as quickly as possible. You want to set a precedent for timely, engaged communication. When people know they can count on you, they’ll keep coming back to you.

Start conversations that end in sales

With these tips in mind, you set yourself up for a much better sales texting experience. Always remember that your goal is conversations. If your text messages aren’t helping you build relationships throughout the selling process, something needs to change.

Put conversational texting to work in your funnel by trying Skipio.