How Three Industries Stack Up Against the 4Ps: Tech, Telecom, Media & Entertainment

Every year, Conversica conducts a secret shopper survey to discover how effective businesses are with their Sales follow-up. We then grade these companies against the “4Ps of Sales Effectiveness” which are:

  1. Promptness: How quickly a Sales team follows up after a lead makes a follow-up request.
  2. Persistence: How many times a Sales team follows up after initial contact.
  3. Personalization: How many personalization elements are included in a follow-up message (e.g. personalized greeting, individual sender, signature with contact information, relevant content, and effort to push the conversation forward),
  4. And Performance: Whether the follow-up response landed in the Primary inbox, a Promotions/Social folder, or the dread Spam folder.

Of course, our 2020 Sales Effectiveness Report took place during a very tumultuous year in which companies struggled with a post-COVID-19 world and accompanying economic dip. While we don’t have a window into how the pandemic affected each business individually, it’s clear that individual industries were impacted differently.

Our survey examined 1,177 companies across three industries: Technology, Telecommunications, and Media & Entertainment. Tech companies wrestled with revenue generation and retention as customers reevaluated budgets. Telecoms saw a boost in demand as businesses and consumers required greater connectivity to work remotely. Media & Entertainment businesses struggled with closures and local restrictions which made it difficult to operate.

But no matter the industry, businesses needed to communicate with their contacts to drive revenue and keep them informed. Let’s examine how each of our three surveyed industries performed across the 4Ps.

The Technology Industry

Our secret shopper surveyed over 800 technology companies across B2B and B2C. We assumed that, due to their industry, these companies would be digitally enabled to succeed across the 4Ps.

But did our assumptions match with reality?

The Technology industry performed highest in two of the 4Ps (with 25% of companies earning an A in Promptness and 5% earning an A in Persistence) and earned the highest percentage of companies scoring an overall A grade—with 10% of companies executing consistently well across all 4Ps.

While that’s good news for the companies that did well, there’s a large percentage of tech companies that fell short in their sales effectiveness:

  • 25% of companies delivered prompt follow-ups with our secret shopper within 5 minutes. But almost half didn’t respond within 24 hours, earning an F grade. Worst still, 5% of tech companies did not respond to our shopper’s request for follow-up at all.
  • Only 5% of companies were truly persistent in their lead follow-up, touching leads 11-15 times. Over half of companies only made one or two attempts to contact our secret shopper before giving up.
  • Roughly 30% of tech companies delivered a personalized touch that included five personalization elements. Half made minimal attempts to personalize their messages by including the lead’s name in the introduction and nothing else.
  • Just 12% of companies sent emails that consistently landed in the Primary Inbox. The lion’s share of companies (48%) sent emails landing consistently in the Promotions or Social folders.
Technology
Promptness
25% A (0-5 mins)
12% B (6-60 mins)
9% C (1-8 hrs)
6% D (9-24 hrs)
48% F (>24 hrs)
Persistence
5% A (optimal: 11-15)
9% B (suboptimal: 7-10 / 16-20)
24% C (excessive: 3-6 / 21+)
57% D (too few: 1-2)
6% F (none: 0)
Personalization
29% A (5 elements)
6% B (4)
4% C (3)
10% D (2)
51% F (0-1)
Performance
12% A (Primary)
27% B (Mix)
8% C (Mix)
48% D (Promo)
5% F (Spam)

The Technology industry scored points for their speedy and persistent follow-up over our other two industries. To improve their sales effectiveness, businesses in the tech space need to put greater emphasis on personalizing their outreach.

The Telecommunications Industry

Only 4% of the Telecommunications companies we studied earned an overall A grade. This implies that the Telecommunications industry lacks the tech enablement they need to effectively follow-up with leads and prospects.

These organizations likely had their own internal challenges, such as matching Sales team capacity to increased demand for their services, difficulty transitioning employees to remote work, or budgetary concerns. However, this makes the case for a digital-first communication strategy all the more crucial.

Here’s are some highlights from our report:

  • While 17% of telecoms promptly followed up with our secret shopper in under 5 minutes, the vast majority (63%) took more than 24 hours to deliver their first touch. Many took more than a week to deliver their first touch. And 6% didn’t reach out at all.
  • The Telecommunication industry fell behind in Persistence with 77% attempting to reach our secret shopper twice or less before giving up.
  • When it comes to Personalized outreach, 16% of companies hit all five elements, while 65% didn’t personalize anything outside of the lead’s first name.
  • 58% of companies received a D grade for emails landed in the Promotions or Social folders and 6% of companies received an F grade for the majority of the messages landing in the Spam folder. Only 9% of companies consistently landed in the Primary folder.
Telecommunications
Promptness
17% A (0-5 mins)
12% B (6-60 mins)
5% C (1-8 hrs)
4% D 9-24 hrs)
63% F (>24 hrs)
Persistence
1% A (optimal: 11-15)
3% B (suboptimal: 7-10 / 16-20)
19% C (excessive: 3-6 / 21+)
71% D (too few: 1-2)
6% F (none: 0)
Personalization
16% A (5 elements)
6% B (4)
7% C (3)
6% D (2)
65% F (0-1)
Performance
9% A (Primary)
24% B (Mix)
3% C (Mix)
58% D (Promo)
6% F (Spam)

To improve sales effectiveness, the Telecommunications industry should consider adopting new technologies to help them deliver prompt, persistent, and personalized messages at scale.

The Media & Entertainment Industry

Our initial assumption was that Media & Entertainment companies would be the least likely to respond since in-person events were suspended during the time of our study. Surprisingly, the Media & Entertainment industry performed highest across two of the 4Ps (Personalization and Performance), with 6% of companies in this industry achieving an overall A grade. Perhaps these businesses recognized the importance of keeping their fans engaged during uncertain times.

Here’s a breakdown of the Media & Entertainment industry across the 4Ps:

  • The Media & Entertainment industry came in second for A grades in Promptness with 19% (for responding in 5 minutes or less) and the lowest for F grades at 39% (taking over 24 hours to respond).
  • Persistence is one area where companies fell behind with zero earning an A grade. The vast majority (70%) made only one or two attempts to contact our secret shopper before giving up.
  • Personalization is where these companies really succeeded with 39% earning an A grade for including all five elements. Although, almost an equal percentage (40%) earned a D grade for only including two elements.
  • Due to these companies focusing on Personalization, Performance was similarly high with 14% earning an A grade for consistently landing in the Primary folder. Half of the companies surveyed (49%) used a hybrid strategy of promotional emails that were still personalized enough to favor the Primary folder.
Media & Entertainment
Promptness
19% A (0-5 mins)
12% B (6-60 mins)
17% C (1-8 hrs)
13% D (8-24 hrs)
39% F (>24 hrs)
Persistence
0% A (optimal: 11-15)
4% B (suboptimal: 7-10 / 16-20)
26% C (excessive: 3-6 / 21+)
70% D (too few: 1-2)
0% F (none: 0)
Personalization
39% A (5 elements)
13% B (4)
5% C (3)
4% D (2)
40% F (0-1)
Performance
14% A (Primary)
49% B (Mix)
1% C (Mix)
36% D (Promo)
0% F (Spam)

Media & Entertainment businesses can boost their sales effectiveness by delivering more touches to their leads and prospects.

Improve Sales Effectiveness With an Intelligent Virtual Assistant

Consistently delivering prompt, persistent, and personalized outreach to leads and prospects is a must for any business. But it’s not easy to scale effective lead follow-up with people power alone. To help Sales teams work every lead to the fullest, organizations ought to consider augmenting their workforces with an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA).

An Intelligent Virtual Assistant combines the scalability of intelligent automation with the human-like touch of Conversational AI. By automating personalized outreach that is always prompt, persistent, and polite, IVAs act as virtual teammates helping Sales teams acquire revenue opportunities and increase capacity. IVAs always follow best practices and drive leads to take the next best action (such as scheduling a meeting with your sellers).

If your organization is struggling with the 4Ps of sales effectiveness, consider bringing on an Intelligent Virtual Assistant to scale your outreach.

Want to see how your business stacks up against the 4Ps? Explore the 2020 Sales Effectiveness Report from Conversica.