How to Stop Bad Sales Email Habits

How many bad sales emails do you receive every week? How many of those do you delete immediately? How do you feel about it? Neutral, annoyed, or even angry? Or did you get used to it and developed a mechanism to move them in the trash folder immediately? Let’s look at this one (company names have been anonymized).

Before we go into the details, let me say this: I don’t want to blame anyone, especially not SDR roles. But useless email practices are a waste of money, time, and resources. They also damage the brand of the organizations they are sent from. So, the impact of poor sales email practices is more significant than just failing to generate leads.

Tamara,

Just reaching out to you to share how we were able to help similar companies like AB, CD, and DE&WW.

Specifically, AB and DE&WW realized an 80% faster consolidation and generation of financial reports. ACME added $20M to their bottom line through joining our Procure-to-Pay service.

I’d love to learn more about your business to see how we could similarly support you. Who is the best person on your team to speak to regarding this?

What’s good about this message?

It’s personalized, and it refers to a business impact that, apparently, could be created with two different services, the company offers. And it’s fairly short!

What’s wrong with this message?

A few things. First of all, the sender of this email apparently did no research about me, my role or what I might care about. It’s a matter of seconds to check out who I work for and what I do. The send could easily learn that I’m an analyst, focused on all things sales enablement. Now, why would anybody send me a prospecting email regarding the consolidation of financial reports and a procure-to-pay service? Clearly, I am not the right buyer role. Even in my role as an analyst, financial reporting and procurement services are not my area of expertise.

To be fair to the sender, this was the third email message I received. The first one was short, only two sentences long (that’s a good thing!), asking for a call to discuss digital transformation. Now that’s very broad and generic. It can mean everything and nothing. And the message, again, had nothing to do with my role. Would I ever make time for a “short” call? No, because this is not for me. It’s as simple as that.

Then, the next message was pretty much the same, but it included the question, who would the right person in my organization be? Again, I will not spend the time to do a salesperson’s job. And this is to do your research BEFORE sending an email or making a call.

Lessons to be learned

  • Do your research FIRST: The impact of a prospecting email that is irrelevant to the recipient is precisely zero. Furthermore, bad messaging also hurts the brand that sends it. Why is this still happening, over and over again? It’s the digital age, the era of social selling, the era of the customer, isn’t it? Why are sellers using tools and approaches that don’t make sense?
  • Personalize AND tailor your message: This is more than using my name. The message should include something that relates to my business role and the potential challenges I could face. In this case, this preparation step alone would have led to the decision not to send me an email in the first place. Or to send a very different one.

Increasing lead generation and lead quality is year over year one of the top goals of sales leaders. However, organizations, from marketing to sales managers to enablement, are often not aligned when it comes to equipping these critical roles appropriately.

  • Enablement: Provide value-based and role-specific messaging templates and related training services.
    Enablement’s orchestrating role of all enablement efforts along the entire customer’s journey includes supporting SDR and business development roles with appropriate value messaging and email templates. Even if these messages are created by marketing, it’s enablement’s responsibility to orchestrate these assets and to ensure that they are consistent with the overall messaging approach that is used throughout the customer’s journey.
  • Sales Managers: Coaching helps to transform bad habits into and more successful ones.
    Coaching on skills and behaviors is relevant along the entire customer’s journey. Coaching is more effective the earlier it begins. Coaching your team out of useless email habits will have a positive and direct impact on the top of your pipeline. Collaborate with enablement to improve the templates at hand. However, it also requires that managing activities evolves into managing the right activities. And that means, quality matters more than quantity. Twenty personalized and tailored email messages are better than fifty useless messages that damage the brand and are just sent to hit an activity number.

Developing business is a critical issue for all sales organizations. Sales and business development roles have a tough job. No doubt. This is why they deserve to be equipped appropriately. These roles have to be set up for success, not for failure or average performance only.

Enablement leaders are best positioned to orchestrate all efforts that have to be done. A close and formalized collaboration with marketing and sales managers is the best prerequisite to improve the relevant enablement services.

Questions:

  • Are your salespeople equipped with appropriate email templates for prospecting purposes?
  • Are your salespeople trained on the need to personalize and tailor email messages to be successful?
  • Are your sales managers coaching along those lines?

 

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