As a sales professional, I want to send good karma into the world by responding to all of the emails and calls I receive from sales people. I mean, isn't it hypocritical for me to get angry when prospects do not call or email me back if I'm not responding to sales reps that are contacting me?
Well, not exactly. I have to tell you, 90% of the time I'm contacted by a sales rep, I do not respond. And, it's not because I don't want to. I really, really do.
But I just can't. Why? Because it's obvious that the person reaching out to me spent exactly zero minutes getting to know anything about me or my business. Instead, it's almost always a boiler plate message that could have been used for any person or company. This is another example of how "one size fits all" fits no one.
Maybe it's just me (but I highly doubt it)- I will NEVER open an email that has been sent through an email marketing system such as Constant Contact if it is the first email I have ever received from that person or company. In fact, I almost always hit "unsubscribe".
Effective prospecting takes time, and in order to catch your prospects' eyes, you need to stand out. And the best part is, it's actually really simple to do just that. All it takes is some basic researching skills.
Tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator are incredibly powerful platforms that enable you to leverage critical information. If you don't want to pay for subscription-based information, however, there are plenty of free sources to use, such as your prospects' website, 10K reports (if they are a public company), Google News, etc.
Your message to your prospect should include three simple attributes.
- Why the heck did I specifically choose to call or email you?
- Why am I doing so now?
- A simple call to action
I sell solutions to PR professionals, so my message may look something like this:
There are many arguments on how you should position your company and its value, but I have found that as long as the above three steps are followed, and your message is kept shorter (vs. longer), success will follow.
Unfortunately, there are still many sales managers that heavily (and in my opinion, incorrectly) focus on the total number of initial attempts a sales rep makes in a day. I remember speaking with a sales manager at a company with a complex sales cycle that said he requires his sales reps to make 60-70 calls per day. In most situations, a number like this is simply not feasible if you're reaching out to prospects in an effective manner by using quality messaging.
I find 20-25 high quality prospect attempts per day is certainly doable. Here's hoping your sales manager focuses on the most important sales KPI's like conversion rates, average sales price, and initial conversations.