Ankesh is an inventor, entrepreneur, leader, husband, father, and friend. He has started numerous companies, taking two companies from zero to $20 million+, and raised over $50 million in venture funding. Google purchased Ankesh’ third company’s Internet Protocol.
Sharetivity helps Salespeople remain current on “Intelligent Outreach.” The term applies to finding news or social content for salespeople so they may properly connect with their prospects. The software provides a more personalized approach that leads to a deeper engagement with their prospects.
Outreach is the most challenging task a salesperson does.
If you ask me to get in a room with prospects and network, I’m like a kid in a candy store. If it’s giving a sales pitch, I’m in my element. Even entering notes in the CRM is not hard, just very boring.
The challenge I find is when I know I have a product or service that my prospect will love, is frustration in not being able to pitch them. Starting and continuing the dialogue with a prospective client makes the outreach the toughest part of sales.
The questions become:
- How do we send a powerful introductory email
- How do we send a nurturing email to a prospective client overwhelmed by Salespeople like me?
There are two scenarios we should discuss:
- The cold introductory email
- The nurturing or checking-in email.
Both have one similarity, we are looking for a response, more information, a meeting request or referral. The practice is not a branding exercise. To that end, the email has to stand out from the hundreds already in your prospects’ inbox.
So we know “Checking in” emails are not the way to go. I think prospects have a filter on the phrase “Just Checking in”… Straight to spam!
More recently companies like Outreach.io and Salesloft have developed technology for sequenced or automated email sending. These products certainly help with the time it takes to manually email prospects. And they provide templates based on successful subject lines and content.
In many ways, they are a victim of their success. Since it’s so easy to send email templates, there is a tendency to deliver many more.
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. They are getting six sequenced emails from only you. Now let’s assume 3-4 salespeople are sending them 6+ sequenced emails.
The number of email in one’s inbox can be both overwhelming and irritating. They soon figure out the catchy, subject lines are programmed.
Listen, it works so I don’t want to be too disparaging, but I do believe there’s a lifespan to these approaches. Remember when Groupon and LivingSocial started Daily Deals emails. Then everyone else followed and our inboxes got pummeled. Where are those guys now?
Sales have always been about relationships.
In the old days before computers, we used to have Rolodexes with our prospects’ contact information including their family birthdays. On a special day, the first thing we used to do in the morning was to call wishing them a happy celebration.
Today’s Intelligent Outreach
In today’s world where there is so much more information about your prospects and their companies online, there is a better way is to be more personalized in your outreach. We like to think about it as, “Intelligent Outreach.”
Most good salespeople try to do this, but it’s time-consuming, bouncing around social sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google. If you’re a hardcore salesperson, much time is spent testing Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Medium, Spotify, SnapChat, anything to get an edge.
Do you know there are over a billion people on social sites not called LinkedIn Twitter and Facebook? Many of those billion profiles are your prospects. Lazy salespeople, solely focus on LinkedIn, since researching other platforms is immensely time-consuming.
For additional insight Read:
- 3 Takeaways from Salesforce’ State of Sales Research Report
- How to Kick Off Your Small Business Dream
- Do You Maintain A Complementary Pipeline of Opportunity?
While we’re on the subject of finding social content as Intelligent Outreach, let me address the elephant in the room. Isn’t it a little creepy mentioning a social post a prospect posted?
The general rule of thumb is if it’s public, they probably would be flattered if you mentioned it. You’ve taken the time to read about the person and their post. The fact it’s public indicates the person posting is telling the world ‘look at me.’ Can anyone tell me that people don’t get flattered when their social posts receive likes, comments, i.e., attention?
The above question feeds into a broader discussion about how we as humans need attention.
For now, if something is public, it’s fair game. We each have to make our own decision based on the relationship, the content and how risky we feel. As the millennials with large social footprints get into more senior positions, you will find a much bigger opportunity.
If you want to be risk-free, I have a solution for you. Comment and or share content with your prospect based on the company’s social posts, not on their personal posts.
So what is an Intelligent Outreach solution and what is the benefit?
An Intelligent Outreach Solution would have a stream of all the social posts your prospects, and their companies have posted. Think Facebook, but instead of your friends, posts from Contacts and Companies. There should be some intelligence to let you know when a posting is something of which you really should be aware.
Next, the posting should suggest a personalized response. Even better is to find an interesting article you could share on the subject. All this reduces the challenges of researching and customizing an email.
The next phase of Outreach is here, and it’s Intelligent.
Today’s guest blog is provided to help you achieve The Smooth Sale!
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