Looking for inspiration for cold emailing? Check out what marketers do!
Outbound sales professionals can apply best practices from the world of marketing.
To an outsider, sales & marketing seem to be the different sides of the same coin. Both are trying to achieve the same objective - more revenue. Yet, their approaches are very different, especially in the B2B SaaS industry. For one, they come in at different stages of the sales funnel. Marketing is about increasing awareness and discovery of your product, while sales comes in at the consideration & decision stages. Naturally, marketing teams target volume and sales teams target precision.
The lines are blurring though. Account-based marketing is on the rise, bringing in more elements of precision to marketing messaging. The growing trend of revenue operations is also aimed at greater alignment between sales and marketing and giving prospects a seamless experience. According to a study, in the past 18 months, VP of Revenue Operations titles increased by 300%.
The environment is ripe for the teams to learn from each other. Here are 4 marketing best practices that can make salespeople’s outreach messaging more effective:
1. Know your customers
According to a HubSpot report, almost 65% marketers create content for 3 or more personas, highlighting the importance of a high degree of customization. When you are doing cold outreach, you need to adapt the same approach and modify your sales copy according to the audience. Think about how well you know your target persona - do you have insights into their interests, lifestyle, age, gender, geographic location, demographic, psychographic, and behavior? After all, you are trying to build a relationship with a person at this stage.
Bonus tip: Go through correspondence with customers with a similar persona, and pick up the words and language that they use. Use the same language in your email copy to make an instant connection. You could also use tools like Mesg.ai to ensure your sales copy is hitting all the right spots for your buyer’s persona. Speaking of copy…
2. Optimize your copy for SEO
64% of marketers actively invest time in search engine optimization, and so should you when writing a cold email. You may wonder why you should worry about SEO, since SEO is aimed at discovery. Fair enough. Now consider what happens when your prospect gets the email. Before deciding whether or not to engage with you, many will Google. If your email has keywords for which your marketing team has optimised SEO, you’ll be easier to find and would seem more credible. You’ll also get closer to a response.
3. Tell a story
A common narrative about B2B sales is that decisions are made using logic, and not emotions, unlike in B2C sales. This is only partially true - sure, at the decision stage, executives consider efficiency and financial incentives like ROI. But in the early stages of the buying process, they are looking at the story that you’re telling, and whether or not your product is the hero(ine). So, resist the temptation to use ROI language in your sales email, and tell the story of your happiest customer.
Bonus tip: Your customers care the most about their customers. So, if you can, tell the story of your customer’s customer and ensure your product is the hero(ine).
4. Don’t shoot in the dark - use data
One of the top skills sought in marketers is A/B testing. A typical marketing campaign begins with A/B testing creatives at first and then investing in the ones that have more impact. You may wonder if you can apply this in sales - after all, every lead is precious and there is little room for experimentation. This is when you could use technology that analyses hundreds of emails to give you insights on things like which tone, which CTA and what type of subject line will work best for which persona. Is the analytical tone really the best for addressing a head of marketing in Germany? What’s the optimal length for addressing a CEO in the UK? Mesg.ai is one such tool that uses data to help you draft the right message, every time.
As an outbound salesperson, you can learn a lot from marketers to become more efficient in your cold outreach:
- Know and understand your target persona well
- Optimise your email for SEO and discovery
- Use stories, and not ROI language, to get a response
- Use data to sharpen your sales message