In many businesses, the roles of marketing and sales teams are rigidly defined—and quite limited. Marketers in these businesses have the job of generating and nurturing leads, these businesses contend; salespeople run with those leads, hoping in many instances that they’re sales-ready, and that they’ll respond to requests for meetings and sales pitches.
The problem with this model is that members of the sales team are often in a better position (because they’re on the front lines) to gauge when, and for what reason, a prospect needs to be communicated with.
For example, while the marketing team probably won’t know that a prospect called the salesperson that morning trying to gather some additional information about products or services, the salesperson does. Should that salesperson based on defined roles ignore the request, or simply push it back to the marketing team—or should he respond, quickly with the information the prospect is asking for?
Marketers Lay the Foundation—But Salespeople Carry on the Conversations
Your marketing and sales team are both critical to your success, but their work needs to be effectively integrated, and both marketers and salespeople need to be fully empowered. While marketers are adept at generating and nurturing new leads using best practice inbound strategies—and at determining which leads are most sales-ready—salespeople are the ones who actually talk to those leads, set up sales appointments and provide relevant information about products and services based on customer requests.
That means your sales team needs to leverage the most effective communications strategies, ensuring both efficiency and effectiveness. Among the best ways for salespeople to communicate with prospects is with a sound, organized email marketing strategy, one which will boost response rates and drives sales.
That said, here are 4 smart email marketing strategies your salespeople should use to increase response rates and sales:
1. Keep It Short, Simple and Focused
Whether you’re trying to set up a meeting, talk about product features or close a sale, get right to the point and include only the information you need to say what you need to say—generally that means your emails should be no more than 5 or 6 sentences. Avoid long, confusing sentences, obscure concepts and insider jargon, as these tend to turn prospects off. Finally, focus on one concept, and make clear what action (one action, not many) you want the prospect to take, like taking a call or accepting an appointment.
2. Focus on Your Prospect’s Business and Achievements
You might be tempted to go overboard with compliments to boost your prospect’s ego—this is generally a mistake, as most prospects will see through such a transparent ploy. Instead, talk about something specific your prospect has achieved for his business, like a new product launch or a successful conference, to get the conversation going (you can find a wealth of information on his LinkedIn profile).
You might, for example, say, “I caught your presentation at the recent marketing automation conference—what are your thoughts about integrating automation with CRM?” This demonstrates that you know (and care about) your prospect’s business and respect his achievements within the company, both of which will make him more willing to speak with you.
3. Humanize Your Email Marketing with Compelling Visuals
Incorporating visuals—like pictures, memes and engaging video content—can be extremely effective in reinforcing your message, grabbing your prospect’s attention and humanizing you. The more you know about the prospect (typically from researching what’s in his social media posts), the more relevant and effective your visuals will be. Try to make sure whatever visual you use works seamlessly with your messaging and call to action.
4. Don’t Forget Testing and Measurement
You can’t improve your results if you don’t test and measure. This could include A/B testing of email subject lines, content and calls to action, for example. You should also use sound analytics data to determine what’s working and what isn’t, particularly data related to open and response rates for given market segments. Finally, knowing is one thing—acting is another. You need to use the market intelligence you gather to double down on what’s working and eliminate what isn’t.
As consumers have an increasingly large number of options, selling has become more competitive than ever. That means salespeople need to use every tool in their arsenal to succeed. For many, the difference between success and failure is a smart email marketing strategy, one which will increase response rates and drive sales.