What’s more effective than an aggressive sales email strategy? Well, not much. Prospecting in B2B sales has become somewhat of an art form and the best salespeople can craft messages that resonate with their buyers while also giving them the competitive advantage over solution alternatives. Working in sales is stressful and managing to these types of expectations is even harder. Not everyone is going to be an award-winning sales rep right out of the gate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tools available for them to get to that point.
Salespeople tend to put so much emphasis on the creation of the words they’re typing to their buyer and forget the fundamentals of what the email is meant to do. The elements that create a successful sales email strategy go beyond the ideation process. You need to have forward-thinking goals with the next parts of the conversation in mind before you even send the first email. That’s why it’s so important to take a look at the elements of what creates successful email prospecting.
Sales Prospecting 101
At its core, sales prospecting is the process of engaging your customers through active channels like phone, email, and social media. You want to be where the most engagement is and take the shortest path to a sale, therefore prospecting isn’t just a process—it’s a mindset. B2B salespeople tend to find the most results when they take a proactive approach to their prospecting.
What does it look like to be proactive?
- Leading the conversation with competitive advantages.
- Using a variety of messaging like texting, video, and social media posts to engage your prospects.
- Creating trust with your prospects through useful and insightful messaging.
- Developing a pathway for your customers to follow as they progress towards a purchase.
This might look different for each sales team, as the most important piece to any sales prospecting practice is the personable feel to your outreach. The less you feel like a robot the better, and the only way to do that is to tweak the prospecting process to fit your specific personality.
It’s no mystery as to why email is still the most preferred method of B2B communication. It provides a small sense of anonymity while also creating a barrier between you and the other person. Email communication allows people to work on their own time and tends to provide for the most accurate information. In sales however, email is looked at with a stigma. To a salesperson, email provides reduced control or security in the conversation and feels like it yields little results. However, it’s all about the process. Yes, email prospecting will always be a slower route to a sale versus having an active conversation over the phone, but it’s also the most reliable way to get in touch with someone. Phone prospecting, over time, is proven to be a more volatile channel of sales, whereas email tends to be a little more predictable.
It’s all about perspective though. If you go into your emailing with a negative mindset, then you’ll probably produce “negative” results. That’s why it’s important to create and follow a process with emailing as that produces a method that can be tested and improved if followed correctly.
This is the framework to a successful B2B prospecting email.
If you target your effort into any one piece of your email, it should be in the subject line. This is the hook that brings your potential customer into a conversation with you. The best way to approach subject line creation is mixing personalization (contact name, business name, industry data) with a short value prop.
Your email should be the space where you build credibility and build the reason why your buyer needs to keep reading. This should be the shortest part of your email as you only need a couple lines to get this point across and lead into the next part.
The value statement is the reason for your email all together. It defines the “why” behind your customer’s needs and challenges. For example, if you know that your product can help expand visibility of cyber security software, then it’s important that you state an aspect of how that product is shaping your industry. A great way to bring value to the prospecting email is to also share use cases like competitors you’re working with or case studies of current customers.
Actionable Next Steps
A somewhat overlooked piece to email creation is the enablement of your prospects. So often, salespeople will rush to set the meeting without building a solid foundation for their leads to live on. You want to make sure you’re providing pathways for your prospects to learn more about your brand and products, so they stay within the sales and marketing ecosystem. The last thing you want to do is ask a “yes or no” question, the prospect says “no,” and you lose touch with them.
Call to Action
This part of the email tends to be the main focus for all sales reps, and rightfully so. It’s the piece that makes or breaks pipeline creation. The important part to a successful CTA is to make it as transactional as possible. Solutions like Calendly allow you to insert your availability right in the CTA and let your prospect choose when they’d like to meet with you.
Prospecting at Scale
As great as it is to spend time building the perfectly crafted email for your top client, at the end of the day, sales is a numbers game. The more people you can actively prospect, the more chances you have of creating an opportunity for new business. As a leader and as a rep, scaling your prospecting email activity should be a primary concern if you’re not already doing it.
Creating resources like playbooks for various sales strategies, and sequences to help guide the rep on what to do next in their day are great ways to enable faster prospecting while still keeping the quality of work. The other part to the scaling process is sales automation. Software like Outreach and Salesloft are great solutions to help your team create quick messaging to targeted customers and leverage personalized data through autofill mapping.
It wouldn’t be B2B sales if you didn’t come across a handful of bad data or unsubscribe responses in your prospecting. Most of the time, this challenge is due to poor email accuracy. Data accuracy in sales can really be broken down into two mindsets:
- Contact data
- Qualified buyer
If you have the correct information for both of those problems, then your email has a higher chance of being opened and interacted with. There are both free and paid solutions to help achieve this status across your sales team. Contact verification software like Hunter.io give quick responses on whether or not your data is correct. However, DemandScience offers a fully scaled solution of sales data that not only provides accurate contact information, but also helps you find the right buyer for each account you have.
Finally, one of the most important pieces when creating a prospecting strategy is to segment your account book based on who has the highest propensity to make a purchase. Chances are, you’re already working with industry-specific segmentation as a leader or a sales rep. It’s pretty common for organizations to break their sales team into various groups. However, you can segment even further by looking at a few account statistics:
- Ideal Customer Profile. Does this account fit the image of a perfect buyer? (Revenue, company size, corporate make-up)
- Competitive Intel. Are they buying from one of your competitors? If so, in what capacity?
- Engaged Buyers. Have you had a conversation with the primary buyer at this account before?
Taking Sales Prospecting to the Next Level
As mentioned, DemandScience’s intelligence solution provides unique insights into your key accounts while scoping the most applicable buyers through intent data verification. As a salesperson, time is the most precious asset you have, and on average, sales reps waste about 60 minutes every day sifting through bad data. DemandScience intelligence can help fix that issue.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can expand your prospecting capabilities, check out DemandScience’s sales solutions today!
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