It’s not getting any easier for sales and marketing teams to capture prospects’ attention. In response to our increasingly digital existence, marketers have adjusted their strategies. For example, 55% of brands are emailing customers more often since the start of the pandemic. But a crowded customer inbox means it’s much harder for sales teams to stand out.
To break through the noise, sales teams must provide prospects with value competitors can’t offer. Sales intelligence tools make this goal achievable — enabling sales teams to make deeper connections with prospects and convert them into customers faster.
Capturing prospects’ attention in the Digital Age
A more competitive attention economy isn’t the only factor working against today’s sales teams — remote work also presents challenges. When teams worked in-office, they could discuss prospects and industry news on the spot. But these casual conversations have all but disappeared with remote work. A lack of casual connections may seem inconsequential at first, but over time disconnected sales teams struggle to maintain high morale and close deals.
Many remote sales teams also lack the numbers to reach more prospects over time. For example, suppose a sales professional can write 10 highly personalized emails a day. Over the course of a week, that employee could only send 50 emails. To expand that number, they would have to sacrifice the quality of their writing or research, both counterproductive to a successful conversion. A combination of disconnected employees and insufficient personnel places a limit on sales teams’ success.
But going back to in-person operations isn’t a quick fix, either. When sales teams worked in-person, cultivating meaningful relationships with prospects was still difficult. Many sales reps lacked access to required internal documents and spent hours performing research on a single prospect, leading to missed sales opportunities.
Sales intelligence tools can help sales teams overcome these connectivity and efficiency hurdles. These solutions streamline research processes, help sales professionals stay in touch, and enable more personalized communication with prospects. When used correctly, they make it easier to capture — and keep — prospects’ attention.
Do’s and Don’ts for developing meaningful prospect relationships
Maximizing the value of a sales intelligence tool requires an understanding of how to impress prospects from their first interaction with your business. Here are a few ways your team can leverage sales intelligence tools to personalize communication with prospects and build lasting relationships from the jump.
- DON’T communicate irrelevant material: Many sales intelligence tools offer users access to prospects’ personal social media accounts. These resources are great for background research, but your team should avoid referencing personal information in prospecting emails. Instead of showing the prospect you care enough to get to know them, overly personal notes can come across as off-putting and unrelated to the point of your email.
You should also avoid communicating general information anyone can find on their own. This includes details like the year your company was founded or your CEO’s name. These details communicate that you’ve conducted minimal research and are likely sending similar cookie cutter emails to other prospects.
DO reference relevant industry and company events: An effective way to stand out in the sea of emails flooding a prospect’s inbox is to offer insights no other sales team can provide. An email that references a combination of prospect, industry, and competitor news provides value by giving the prospect highly relevant insights they might struggle to find elsewhere.
For example, if a prospect announces a new product launch, an effective email could ask how the launch is going and explain how your organization’s product could enhance operations. Or if a competitor announces an expansion to a new location, you could send an email breaking down the current market in that city and region. Ultimately, your goal is to provide value as early as possible in the relationship while maintaining a professional, helpful tone.
- DON’T write something that looks like it came straight off a marketer’s desk: Customers can spot generic marketing emails from a mile away. These emails feature clickbait headlines, familiar sentence structures, and, “Hi (insert first name here)” as their opening line. We’ve all received this type of generic outreach — and we’ve all quickly sent these emails to the trash.
As sales professionals, when we lack the time to craft personalized messages, it’s easy to default to templates. But with sales intelligence tools, the research process is automated and your team gains access to relevant insights you can quickly build effective messaging around. With a unique value proposition, you’ll have a better chance of standing out in the crowd — and avoiding an automatic delete.
- DO aim for a personalized, conversational tone: Seventy-one percent of consumers say a personalized experience influences their decision to open and read emails from brands. At the end of the day, prospects are less likely to read your email if they think you’re sending the same communications to a dozen other companies.
To create a personalized experience, write with a single end user in mind. Every sentence of your copy should target this end user and the unique problems their company faces. As the interaction continues beyond the initial email, your team should also build on details you’ve discussed in earlier communications. Continuing to surface relevant insights will establish a foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.
In 2022, an intentional email marketing approach can make the difference between being another vendor in a prospect’s inbox and becoming a trusted partner. While this standard can be difficult to achieve in a noisy digital environment, sales intelligence tools optimize the research process and make it easier for your team to develop meaningful prospect relationships.