Five Questions To Ask Before Making Direct Mail a Part of your B2B Sales Prospecting Cadence
By Paroma Sen, Director-Content at SalesTechStar/iTechSeries
Direct mail has been a proven ROI driven marketing and sales touch point in B2B over the years. When used with the right tactics and at the right time, direct mail can help drive more results from a typical B2B sales prospecting process. The challenge lies in knowing what to send when and learning how to capitalize on the potential ROI that this channel can offer.
While most B2B sales leaders today support the idea of a direct mail step, not every brand is able to garner the expected goal and result from this mode.
For sales people or sales teams who are still at the cusp of decoding whether or not direct mail can enable their sales prospecting objectives: here are five questions to ask before setting out and implementing it:
What Goal Do you Want To Achieve?
Some brands and sales leaders or business heads might want to use direct mail to nurture and stay in the good books of their top customers. Top customers could mean those who offer repeat business and those that contribute to most of the brand’s income in a given fiscal.
It is common place in B2B to have providers gift special hampers and packages to these top performing customers.
Using direct mail to drive forward a prospecting cycle though is another ball game.
Direct mail can be used as a touchpoint across so many stages in the B2B buying cycle. Identifying a goal first based on aspects like: whether the brand wants to:
–Win a meeting
-Get a prospect onto a discovery call
-Get the prospect to confirm a demo are just some questions to help align a goal to the direct mail outreach.
Knowing what you want to achieve can help integrate a better process by allowing sales teams to then double down on which part of the prospecting step they want to send a gift out at (and why).
What Does your Budget Look Like?
Direct mail automation tools allow admins to set budgets for each sales rep. Before this happens, business leaders across functions need to align on a total budget they would allocate to the direct mail process for a particular quarter or year.
This can further be broken down to allocate slightly higher budgets to top performing sales reps while reducing budgets for others.
Based on the budget, sales people and sales leaders can then decide as to whether this amount should actually be used to drive a direct mail step or whether it can be used for something else
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Does Direct Mail Work For your Industry?
Anything that works well for another brand may or may not work just as well for yours. Understanding whether direct mail has proven ROI in the past for brands in your industry is one of the first steps to assessing whether or not to include it as part of your prospecting cycle.
Sales leaders in B2B tech do often rely on direct mail to drive prospects to agree to a meeting or call. But the onus lies on you to understand whether it can work for you based on your industry and size as well as stage of your business.
BONUS LISTENING: Catch Episode 115 – Direct Mail and its Impact on B2B Marketing and Sales: with Kris Rudeegraap, CEO and co-founder of Sendoso
Is There Something More Effective Than Direct Mail?
For leaner teams with lower budgets, direct mail cadences can include simple e-gifts and vouchers. For slightly larger sales teams, bigger gifts including wine bottles) are commonly relied on.
Understanding budgets can also allow sales people to know what kind of gift they will be able to send as part of their prospecting. But before taking a step, evaluating other options is crucial to ensuring you are in a position to drive true ROI from the whole direct mail send and effort.
Will your Prospects be Okay with Direct Mail?
Often times, to enable actual gift deliveries when the direct mail does not include an e-gift or voucher, sales teams need to use their direct mail automation to get the prospect to share their physical address.
At other times, a gift choice (like a wine bottle) would maybe trigger a negative emotion in a prospect that is a complete teetotaler!
Before implementing direct mail as part of a typical prospecting cadence and more importantly, before choosing what gift to send and at what stage of the buying cycle it should be sent, it is important to understand your prospect: would they be okay with direct mail? Should you send something more neutral? These type of questions can help minimize negative feedback too and prevent prospect churn.
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Direct mail has been proven to boost response rates and overall ROI. But it’s not just about having the right tool or process in place. Understanding your own business challenges, running a couple of trail direct mail campaigns (for instance: by just having top sales performers run it as part of their cadence for sometime) can help ensure a more tighter result driven output down the line.
Direct mail has been a go-to for many ABM leaders and experienced B2B sales heads because it helps brands cut through the noise and initiate a reaction from a prospect, thereby potentially shortening the sales cycle.