Increase Your Team’s Sales Performance by Integrating Sales Emails into Their Opening Strategy.
In one of my sales coaching sessions, someone asked how to follow-up with a buyer after sending an introductory sales email. He asked because, according to him, no one was opening—let alone reading—his emails.
Here’s the deal. If we strategically combine a sales email with a phone call, we can create a solid framework that works well for opening a sales call and increases your team’s overall sales performance. Incidentally, this strategy also works with direct mail campaigns or as a follow-up to a white paper download.
Structure for Incorporating a Sales Email into Your Team’s Strategy When Opening the Sales Call
When coaching your team on using a sales email this way, remember the following fundamental building block. When your sales team is making their follow-up calls, they need to know enough about their buyer’s organization, business, and challenges to begin a conversation. That’s never going to change in the overall sales strategy. We addressed this in a prior post on using the Affinity Rule to get a buyer’s attention.
However, your sales rep is now using a sales email as a lead-in to the conversation. So, when you help them compose their first draft, make sure the message incorporates relevant information that’s of value to their buyer’s business. In the past, we have used a number of tactics in this email. Highlighting three benefits from our other clients is one that always works well. Another is to use the Impact Statement in email form.
Don’t let Your Salespeople Make the Email the Focus of Their Sales Call
Now, when your salespeople follow-up on that correspondence, the one thing you don’t want them to say is “Hi Bob, did you get my email?”
By asking this yes/no question, your salespeople put the buyer in a state of mind that shuts down any chance of building a conversation. Your salespeople must come to grips with the fact that their buyers don’t care about the email. They aren’t even thinking about the email. By itself, that initial email has no value to the buyer.
So instead of letting your salespeople ask their buyers if they got the email, have your people reference something in that sales email that their buyers will find interesting and relevant. Remember, your people have done their research, so they should have some idea of the challenges facing decision-makers in the buyer’s industry [link to affinity rule]. And those elements should be outlined in their email so they can reference them in their call. For additional ideas on opening your sales call, see this post on 4 Adaptive Selling tactics.
An Example of Opening a Sales Call Referencing an Email
Here’s an example of a call opening referencing an initial, simple email that outlined three ideas pulled from customer interviews.:
I understand that you are the VP of Sales – is that correct?
Bob, in an email I sent your way last week, I outlined three methods our customers have found to help their salespeople improve their effectiveness when selling on the phone. These methods are public speaking programs, taking a psychology class to learn how to ask better questions, and taking an improv class to learn how to speak extemporaneously.
Bob, which one of these methods do you think will best benefit your team?”
With this kind of opening, your salespeople are directing their buyers’ attention. Their buyers are now thinking about the three options your salesperson just offered in addition to how they will affect their team. And if they didn’t read your email, the buyer is now wondering what other business-relevant information is in it.
The sales email, like any white paper, is an entry vector into their relationship with their buyers. The sales email exists to facilitate their conversation, not to be the focus of it. Your people are not selling the email. They are selling themselves, building credibility, and their ability to identify and solve their buyers’ challenges…and thereby increase their sales performance.
Use the Sales Email to Enhance Your Team’s Communication
Here’s the summary: If your salespeople are referencing an email in their sales calls, coach them to talk about items that will focus their prospective buyer’s attention on specific challenges outlined in the email. These conversations will build rapport with your client, increase the number of meetings created, and improve their overall sales performance.
In sales, we use the technological tools to establish and strengthen the human-to-human connection. Be sure to pre-order Lance Tyson’s upcoming book, The Human Sales Factor: The H2H Equation for Connecting, Persuading, and Closing the Deal on Amazon for an in-depth review of additional ways your team can improve their powers of influence.