EP Huddle #31
Salespeople are always looking for the right target list. We always want marketing to generate more high-quality leads for us, and we always want to be on the lookout for the right "timely" opportunity.
There are a variety of ways to generate quality leads. One very under-utilized strategy is to use Google Alerts to set-up automatic emails to come to your inbox highlighting potential sales leads that fit your target market. Here are a few examples of how we use Google Alerts at Engaged Prospect to get a list of prospects to target.
1. We are partnered with a service based company that sells to law firms, insurance companies, banks and human resource professionals. One of our most profitable services helps attorneys during large cases and class-action law suits, and also during the jury selection process before trial. To effectively target these specific types of cases, we have Google Alerts set-up to email us every time a new article is published about one of these specific cases. Every day an email is sent from Google (to an email folder in our Gmail account that bypasses the inbox). These emails announce class-action case filings, jury selection timelines, etc. We can then open the article and see who the attorneys are, and what firms they represent. There's our list of targets for these special projects.
2. Engaged Prospect helps small and midsize businesses develop, implement and execute their sales program. See our services. Our target market ranges from startups or small businesses that don't yet have a sales team (but need one) to midsize companies who have a sales department, but still need to grow or fix a fundamental flaw in their process. We use Google Alerts to send poignant articles about companies that are launching sales departments, startups that recently acquired funding, etc. This gives us unique positioning to approach our prospects with advanced information, in a very timely way that helps us generate conversations.
I've Googled "How to set-up Google Alerts". Here is the link for getting started. www.google.com/alerts
As a team:
What key categories in your industry should you follow? What key targets do you want to track and have notification if something major is announced, or changes? You can also set-up Google Alerts to specifically track people. Are there any key people in your industry that you should follow?
Discuss as a team how you can create Google Alerts to help generate emails to provide timely and specific updates on key targets.
EP Huddle #28
Selling a complex service or product typically requires conversations with various levels of decision makers. In most sophisticated organizations, sales reps must engage people who control the money, end users who will ultimately implement a solution, and various other people such as IT professionals who will oversee the technology integrations.
Because there are so many layers of people who will have an influence in a decision, it's important to understand what makes each individual tick.
For instance, in an education sale, here are a few key decision makers and some of the things they're interested in:
Top district administration: These folks are interested in data and lots of it. They want to know what that what they're buying will improve student scores. And, they want to make sure the solution is within their key strategic goals for the next several years.
School administration: School level administrators want to know the same things as the district leaders. But, they also want to make sure the implementation won't negatively affect their teachers or on-ground technical team. Is it easy to implement? How will we train our staff to use this new product?
Department leaders: These folks are all about the product, the pedagogy behind the product, and specifically how the instructional tools will impact students while using proven methods of teaching.
IT/Technology: Anyone who helps the technical integration will need to know exactly how this solution will impact their bandwidth, systems and helpdesk. They need to see spec sheets and know how to work within a new product to make sure it's always working. Oh, and students (and teachers) typically don't have control over the machines. So, the tech team will need an implementation plan to quickly install and manage the program.
Teachers: Teachers are a catch-all of the above information, and they'll also require the "how does this affect me" information. They are the end-user, and therefore will need to be sold on the reasons why they should change what they're currently doing (or have done for years). Teachers, like all other end-users will really need to have buy-in or else you'll see the implementation fail, and as a result, any chance for a renewal sale in the future.
As a team:
Who are the key decision makers in your industry? How do you communicate with each group during the sales and on-boarding process? Do you involve them up-front? If not, consider it. If you do, how do you align your messaging to properly fit within the key information they're looking at to make a decision?
EP Huddle #17
Email open rates are an important metric in sales and marketing. Several factors influence open rate such as industry, frequency of email (1st email to a prospect vs. 20th newsletter to a great customer), personal email vs. marketing email and many other factors.
Consider this quick tip to improve your email open rate, no matter what other variables are in play.
Call them either a day or two before the email, or a day after. We've monitored email open rates over the course of several years with hundreds of thousands of phone calls and emails. Email campaigns that are tied to a recent phone call are opened 4 times more than emails alone.
Reference your call in the email subject line, and it's very likely that your email open rates will increase dramatically.
As a team:
How will your team commit to this idea? How will you measure improvements? As you think about this tip, consider ways that you can increase your outbound call counts to try and connect with prospects/customers receiving marketing emails that are sent directly from sales.
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