3 Ways To Earn Your Prospects’ Attention

How many emails have you gotten that look like this?

Hey Mark R!

I think my company can help LeadUp, LLC reach its goals this year. Because you are a Co-founder, I thought you might be the one with LeadUp, LLC’s budget for my company’s services!

Let’s chat Friday or Monday to see how much of LeadUp, LLC’s budget I can wrestle away from you, Mark R!

Regards,

Buddy

As you’re probably aware, the template used looked something like this:

“Hey {{first_name}}!

I think my company can help {{company}} reach its goals this year. Because you are a {{title}}, I thought you might be the one with {{company}}’s budget for my company’s services!

Let’s chat {{1_business_day_from_now}} or {{2_business_days_from_now}} to see how much of {{company}}’s budget I can wrestle away from you, {{first_name}}!

{{SDR_name}}

There are more platforms and tools available to help sales reps scale outreach efforts than ever before (Salesloft, Outreach.io, Replyapp), and these new sales super-powers should be used for good! When abused, however, it also creates email cacophony and it’s hard to cut through the noise when it’s already deafening.

Although sales people still face plenty of challenges related to Ideal Customer Profile creation and Buyer Persona segmentation, it’s a safe assumption that decision-makers are receiving more emails than ever, with {{dynamic_tags}} intended to add “personalization” to otherwise generic offers with bland calls to action.

The Cure For Poor Outreach

Over the last year, we’ve seen it all, made lots of mistakes, learned, and evolved. Here are three recommendations for delivering relevance with every outbound communication.

Educate Don’t Inundate

Our team’s thinking is constantly evolving (ideally at a pace just ahead of our clients’ needs!) and has recently been impacted by thought leadership from Jacco van der Kooij. I highly recommend any organization spend the $60-90 on his book Blueprints for a Saas Sales Organization.

However you approach prospects (eg: email, phone calls, social touches, content marketing, or any combination), prospect communication isn’t about you. Through trial and error, we’ve landed on an 80:20 ratio of targeted research and understanding of a prospect’s need paired with shared content and a request for a call where we offer to share helpful insights based on our similar client experience.

Our goal is to attract prospects that will benefit from our insights. These are surely the most likely to convert into customers, but modern sales conversions operate on the prospect’s timeline and are delivered to the best educators rather than traditional closers.

Do Your Homework

One of the more successful shifts our team has made for our clients and for our own outreach relates to the qualification process.

We admittedly backed into this finding, but our early process included standard discovery call questions related to identifying our prospects’ ideal customers, targeted buyer personas, value proposition, etc. We found, however, that despite a strong outline for guiding prospects through this call path to ascertain mutual fit, we came into calls underprepared to aggressively qualify mutual fit and educate adequately.

Our evolved process involves more homework in both outreach and qualification stages. Rather than following a standard script and forcing our AE’s to improvise on discovery calls, they are required to prepare the following:

  • Identify prospect’s value proposition
  • Find 2-3 logos or case studies from their website
  • Create example scenarios based on research where our process could uncover more of the same types of clients

This process accomplishes all of the tactical advantages of a discovery call sheet. You cannot make an educated guess on a prospect’s value proposition if you haven’t visited their website, read their “About” section, or looked through case studies and client logos that they want visitors to see. Thinking through an applied scenario or two forces AE’s to both ask themselves obvious questions and ask prospects more thoughtful questions once on the actual call.

When forced to push beyond the tactics, however, you create real value for prospects. AE’s are always looking to be viewed as strategic resources, but so few actually accomplish this. With AE’s doing the tactical homework and thinking about strategic alignment (via a standard framework), they are much more likely to deliver a valuable thirty minutes to a prospect and receive the first call when it’s time to make a purchase.

Lead With Process

We created LeadUp based on a fundamental assumption:

“A poor process executed consistently beats a brilliant idea with no follow through – always.”

Early on, we adopted what we’ve termed an assumption-based model of outreach. By targeting companies that fit an ideal customer profile (ICP) and segmenting buyer personas (BP’s), well-written messages are more likely to find prospects compelled to act on a good value proposition and a strong call-to-action.

We have learned, however, that a research-based model of outreach that is surrounded with insights is a much stronger process. Similar to the discovery call adaptation that we implemented internally, we shifted resources to deliver relevant insights to targeted people rather than conducting outreach based on broad assumptions.

People implicitly recognize that current process is a reflection of future process (or lack of process). In a sales context, if the handoff from an SDR to the AE is clunky or uncomfortable, it’s reasonable to assume implementation will also be clunky. Conversely, beginning a conversation based on a process of research and delivering insights sets the table for a partnership of shared insights and continuous improvement.

I hope this is helpful as your own sales process evolves. What immediately jumps out as aligned with your team’s work? Where do you disagree?

If you like this post, please let us know and share your experience in the comments! I look forward to learning from you.