Have you ever emailed a prospective client, wondering if she ever opened up your email? Did you email at a good time? When is a good time to follow up? Did you worry whether your message was compelling enough for her to get back to you? Did you know enough about her before you hit send?
If you are in sales, chances are you have had some, if not all, of these thoughts running through your head. Even if you’re not in sales, you may have had them trying to pitch something. So, read on and learn about our recommended must-have email tools for sales reps - tools you should be using in the future.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has made it a lot easier to do your homework before emailing. By reviewing profiles and connections, you can learn a lot about previous jobs and interests, and if you share connections, you can reach out to that person to learn a bit more about your prospective client before emailing.
The key to getting your email opened and read is to have:
- the right timing,
- disruptive content,
- and a compelling offer.
If you miss any of these important factors, chances are that your email will end up unread in the waste basket or filed under “Read Later”.
Unfortunately for B2B industrial type businesses, each of the three factors vary from individual to individual. If you’re a sales rep managing accounts, your client base is probably not so large that you can segment your clients into four to five customer personas and automate your emails. Rather, it is more likely that you need to send personalized emails to each and every client in order reach an acceptable hit rate.
Decision makers tend to get a lot of emails and their mental filtering system quickly identifies copy-paste emails and sends them to the waste basket. You really need to have a personal touch with a tailored message in order to be successful.
With that said, this blog post is not a guide to writing disruptive content or how to pitch a compelling offer - we’ll cover that in a later post. Now, let’s get to the 3 much-have email tools for sales reps!
Rapportive by LinkedIn is a plugin for Gmail that show you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. Select an email and on the right hand side, you’ll see information about the person from LinkedIn, including picture, their job, what they do, etc.
Like in LinkedIn, you can see if you have shared connections, but in your inbox you can also see if they are nearby so you can suggest a lunch meeting. Also, the plugin allows you to connect with them on LinkedIn without leaving Gmail. You simply request a connection with one single click without the need for an introduction.
Sidekick by HubSpot is a plugin for Gmail and Outlook that will give you email tracking and live notifications when someone opens or clicks on one of your emails. You’ll know when, how many times, where, and from what device they opened your email.
As a complement to Rapportive by LinkedIn, Sidekick also show you powerful information about your contacts right in your inbox. See your client’s professional history, where they live, mutual contacts, email history and so much more.
With Sidekick, you also get to know your client’s company in seconds. Company profiles are displayed alongside your email, showing you the company's location, number of employees, revenue, industry, key contacts, and much more.
Get Sidekick by HubSpot.
The final must-have email tool is actually something that you can create on your own or get help from us to create. It’s not a plugin but rather you will need your webmaster to get it realized. In the Marketing World, a Landing Page is a stripped down web page where you let your clients access valuable content upon registering with their email address. As an example, you can check out this Landing Page offer to download an Ebook.
There’s no navigation bar or other distractions so the only way to move forward is either to close the window or to sign up. When your client signs up, your website connects their web browser to historical and future traffic on your website so that you can see what they are interested in and tailor your messaging accordingly.
If whatever you are offering behind the registration is compelling enough, using a Landing Page in your email conversation is very effective. First of all, you are (hopefully) providing real value to your client and if your email reaches your client on an early Saturday morning, it may just be the time when your high performing (read busy) client is open to the idea of browsing through a leisurely written Ebook before the family wakes up. Send the same email on a Tuesday morning and it may be going to the “Read Later” folder.
In our experience, content meant for clients in the Industrial B2B sector takes some imagination to produce. It must be written in a light tone while maintaining a credible and independent point of view. Not an easy task if the majority of readers have an engineering degree and love to pick your facts apart. Make sure you double and triple check your data and claims as a mistake may make you the laughing stock of the week or even drag you into a lawsuit.
Done well, one single Ebook may give you something to reference for up to six months and every time you get someone to sign up and they share your Landing Page with colleagues, you get more email addresses that you later can send disruptive and compelling information to.