I find the bulk of my success as an Enterprise SDR is predicated on my ability to craft insights-based messages that convert into offline conversations.
While I do believe a multi-pronged approach including phone, email, and social touches is the best way of trying to get a meeting, I do find the bulk of my Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) come from LinkedIn messages and emails.
I’d like to share my methodology so you & your sales teams can immediately generate pipeline.
Here’s how I do it:
START BY UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUYER
Before you can craft the perfect message, you need to take a step back and consider how intimately you understand your buyer. At Sales for Life, I target 3 personas: Sales Leaders, Marketing Leaders, and Sales Enablement Professionals.
The Marketing team created these 3 buyer personas so they could create content that peaks the interests of the right people. Similarly, I have used their personas to gain an understanding of my buyers, their needs, wants, troubles, and growth obstacles.
As a sales professional deeply invested in mastering my craft, I try to read a new book every two weeks. Trish Bertuzzi’s “The Sales Development Playbook” is a great read that walked me through every aspect of sales development from hiring, managing, to training SDRs. There is a particular exercise she outlines called “Prospect Personas,” where you take marketing buyer personas to the next level. I completed this exercise to uncover my prospect’s biggest fears, consequences of maintaining status quo, and the biggest win we can deliver for them.
The better you understand your buyer, the better chance you have of being able to anticipate their needs and provide a solution that perfectly addresses each one.
FIND THE RIGHT INSIGHTS BY SOCIALLY SURROUNDING
Now that you understand your buyer’s challenges & needs, you need to find a piece of insight that actually proves you understand them.
Socially Surrounding is a method for leveraging social platforms & tools to stay up-to-date on everything happening in your buyer’s world. The best tools for mechanizing this are: Owler, Google Alerts, Twitter Lists, and LinkedIn Navigator Updates.
You must socially surround a prospect at 3 Levels:
Individual: By following your buyer on LinkedIn & Twitter, you can figure out what they are engaging to get an idea of what they are interested in. Also try to determine if your prospect is mentioned in an article or wrote a blog post themselves, great opportunity for a conversation starter!
Company: Insights on a company really depends on the size of the organization. For example, most of the accounts I’m going after are publicly traded and thereby publish their financials in the 10K filing & annual report. Check out the “Management’s discussion & analysis section” to uncover their goals, revenue generation strategies, and key growth areas. If you aren’t targeting a publicly traded company, your next best bet for finding insights are in press releases, newly appointed leader articles, funding announcements and company blog posts.
Industry: Your best bet for industry news is through credible business publications and reports from data & research companies (I.e. Forester, Aberdeen, MHI, McKinsey, Gartner, Etc.)
After you begin socially surrounding your buyers, you’ll uncover insights that:
A) Put you in the shoes of the buyer so you can anticipate their needs; or
B) Are worthy of sharing to educate your buyer, and position yourself as a trusted advisor (provide value).
BUILD YOUR MESSAGE
You should now understand your buyer, and have found insights worthy of sharing or sparking a conversation. Let’s move on to building the actual message:
Subject Line: They aren’t even going to open your email/InMail unless they're intrigued by your Subject Line. It is essentially the first impression a buyer gets of you. To ensure the buyer opens it, make it seem relevant and not spammy. Mention their name, an interest of theirs, the name of their competitor; any tidbit of information that will spark an interest or curiosity.
Opener with Personalization: State your name, and now give them some context into why you’re reaching out, and prove you’ve done your research. Reference a specific piece of content you found from socially surrounding them. This part separates your message from the other dozen emails they get a day from salespeople doing a feature dump or hard sell using a template.
Impact/Value Statement: This is where you address the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?). Talk about what you can do for them referencing specific case studies, facts or clients. Include a statistic and a timeframe, here’s a great template from Jill Konrath on how to craft a killer Value Statement.
Call To Action: You need to end the message with a question asking them to take a specific action. If this is your first email, I’d advise against a hard sell and start with a question to further qualify them. Otherwise ask for a time to talk and reference 2-3 specific times you are available to chat. If you really want to make it easy, just give them a calendly link so they can book a time themselves.
EXAMPLE OF WHAT TO DO:
One of my target accounts is Workday, so I listened to their Q1 Earnings call recording where I uncovered some insight I added into the body of the email:
“Subject Line: Learning & Planning Pipeline in FY 2017
I listened to the 2017 Q1 earnings call, where Aneel & Phil mentioned more growth is needed for the learning & planning pipelines. Social selling will enable your sales org to self-generate incremental pipeline in these areas, which will enhance Workday’s ability for larger transactions.
Companies like Oracle, SAS, and CA Technologies have leveraged our Social Selling Methodology to:
Increase pipeline by 20%+ within 12 months.
Unify sales & marketing to accelerate revenue.
Drive accountability through leadership buy-in and measurement.
Let’s connect to review 2016 priorities, and collaborate on the digital transformation we are seeing across enterprise sales & marketing organizations.
Can we carve out 15 minutes on [Date1] or [Date2]?”
Crafting the right messaging is all about creating value for your buyer. If you don’t understand your buyer from all fronts — industry, company and individual — then you won’t have any luck enticing them. The trick is to do your research, and craft messaging around that.