The work from home revolution means that sales teams are using email as their primary form of customer and lead communication.
No matter where you or your sales leads are based, you can use email to get in touch with them and start a conversation.
If you’re trying to implement an effective sales strategy in your company and want to harness the power of email, this article has all the info you need to execute with success.
I’m going to walk you through:
- Why your sales team should be using email
- Techniques to close more deals over email
- How to improve your sales email productivity
By the end, you’ll be ready to hit send on your first campaign and be confident that your team is extracting the maximum from email as a sales channel.
Let’s dive in.
Email is Becoming The New Normal for Sales Interactions
In the past, you may have relied heavily on in-person meetings and calls to connect with new prospects. However, according to a Gartner survey conducted in June 2020, 82% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home. As employers move toward a hybrid workforce, email has risen in popularity and is increasingly the primary form of lead and customer communication. In fact, 78% of companies surveyed this year have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.
Even without COVID, email stats are staggering.
Connect with Anyone, Anywhere
306.4 billion emails are sent and received every day.
Over 20% of people check their email more than 5x per day.
Most professionals rely on their inbox for everything from:
- Personal productivity
- Keeping up with post-meeting actions
- Connecting with inside and outside stakeholders
If they see an email from you or someone on your team, chances are, they’re going to read it.
If you can identify someone as a qualified prospect for your product/service, you’ll probably be able to easily find their email and send a message directly to them. No gatekeepers, and no delay in sending.
It’s also a perfect channel for connecting with remote workers. If someone is working from home, they probably won’t have their company phone at hand, or if they do, it may be a mobile instead of the direct dial to their desk.
If you were cold calling them, it might end up on voicemail. However, they’ll still receive your email, and you’ll have the chance to start a conversation with them.
Make sure your emails are compliant with local and international laws around cold emailing. If they are, you’re good to go.
Emails is a Great Lead Generation Channel
89% of marketers say that email is their primary lead generation channel.
It’s direct, personal, and easy to scale. You can connect with people you’ve never even spoken to, and create effective nurturing sequences to help close more deals.
There’s no reason why email shouldn’t work for your business too.
Eight out of ten prospects prefer to talk to sales over email instead of over the phone or in-person.
Replying to an email requires a lower amount of time and energy investment than attending a video or in-person meeting, so if your email isn’t urgent, it’s a great way to show people that you respect their time.
Sales Productivity Booster
After a few hours of cold calling, your sales team will start to get tired.
Cold calling is a good way to engage with new leads, but, it’s time and energy-intensive.
You’ll inevitably end up trying to get around gatekeepers, getting to voicemail, or calling out-of-date numbers.
Luckily, your team can use email to connect with more leads in less time.
Any good email outreach tool will enable your team to send emails at scale, easily manage conversations, and create automated follow-up sequences.
You’ll be able to talk to more decision-makers in less time, making it a valuable channel for any sales team.
How to Close More Deals Over Email
If you’re already testing email as a sales and marketing channel, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing everything right.
Look for parts of your process where small changes can make a big impact and deliver good returns.
Here are some areas where that’s possible:
Optimize Your Email Copy
No matter how good your product/service is and how much it will help someone, if you don’t catch their attention, they won’t reply.
Make sure your email copy, including your subject line, is relevant, interesting, and personalized.
Simply personalizing your subject line is enough to increase open rates by 22%.
Keep it brief, too.
Shorter subject lines that directly address a pain point will be more effective than a longer, fluffy subject line that doesn’t instantly address a pain point.
As well as that, keep your email body-friendly and relevant.
Prove that you’ve done your research on your prospect by personalizing your email. That said, you don’t need to go over the top. After all, they’ll know it’s a sales email.
Always Follow-Up and Get More Replies
One of the great things about email as a sales tactic is that you can consistently follow-up without being irritating. If someone was receiving a phone call from you every few days, they’d start to get annoyed.
But if you’re just sending a friendly email, they need to spend less time reading it and can make a decision on their own terms.
A study from Woodpecker found that sales campaigns with 4-7 follow-ups have a 3x higher reply rate than campaigns with 1-3 emails.
Make your follow-up emails relevant, and touch on pain points that you’re sure your prospect is having.
Remember, if someone replies to any of your emails, get back to them ASAP.
Multiple studies have found that over 50% of sales go to the first company to respond.
If your competitors respond to an interested lead before you do, you’ll lose out.
Defined Call-To-Actions in Each Email
According to Ray Edwards, you should treat every email you send like a “miniature sales letter” with a clear call-to-action.
If your prospects don’t have a clear way to take the next step, you can lose the sale simply due to confusion.
At the end of every email, include a question, or the next step.
- Is this something you’re interested in learning more about?
- Book a time on my calendar here
- Have you already solved this problem?
- Do you have 15 minutes free this week to chat?
Unless you’ve got a good rapport with your lead already, make it something easy to accept. A quick call or a simple question will work well.
Don’t Underestimate Your Time to Reply
Another lever you can pull to close more deals over email is to respond quickly to every inbound email.
If your sales team can send more emails and respond faster, they’ll have more conversations with interested leads, leading to new business being closed.
There are a few ways to increase sales productivity.
Firstly, make sure your team has the tools they need. No one should be manually sending emails out – they should have access to an outreach tool that helps them send and personalize messages at scale.
Second, create a knowledge-base that sales have access to. This can include technical details on your product/service, details on discounts or incentives they can offer to prospects, and information about your product roadmap.
Your team will be regularly asked questions over email, and you don’t want to have them waiting for other people in your company to reply with the information they need. Give your team quick access to information and they’ll be able to respond faster with more relevant information.
Finally, try using an email reply time monitoring tool. This will help your team focus on their KPIs and help you to track their performance.
You can set target reply times, and then see detailed analytics and reports. Use this data in conjunction with email sending volume to see if your team is optimizing their time and getting the highest ROI out of the email that they can.
Email is a fantastic channel to connect with decision-makers and build relationships.
Your sales team can use email to great effect, particularly if your ideal customers aren’t in the office with access to their usual direct dial.
There are many ways to close more deals over email, and response time tracking is one of them. If your team can be the first to respond to interested leads and always help prospective customers with their questions, you’ll be able to close more business and make email work as a lever for growth.
Barry Blassoples the Head of Sales and Success at timetoreply.
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