The Traditional Sales Approach Vs The New Sales Approach: What’s the difference?
The traditional sales approach
The traditional sales approach consists of going after large audiences. And every time you target a segment, you try to get in touch with one person at each company.
And when they don’t respond, you move on to the next one.
This approach makes sense when you have:
- Plenty of leads
- Short sales cycles
- Few decision-makers
- Low competition
This is hardly ever the situation you’re faced with when it comes to landing large accounts.
Under those circumstances, it won’t be enough to simply improve the quality of your emails.
You need to rethink the entire strategy.
The new sales approach
That’s okay. There’s a way to address these difficulties. You need to opt for an account-based approach.
What does “account-based” mean?
Account Based Marketing is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account. (Source)
In other words, you’re going to draw a battle plan for each specific account. You’re going to:
- Target several people in the company
- Use various channels
- Create and share hyper-personalized content
What are the benefits?
Two crucial benefits of ABS are:
A more global approach will let you know faster whether the prospect is a good fit.
Sales and marketing alignment
Cooperation between sales and marketing is central to an account-based approach. Salespeople enjoy the full power of content creation from the marketing department. At the same time, marketers get a better understanding of the target.
This is a radical change from the model where marketing generates leads and passes them on to sales. Here, it’s about working the leads together.
Want to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about account-based marketing.
5 Ways to Maximize your Cold Emailing Game
This new approach is a fantastic opportunity to up your cold emailing game.
Here’s how to make sure you take every chance to make it work.
Note: before you get started, make sure you know the fundamentals of a good email campaign.
1. Personalize for each prospect
If you’re targeting 3 different people, with different jobs, you need 3 different messages.
Because they might all show interest in your product, but for vastly different reasons.
For example, if you’re selling a CRM:
– To a sales rep: It’ll help them work more efficiently and hit their target
– To a sales manager: It’ll help them keep track of their team’s performance and train them better
– To a CEO: It’ll increase profit and keep things organized
By addressing a personal and relevant message to several people, you’re multiplying your points of entry.
An easy way to get started with this is to prepare for each type of persona you’re likely to encounter in the process.
2. Build creative content
Plain text is nice, but you need to stand out.
If you’re working with a marketing team, that’s when you put them to work.
But even if you’re on your own, there’s a lot you can do with little skill.
Add a video
A personalized video is usually a winner as it shows your investment in the process. It will also arouse the curiosity of your prospect.
As a result, it will at least get the conversation started.
Here’s a practical way to do that:
This is solid work because seeing my own website immediately catches my attention. It also shows me they have done their research before reaching out. And seeing the salesperson’s face makes the relationship more personal.
The video itself is short, to the point, and centered on my needs. The fact that the rep mentions my name and my business’s name helps create rapport. Adopting a conversational tone is important as well.
It’s a scalable and personalized approach. You can easily create that type of video with tools like Loom or Vidyard, which both have free plans.
Also, take the time to get to know some best practices.
Personalizing images can go a long way.
The image won’t carry your message the same way a video will, but it’ll add a nice touch of personalization.
For example, sending a screenshot or a mockup of your service with the prospect’s logo embedded in it can make it more relatable. It will give them a better idea of what their use of the product might look like.
At the very least, it’ll grab their attention.
Write convincing copy
Another good way to get a conversation started is to leverage your written content.
Mention one of your prospects in a piece of content that has a link with your company’s mission and let them know about it. Make sure that it fits naturally into the content and brings value to it.
It’ll show that you’ve done your research about them, and they’ll be inclined to take a meeting with you.
3. Automate your outreach campaigns
Automating your sales process will save you a ton of time. This will allow you to focus on crafting quality content and having meaningful conversations.
But don’t rush in, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Automate if it works
Automation is not a goal in itself. It’s not just a way to scale tedious tasks.
The point of automation is to scale what you’ve already tested, and know to be working. Otherwise, you’re going to accelerate something that doesn’t work.
Automation is at the service of the process, not the other way around.
Use the right tools
There are a lot of automation tools out there. Here’s what you need to think about when picking one.
List building: Do you need a list building feature or do you already have the information you need?
Outreach: This is the main feature you’re going to use. It’ll allow you to reach out to prospects without having to send every single email manually. This is the feature you and your team need to be comfortable with. Some tools will allow you to simply schedule emails. Others will allow you to build elaborate, conditional workflows
Account-based features: If you plan on adopting an account-based approach in the long run, you might want to pick a tool that has account-based features. You should have an overview of all outreach efforts regarding a single account. You need to keep track of the process.
Integrations: What other tools are you using? Migrating from one tool to another can be a pain. Make sure that the platform you choose is already integrated with the tools you’re using and the ones you plan on using.
Here are some of the types of tools you might want to keep in mind: CRM, lead generation, document signing, business intelligence, customer support, team communication.
4. Use a CRM
This is especially important with account-based selling because you need to keep track of several prospects for each account.
A CRM is whatever works for you in order to keep track of your sales process.
An Excel spreadsheet
It’s a bit of an old-school method, but a lot of companies use Excel to keep track of their sales process.
Pros: Excel is a very powerful tool that people rarely ever use to its full potential. You can customize your pipeline in a very detailed way. It’s pretty much free (or at least very cheap).
Cons: The setup and maintenance demand a lot of expertise. It’s not visually appealing. It’s a pain to integrate with other tools. Not ideal when it comes to storing and sharing files.
A task/project management platform
Task management tools are great to get a visual overview of the process. You can easily build pipelines and move prospects through them, add deadlines, notes, and so on.
Pros: Easy to get started. Visually appealing. Easy to integrate with other tools. Easy to add notes/info to a task. Ideal for assigning tasks.
Cons: Usually lacks the ability to store and reuse contact information. Lacks features like forecasting, deal value, and measuring workload/performance.
An email management tool
Email management tools allow you to handle your communication with prospects in one single tool and collaborate on deals.
Pros: All your communication is in one place. Easy to store and use contact data. Easy to handle files. Easy to collaborate on a deal and for a manager to supervise communication. Email management software sometimes allows you to manage your tasks and build a pipeline. Integrates easily.
Cons: Lacks features like forecasting, deal value, and measuring workload/performance. Isn’t always made to handle a sales pipeline.
There’s no cookie-cutter solution, you need to look for the right CRM.
A CRM software
It was built for sales, and there are a lot (of them) on the market to accommodate every need.
Pros: Has every feature you might need. Integrates easily with everything.
Cons: Tends to be more expensive. Usually requires quite a bit of setup and training. There are a lot of different solutions on the market, it can be hard to make a choice. Hard to switch to another tool once you’ve set it up. Usually doesn’t allow sending emails.
5. Combine email with other channels
Cold emailing is difficult enough. Warm things up through other channels to improve your response rate.
One easy way to make things smoother is to get social. Hop on LinkedIn, connect with your prospect and interact with them.
Be careful not to use LinkedIn like you use email. LinkedIn is a social network; use that to your advantage to build a less formal relationship. Share content, engage with their posts, offer your help,…
They’ve become so rare that they make you stand out instantly. It’s a very easy thing to do and it adds a lot of personal value to your approach. Even if they don’t respond to it immediately, it gives you something to follow up on. If you ask them if they’ve received your note, they’re likely to engage with you in some way.
Some say cold calling is dying, some praise its power, especially in combination with cold emailing. If you make it all about the prospect and their needs, it’s an excellent way to connect with them. It also gives you something to follow up on and keep the conversation going.
If you’re working with a marketing team or have a budget to run some ads, go for it. Running display ads on top of your emailing campaign will make sure you stay in your prospect’s mind. Platforms like LinkedIn allow you to pick which companies and job titles to target. If you’re in B2B, LinkedIn Ads are always worth looking into.
Targeting big accounts with email is about multiplying your points of entry with personalized content. If you show several people at the same company that you’ve done your research, at least one of them is bound to engage in a conversation with you.
When you have the strategy and the content, all that’s left to do is test it, keep track of it, and automate it.
Do all this, be persistent, and you’ll sign big accounts.
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