Why Sales Email Automation Is Killing Your Sales
I’ve been to St. Louis twice.
I once spoke to a decision maker at Anheuser-Busch awaiting his plane to Phoenix. After about 30 minutes of discussing the upcoming Super Bowl and the sponsorship dollars that were poured into it, he asked me what I did.
I told him that I was in SaaS sales.
After a few minutes of small-talk, he confided that he wished all of his cold conversations with sales reps were like the one he was having now. He then proceeded to show me his inbox on his phone.
“Those 153 unopened emails you see. Those are just from the ride to the airport. By the time, I land in Phoenix, I’ll have 300 more,” he said.
Having sent 1000s of cold emails to faceless executives like this guy, I felt a sense of intrigue like I was getting a peak behind the curtain.
“How do you decide which ones to open?” I asked.
“I don’t. I have this folder (showed me the folder), and all external email that isn’t in my contacts go there. When I start shopping for something, I will search that folder for the products. If a sales rep has reached out, I’ll follow-up. If not, then I ask my assistant to sit on a demo for me.”
Notice he said, “When I start shopping…” The line between B2C and B2B is almost gone.
There is a less than 1% response rate on the average cold email campaign. It doesn’t matter what your open rates are. Did you get the prospect to engage with you? Did you make a connection with the prospect enough to warrant a response such as a reply or click?
But instead of focusing on creating better sales conversations, we try to get tactical with vanity metrics and BS like “Tuesday is the best day for sending emails.” Well now that everyone is sending emails on Tuesday, it probably sucks.
More than half of all B2B email recipients are using Office (Outlook) or G Suite (Gmail). I’m not a big Microsoft user, so I don’t know much about their product development practices; but Google has an entire team dedicated to making machine-learning algorithms to weed out unwanted messages. My assumption is that Microsoft has something similar.
Read this paragraph with your own sarcastic interior monologue-> So while Google and Microsoft are processing thousands of email messages per second to weed out unwanted messages from user-accounts, I (sales professionals) have moved on from sending emails on Tuesday to sending them on Wednesday. Goody, that’ll save me.
If your email response rates are not in the double digits, then you need stop focusing on email automation and focus on these 3 areas of your sales outreach:
Send less automated email to more targeted groups
Diversify your media formats
Diversify your outreach channels
80% of B2B buyers have between 1 and 6 people involved in the purchase process and
54% of B2B buyers said they rely on social media to research vendors or solutions. LinkedIn is the most important social network for B2B buyers, with 52% of survey respondents indicating it was very important or somewhat important.
If you rely solely on mass cold email automation or traditional cold calling, you will lose. Empower your sales team to scale your conversations across multiple media formats and channels to win.