What’s the word, hummingbird?
The word is “questions” and we have all the answers for your burning B2B sales questions right here! Welcome to the 4th issue of The Biggest B2B Sales Questions, Answered.
As the sales director of Slintel, I will be answering questions around sales prospecting for this issue. You can find answers to daily prospecting issues like hopeful customers discussing internally and leaving you out of the loop, the correct cadence to reaching out to people on LinkedIn while you are prospecting them, and how to figure out the true buying intent of your prospect.
“For a LinkedIn connection request, do you create a new premise or pretty much use the same messaging as your cold email?”
This is a question about how to reach out to the prospect on LinkedIn: do you have a callback to your emails, or do you send them an independent message instead?
My answer would be to definitely do a call back. You should always have a call back to the email that you’ve sent across. Also, another thing I’d suggest is to only reach out on LinkedIn once you’ve sent at least two emails to the person, or vice versa. You can send two messages across on LinkedIn, and then send them an email calling back to your LinkedIn messaging.
Here is the complete rundown of how things should ideally be laid out:
In your first email, try getting their attention using a crisp message. It needs to be witty/funny/amusing for the receiver and has to stand out from the sea of outreach messages they’ve been receiving. Since this is your first message, keep it super short. It can be a cold message, and templatized to an extent without a load of personalization. This is because you don’t know whether the person will read your message or not. You want this person to engage with your first email.
Remember, people are not shy of reading messages, but they are definitely going to ignore messages that are repetitive or unoriginal.
If you see that the person is engaging with your first email, then the second email should be personalized, well-researched, and detailed. It should explain how you can help them solve a problem through you. This email should be all about value selling, about their product and their pain points.
After this comes the third email, or the fated LinkedIn outreach. At this point, you know that you have sent them two emails that are personalized and targeted specifically towards them. Hence, it is not a cold email anymore. You can add a video or a placard with their name, just to prove that this isn’t a cold email, and that you have done your research about them.
[This is Vamsi from Outplay letting us know how excited he was for one of my webinar sessions. You get the idea, this is how you get attention, and let them know that it is not a cold one]
In case they haven’t read your messages, it will be like a call back to the emails you have already sent, and to the effort you have made already to reach out to them. Now, even if they haven’t read your emails and they see the LinkedIn message, they might definitely go and read those previous emails you have sent.
This question is from The Corporate Bro Savage Sales Slack Community, asking how “discussing internally” could be something you get involved in too.
Sometimes as account executives, we feel like we might scare away a person just by putting them on the spot. While on a demo call, they feel like if they ask difficult or too many questions or put the prospect on the spot, they might scurry away and will not be receptive towards you and your messages.
This is an invalid belief and we should throw this out of the window in today’s age. As an account executive reaching out to prospective clients, you do your best to understand the prospect, do your research about them, and give them the best solution available from your company.
After investing so much time in taking this account to the post-demo stage, interacting with the client, and building a rapport with them, you deserve to know what the next steps could be. It is totally in your place to ask them about how this conversation would be taken forward. You are entitled to ask the following questions and more, as long as it is still about the demo:
- Who else needs to see the platform to make a decision?
- Is there anyone who needs to see a demo and hasn’t?
- Will a recording do or would they like it better if you held another separate session for them?
- Are you evaluating more tools? And if yes, are there any boxes your solution hasn’t checked and can you help them figure those out?
- Is your solution in their budget or do you need to do something about that?
People will not buy anything from you to make you happy, or because you told them that you need to meet your quota. They will only buy something that they know will give them better returns than other similar solutions in the market, and when they know there is a definitive return on investment.
In short, don’t shy away from asking these questions. This is a business transaction, and just as they can ask you questions, people will not mind answering yours too.
For an in-depth explanation of how buying intent can help you understand your prospects better, read this blog post.
Long story short, buyers emit intent signals in different ways when they start their purchase journey.
You can use an intent prediction tool (like Slintel, G2 or Capterra) to understand where they stand in their journey. If you don’t want to do that, don’t worry. Another way of looking for intent is understanding their unmet needs by going through their job descriptions, their blog, their annual reports, anything that might tell you they are missing something and are trying to find a solution for that issue.
If you are able to capture the interest of these people while they are in their early stages of buying intent- in the ecosystem buy and unmet needs phase, this is where their true visibility of intent shines. This is when you know if they might be interested in or in need of a product or service like yours, and since you are one step ahead of them, you will have enough time to gauge their interest and strike when the rod is hot.
Did you like the questions we answered for you this time? Do you have any burning questions that you need answering?
Feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below, or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. We are always looking for a toughie to answer, and also to help you out from the most dire situation the selling game throws you in. Happy Selling!