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3 Go-to Emails I Use to Advance B2B Sales Opportunities

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 21, 2016 1:00:00 PM

go-to-email.jpgDecember has always been a fascinating month for me.  Filled with the anticipation of what the next year will bring as well as contemplation of what the last year has been. It also includes the chaos of preparing for the holidays, seeing friends and relatives and working to finish things up so you have a clean start after the new year.

For me, the last month has been very intense as we’ve been working (hard) to close outstanding business, and to move opportunities along so they’re in a strong place post holidays. While the phone is still a very important tool for any salesperson, email communication has become more important than ever. In today's world there are times when email is more conducive than the phone to move things forward.

Over time, I've found three emails that I go to time and again to move opportunities along, and I'm going to share the approach of these emails with you today. It's important to note that there's no such thing as a "magic-bullet" email. Email works when it's personalized to the situation, and fits the context of everything else you are doing. I share these emails for inspiration.

1. Getting Introduced to Someone Higher Up 

An increasingly common situation for salespeople today is the need to begin the sales conversations at lower levels of the organization. While this can be advantageous in building a strong business case before you talk with the executive level, it does complicate the process and it means that you have to make "multiple sales" to close business.  

The main point to keep in mind when writing these emails is that your real audience isn't the person your writing to, it's the person you want to be introduced to. 

Keeping The Momentum Moving

Hi Sam,

Thanks again for the time today. I really enjoyed the conversation and learning about some of the key objectives you have. If my notes are correct, I heard:

  • You're looking to capture the momentum of the new offering you introduced last year, while continuing the growth in other facets of the business.
  • Generating more high quality leads is an identified area that needs attention.
  • Most importantly you're looking for ways to make your sales team more effective, and make it easier for them to manage the complex sales process they're engaged in.
  • As you'll recal from our conversation, today it's more important that ever that marketing and sales work together to drive revenue results.  A challenge that sales teams everywhere are having is that their burden

As you'll recall from our conversation, today it's more important that ever that marketing and sales work together to drive revenue results. A challenge that sales teams are having everywhere is that the nature of how buyer's engage, learn and ultimately buy means that they can't carry the load in the same way they used to.  This is lengthening sales cycles, pulling down productivity and lowering win rates.

The good news is that these are highly solvable issues, and the strenghts that [Company] brings means lots of opportunity for growth. As we agreed, the next step is for you to bring Beth into the conversation by setting up a call to for us to dig a bit deeper.  Please let her know that in the 30 minute conversation we discussed having, I'll share with her:

  • Very recent research on how best-in-class companies are addressing these issues
  • Some of the insights I shared with you that highlight key areas for [Company] to address
  • A brief outline of how Imagine can help

If she's curious about the focus of the conversation, or she wants to be sure it will be worth her time (I would certainly understand if that's a concern), you can point her here to watch a video that will similar to what we'll discuss, or you can point her here where we highlight some of our best thinking on demand generation.

I'll follow up with you Tuesday next week if I haven't heard from you to confirm a time for our next discussion.  I look forward to meeting Beth and continuing the conversation.

All the best,
Doug 

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2.  Addressing a "Zombie" Opportunity

Zombie opportunities are ones that start off strong and suddenly lose all signs of life (though they still show up in your pipeline report). I wrote about addressing zombies in a previous post, and here's my go to email for these situations. By the way, credit to my friend and prospecting genius John Barrows for the subject of the email. 

A key to this email is to be direct in your request, and to leave them with something of value. Many zombies are actually lost opportunities and you won't be able to recover them in the short-term. When that's the case, you're goal is to leave them with value and look to reinitiate actions in the future.

Have I Lost You?

Hi Frank,

Over the last several weeks, we've discussed how [Company] is looking to increase their lead velocity and empower marketing to drive more high quality sales conversations into the sales teams' pipeline.  I certainly appreciate the time and attention you've given, but it appears that things have been lost.

I've sent several emails and left you some voice mails to move forward on the plan of action we laid out, but have gotten no response.  Before I give up, I wanted to ask one more time if you’d like to connect, if you’d prefer I reach out in the future when the timing may be better, or even if this is simply something that you are just not interested in.  Please know that any answer is fine, I just request that you give me one.

In the event that we don’t connect, I would like to leave you with some resources we’ve created to help you get more from your content and social media strategy:

  • Resource 1
  • Resource 2
  • Resource 3

If you’d like to talk, simply reply to this email, or click here for access to my calendar to find a time that works. 

All the best,
Doug

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3.  Confirming Next Steps

One of the biggest leaks I've seen in most salespeople's process actually occurs after a positive conversation. The salesperson follows up in a manner that is not crystal clear, and/or doesn't focus on the actions the prospect should take; and that lack of clarity actually contribues to turning it into a zombie. The key to this email is to be clear, assign actions and to give deadlines.  

Company X/Imagine Demand Generation Assessment

Jane,

It was a pleasure speaking with you today. The issues you described to me today are right in the bullseye of what we do and why we do it. Bridging the chasm between marketing and sales is a significant issue for growth-oriented organizations.  Here's a blog post on the topic you and your team may find valuable:  http://blog.imaginellc.com/the-third-discipline-bridge-b2b-sales-and-marketing

As a summary, here are the actions we committed to today:

Jane/Company X Commitments 

  • You, your VP Sales and one of your salespeople will each complete the attached Demand Generation Assessment. You will have all of those back to me by the end of the day Monday.
  • You will also complete the attached spreadsheet asking for some additional data.
  • You will send me a copy of the marketing and sales material that you regularly use.

Joint Commitments

  • On Tuesday you and I will schedule a follow up call with each of the people who completed the profile.  We have those calls over the next two weeks.

 My Commitments

  • I will spend time on your website to review that comprehensively.
  • After the follow up calls I will put together our thoughts and deliver to your senior team our report of findings, highlighting the key issues we've identified, and laying out the roadmap to get Company X on a fast growth glide path.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. 

All the best,
Doug

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An advantage of having go-to emails like these is the ability to turn them into templates and then track the effectiveness of the emails you're using. Sharing the best emails with your sales team, makes everyone better. Additionally, by tracking their performance you're able to continuously tweak and improve your efforts and continously improve your effort and drive better results.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching