Technology is truly a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Our cell phones alone allow us to do things that 100 years ago would have been seen as nothing short of a miracle. And when we apply these great advances to the disciplines of sales and marketing, we often see similarly miraculous gains.
At the same time, we see far too many instances of technology being misapplied – simply speeding up poor selling and marketing. If your inbox looks anything like mine, you are hit several times a day with value propositions for services that have nothing to do with your business and products you cannot fathom how anyone would think you are in the target market for. This kind of outreach represents one problem with technology enabled sales. One we like to call the “shotgun approach.” But then there is another, louder issue. That would be the pervasive clickbait telling me the five guaranteed ways to make millions a day without working, reduce my car insurance by $1,000, or to see what I will look like in 25 years. Maybe these tactics ensnare a few prospects, but my pet theory is that the majority of their click through rate comes from people missing the delete button.
This is not the first time we have spoken about these problems, which is why I always keep my eye out for examples of technology used to sell and market in a more intelligent fashion. Yesterday, I found such a role model – one you can use for actionable inspiration to deliver valuable and relevant content that prospects will actually want to open.
A Model Strategy
I was speaking to both the marketing director and a sales manager at one of our clients who recently adopted the Seismic platform. I am confident their approach to lead generation represents the future of outreach. This is primarily because of how it was rooted so deeply in the principles of precision marketing, which lie firmly at the opposite end of the spectrum from the shotgun and clickbait methods. Unlike these passé strategies, precision marketing ensures the content you send is immediately useful and applicable to the receiver.
Let me share with you how this client use the Seismic Enablement Cloud to convert more than 3% of their cold leads to sales opportunities.
Mapping the Buying Journey. The groundwork for this strategy was laid when we helped this client map out their market’s end-to-end customer buying journey. By listening to their customers and prospects, we were able to decode the specific steps of the buying journey for their offering and market. This included their touch points, the different personas involved, the roles engaging at different times in the journey, how these folks were making their decisions, what they value, and what their concerns and anxieties are at each step.
The Market Messaging Matrix. Based on this deep understanding of what goes on across the steps of their market’s buying journey, the client was able to match their key value propositions to both the stage of the journey and the optimal appeal to each of key players at that time. This is all thanks to Seismic’s ability to tag and organize content so precisely. The result is a marketing messaging matrix that should lie at the heart of any grounded precision marketing approach; imagine a large spreadsheet with the exact messaging theses that are tailored to each persona at each stage of their buying journey.
Relevance and Value. From this point forward, all of the client’s collateral was then tagged with the unique level of resonance for each situation. Using the matrix, great care was taken to only send content that was valuable and relevant to that prospect. If it was not clear how the content was useful to the lead, it was not included.
A key feature of each piece was also that this content was not readily available anywhere else; if it were to be accessible on their website or somewhere the prospect could have found it themselves, it would have depreciated the value of the interaction and decreased the likelihood of the lead starting a conversation with the sender.
Actualizing with Seismic. After tagging the materials, they created different e-mail bodies for the various sets of circumstances, followed by creating 800 digital sales rooms in the Seismic platform. The client then laid out a three-step outreach sequence with a collateral package for the particular situation. In the meantime, their interns scouted for target roles in organizations that met certain criteria on LinkedIn. The submitted profiles were then reviewed, and each prospect was matched to a role and persona. Once finalized, they launched the campaign using the appropriate e-mail, linked to a digital sales room with the prospect’s logo and a picture of the person’s corporate office.
You can likely guess what happens next. The client has been monitoring the open rate and gauging the level of interest that prospects have shown in the content. Based on the responses, the leads have then been channeled down one of several streams where additional outreaches could add more targeted content to their sales rooms. All of this is being managed in real time with up-to-the-minute analytics on what collateral is resonating best with certain roles and personas.
As I shared previously, this client is currently trending at over a 3% success rate of converting cold leads into sales conversations on a first pass. A number that is likely to only improve with the insight they are gaining from the initial run. For me, this is highly intelligent and personalized marketing, where the goal is not to “up the clickbait” but rather to trigger and manage a buying journey. That point cannot be overemphasized. Although they might seem like only two pieces of a larger plan, so much of the campaign’s effectiveness is contingent on the underrated prep work – mapping the buying journey and tagging content accurately. Anyone can open Seismic, duplicate 800 shotgun sales rooms, give them provocative titles, and use technology to do bad selling faster. What this client has done instead is lay the groundwork for a scalable, repeatable system of personalizing content to sell more efficiently and effectively. To deliver content that is immediately relevant and valuable to a target receiver, one who will be far more interested in a meaningful sales conversation.