How many sales and marketing emails do you receive in a week? Well, without making you dig through your spam folder, the obvious answer is far more than you’d like.

Research shows a whopping 36% of all spam emails are advertising, making it the largest portion of junk mail in 2022. But why? how many of these emails are we actually responding to?

Although there’s no agreed upon figure, the reality is very few. So few in fact, most senders have convinced themselves virtual outreach is a numbers game, one that can be solved with whatever tools and technologies allow their bad selling faster.

Let’s face it – just because someone can send countless messages to unknown addresses doesn’t mean they should. Not because a “more is more” attitude won’t get any results, but because the lack of focus won’t get you the results they want. Even misguided campaigns and pitches can look successful on platforms that send it to enough people, while every unwarranted email received along the way only serves to hurt the brand.

If the real goal is to sell better, organizations need to adopt a carefully crafted engagement strategy based on how their customers buy and what they truly care about. Simply put, there is no way the future of sales and marketing is thousands of emails requesting a phone call. The future instead lies in understanding your own market’s Customer Buying Journey and delivering value to your prospects from the first interaction.

Bad Selling Faster

When discussing technology enabled sales, what do we mean by “bad selling faster?”

Imagine for a moment a group of orange vendors at the local farmers’ market. They are looking for a way to draw in new business and decide to roll out a new sales and marketing campaign: “buy one, get one free.” As many would expect, this brings in some amount of new customers, and with them, more profit. Based off this success, the vendors believe the logical next step would be to buy a megaphone and further the speed and reach of their message.

If the megaphone results in even more revenue, then their sales strategy could certainly look good on paper… but by what metric? profit compared to before, when the vendors were doing nothing?

There are unwritten drawbacks here that income math can’t consider. Namely, that while giving a discount is a viable strategy, it may not be the best one for these vendors to pursue. Reducing prices will not change the hearts and minds of buyers who weren’t already interested in their oranges. The vendors might find themselves selling at a lower price to customers who would’ve bought anyway, only attracting new, price-sensitive customers who will not stick around during a rougher growing season.

And what about every uninterested shopper who now has to listen to the noisy megaphone? Though some may be neutral to the added noise, there will be a segment of potential buyers who actively resent the orange vendors for this practice, only growing in size the louder and more frequent the discount bellows become.

With many of today’s sales and marketing tools, it is easier than ever to create tactics and success metrics with the flaws illustrated above. Yes, you can show an advertisement or value proposition to enough people, and someone, somewhere, will bite – but it might come at the expense of yourself and others.

A Better Way to Sell

Effective sales and marketing strategies should always begin with strategy. And like all things Outside-In™, good strategy is rooted in a deep understanding of how customers buy and why they don’t.

Returning to the orange stand, it would benefit the vendors’ outreach more to talk to shoppers who aren’t buying oranges. From these conversations, they discover the majority of famers’ market goers actually expect to pay a premium for fresh produce but wouldn’t use enough oranges in cooking to warrant frequent or bulk purchases. Rather than discounting their prices, the vendors realize they should be using their megaphone to tell passersby about the amazing orange sauces, marmalades, meringue pies they could use the fruit for… and maybe lower the volume a little bit.

Despite being an example of a relatively straightforward, B2C sale, these ideas are even more important for organizations dealing with complicated, B2B transactions. When reaching out to many leads, who are at varying points in their buying journeys, it is crucial for sales outreach to be personalized and intelligent. Salespeople must deliver tailored content that is relevant to where each prospect truly is in their buying journey, and the specific needs and wants for that time. This is a very different approach than blasting out generic messages, but one aimed at gaining genuine resonance with a market.

Only then can teams truly connect with buyers, deliver value, and be a part of the future of sales and marketing.

Written by Market-Partners Inc.
Posted April 29, 2022

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