February 13

How To Win More Deals With Better Sales Prospecting Automation

Recently I participated in an interesting discussion on the #Digital360Chat Twitter Chat hosted by Bernie Fussenegger around the idea of sales & marketing automation, specifically about automating the connection process on social media. It’s hard to really go deep on a subtopic in a Twitter Chat, so today I thought we could explore this key social selling concept a bit more.

Why Should You Invest in Sales & Marketing Automation?

Simple. Sales & marketing automation software lets you scale your lead gen efforts efficiently. By putting forth a bit of preplanning, you can automate things like drip email and social messaging campaigns. For instance, you could automate a behavioral marketing campaign designed not to sell or create connections pers se, but instead, to uncover sales signals that you can then use to help you target your sales connection and nurturing efforts.

You can leverage sales & marketing CRM software to not only keep a database of leads, but more importantly, by utilizing intelligent tagging strategies, you can make it easy to share relevant content with a short message and a few mouse clicks.

For example, one of my most engaged email lists isn’t really a list but an approach. When I find a great piece of content that would be relevant to one of my sales prospects, I search my database by the appropriate tag associated with that kind of content. Then I use a simple personalized email template titled, Thought You’d Find This Interesting, include a short synopsis for this curated content, and send. Presto, somewhere between 1 and maybe a 100 of my sales prospects now receive something they should welcome into their inbox and be grateful I sent. Is it automated? Absolutely. Is it personal and helpful? Absolutely. But again, it’s not connecting as much as it is reaching.

And that’s the true power of sales & marketing automation software. It helps you reach more folks more often. But if you want it to help you do a better job of connecting at scale, you have to track their interactions. This tracking data will help you discover the best way to connect with them to start a real conversation. A conversation that can convert to a customer.

Why You Can’t Automate Connections

The main reason you can’t automate connections is because most humans have pretty good built in bullshit detectors. And for those folks whose detectors might be on the fritz, social platforms make it really obvious that you’re automating.

For instance, right now everyone is very pro “use LinkedIn messenger for prospecting” and there are scores of companies that have software to help you automate that effort. The problem is LinkedIn, like pretty much every messaging service, threads conversations. So the second, third, fourth and fifth message a person sends you is threaded right there together. And because the automation software ensures you get those messages every X days, the reader can easily scroll back and figure out these messages are just spam. The person is automating the connection effort.

You might be asking yourself, but Tom, how is that different than what you just wrote above? The answer is – it isn’t! And that’s the point.

You can scale reach but not connection.

But you can use technology to help you create better connections and do so more efficiently. And in the end, that will translate into more deal flow.

Using Technology to Make Better Connections

For instance – birthday messages are great ways to connect. Most folks just drop a note on their connections’ Facebook or LinkedIn page like Pavlov’s dog when they see the “Your friends are celebrating birthdays” email. And you can certainly do that or you could use the opportunity to truly connect or reconnect. In this instance, let the tool (Facebook/LinkedIn) automate the reminder but then take the opportunity to actually connect.

It takes just as long to type a note on someone’s Facebook Newsfeed as it does to type the same note on your phone in the form of a text you send. Better yet, call them. Or if you’re trying to scale your connection efforts – send a recorded audio message via text or email.

And if you really want to connect and rise above the crowd – send a video message. Go ahead. Try it. You’d be surprised how fast you can record and send a half dozen or more personalized video birthday greetings where you can highlight something special about the person or reference a shared passion or experience. And you’ll love the responses you get. In fact, unless your experience is markedly different than mine, most folks will be amazed and appreciative of the effort you put into it — even when they know it was Uncle Zuch that reminded you of their special day.

sales prospecting with video

You’re using technology to help you scale your connecting time, but you’re doing something that is actually meaningful. And that’s the difference between mass personalization and personalizing en mass. The former is mechanical and easy. The latter is personal and requires commitment. And that’s they key to personalization. It’s not about using someone’s name in an email. Personalization is when you send someone something that was specifically created or sent based on the recipients’ likes, dislikes, life moments, or needs. It’s this intent behind the message that creates the opportunity for connections to form or grow.

Hey if you are lucky enough to sell a bomb-dot-com kind of product or service that everyone can’t wait to buy, then scaling reach is all you need. But if you’re like the rest of us, selling something that can certainly be purchased elsewhere, or fulfilling a need that a sales prospect may not even realize they have, then you need to invest in connections over reach. You need to break through the noise and become signal. You need to build a relationship that over time results in a new customer. And that my friend, that starts with making an initial connection.

Do You Want to Connect?

If you like what you just read and think you’d like to keep the conversation going… connect with me on LinkedIn.

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