Make Your Prospects Fall in Love with Personalized Outreach

By February 4, 2016
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Roy Lichtenstein Emulation

When I first thought about joining tech sales, I spoke with EverString’s VP of Enterprise Sales, Tim Johnson, to find out what the job was all about. “Sales is a lot like dating,” he explained, “you need to play the game, but you also need to show your leads that you want their business.”

Let the Games Begin

My first month I was lost. Having almost no experience in sales, I completely forgot what Tim had told me and focused only on hitting my number. If I email and call enough people, I thought, statistically speaking, I’m sure to hit quota. Playing fast and loose with mass cadences, I blindly highlighted a few hundred leads assigned to me and sent them the same emails. My open rate was low, my response rate even lower, and the responses I did get were often not too kind.

Scrambling to change my strategy in order to book meetings, I sought help from my colleagues. Turns out Tim was right—the successful ones were applying dating strategies to sales. They weren’t expecting responses from mass emailing or calling, they were searching selectively for people to reach out to. Plus, these reps were taking time to learn about them beforehand.

No girl will respond well to the guy at the bar using the same line on everyone he sees. You have to be selective and get personal.

Sorting Through All of the Fish in the Sea

Luckily, selectivity is easy when you have a predictive marketing platform with predictive scoring and predictive demand generation. At EverString, we use our own solution to prioritize the accounts we have in our database, and generate net-new accounts that look like ones we’ve already closed. So I thought about what Tim said, looked at the scores in front of me, and applied the selective and personal dating mentality to my sales efforts. Needless to say, soon after, my numbers got better.

If you are where I was a few months ago, take my advice: to earn the business of your target accounts, you need to treat them like the apple of your eye. And don’t just take my word for it–Econsultancy reports that 94% of businesses say personalization is critical to their success, improving customer experience and business performance.

Want more proof? A constant quota crusher on my team is known around the office as “Mr. Social Seller”. His comments on prospects’ posts pop up on my LinkedIn feed daily–Managers, Directors, even our President has taken note. They explain that his contributions (without a pitch or an ask) are the key to getting noticed in the right way. Combining great emails with social touches helps your prospect gain awareness of your name and product to make your cold calls and emails a little bit warmer.

How to Get Personal Leveraging Social Media

Leveraging social media takes personalization to the next level. How can you start a more personalized outreach strategy?

A few R’s can get you on your way:

  • Research: Learn about your target account and the appropriate contacts in it
  • Reach: Interact with the right people on appropriate social channels to build awareness
  • Relevance: Explain in your emails why your note is relevant to their needs
  • Reference: Mention what you have seen your prospects say or write–or even mention any connections you have in common
  • Request: Humbly ask for their time, as a means of helping them instead of your quota

These are all simple and effective techniques to stand out in the right way. When a lead praises my creative and polite persistence, even if they aren’t interested in a meeting, it makes my day.

I’ve only been in tech sales for a few months, but the most impactful lesson I’ve learned is that the time invested in personalized outreach is time well spent…in and out of the office.


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Account-based is the future,

Personalization is too!


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