Building Personalization At Scale Into Outbound Prospecting
Implementing a degree of personalization into your outbound prospecting activity is a critical component of building a strong account based sales development program. But it’s the ability to deliver personalization, and do so at scale, that creates a true growth machine.
Achieving personalization at scale relies heavily on two things: striking the right balance of quantity and quality; optimizing three key variables - data, process, and automation.
Having high-quality account and prospect data is the foundation of a good sales development program. The importance of automation and tools such as Outreach and Salesloft cannot be overstated. However, process must come before technology, and in this case data must come before process.
Quality and completeness of account and contact data are the first step toward building an infrastructure that will enable personalization at scale. This is by no means a one-off project. Rather, it is a continuous effort to increase the quantity and maintain the quality of your data.
Secondly, it is important to create a CRM data architecture that is built with a well thought out taxonomy. This allows for better segmentation of accounts and contacts, which in turn will facilitate both efficiency and effectiveness of personalization efforts.
Well designed processes go a long way in building efficiency. What they also do is allow you to more easily measure various components of your sales development program, establish baselines, and implement changes to measure and drive improvements. Delivering personalization at scale relies on building processes focused on account and prospect research, messaging, content / insight delivery, and time management.
1. Account and contact research: Personalization cannot be achieved without sufficient research of an account or prospect; this component is typically the most time consuming. But by building a simple research process with two or three steps that sales development reps can repeat every time they research an account or prospect, you will significantly reduce the time spent during this phase.
Furthermore, in an account based sales development model where accounts should be segmented based upon “tiers”, it’s important to vary research efforts and processes so that they are commensurate with the size and strategic value of accounts your team is targeting. Sales development reps who may be allocated to targeting larger, more strategic accounts should be following a slightly more involved research process than those who are targeting smaller target accounts at a higher volume.
2. Messaging: Developing messaging that is well thought out and highly personalized doesn’t have to be done on an ad hoc basis. Building a simple process that relies on a structured approach to crafting emails increasesefficiency and effectiveness as well.
Am I suggesting that you build a library of email templates and make minor tweaks depending upon whom you’re targeting? Not at all. But what does need to occur is the development and documentation of a structured approach to building messaging that outlines:
· What business drivers to focus on depending upon your target
· How your offering addresses those specific business drivers
· What elements of social proof to use depending on your target
This can all be facilitated by developing a messaging quadrant.
3. Content and insight delivery: Delivering valuable content and insight is a critical component of the sales process and should be integrated into your sales development program.
However, this becomes somewhat challenging when managing a program across a large addressable market, as there will most likely be numerous buyer personas across multiple functional roles and industry verticals. This is a function of the fact that sales development reps must have access to, and know what content to integrate into their outreach, depending upon whom they’re targeting.
Simple documentation of this that is shared across the team, in addition to using a central repository where sales development reps can easily find and access this content, will make the process of integrating insight and content into outbound initiatives much easier.
4. Time Management: Time management plays a critical role in building efficiency. By using time blocking techniques and taking a task based approach to sales development, reps will significantly increase their efficiency and maintain a consistent output.
It’s important to understand that in order to successfully implement time blocking and effective task management, sales development reps must be properly trained in these techniques. The onus is also on sales leaders to continue to coach and reinforce these skills on an ongoing basis to ensure long-term success.
AUTOMATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
If data and process is the foundation upon which personalization at scale is built, then technology is what makes it all come together. Just like processes can be over engineered, so can your sales stack. So it’s important to stick with just a few core applications that will deliver the most impact when it comes to automation.
1. Prospect intelligence: Delivering personalization relies on having good insight into the company you’re targeting. Whether it’s insight into the makeup of their organizational structure, the technologies they use to run their business, or recent and relevant news, there are a host of tools which will provide insight into that information. Sticking to two or three tools max to gather prospect intelligence, and having a simple process for getting information will make this far more efficient.
2. Outbound automation tools: An obvious one, of course. But what may not be quite as obvious is the importance of selecting an email / outbound automation tool that fits YOUR processes best (remember, process before technology). There are a lot to choose from - Outreach.io, Toutapp, Yesware, etc.
3. Internal content sharing: Organizing content in a manner that allows your sales development reps to easily identify what content should be used based upon their target, and easily access that content, is paramount. Not only will you ensure that they are delivering the most relevant content possible, but you will also incorporate another layer of efficiency into the outreach process.
While there are a host of sales enablement solutions that will facilitate this process, it can also be achieved in fairly short order with Dropbox or Box.com.
Delivering personalization at scale requires careful design, continuous testing, and an unwavering commitment never to compromise quality in the interest of volume and efficiency. The B2B sales world is experiencing a rapid increase in the availability of data, information, and technology. I believe that with the right approach and a commitment to data and process first, personalization at scale is an achievable goal.