Cold emailing is a relatively new phenomenon as a buzz phrase but is something that has been in existence for a while. The difference is now it is being systemised.
The concept is reasonably simple – Executives of today are busier than they have ever been, and are snowed under with demands of modern digital society.
They (You?) spend their time hopping between meetings, infrequently at their desk (to take cold calls?) and rely on ‘stolen’ moments to process emails and actually try to get things done. A fantastically well written email, with the write tone, message and that passes the ‘blackberry test’ i.e. it can be read on a smartphone screen and dealt with instantly, will help cut through that clutter and allow you to engage in an initial conversation.
When Salesforce.com grew as a business, they did largely due to the success of cold emailing (as opposed to spam emailing!) as explained in the fantastic book by Aaron Ross – Predictable Revenue available here. The system was largely attributed as one of the main reasons fueling Salesforce.com’s extraordinary growth to a $100 million organisation (some time ago!). Aaron developed a sales system that provided a platform for ‘predictable revenue’ based solely on the principles of sending out cold emails and working the responses. This gave Salesforce.com a predictable ratio of emails sent, responses, conversations and then trials. However, Salesforce.com had a number of unique things working in their favor that you may not have.
We have amalgamated some of these processes into our highly systemised process.
Many Salesforce users we meet have heard of him and have even had conversations with him about implementing his system. We invested in being a client of his because we wanted to learn what the nuts and bolts of the system really were. We love Aaron’s perspective, and have been heavily influenced by it ourselves. In fact we have paid Aaron to learn more about his system. We were very impressed, however there are a number of inherent challenges making the system work for some businesses which we have addressed.
A large part of the success of the growth of Salesforce was due to the fact that it was a world leading software that could be easily demonstrated and taken on as a free trial. Therefore the first contact emails going out were aided by the ability to take out a free trial of the software. I’m such a huge fan of Salesforce that I know that once you try it, it is unlikely you won’t take it up. Many B2B organisations don’t have that luxury, however. Many (maybe yours) sell an intangible service and have very long lead times.
The market for Salesforce was virgin and huge. It was (still is) an innovative solution far ahead of any of its competition and was a true pioneer. The number of people to contact and potential market was largely unlimited. If you have read Predictable Revenue you will know that Aaron talks of importing data, getting 7-9% response, working those and then adding more data and starting again. That’s leaving 91 – 93% of those companies untouched. Most businesses do not have that luxury because their target market is significantly smaller – maybe even in the thousands, and their product or service is not quite so revolutionary. We solve this by layering in targeted outbound, professional calling, secondary objectives to build future pipeline and the addition of innovative outbound methods of prospecting such as utilising LinkedIn.
A lot of the successes of the system were based on prerequisite of a deal size of around £20,000 to make it effective. This was because of the lack of systemisation which we have addressed. By adding in high levels systemisation, the ability to have less highly skilled Inside Sales and having parts of the process automated, the required deal sizes to make this work are reduced dramatically. To the extent that we truly believe that there is no other B2B outbound lead generation method that brings a higher ROI in existence today