The ancient Babylonians are considered the first to make what we consider “New Year’s” resolutions, promising their gods they would repay debts and return borrowed items. Today, some 4000 years later, people across the world continue this time-honored tradition, resolving to take actions in hopes of a happier, healthier, more prosperous life.
Sadly, it’s highly unlikely that you will keep your resolutions for the whole year. Data shows that approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. Take, for example, the increase of gym memberships in January. While joining a gym might seem like the first logical step to a “healthier you” this year, the reality is that 67% of memberships go unused. But why is that?
Why We Fail
Mental health clinician, Shainna Ali, believes that many people fail to successfully fulfill resolutions due to setting unclear goals, feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, or they’re just not ready to embrace change fully. While I do not claim to be a mental health practitioner, I do know one thing – you can’t achieve results if you don’t put in the work. This not only holds for your lofty life goals, but it also applies to your business and sales goals.
You, like so many others, have probably found yourself frustrated or discouraged by sales strategies and tactics that don’t pan out that way you thought they would. While some of these endeavors fall short for a variety of reasons, more often than not, they fail because we lack the discipline to take the next step. Just as with joining a gym, your sales strategy requires that you show up and do the work needed to “build the muscles” you need for strong sales year.
Why Email Is Simply Not Enough
Recently, I was speaking with an agent about his upcoming email campaigns. He expressed his lack of faith, if you will, in email as a sales tool. “We never get any new business out of our email campaigns,” he said. My response was a simple question: “Do you ever call to follow up on those prospects that clicked or opened an email?” As I expected, his answer was “no.”
You see, in the world of telecom, IT, and cloud services, one or two emails to a C-Level contact is not going to prompt them to pick up the phone to call you to purchase services. In fact, in today’s hyper-communication environment, only about 24% of sales emails are opened by recipients. Given that many people delete emails before they even read them, it’s no wonder that a couple of well-crafted emails aren’t blowing up your sales funnel.
Why All is Not Lost – Strategies for Sales Success
Up until this point, I’ve given you nothing but bad news. For that, I apologize, but we have to be honest with ourselves to get results. As you look at your sales strategy, in particular, your touchpoints, here are a couple of things that you need to consider for a successful 2019:
Clean up your lists
You’ve heard the saying “quality over quantity,” right? Well, that couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to email lists. While a list of 5,000 prospects sounds great, the reality is that not all of those email addresses are real prospects. When cleaning up your email lists, try to remove the following:
- Addresses that are no longer active (the company is out of business or the person no longer works there)
- Distro lists (sales@, info@, support@, etc)
- People that don’t even belong on a sales list (your Aunt Helen doesn’t need your newsletter)
- Unengaged contacts (anyone who hasn’t opened any of the past 12 emails you’ve sent)
Segment your list for targeted messaging
You’re not done just yet. Segment your list based on particular buyer personas (more on developing buyer personas here). Most often people segment lists based on things like:
- Job role or title (the CFO and IT Manager have different pain points that you solve)
- Industry or vertical (show how your service has helped others like them)
- Business size (small businesses and enterprises often require solutions)
Following up is mandatory
Remember my client from earlier? He didn’t follow up. By not doing so, he failed to connect with prospects and missed some potentially great opportunities. Did you know that statistics show that it takes 18 phone calls to connect with a buyer? The idea that one email or voicemail is going to do the trick is ludicrous. You need to find the balance of emails, phone calls, voicemails, and other touch points that help you connect with the prospect without seeming pushy. It’s not always easy, and there’s no perfect formula, but you can find the balance if you work at it.
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are for 2019, remember that the only way to achieve success is with clear goals, a solid gameplan, and the determination to put in the work. Good luck in all of your endeavors this year, and if there is any way that we can help you achieve success, shoot us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year!