If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you will know that I have already touched on why personalization is a key ingredient to success in B2B sales, and to an extent, how to personalize your outbound emails.
My previous blogs, however, merely skimmed the surface of outbound personalization; the level of personalization discussed was simple enough that it could have possibly been done manually.
This blog will take this discussion a step further and touch on how to create a scalable system of effective outbound personalization. This method of personalization cannot be done manually and requires a combination of both human and AI to truly create a personalized, relevant narrative that leads to strong results. In effect, we now have the ability to not only create a scalable solution to effective sales, but we also have the ability to create a sales machine.
Much like creating any machine, this requires a combination of expertise, precision and well-built parts to have a powerful, effective engine - and of course, the know-how to keep this engine well oiled, working, and generating the best outcomes.
There are three main components involved in this powerful sales machine, all of which consist of either human, AI or both. All three are equally important, and all three are necessary for the machine to be able to do its job. These components are the fuel, the pilot and the engine.
Collectively, these parts make up the sales machine.
All the components of the machine, as you can imagine, have their own unique function. To understand how this high-performing sales machine works, let us examine each and the role that they play. This section will help us to determine which parts of the machine are human-driven, which are AI-driven, and how they work together to create a deep level of personalization.
The fuel of the sales machine is essentially a hyper-targeted and researched list of prospects and data that can be then used as the input to the machine. The fuel is at the forefront of the machine’s working cycle, and is a combination of both human and AI.
Let’s discuss what type of data the fuel is composed of.
This truly depends on the nature of your outbound campaign and who you are targeting. Defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) is something that, at times, requires a fair bit of research and is ultimately determined by a mix of AI and human.
Once your ICP is determined, the AI comes into play in order to collect information and data on your prospects at scale.
There are three types of data that needs to be collected in order to ensure that you have the information needed to create hyper-personalized outbound emails at scale.
- Demographic: data on the individual
- Firmographic: data on the company
- Technographic: data on the technology used
In my previous blogs, the type of personalization that was discussed was demographic; my blogs had touched on how to reach out using personal information about the person you are sending to.
This is, no doubt, a great technique, but it is by far the least complicated method of personalization.
As mentioned, demographic data is information pertaining to the individual that the email is being sent to. Some common examples of demographic data can be seen below.
- Last name
- Personal Twitter account
- Personal Linkedin account
- Position held
- Duration of current position
- Previous education
An example of a successful outbound emailing using only demographic data can be seen below. This is a real email copy used by Ubico that had a very high success rate. The colours represent different demographic data points.
Firmographic data is essentially information about the company or organization. This type of data is extremely important to collect since your ICP will likely be characterized by this information, and using these data points in an email is highly effective.
Some examples of firmographic information are as follows:
- Employee count
- Annual revenue
- Founded year
- Market cap
- Range of company revenue
- Description of company
- Recent awards
- Company Twitter
- Company Linkedin
Collecting firmographic information is much more complicated than collecting demographic data, and nearly impossible to do at scale without AI. This is simply because, unlike demographic data, firmographic information will have to be collected from a multitude of different websites, most of which are difficult to find.
An example of an effective firmographic outbound email can be seen below, again, with different colours indicating different data points:
Compared to the demographic-centric email, a firmographic email shows the recipient that you have done your due-diligence on their company. This not only indicates to the recipient that your product is well-suited to their needs, but also shows them that you know about what they do and how to help them.
Technographic data is information on the types of technologies that a company currently employs and is by far the most difficult type of data to find.
An example of technographic data is searching for companies that are using Marketo for their marketing animation.
Creating a personalized email by mentioning the program or solution they are currently using, and mapping how your solution either fixes a common problem with that solution, or how your solution integrates well, is the most impactful way to get results.
An example of a technographic email can be seen below:
It is clear that finding all this information to make the most impactful personalized email is not possible without the help of AI.
The data needed to fuel your sales machine needs to be constantly collected, verified and enriched through employing technological tools, as doing this manually at scale is simply not possible.
The Pilot is the only part of the machine that is solely human, and is essentially the driver behind the machine. The Pilot is the human expert who is able to determine which data points to use and what narrative resonates best with the target market.
One of the key ingredients to creating a scalable sales machine relies on the copywriting skills of the Pilot. Without a good email copy, all the data in the world won’t help you.
The Pilot needs to have an outbound strategy in place, and know which narratives should be tested using the data points. They must determine the most effective ways to “drive” the sales machine.
Some things that the Pilot is responsible for include:
- Determine which pain points to touch on. The pain points of the prospects that you have collected data on should be known, since they play a key role in identifying your ICP. The Pilot is now tasked with determining which pain point would be the most effective to touch on.
- Determining which value proposition to use. The value proposition is the promise of what can be delivered and the value that it has to bring, in relation to the prospect’s pain points.
- Which data points are most impactful to use. This can be one of the most difficult roles that the Pilot plays. As discussed above, there are a lot of different data points that can be used in a variety of different ways.
- Creating a narrative for the messaging. This ties in with determining which data points should be used. What story do you want to tell, and which method of personalization will complement this story the most? There is enough data points that every follow-up message should try a different approach and include different data points.
- The frequency of email follow-ups. The number of follow-up emails and the frequency at which they should be sent needs to be determined.
- A/B testing the messaging to maximize the results. This is one of the most important roles that the human in the machine has to play. Data will be collected by the AI on the success of each email variation, and the Pilot has to analyze this data and make recommendations accordingly.
- Monitoring campaign insights. An insights dashboard should always be part of an effective sales machine since this will provide the Pilot with the ability to analyze results and make recommendations.
Imagine personalizing your outbound emails to the extend discussed above for every single email you send, for all your prospects, and then further personalizing up to 4 follow-up emails?
Yes - this is quite impossible to be done manually at scale, and for years, this was the case. Now however, we have the technology available to create an ‘engine’ to run our sales machine, and this is precisely what we have done at Ubico.
The engine is the technology behind the ability to automate the sales process at scale. The key word here is at scale. This is why the sales machine is a machine; being able to personalize at scale is simply not possible without the technological tools that make up the engine.
The engine is composed of a number of API plugins, software and human researchers that make a number of things possible, including:
- Narrowing down prospects and collecting contact information. The engine will provide the machine with the capabilities to collect the data used for the “fuel” in a matter of minutes. The human in this equation only has to identify the ICP that the campaign wants to target, and the engine will do the rest.
- Collecting data about the prospects. In order to make the level of personalization as high as possible, data points on all prospects need to be collected, cleaned and enriched. The engine is able to complete this task within minutes.
- Plugging in the unique data points for each email copy. Once the Pilot has determined and written the narrative of the email copies, the engine will plug in each requested data point for every email copy, for all prospects.
- Send personalized emails at scale. The engine is able to send out hundreds of emails a day and collect and record data on how successful the emails are. This includes determining how many of each variation were opened and how many were responses to. This data goes to the Pilot to analyze and adjust the narrative accordingly.
- Send follow-up emails at the designated intervals. As determined by the Pilot, the engine will send highly personalized follow-up messages to those who did not respond to the previous messages. The intervals at which these follow-ups are sent are pre-determined.
- Forward responses to a CRM or SDR. The engine ensures that the hand off to SDR’s happens only when necessary - when a prospect responds positively to the outbound campaign and narrative sent.
The engine is what enables the sales machine to execute next-level personalization at scale.
Why You Need Automation
Given all the information above, it is clear that automation is needed in this digital age in order to get results.
Numbers, however, speak louder than words. Take a look at some of the statistics below, that reinforce this point.
The sales machine delivers exceptionally better results than if done manually. This is because the engine is able to draw from technological advancements to create highly personalized emails that can simply not be done manually at scale.
More and more B2B companies are beginning to see the value in a sales machine, as trends in the digital age move increasingly towards automation in every aspect of business. Those who do not keep with the trends will quickly be surpassed by those who do, as evident by the statistics above.
Outperforming your competition through the use of technology is entirely necessary in B2B sales world today, and the sales machine is the way to do it. If you are ready to start creating your sales machine, contact us on the widget in the bottom left corner, and we would be happy to chat about your sales objectives.