1. Outbound Emails
The process (or art) of personalising cold outreach emails is perhaps the most commonly discussed part of sales personalization. Effective sales reps and business development reps are expert at researching their prospect and writing subject lines and email copy that get attention with relevant messages. This step is key to begin to fill your pipeline. The more you can demonstrate to your prospect that can solve a problem they care about, the more likely they are to take that initial meeting.
The solution: It starts tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Lusha.
2. Marketing Pages
Gartner research suggests that buyers spend only 17% of the time in a sales cycle actually speaking with a potential vendor. This means there is a lot of independent research happening in parallel (and even before that first meeting with a vendor). Ideally, your prospects would be finding landing pages and solution detail pages that are tailored for their industry, and the specific role of the buyer. The goal is to make it as simple as possible for the buyer to understand how your solution can be mapped to their business problems.
The solution: First ensure you have content for different industries and buyer personas on your site, then take it a step further with tools like Demandbase to do account-based marketing and Unbounce for landing page personalisation.
Nearly all software companies are guilty of the same thing: they have an annual sales kickoff and "launch" the latest messaging - a deck of 15-20 slides that all sales people must be "certified" to deliver. And are expected to deliver "as-is". Companies do this because they want a consistent pitch, but it comes at the cost of trying to deliver a one-size-fits-all message to the market. Nothing can turn off a potential buyer faster than feeling like they are getting a generic pitch.
The solution: use Deckbuildr.io to set up a pitch template you can fill with different product offerings, use cases, reference stories, then generate a unique deck in seconds.
As we've written before, a lack of personalization is a common Achilles' heal for software demos. After all, if you aren't going to personalize your demo, you might as well be sending out pre-recorded videos. A good demo is the bridge from your prospect's current state to the promised land that your solution can deliver. Without personalization, it's harder to understand that journey and be convinced that your solution has what it takes.
The solution: check out the great courses from Pre-Sales Academy, Demo2Win! and Great Demo! that cover how to conduct effective discovery and deliver a tailored, highly-relevant demo.
5. Case Studies
Every salesperson has heard (and dreaded) the question: "Who else have you worked with in my industry?" References and case studies are the ultimate proof-point that your solution can deliver as promised. Unfortunately, sending over an ecom customer story to a manufacturing company probably won't cut it and will send signals that you don't understand their business (or just don't care). The closer your case-study can match the business and use cases of your prospect, the better.
The solution: Get on top of your reference customers by whatever means necessary - this could a spreadsheet, or a dedicated software tool like Reference Edge. Once you've collected your customer stories, use Deckbuildr to inject them into your regular pitch.
6. ROI Analysis
Call it what you want - value consulting, value engineering, business case analysis or ROI analysis - it's becoming a must have for larger enterprise SaaS deals. Some companies have templated, self-serve ROI models to help would-be buyers come to terms with payback periods and risk vs reward tradeoffs, but the companies winning this game take it to the next level with dedicated white-glove service. By guiding your prospect though a tailored ROI analysis, you leave little doubt that the software will result in favourable business outcomes and make it easier to get that budget unlocked by the CFO.
The solution: With some surveys reporting that more than half of SaaS sales orgs now use dedicated value engineering teams, there is little alternative to building one out yourself. It starts with talking to existing customers to understand how they have made these business cases internally. Look for consistent elements that can be forecast rather than measured retroactively. Numbers are your friend, the more evidence of favourable business outcomes you can point to, the more water-tight your ROI analysis deliverables will be.