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Templating Messaging

FROM BULLETPROOF SELLING:

From Chapter 10:
The Customized Messaging System
Trigger: When establishing message templates for email, social media and direct mail for each campaign system.
Bulletproof Impact: Instead of dealing with the fallout of poorly written emails salespeople invent on their own, rife with grammatical and formatting errors, templating messages within campaigns allow us to maintain a logical communication flow that tells the story we want our prospects to hear while incorporating best practices in moving from asynchronous communication (one-way) to the synchronous communication (two-way) that drives sales.
In the sales campaigns we’ve created for our clients, email, social media, and even direct mail play a vital role in getting the attention of prospects. Instead of hoping an email, LinkedIn message, or letter will be so well-written it drives a return call, we advocate using all forms of asynchronous communication to build more certainty into getting a prospect’s attention.
In Bulletproof teams, few things are done randomly, and messaging is the same in Bulletproof selling. Every message sent as part of a campaign system by your salespeople – and even messages sent outside a campaign – can achieve the impact they’re there to deliver: driving a sales conversation.
We advocate the use of CRMs for our clients for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the ability to program outreach tasks to occur in between phone calls.
When tasks to send messages do appear, CRMs also allow salespeople to quickly select pre-loaded message templates that correspond with a given campaign system. The salesperson can then quickly access the template in an email, customize the message to the prospect, and send them from within the CRM. Additionally, because a prospect is being managed in a specific campaign that corresponds with where they are in their buying journey, when a task to ‘send email’ appears as part of a campaign, salespeople can quickly identify and select the email, social media, or direct mail template for that task in that part of that campaign, customize the necessary portions, check for any errors, and hit ‘send,’ moving on to the next prospect’s task for that day.
Systemizing Success with Customized Messaging
If you’re designing message templates for your team, examine the overall pipeline you’ve created of your prospect’s buying cycle and the corresponding campaigns. Phone calls and site visits should make up more than half of your outreach steps, so break up the remaining contact points across messaging channels: email, social media, direct mail, etc. For each contact point, determine what that particular message should contain so it flows logically from the previous campaign system step whether that was a phone call, email, social media message, letter, etc.
Name each message template so it corresponds with the task within the campaign. For example: Decision-Maker Identified Campaign Email #1.
When your salesperson sees the step of ‘Send Decision Maker Identified Campaign Email #1,’ they’ll be able to quickly locate that template from within your CRM and load it for sending to the prospect.
In addition to being easy to find, messaging templates should also be easy to customize. The worst thing a system can do is produce more broken stuff, which is why salespeople should never use templated messages as a way to send even more generic, spammy ‘Here’s why we’re awesome and why you should buy from us. Also, here’s the link on my wide-open calendar to book some time with me so I can pitch you’ messages.
To ensure messages are received and actually read, we’ll need to customize them so they look like they were individually created for the prospect they’re being sent to. By making the parts of a message template where customizations should occur easy to identify, salespeople can quickly scan for the pertinent information needed to replace template language and customize each message template they send.
While the art and craft of writing a good email, social media message, or direct mail letter is beyond the scope of this book, you can gather best practices from other books or from your own salespeople. The one thing we’ve found will ensure success regardless of a message’s medium is to add value to your prospect with the message.
Here’s an example of a template message within one of our clients’ CRMs, with the actions the salesperson takes to customize the message in italics:
Decision Maker Identified Email #1
Salesperson is conducting their ‘send message’ tasks after completing phone calls that morning and sees their campaign system has triggered ‘Decision Maker Identified Email #1’ to be sent that day on Jim Smith’s account. The salesperson opens Jim’s account and selects Jim’s email address. The CRM opens an email window with a drop-down of preloaded email templates. The salesperson selects ‘Decision Maker Identified Email #1’ from the list, which loads the template subject line and email body into the email window. In its raw form, it might look like this to the salesperson:
Subject: {{JOB TITLE}} – The Toughest Job on the Planet
{{First Name}}-
It only takes following a {{JOB TITLE}} around for one day to know it’s the toughest job in any organization.
The clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with in {{GEOGRAPHY/REGION}} are telling us the {{INDUSTRY CHALLENGE}} has made their jobs more stressful than ever.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a different type of service, one that partners with {{JOB TITLE}} to help {{BENFIT 1}}, {{BENFIT 2}}, and even {{BENFIT 3}}.
I don’t know if that kind of experience is what you’re trying to create at {{PROSPECT COMPANY}}, so why don’t we schedule a short call to help us learn more about what you’re planning in the upcoming quarter? From there we can decide if it makes sense to discuss further.
Does this week work better for that or next?
The salesperson quickly scans the account information in Jim Smith’s CRM records for the customization fields, sees that Jim is a distribution manager, and checks the new message for any grammatical or spelling errors before sending:
Subject: Distribution Manager – The Toughest Job on the Planet
Jim-
It only takes following a distribution manager around for one day to know it’s the toughest job in any organization.
The clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with in the southeast distribution industry are telling us the changes in supply chain technology and evolving customer expectations have made their jobs more stressful than ever.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a different type of service, one that partners with distribution managers to help ensure less errors in warehouse packaging, more on-time delivery, and even exceeding client expectations with value-added services.
I don’t know if that kind of experience is what you’re trying to create at Widget Distribution Company, so why don’t we schedule a short call to help us learn more about what you’re planning in the upcoming quarter? From there we can decide if it makes sense to discuss further.
Does this week work better for that or next?
Seeing no errors, salesperson hits ‘send,’ the email is sent from the salesperson’s business email address linked within the CRM, and the salesperson checks the ‘Send Decision Maker Identified Email #1’ as being done on that account before moving on to the next messaging task in another prospect’s account.
The total amount of time required for sending the above message – even allowing for customizations – is less than one minute. Not only did the salesperson not have to write the message from scratch, it is also highly customized to the prospect’s details and incorporates best practices from the salesperson’s marketing department and sales team for clear, concise, professional writing.
If there was a way to excise hope as a strategy in email communication with prospects, you’ve just been certified as an exorcist.
While asynchronous messaging can be systemized and automated across campaigns and outreach platforms, the best any system can do for systemizing synchronous communication such as phone calls is to generate a task: ‘On this date, make phone call.’ It’s there that hope enters so many salespeople’s worlds. However, by incorporating the type of training that Bulletproof teams undergo, we can prepare our salespeople for synchronous communication with prospects. This is the exact type of communication that quickly uncovers needs, qualifies buyers and budget, overcomes objections, and drives sales.

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