Release Notes: Sync your Touted Emails with Salesforce API

This week, we’re happy to tell you about a new option for logging Touted emails in Salesforce. Previously, you had the option to use your Email to Salesforce BCC address to log emails – now, you also have the option to log emails to Salesforce using Salesforce’s API. This is ideal for teams who don’t have the option to choose their Email to Salesforce settings. This functionality is available for all paid ToutApp plans.

How does it work?

  1. The API will map Tout Salesforce settings directly over to your Salesforce BCC settings
  2. This configuration will mimic the Salesforce BCC and how it assigns emails to Lead and Contact records.

Using the API is easier to set up because you don’t have to configure advanced Email to Salesforce settings.

To turn it on, just complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Salesforce Configuration page in ToutApp
  2. Choose the option to “Log email activity to Salesforce via API”

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Every new release of ToutApp includes improvements to our infrastructure and overall performance. As new features and bug fixes get rolled out, we’ll let you know.

Don’t Send Emails on Behalf of Sales

Often times marketing will send emails on behalf of sales. And that’s a disservice to the sales process. No one wants a sales email that’s disguised as a marketing email.

Marketing emails are designed to look attractive and eye-catching that promote your product, an upcoming event, popular posts on the company blog, etc. Marketing emails package information and wrap on-brand color bow around it and there’s usually little to no personalization within the body of the email. That doesn’t work for sales emails.

Sometimes in marketing automation, marketing will send sales emails for sales. Those emails, whether a salesperson is sending them or Marketing is sending them, they must look and feel like sales emails. Here’s what you need to do before you send your next sales email:

Send a Real Email

Sales is about building authentic relationships with prospects that rely on the exchange of knowledge, information and concerns. You need to show that you’re a human, not a sales bot. First step: make sure you’re sending emails from your email address. None of this sales@domain.com and more of this anna@domain.com.

Sending a real email, from a real email address automatically gives your email a personal touch and sets the tone for the rest of your email. Using the appropriate language, like sales language, when sending sales emails is an easy way to show that you’re a human to your prospects.

Offer Valuable Information

Today, 65% of all email gets opened on a mobile device. To cut through the inbox noise, you have to make a great first impression and that starts with your subject line. Your subject line must offer something valuable right away. There are tools that will help you uncover the best performing subject lines and allow you to A/B test all within platform.

Then, you need to build on that momentum and continue to offer valuable information that keeps readers motivated to read the actual email. How do you do this? You hyper-personalize your email with a {{Hi First_Name}} and immediately get to the point and address their concerns or give them a unique industry perspective.

Keep It Simple

The body of your email must be hyper-personalized. In building on what we’ve learned above about offering valuable information, to take your emails to the next level – you have to keep them simple. Don’t overcomplicate it with too much jargon, too much text or too many links.

Often times marketing emails are too long, too broad and have too many ideas going on at once. Those emails confuse the reader. Instead, keep your emails focused on one topic with one blog article, research study or other hyper-relevant links. Why? Because it makes it easier on your prospects and it drives attention to your overall message.

Have One Call to Action

The point of any sales email is to offer a unique benefit, whether it’s a new way to look at a prospect’s industry or trial a new productivity platform. Keep your sales email to a singular CTA. And don’t be afraid to be upfront and honest about the next steps. If you want to schedule a call – ask. If you want them to download an eBook – provide the link. If you have a specific question to ask – ask them. Explicitly tell your prospect at the end of the email what their next steps are if they’re interested.

Partner with Marketing

Armed with these learnings, it’s not to say that sales and marketing can’t work together to create great sales emails. In fact, sales and marketing should world together on email templates that focus on the right messaging to connect with prospects.

Having marketing send your sales emails isn’t authentic. Often times they can do more harm than help the situation. But when sales and marketing collaborate, they can start effective conversations through emails.

Get More Information

Translating what works for marketing into sales strategy isn’t the answer. But, taking elements from marketing might be the silver bullet. If you want more information on how to write the best sales emails, read our eBook on the very subject:

How to Get Visibility Into Your Sales Team

Sales and Marketing could not be any different; whether it comes to personality, style, or even the way of thinking about a customer. Differences aside, it has been proven time and time again, that when two groups come together under a common goal — the results can be powerful.

Such is the case with sales and marketing. At the end of the day, both departments work toward a singular goal: revenue. And when they can learn to get visibility into each other’s work, the impact on revenue can be massive. In fact, the benefits of sales and marketing alignment can be as much as a 20% growth in revenue.

Top marketers are realizing the treasure trove that is sales data and are starting to factor it into some of their key decisions — specifically around content. Instead of creating content that only caters to the marketing funnel, 

Here’s what the newly aligned sales and marketing funnel will look like:

By following the outlined best practices, Marketing will gain visibility into their sales team and will become more effective marketers.

Step 1: Make Marketing Decisions Based on Sales Data

Sales has a lot of data. Whether it’s on competitors, deals they’ve closed or opportunities lost – that data is often housed within the sales team. But just because it’s housed there, it doesn’t mean it should stay there. Marketing can gain a ton of knowledge by looking at the treasure trove of data that sales accumulates.

The data sales has can give a marketer an incredible amount of visibility into what makes a customer buy, what makes them leave the funnel and what gets them stuck somewhere in the middle. If sales is moving towards a more consultative approach to the buyer’s journey, it’s a marketers job to arm them with the right content during every step.

Smart marketers need to keep a pulse on what’s happening across their Sales team. And sales needs a platform where they can easily share deal insights across their team and with Marketing.

We here at ToutApp have built an incredible foundation of tracking, templates and analytics. But it’s not just about giving sales the right productivity tools – it’s about taking data from those tools, identifying what’s working and sharing those insights with both Sales and Marketing. So everyone can stay in touch with your deals and data. With Sales Beat, it bubbles up the right insights from Tout Analytics so you can share it with your entire team.

Step 2: Join forces and build a plan of attack together for Prospecting

We’re seeing more and more dedicated prospecting teams across our customer base. In addition to the rise of SDR teams, we’re also seeing more of these teams report to sales directly instead of marketing.

Whether you have a dedicated prospecting team, or your salespeople do their own prospecting, there are a ton of ways marketing can help enable the prospecting process.

Studies show that 90% of B2B buyers are more likely to engage with a salesperson if they view them as a thought leader – so we need to make sure sales is armed to be that thought leaders instead of a run-of-the-mill rep. The key area where marketing can arm sales is by providing messaging (via bullet points), content and other collateral that help build awareness.

As we polled marketing and sales leaders, here’s a comprehensive list we’ve put together of the types of collateral you can develop for your prospecting reps to help drive awareness:

  1. Creating and curating content around why a topic (sales productivity, HR compliance, cloud storage, recruiting, etc.) matters to a prospect’s specific role or industry
  2. Buyer personas segment your audience and create stronger sales and marketing strategies. Buying behaviors are constantly changing – it’s important that you iterate on those changes so your reps stay current.
  3. Ebooks are a strategic opportunity to present resonating and engaging information to both prospects and customers.
  4. In the eyes of your prospects, Case Studies demonstrate success while focusing on an individual customer’s journey.
  5. Infographics: as salespeople are spending less time reading – they need something incredibly visual to get the intended point across.
  6. Videos, whether they’re customer testimonials or short product videos, demonstrate instant value and short yet effective enough to hold an attention span.
  7. Product Overview Sheet can be sent in the prospecting and post-discovery call sales scenario to quickly reinform prospects on your solution.
  8. A clear call-to-action on your website – make it so you have no other choice but to stop, notice and take immediate action.

Step 3: Help Sales Close Deals at the Final Stages with Content

Sales should never go into the pricing stage without an arsenal of marketing collateral. Up to this point in the funnel, the sales rep has been building trust with the prospect by sharing valuable high-level content. Now, at this crucial stage, the collateral needs to shift towards highlighting your products and why your product justifies the cost.

Sales needs marketing to achieve this. For many companies, this where they pull out all the stops and generate hyper specific content such as an in-depth blog articles, customer testimonials, interactive content and case studies.

Prospects want something tangible and visual. And they want it now. Sales needs to align themselves with the competitive positioning and collateral that challenges all other competitors in the space to close the deal.

So, what’s next?

Marketing needs to stop spending all their time with their heads in the top of the funnel. Instead, marketers and sales need to look at the entire sales funnel and integrate their forces to make the sales process more effective and data-driven. Both marketers and sales reps need to have their pulse on the entire sales funnel. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the game and get visibility into your team.

Release Notes: Push to Tout Enhancements

This week, we’re happy to tell you about a few improvements we’ve made to Tout, outside of brand new collaboration feature, Sales Beat. You can learn more about how Sales Beat drives sales collaboration, here.

As for additional improvements, we’ve updated the following:

  1. We have identified and fixed several edge cases with our Push to Tout functionality within Salesforce (which allows you to quickly import leads and contacts from SF to Tout in just three clicks)
  2. We have also identified and fixed several edge cases with scheduled emails in Gmail

Every new release of ToutApp includes improvements to our infrastructure and overall performance. As new features and bug fixes get rolled out, we’ll let you know, here.

80% of Marketing Content Created Goes Unused by Sales

In a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) it stated that “sales team members don’t use as much as 80% of the content that marketing generates even though most of it is created for sales and channel enablement.” This means that 1 in 5 pieces of marketing content created gets used. The rest remains untouched and unnoticed.

For an industry that is spending money in droves on Content Marketing, that is an alarming statistic.

Statistics show that companies that invest in sales and marketing alignment experience 20% growth in average revenues. So that begs the question, what can you do to drive a better relationship between Sales and Marketing? Based on our research, here are concrete steps you can take to not only create better marketing content but also ensure sales uses it.

Step #1: Sales and Marketing Need to Talk, With an Agenda

Talking about Sales and Marketing alignment isn’t enough. Salespeople and Marketers are different, but it’s important to remember that they all share a common goal: revenue.

In order to drive alignment, you must first learn how to talk to each other. Here’s a baseline agenda on how to fix difficulties in discussion, collaboration and implementation:

  • Have a dedicated time weekly where you’ll sit and compare notes on what’s going on with your team, in the market and with prospects
  • Pinpoint the stages and areas of the sales process where salespeople are encountering friction, confusion or competitive pressures
  • Talk through the challenges that are top of mind for your prospects that salespeople are coming across

Based on the above discussion points, marketers and salespeople should be able to discuss and brainstorm the following items:

  • The type of content that can be created to aid in the sales discussions mentioned above
  • The type of content marketing can generate to help drive more leads to sales

Step #2: Get to Work, Create and Distribute Content That Won’t Become Part of the 80% Statistic

Based on the discussions that took place on Step 1, here’s where Marketing should get to work on creating content that’ll get used by Sales.

While creating content, it is the marketer’s job to not only create content that sales will use, it’s equally important they don’t forget to empathize with the prospect. According to Forrester Research “buyers do want to work with salespeople who deeply understand their roles, their companies and their challenges.” This means you should create and share content that reflects your prospect’s values.

While Marketing is creating the content, Sales should constantly stay in touch with Marketing and ensure that the content created represents the voice, tonality and style that will resonate with prospects.

  • Curate content that targets a specific role, industry or problem
  • Create content such as a case study, white paper or customer testimonial that addresses each step in the buyer’s journey

Step #3: Organize and Test Content

As content is created, Marketing and Sales need to come together once again and walk through the pieces of content that were created and ensure both sides understand how each of the items can be used as a secret weapon in the sales process to drive their common goal of revenue.
Specifically, Marketing needs to organize the content being created into actionable packages which Sales can quickly reference and share with prospects. As Sales uses content, both teams need to have a proper system in place to test not only which content is being used, but also whether the content is positively impacting the metrics that matter: revenue, win rates and sales cycles.

Here’s how you can organize and test every piece of content in your library:

  • Get granular with organization and break apart the buyer’s journey into specific folders
  • Give constructive feedback on the organization method
  • Get training on the relevant skills and know where to find content
  • Role play: Much like sales role play, add the step of finding a piece of content during a call and send it to your prospect in real time
  • Test what content works and where it needs tweaking
  • Blast it: when a new piece of content goes live – bust out your social chops and blast the word to the sales team

The Key Takeaway

At the end of the day, if a piece of content isn’t being used, then it doesn’t stand a chance of increasing revenue or connecting with prospects. Sales and Marketing need to join forces and work together if they’re going to be successful in having authentic, consultative and valuable information with prospects.

The 90 Second Last Ditch Effort That Closes Deals

I closed a deal today that otherwise would have been lost without an incredible sense of personal touch. Spoiler alert – the actual email I sent is included below.

Here’s how it went down:

My competitor had swooped in and was in the end stage of a deal I had been working on for months. I knew we were a better product and long term partner for this customer, but they knew we were more expensive and I didn’t show enough value in my demo. Email and voicemails weren’t doing the trick – so I got creative and went to YouTube.

A few months ago, I introduced ToutApp to a customer that was just starting to define a new sales structure. Several reps on the team tried the product, but with their shifting end of year priorities the timing wasn’t right to move forward.

Swooped

Some new hires were more familiar with the competitor, and without running another trial, the key differentiators weren’t compelling compared to the convenience of using something familiar.

I heard that the discussion on next steps no longer included my company. I had to prove they were buying more than software – they were buying a partnership that would truly help their team grow. However, my last call to the VP asking for two minutes was politely declined.

It’s end of quarter, with a board meeting coming up, we’ve already decided, thanks but no thanks.

All you need is 90 seconds

Two options: Mark this up as a loss, or do something unique that would convince him the extra work to reverse the decision was an important use of his time. I recorded a 90 second video of myself discussing the three specific reasons why he should reconsider a partnership with ToutApp. I recorded and edited this through iMovie – and only took 10 minutes total.

How I won

In case he didn’t have time to watch the video, I summarized the reasons in the email. The video was completely personalized to him, and included his name and LinkedIn picture in the intro frame. I knew this was my last chance to earn their business, so I wanted to give it a shot.

My email:

Subject: I recorded a video for you {{first_name}}

Hi {{first_name}},

I want to be respectful of your time, so I recorded a quick video message (90s).https://youtu.be/IKbdcG15q3o

In case you don’t have time to watch, I cover:

  1. How [Similar Customer] switched to ToutApp from [Competitor] and 1 rep on their team booked 21 meetings by using [specific feature]
  2. Best long term partner
  3. Innovation leader – our vision

I hope we can jump on one last call before you decide, and would like to introduce you to our CEO to explain further about our product vision.

Best,

Dan

Why you should try this unique touch for your deals too

By no means was my video particularly compelling, but it was the act of showing I cared about his team, his goals and his time that helped me standout. I’m looking forward to working with this team, and hope this story helps you go the extra mile for your customers.

This article was originally published by Dan on LinkedIn. Add Dan to your LinkedIn network here and follow him @justdansmith

Release Notes: Analytics Enhancements

This week, we’re delighted to share our latest updates to ToutApp. Back in November, we totally revamped Tout Analytics to bubble up best practices across the team. Since then, we’ve continued to improve the performance and speed of our analytics pages. And this week, thanks to your direct feedback, we have made the following improvements:

Updates across all pages (Team, Me and Content Analytics):

All columns that have both percentages and number values have sorting functionality:
  1. Default setting – high to low #
  2. Second click – low to high #
  3. Third click – high to low %
  4. Fourth click – low to high %

Team page updates:

  1. The Top Templates leaderboard has been removed
  2. We’ve added two new stats to the Rep Leaderboard
    1. Unique people emailed
    2. Total # of emails sent using a Tout template
  3. All columns except for “Rank” are sortable by clicking on the blue icon

 

Every new release of ToutApp includes improvements to our infrastructure and overall performance. As new features and bug fixes get rolled out, we’ll let you know, here.

 

Golden State Warriors Use Tout to Measure Engagement

The Golden State Warriors Outside Sales team found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to measure a prospect’s level of engagement via email. The team needed a tool that would give them clear and actionable insights that would take their sales efforts to the next level.

Paul Ratner, Director, Suite & Hospitality Solutions at the Golden State Warriors, saw the value in ToutApp right away.

“I closed two six-figure deals last month which simply would not have happened without Tout. I knew exactly when they were engaged, and followed up at the perfect time to drive them to close.” said Paul Ratner.

Learn more about how Paul and his team use Tout to win deals.

Driving Productivity Across Sales Development

Last week Daniel Barber, Director of Sales Development & Operations at ToutApp, and I spoke on the panel at AA-ISP’s Silicon Valley Chapter meeting. The topic of discussion was on the relationship between sales executives and their top performing Sales Development Rep (SDR) or Inside Sales Rep (ISR).

The panel primarily focused on the structures, processes and outcomes designed by the sales executives and how their top rep executes on those processes to achieve and exceed their goals.

All three companies on the panel represented a wide spectrum of strategies, technologies stacks, activity metrics and quotas. There’s no perfect formula for running an SDR or Inside Sales team but collaboration among these teams is valuable to understanding how teams find success. Below I’ll touch on some areas of discussion and explain how the SDR team at ToutApp operates.

Outcome Focus: Daniel has structured ToutApp’s SDR team to be focused on outcomes rather than activities. Rather than high volume outreach we direct our team toward personalization at scale.

Tools: We’ve invested in several tools across our Sales Development team to make us successful, but we also use free tools and apps as well. With our tools in place, the entire SDR team is able to focus on productive prospecting and social selling.

Purchased by ToutApp:

o   Salesforce

o   LinkedIn Sales Navigator

o   Mattermark

o   InsightSquared

Free Apps:

o   TweetDeck

o   Buffer

o   CharlieApp

o   Rapportive

o   Followr

Structure of my day:

Early morning:

  •   Trigger events
  •   Load valuable content into Buffer

Morning:

  •   Prioritize follow-up with most engaged prospects via ToutApp

Afternoon:

  • Salesforce tasks

Later afternoon:

  • Structure my next day by planning an outreach strategy

Preparing for conversations: We try to reduce the amount of touches it takes to produce an opportunity and rely heavily on a consistent feed of trigger events to inform our conversations.

  •  Trigger Events
  • LinkedIn Navigator: saved searches and account/lead updates
  • Subscribe to CrunchBase Daily for funding announcements and acquisitions
  • Twitter
  • SEC filings
  • CrunchBase and VentureBeat for companies news and updates

What makes an SDR team successful?

With more access to sales analytics, technology is helping align sales management and sales reps. While there’s no a secret sauce for running an SDR team, we are noticing a demand for collaboration among sales development leaders.  Let’s continue to share best practices and success stories in this new era of Sales Development. Tweet at me @NicoletteToutIt

 

Namely Uses ToutApp for Hyper Growth

Imagine a world where all your HR needs are rolled into one easy to use platform. Luckily, Namely fulfills that need and is building the future of HR. Their full suite of HR tools include a modern HRIS, payroll, benefits, performance management and more.

Chris Flores, Manager of Inside Sales, and his team of sales reps use ToutApp everyday to reach their sales goals and stay productive.

“The first time someone is exposed to something like ToutApp, it blows their mind. If everyone is using technology like ToutApp, we’re going to get better as salespeople, as professionals. And, at the end of the day, the entire company can grow from it and we just get better and better.”

Learn from Chris and his team in our latest video case study: