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How to Use Relevancy to Accelerate the Sales Funnel

April 12th, 2016 Troy O'Bryan

Every day we go through it. We all receive the dreaded, unsolicited email. Most are automated, a copy and paste of previous messaging that often has little, if anything, to do with your company or personal needs. It’s volume versus relevancy. The salesperson figures if he/she sends the same terrible email to everyone, at least 3% of the market will want a demo. Right? Wrong.

In 2015 the average person received 122 emails a day and this figure is expected to grow. In a perfect world, these emails would be relevant—they would be timely, personalized, provide value, and even better, make us more productive. Instead, our inboxes are like battlefields and we’re all just trying to survive the constant barrage. As a marketer, if you want to move prospects through the buying cycle, you have to provide custom-tailored value. Here’s how:

Understand Context to Build Trust

Resist the temptation to batch and blast a random message. Who is the person on the other side of that email? What do they care about?

Before someone will respond to you, they need to trust you. To build trust, show them you know them. Spend time reviewing their LinkedIn profile and their Twitter feed, Google them to find any recent news, then reach out with a common interest. Based on what you have learned and their interaction with your content, categorize them into a buying stage. Are they in the early research stage, figuring out their options, or evaluating vendors? Offering a demo is the salesperson’s goal, likely not the buyer’s.

Use Timing to Communicate Effectively

What’s the most important thing in comedy? Timing. Without it, the message fails to come across the way it was intended, and instead of delighting an audience, the punchline falls flat. The same goes for communicating effectively with a prospect. Timely follow-up on an inquiry within five minutes of a request will result in a 100 times better chance of reaching them — and a 21 times greater chance of qualification. But you can’t be relevant if you don’t first contextualize your message.

Relevancy in outbound communication involves the study of implicit and explicit behaviors. An implicit behavior might mean a prospect is reading a case study on your website because they connected with the same challenges. When you reach out, bring up solutions from the case study. Explicit behavior is more straightforward—when a prospect fills out a contact form or downloads an asset. Continue the conversation by addressing the stage they are in, a clue that can be found in the explicit behavior they initially took.

Always Deliver Value

Zig Ziglar once said: “Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.” Your success ultimately rides on the value that you can deliver for others. At every stage of the sales funnel, prospects are evaluating you based on the value you could bring to them, so make sure your content addresses this. Buyers take action for two reasons: 1) to achieve an aspiration or 2) to alleviate some pain or problem.

A relevant offer doesn’t feel pushy, because it’s not. If it’s useful, the prospect will welcome it. A good offer strategy involves knowing what stage of the buying cycle they are in, and the common questions they are trying to ask at each stage.

  • Awareness – What problem do I have?
  • Consideration – How can I solve the problem?
  • Transaction – How do I make the best decision?

For example, if someone is in the Consideration stage, give them the in-depth education they’re searching for with a case study or best practice guide. They’re past the need for a basic how-to blog post, but they’re not quite ready for a free trial. It’s imperative to deliver content that meets a prospect’s needs, at the appropriate time. Offering the wrong piece of content, or not having an offer strategy at all, can harm your marketing efforts. Give them what they want… not what you think they want.

Commit to Relevancy

Relevancy takes commitment. If we continually work on building trust, communicating effectively, and delivering value, then we are honoring this commitment that will ultimately help us be better marketers and close more deals. What actions are you taking to make your sales efforts relevant today? Share in the comments.


This is a guest post from our friends at Response Capture.