Can you really trace the growth trajectory of your startup? I mean you’ll try your best to make it very successful, but there are a lot of things that will have to be looked at for it to take off.
Trying your best is not just doing a lot of hard work and hoping for the best. Not in the SaaS space at least. Most thriving SaaS companies will swear by the fact that they have an integral engine right at the centre of it all.
For many product-led companies, this engine is - as you might have guessed- their product. Many others rely on a combined engine that comprises a great product and sales-assisted growth.
Yes! I’m ready to run this engine-train metaphor into the ground.
Now that’s out of the way, how about we get into the meat of the matter?
Sales, for many, have two main functions - Inbound and Outbound. I’ll be focusing on the latter as cold emails are a big part of the outbound sales function and this IS a post on cold emails of course.
Just so that inbound people feel the love, here’s what it means - Inbound sales begin when a lead comes to an organization to inquire about a product or service. Other ways you get inbound leads might involve potential customers being attracted to your content like blog posts ( like you 😉), case studies, webinars etc. These are mostly leads generated as a result of your marketing strategies.
Moving on to the exciting younger brother Mr Outbound now. Where do I even begin? There is so much to it. So, so many rejections. I mean, it never gets old. Outbound sales, as the name suggests, is when you look OUTWARDS to identify potential customers and reach out to them. You announce yourself to people who might have never even heard of your product or seen your company’s logo. Then there might be some who might have seen or heard about you but have no idea how you can help them out. That’s where cold emailing comes in and helps in moving customers from one stage of the AIDA funnel to the other.
Cold emailing simply is one of the best approaches to SaaS sales. It’s an option with huge potential growth with really minimum investment. It’s an effective way to open doors for a lot of new opportunities. This might just be the opportunity that can make your businesses fly.
The idea behind implementing cold emailing is to establish a relationship with prospects whilst putting across your value proposition. The aim of the game is to point out a relevant problem that sometimes may not be evident and then show them how your product can solve it.
As mentioned earlier, this is an effective strategy. It’s an art if you will. When done properly, it can garner a lot more eyeballs for your product and bring in a lot of responses. It can be implemented and scaled at a relatively lower cost using the numerous automation tools available today.
The image above shows Oprah Winfrey being as giving as she is. Great talk show host, an amazing philanthropist, but a terrible cold emailer. Why? Because she doesn’t have a strategy. So, like most other things in sales, this also has to be strategized for you to get the best results out of it. Here’s how you can do it:
This step involves a lot of research that is of utmost importance. This goes way beyond having just the basic information about prospects. Thoroughly understanding your prospects involves digging in deeper into their profile and that of the organization they work for.
The point of going deep into a prospect and their company’s profile is to get a clear picture of your target audience and understand their pain points. Some of the right questions to ask in order to get this much-needed information include -
Once you have the needed information, it all comes down to positioning yourself in the right way that explains how you can address some of the pain points you have identified.
Once you’ve identified the kind of companies and job roles you want to go after, it’s time to build a database with the information needed to reach out to them. This includes details like your prospect's email address.
There is a multitude of email hunting tools like ZoomInfo, Lusha and Apollo that make it easy for your teams to find said email addresses in just a few minutes. Once you get these emails, it’s important to verify them and understand their deliverability. This is to avoid really high bounce rates that might end up blacklisting your email ID and block you from reaching your prospects in the future.
One of the most important things to remember is that your cold emails are all about your prospects and not about yourself.
Personalization might be mentioned a lot when you read about cold emailing and that's for good reason. The importance of letting your prospect know you know them and care about them cannot be overstated. The first step, which is the research step should have given enough information about your prospect for you to use as an ice-breaker in your emails.
Your cold emails should be simple, short and to the point. A great cold email would start off with a good, relevant bit of personalization to engage the prospect. That is followed by pointing out a gap or a pain point faced by them that you have identified during your information-gathering stage. Pointing out this pain point is to get them thinking about it and it is to be followed by how your product can make their life easier by solving it.
Once all of that is done correctly, the final part of the email should encourage your reader to take action.
Probably one of the most underrated parts of your cold emailing strategy. Follow-ups win you replies.
Most recipients of your cold emails will not reply to the very first email you send them. This could be due to numerous factors - maybe your email wasn’t compelling enough to generate a response, maybe they opened it but did not read it, maybe they read it but forgot to reply etc. The most important thing is to follow up to make sure they are reminded of your pursuit for their response.
The ideal number of follow-ups ranges anywhere between 5-7 emails. It’s persistence that gets you the result you want.
Like many LinkedIn Sales Influencers will tell you time and again in their posts - Cold emailing is not dead. They’re absolutely spot on.
Cold emails are one of the best and cheap ways to connect to potential buyers of your SaaS product. It requires a great deal of strategising to be as effective as it can be. It’s not hard, but it does require patience and persistence.
Really good cold emails can get you a lot of business and can prove to be vital in your growth. It’s a process that is repeatable and scalable.