The concepts of sales development have been around forever. But the focus and emergence of the sales development team is a relatively new business practice.
The sales development team has provided incredible results for a number of companies (Salesloft included) and has even been deemed the way “Silicon Valley Sells.”
Since best practices are still in their youth, sales development technology isn’t as built out as many other fields.
With email being one of the biggest components of sales development, we’re going to explore ten ingredients that would make the perfect sales development email tool:
1. Have and Manage Templates
Templates are a necessity.
They should have custom fields: first name, last name, company, and industry that are super simple to use.
Templates can save a ton of time and monotony since there’s nothing worse than writing the same email over and over again.
While they’re table stakes, we’d be remiss to not include them in this post.
2. Send Through Your Actual Email System (No Spam or 3rd Tab by using transactional servers)
If your email goes to a spam or promotional tab, it loses a huge chunk of it’s value.
The tool should be compatible with any email client and avoid these folders like the plague. Every email you send needs to feel personalized to spur a positive reaction (spam certainly doesn’t…if it gets opened at all).
3. Set Up Cadence (Guided by Best Practices)
Cadence is the missing piece for most prospecting teams, and finding the right one is often the last piece of a successful team that falls into place.
As you’re setting up a cadence, the tool would guide you through best practices, like sticking with one strategy for at least a month before changing it up so that you can take a 30 day pool of metrics to compare success.
One of our favorites is a 7×7 strategy, used by our friends at WhatCounts.
4. Track Views, Clicks, and Replies, And Account For It In Your Cadence
Once you’ve sent an email out, you want to know how its been received.
Have people opened it? Clicked on a link? Responded?
You need these numbers to determine which emails you send are successful so you can streamline your outreach to get more responses.
It can also turn a cold call into a warm one. If someone’s already opened/clicked your email, you have a stronger base for your next outreach.
When you can take these data points and incorporate them into your cadence it will become one of the most powerful features for an SDR email tool.
5. Accommodate OOO Reminders And Track Bounces
Continuing to email people who haven’t had the chance to respond is unprofessional.
Instead of continuing to email someone who has an auto-responder saying they’re out of the office for two weeks, you want to be able to adjust your outreach accordingly.
Most importantly, OOO reminders often include cell phone numbers and direct dials (and that’s prospecting gold!)
Similarly, if an email is bouncing back, you should be able to note that stop using the invalid address.
6. Import Data from Multiple Locations
The ideal email tool would allow data to be imported from Salesloft, legacy data providers, or your own CRM, so all your information is readily available in one place. It’s unproductive to have to navigate between different sources to find and log relevant information.
Now that you can import data, it needs to be adaptable to make it more email friendly. For example, removing “Inc.” or “LLC” from company names or “Jr.” or “MBA” can make emails more personable and not look like they were sent by a robot.
7. Detailed Reporting
The tool already allows you to setup and manage cadence. But how do you know which one is working best?
You should be able to track and visualize how well you’re doing in relation to previous activity. Analytics like open %, click %, and reply % over time is very powerful when determining the best cadence.
8. Adjust Your Cadence
So you’ve done a great job utilizing templates to send the perfect emails over the course of a week.
You’re getting better responses than ever before.
You need the ability to easily change your cadence based on your results. It should be easy to implement a new cadences and tweak them for best results.
9. Set Reminders
Once you’ve gotten a reply from a prospect, the most powerful tool is the reminders setting. You need to be able to quickly set a follow-up or check on the status of a conversation.
Hopefully, you’re getting so many responses that you need reminders to keep up with it all. This feature stops any prospects from slipping through the cracks when they ask to be followed up with in two days, two weeks, etc.
10. Team Management (No Stepping On Each Other’s Toes)
If a rep has reaches out to a prospect, the touch should be seamlessly integrated into the tool itself. The tool should alert any other team member approaching the same contact or if anyone else has had previous conversations with them.
Having an email history available for different prospects is invaluable.
By doing this, accidentally reaching out to a prospect that’s already been contacted is eliminated.
At the end of the day, your sales development email tool should directly align with best practices for process. It should allow your SDRs to login and be guided through all the steps they need to make. This will enable them to set 3 to 4 times more demos than they ever have before!
What other features would you want to see in an email tool for sales development?