Is international competition an email sales driver?

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Setting a goal to meet, getting motivated to achieve it, and striving as hard as possible to overcome the challenges along the way are some of the keys to success in different areas of life, work among them. When it comes to leading a team of workers, a manager not only has to follow this process at an individual level, but he is also in charge of conveying to others the objectives that must be achieved and the motivation necessary to make an effort.

In this regard, if you are at the helm of a sales team, you may wonder whether it is better to promote internal competitiveness on the team to motivate its members to try new sales tactics, or whether, on the contrary, competitiveness can be negative and end up generating discomfort and distrust.

There is no doubt that when you want to win a race, seeing the finish line and knowing that behind you there are other athletes running towards it too can spur your to pick up the pace. Similarly, in a sales department, promoting competition can encourage employees to achieve better results.

However, the strategy to promote rivalry must be well defined, to avoid creating an awkward work environment. Don’t make workers try to improve at the cost of harming others. Rather, encourage them to follow their peers’ example.

Rivalry is all right, as long as it is healthy

Healthy competition can yield good results, both individually and for teams as whole units. But, how can you promote it? These are some guidelines.

  • Be clear about the metrics you want to study.  Logically, in a football game, for example, the most important thing is to know the other team. But that’s not all. Measuring ball possession and shots on goal is also important. Similarly, in a sales department there are a few metrics that should be considered beyond total sales: sales by product or service, by the channel one has used to achieved the lead, sales to recurring customers, or to new customers, etc.

Obviously, comparing the results of each team member (individual sales, number of calls or number of customers contacted that resulted in sales) can also be of great help. 

  • Set the competition’s objectives. Logically, it is useless to measure the team without communicating the objectives that are to be achieved. However, it is not enough to set a quarterly sales target, or one for a specific campaign. You also have to teach the team how they can achieve that goal. For example, by following these guidelines you can teach them to write better emails.

It is also important that you explain not only what they need to do, but also why. This is the only way to ensure that competitiveness is beneficial for all the team members and does not negatively affect their motivation, or damage their self-esteem. Explaining to them in detail how meeting those goals will benefit them individually, and how it will also help to achieve the department and company’s mission, will strengthen their commitment.

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  • Make the winners public (and reward them).  Logically, as in any contest, it is important to recognise the winners and reward them adequately. Set aside any inadequate and obsolete strategies that involve rebuking instead of rewarding: a good sales manager does not publicly humiliate the loser, but rather encourages everyone to excel.

The best managers should not focus on negative results, but rather praise positive ones.  Public recognition, economic rewards and more original prizes (a gift, an office party) are just some of the ways to acknowledge those workers who have posted the best results or showed the most commitment to a project, without neglecting to recognise other members of the team for their merits too.

In the day to day, the most common thing is to have a board, physical and virtual, featuring data charting each team member’s daily, monthly or quarterly progress, to motivate them to move up in the rankings.

Doing so benefits not only the one who gets the best results, but everyone else too: seeing that the rest can achieve sales goals will make them realise that it is possible to do so, and motivate them to identify how they can improve. Every month the counter returns to zero, so everyone has the chance to move up next time.

  • Motivate and strengthen ties. Just as coaches analyse results after a game, sales managers have to evaluate their teams’ performances, both individually and globally. But when he addresses the team face to face, he should never pit employees against each other, but rather encourage reflection. For example, he can have the best salespeople share useful tips for everyone, and encourage an exchange of opinions on areas for improvement.  

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Digital tools, a tool to promote competition

Logically, to establish the parameters of the competition you must know that you will be able to measure all those results that enhanced competitiveness may increase. On the Web you can find a multitude of tools that help your company measure the performance of its sales team.

Stats showing a team’s email usage habits, at the individual and global level, are one of the metrics that help to improve performance in the healthy competitive environment that you have created.

Want to see how we help managers to get inbox stats and manage email sales teams? Try Gmailmeter.com.

Best practices for your email sales team

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Every day dozens of emails from companies, relatives and acquaintances arrive in our inboxes, which barely gives us time to read them all. This is why the sending of emails by companies’ sales teams, a business process essential to attract customers, must be properly monitored and managed. There are also certain practices that can be followed to increase the likelihood that a client will read and respond to your messages.

If a sales team receives leads (records of people interested in your products, having sent their information via a form) and starts a conversation by email with those customers, if they have to answer a question from the potential customer, or need to send a personalised mail, there are a number of recommendations that you should keep in mind. Here we run down some good practices that a sales team should follow when using email:

How to write successful sales emails

Every word that you write in your email matters, from the Subject line to your closing. Now, what is the ideal wording for an email? These are some of the guidelines your sales team should follow when writing them:

  • The Subject line of the email is crucial. No matter how appealing your proposal is, the user will not read it if he never opens it. Thus, it is essential that the Subject be recognisable and interesting, as the objective is for the recipient to click on it. Similarly, taking great care with the first sentence of the email is important in terms of getting it opened, as it appears near the Subject line in the inbox.
  • Write short and simple emails. Although it may be tempting to offer lots of details, so that the client appreciates the work behind it, it is not a good idea to draft long emails. Quite the contrary. Follow the premise that less is more, and get to the point, keeping your email short. And the message has to be simple: if it is full of details the user will likely delete it instead of stopping to read it.
  • Ask just one question, or propose a single action in each email. If you ask too many questions, the client is unlikely to answer any of them. Remember that the key is for the message to be simple, so you have to ask a question that is also simple, so that recipients only have to spend a few minutes of their time responding to your query.
  • Your mail must have a purpose. Do not waste the time of a client or a future client with a follow-up email that does not have a clear objective. Your messages should always have a purpose, and it must be clear.

Ask your clients to respond. Often users decide to put of responding, and the email falls into oblivion. Therefore, you have to make them feel that, if they do not answer, you will no long offer them the opportunity in question. Do it politely, but let them know that their inaction will have consequences.desk-2852986_1280

How to write effective response emails

Responding to users who have shown interest in your product is essential to turn them into customers. To train sales professionals to respond effectively by email, follow these tips:

  • When you have to answer a lead, time is of the essence. As we already stated, every minute counts when it comes to email. The faster you answer a lead, the more likely you are to turn it into a sale. Quickly answering any questions is also vital.
  • Customise your answers. Avoid canned responses that lack personalisation as much as possible, but if you cannot avoid sending an automatic response, gather all the information you can from the email you receive, or include the name of the recipient, or your company, in the response. In fact, the experts stress that personalising your response will make them feel engaged in the proposal.
  • Always include a call to action. The purpose of the email should be clear in the body of the message, and should lead to a specific proposal at the end. So, as a close to the message, and before saying goodbye, include a call to action that instructs the user to take the next step.

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How to manage sales emails

Following the above advice is useless if there is no proper management and follow-up of these messages. To manage your sales team’s emails, use technological tools:

  • Get your sales team’s email statistics. To determine whether your sales team’s emails are working, it is essential to have metrics. Using Gmailmeter.com allows you to track your team’s habits when sending emails, the number of emails sent or received, the total number of senders, and response times, among many other data. Analysing them and making decisions based on them, you can boost your sales via email.
  • Use smart automation. Using pre-tested templates to draft messages, and automatic tools to personalise emails can be very helpful. Further, keeping in mind the best time of day and the best day of the week to send emails is also essential.
  • Try, try and try again. Monitoring the effectiveness of messages and acting accordingly is also essential. To do this, you can use the well-known A/B method: send two similar versions of the same email, but with some different elements, to different groups of users. Then analyse the results from each one to hone your future emails.

Would you like to manage your sales email teams? We can help out. Give a try to gmailmeter.com to measure your inbox performance or send us an email to sales@gmailmeter.com. We’d be happy to help.