There are many qualities that are key for a great outsourced inside sales team. For example, many would agree the success of a sales team can be determined by how its members assess, evaluate and improve their own performance. It’s a fickle thing though. As a sales rep, finding your groove with prospects is not easy; and learning to constantly adapt and evolve is what ultimately makes the difference. At Bandalier, we foster this behavior using the Japanese principle of kaizen. A literal translation of kaizen would equate to “continuous improvement”, however, kaizen can often take on many forms. A common practice that is imperative for continuous improvement in Bandalier life and client satisfaction is A/B testing.
What exactly is A/B testing? Whether it’s making that initial cold call, attempting to follow up through email, or scrubbing data prior to outreach there is never one single strategy that will stick across the board. No matter how good your work is, it is largely circumstantial. You need to account for how your outreaches will be perceived across different industries (Engineering vs. Insurance), different points of contact (CFO vs. Office Manager), and even the personality of the prospect regardless of their business affiliation (introvert/extrovert). Thus, by taking your status quo strategy (A) and challenging its effectiveness with a slightly different approach (B) you’re proactively and continuously improving, leaving no stone unturned. Think about it this way, would you use the same exact words and phrasing for every single job interview in your life? No, of course not. Your strategy will not only evolve according to your mistakes but it will reposition itself to coincide with factors that will ensure the best competitive advantage. Being able to report these A/B test findings to clients not only benefits your sales results, but helps them strategize on a higher level as well!
Using this technique with marketing and sales outreach through email means the world. Not to say that A/B testing your cold calling strategy isn’t just as important. However, you arguably have more opportunities to act on the fly, improvise and steer the conversation when you have a prospect talking to you directly. In other words, however little it may be, you have some semblance of the prospect’s attention as long as they pick up the phone. Whereas that initial introduction over email is almost like the end all be all. If your subject line doesn’t catch their eye or the body is too long, that’s it. Message deleted, they might not even read past the first two words. While you still have the ability to follow up, your chances of a successful close slowly diminish with each attempt after the initial outreach. Which is why you’ll want to take every advantage and don’t be afraid to experiment. Take for example the current socio-economic climate. The effects of COVID-19 are universal and ripe for unique personalizations that will apply everywhere because what’s happening to one prospect is happening to every single one. Case and point why A/B testing your subject line and email bodies will noticeably bring your competitive advantage to new heights.
So A/B testing your emails seems like a powerful tool; but realistically there’s only so much one sales rep can do to reinvent their strategies. Here’s the thing though, part of what makes inside sales so effective is a team environment. By continuously improving your own strategies you are consequently discovering new insights that your teammates may very well have not thought of. At Bandalier, we are constantly sharing our successes and failures with each other all in favor of fostering the power of sales as a service. These methods and ideas are old news to anybody who is experienced in sales. However, by employing them each a little bit everyday, it really makes a huge difference. So next time you’re about to press send, take the extra minute and challenge that subject line, that body paragraph and most importantly, yourself.
Jacob Zall - Sales Operations Associate at Bandalier