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When It Comes To Sales Prospecting, One Size Does Not Fit All

It’s a pretty common occurrence to feel like once you’ve found copy that resonates with your target audience, that you can then use that for all of your outreach to your target account list. The problem with this kind of thinking is that different departments have very different personas and will react to copy in different ways. Even within the same department, the pain points of the VP level and above are VERY different than the pain points of a Director or Manager and taking a one size fits all is going to:

1. Make it obvious that your email outreach is automated since it doesn’t fit their needs, what they care about, or their voice

and.. 

2. Have a negative impact on your response rates and sentiments and could cause higher ups that would have been the perfect fit for your product dismiss you.

When sending to different departments in the same Company

A large majority of our clients are B2B SaaS companies whose product is some kind of software or online tool that helps various departments of their target companies. Typically, the department we are going after is marketing, operations, or sales. However, we noticed that many times, we were being referred or re-directed to the IT department who would be in charge of implementing the software and are in charge of the budget for additional tech tools vs. the marketing department who would be the users of the tool and the targets for the use case.

After changing the intro line to the email to reflect that they are in IT,  I noticed that my IT campaigns weren’t performing as well even though the copy was killing it when being sent to the marketing team.  After doing some digging, I realized that while our copy briefly mentioned that the product was an online tool, it was geared entirely to what a marketing or sales team would care about (example: more leads, increase in traffic, streamlined workflow) and while all of these things are great, Gary in IT doesn’t care, and the email isn't tailored to him so he is less likely to respond.

By changing the language to focus on saving money on other software by consolidating programs needed and ease of implementation, the reply rates and positive responses all increased. IT also is less prone to read long-winded emails so the copy had to be MUCH more concise and to the point.

When sending to different levels in the same department

VPs and C suite execs simply do not have the same concerns or pain points that a Director or Manager does. More often than not, the Director and Managerial level are in the weeds on a daily basis, working along with their team while the VP and C suite are focused on metrics and outcomes.

In a sales department, VP and above prospects care about KPIs, and increasing revenue by X amount. Managers, Directors, and reps care about hitting their monthly or quarterly goals and making sure they have enough leads for their book of business. Their needs are more focused on the day to day micro versus the macro concerns of the C suite.

It wasn’t until I noticed a difference in the way these two levels approached the same pain points within their department that I was able to make minor tweaks to the copy to better speak to the different audiences. Just being a teensy bit more targeted made all the difference in response sentiment and volume.

What to take away

Next time you’re writing copy for more than one department or seniority level within an organization, put yourself in their shoes. Do a little research to how heavy hitters in their department and field write articles, the voice they take, what they seem to care about. Look up job descriptions to see what their tasks are, and write your copy accordingly.

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Tori Bazz

Sales Hacker, Pipestry