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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

Sales War - Email Marketing is a Shotgun, LinkedIn is the Sniper Rifle

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Aug 28, 2012 6:50:33 AM



One of the biggest challenges as a sales rep is having your message heard. When you fire your “sales gun” in the woods, does anyone hear it? Unfortunately for us sales leaders – the answer is increasingly no! Why is this?

Simple! Here’s a snapshot of how many emails I got on a Friday in the middle of the summer. 81 EMAILS! And I’m a sales guy, not the decision-maker of a Fortune 2000 company. The average decision-maker at a Fortune 2000 company receives over 200 emails a day! That’s an average of an email every 2-3 minutes. How can that decision-maker keep up?

Simple! They don’t, as any sales leader will tell you. Response rates to emails are falling fast.

Response rates – this is the metric you should care about. Google “Response Rates” and you’ll find all kinds of metrics from “marketing experts” like:

  • Open Rates
  • Click-through Rates
  • Bounce Rates

These are all metrics your marketing team cares about, but us sales leaders… NOPE. We want results, we want to see an email go out, and an email returned that answers our questions.

While your email is going to 1 person, it’s still a shotgun approach in the sense that only a portion of messages will effectively be read by the prospect.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is proof in the power of email. Email still provides the best ROI if you’re measuring results based on volume of leads. Of course email wins because it’s easy to shotgun a message, and every prospect can potentially capture your message. This is why we love Marketing Automation – for the power of sheer volume.

Question – does your sales team create a large volume of leads, but struggles to create a lead with a very specific company?

Answer - They have to be looking at using social selling tools like LinkedIn.

LinkedIn takes your shotgun approach and hands you a “sales sniper rifle”. It’s like email but with a more intimate focus that stands out in someone’s inbox. I get 2-5 LinkedIn inbound messages a day and I will always open those emails first over the 80-100 other emails I might get that day. Now think about your prospect for a second, when they log into LinkedIn, your beautifully crafted message is waiting for them… all by its lonesome. This is a stark contrast from the other 150-200+ emails they will receive.

Now do I have your attention? Even though mass email blasting has its merits, there is nothing like going hunting with a “sales sniper rifle”. This is how we book meeting with our prospects weekly and how we teach our clients to supplement their new business development initiatives. If you really want someone’s attention, start leveraging tools like LinkedIn.

Check out the dozens of blog posts on utilizing social selling strategies and LinkedIn and if you’re looking for some hidden gems on how you or your sales team can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out - How-to-Guide: Making $$$ with Social Selling

Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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