I will admit that I’m a hypocrite. I run a 25-person sales development team, but I never respond to cold outreach.
Why? Between running a team and sitting in six different meetings a day, I simply don’t have time to answer 50 calls and 25 emails from people I already know are trying to sell me something. I’m too busy. I even pay for a service to screen calls before they get to me.
But if I walk into my office and there’s a package sitting on my desk that I didn’t order, you better believe I’m going to open it.
Can you blame me? I want to know what’s inside! It’s like getting an unexpected birthday present delivered right to my office.
What’s even more powerful is if I’ve been sent something personal like a handwritten note. Then you’ve got my undivided attention.
When someone takes the time to send something thoughtful and personalized, I feel absolutely compelled to give them ten minutes of my time—or at least reach back out to say thank you. You’ve captured my attention for ten seconds (which is the goal of my SDR’s outreach), so I’m willing to hear you out.
And the point I’m getting to here is that sending is all about standing out. Direct mail acts as a key differentiator in the digital age, and strategic revenue teams are starting to notice.
What’s more? The principle of reciprocity comes into play.
When you go above and beyond to get someone’s attention—when do some research to understand them better and send something that’s both personalized and meaningful to that person—you’ve done something nice for them and made them feel obliged to at least return the favor with their time.
And that’s what outbound teams are looking for, right? Finding a way to make that connection, have that initial conversation, or get on your prospect’s radar. Not to mention that the rise of the Sending Platform has made it easier than ever to send personalized direct mail at scale.
But how exactly are teams leveraging direct sending? What are they sending? Who are they sending to? And when? That’s exactly what I’m here to answer.
5 ways to leverage direct sending for inside sales teams
1. Send a personalized item to start a conversation.
Now, I’m not talking about a Rolex watch with your prospect’s name inscribed in the back. But with some small social media research, you should be able to find some information about their alma mater, hobbies, hometown, or other interests that you can use to send them something personalized off of Amazon without breaking the bank (some tips for doing just that here).
We’ve found that adding a pun to tie the item back to your message makes the send especially effective; think of saying something like, “We make the perfect pair!” when sending custom socks.
2. Send a $5 coffee gift card before a meeting or demo.
We know that even if your prospect has committed to taking a meeting with you, there’s still a strong chance that they won’t show up. One way you can drive attendance is by sending a $5 digital gift card for coffee the morning of the meeting with a quick note that says you’re looking forward to speaking with them that day.
It’s only $5, and your prospect will appreciate the gesture.
3. Send cupcakes, popcorn, or something else delicious to engage a buying committee.
If you’re dealing with large buying committees or complex sales cycles, this can be especially effective. Stop pestering decision-makers with “Reply All” emails and instead send them something appetizing that they can share.
Cookies, brownies, or other treats are a great way to bring together the members of your buying committee and get them talking about your company.
4. Send a handwritten note when your prospect goes dark.
It happens. When a prospect stops responding to your emails, don’t keep filling up their inbox. Instead, find your way into their mailbox by sending a thoughtful handwritten note reminding them of the value they initially saw in your solution or outlining how your offering can help them succeed.
Can you remember the last time someone hand wrote a note for you? Your prospect probably can’t, either.
5. Send a bottle of wine after a new contract is signed.
What better way to celebrate your prospect becoming a customer than to send them a bottle of wine or a pair of champagne flutes? Or, you could send them a small desk plant with a message about looking forward to watching them “grow” with your product or service.
The point is not to influence a sales negotiation, but create an amazing experience at every part of the buyer’s journey.
If you’ve never done sending before, start by running a small test with a sample size of your audience.
Be sure to set a goal beforehand ( like “increase the amount of sales meetings held this month”) and determine how you’ll measure success (i.e. “number of meetings held when something was sent vs. number of meetings held when nothing was sent”).
Need inspiration for what to send? Check out some of the resources on our website here or grab a copy of one of our most popular ebooks: 101 Unforgettable Corporate Gift Ideas.
About the author
Joe Venuti is the Senior Director of Inside Sales at Sendoso, the leading Sending Platform. He was brought on to build an inside sales team in Sendoso’s Arizona office and has scaled that team to more than 25 reps in less than a year. With 15 years of sales and sales management experience, Joe has a deep passion for hands-on coaching to make his team more successful and prides himself on putting the needs of his reps above all else. Joe has previously served in roles at LeadCrunch, By Appointment Only, and Securitas Security.
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