How to identify your audience to sell more

Posted May 24, 2021

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By Cari Murray

Senior Editor at Outreach

Nearly half of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell, HubSpot reported. In the world of sales, there is no time to waste. Reaching the right people is critical to a healthy sales pipeline, meeting sales goals, and company revenue.

Fortunately, there’s some groundwork you can lay for your Sales Development Representatives’ (SDRs) to set them up for success. In partnership with marketing, you can clearly define your company’s target audience, identify their unique challenges, and align your value propositions to them.

Here are some tips to help you identify your audience and tailor sales emails accordingly.

Define your target audience.

Salespeople spend roughly 21 percent of their day writing emails. As a sales leader, you want to ensure that every email reaches someone who could potentially become a customer. The best way to do that is to qualify your target audience.

Consider creating a digital one-sheeter your SDRs can reference that outlines your target demographic.

You might include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Employment (include industry, job title and responsibilities)

If your company already gathered this information, it’s simply a matter of sharing it with your SDR team. If you’re starting from scratch, there are several resources you can leverage to gather this insight, including Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, and survey questionnaires sent to your email database.

Break your audience into personas.

Personas are distinct profiles of the people you’re trying to target. They’re like sub-targets underneath your main target audience. Outreach has done extensive research to identify our audience personas. We even dedicated an entire page on our site to it. Our target personas include:

  • Prospecting reps
  • Closing reps
  • Customer success managers
  • Sales management and leadership
  • Sales operations
  • Marketing

For each of these personas, we conducted research to learn about their needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. From prospect emails to marketing blog posts, each piece of content is geared toward one to two specific personas. This leads to more personalized content and better outcomes.

Identify buyer challenges and align them with your value proposition.

Each persona has a different set of job responsibilities, which come with inherent challenges. To find out what those challenges are, you could send a survey, have a candid discussion with long-term customers in that role, or do a quick Google search for high-level insight. Identify up to five of these challenges and then outline how your company is uniquely positioned to help that persona overcome them. As an example, maybe one of your target personas consists of business operation managers. Let’s say their top three challenges are:

  1. Cost management
  2. Processes
  3. Environmental sustainability

Now, let’s say you work for a company that helps organizations manage electronic agreements.

You can take those same three problems and align them with your company’s value proposition.

Aligning their challenges with your value proposition could look like this:

  • Cost management: Digitizing your contacts will eliminate the need for printing, postage and return postage, saving you an estimated [insert amount] per year.
  • Processes: Obtaining electronic signatures instead of manual ones will save your sales team an estimated [xx hours] per week.
  • Environmental sustainability: By moving to digital contracts, you’ll be saving roughly [insert number] sheets of paper — or [insert number] of trees.

Now, you could create sales email templates based on each of the unique challenges / solutions you identified for this persona.

Creating Personalized, Scalable Content

Start by creating three templates, one for each of the unique challenges. You can then test the performance of each of these email templates using Outreach’s sales engagement platform. Maybe you find that one of these challenge / solution templates drastically outperforms the others. Take that specific email template and make it part of your team’s workflow — potentially scaling its success.

You could also collaborate with marketing to create fun, personalized email campaigns. For example, maybe you segment your email list by location. If you’re a sales leader at that same company who helps organizations digitize their contracts, you could come up with a clever campaign concept around signatures. The email campaign could highlight how much people paid for signed memorabilia from different athletes, singers, and movie stars that are from your target audience’s city or state. Let’s say one of your email segments consists of business operations managers who live in Chicago. The email could read:

These Nike Air Jordan 1s were game-worn by legendary NBA Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan in 1985. They sold for $560,000 at an online auction in 2020 — making them the most expensive pair of sneakers ever sold online.

At [sales rep’s company name], we only charge [xx amount] / per month for you to get the signatures you want most.

[Sales rep’s company name] gives you the ability to send contracts to important prospects online and get them signed electronically.

In a recent study, we found this saved small-to-medium sized businesses [xx percent] per year in printing and mailing costs. Electronic signatures also speed up the entire sales process.

Ready to be voted MVP at your own Chicago-based business?

Try it out for the first month for free.

It’s a highly personalized and fun way to reach your target audience — and set your SDR team up for success.

Select Your Audience by Persona Type

Using Outreach, you can even select email lists based on persona type (which includes their job function and level of seniority in our system). For example, “VP of marketing.”

Outreach looked at the database across all our customers and their prospects, and found that there were roughly 50 million unique job titles. As a result of the breadth of titles, you could never answer the question, “Am I adding the right people to the right email?” at scale. As a result, we built a machine learning classification model that classifies every job title into one of five levels of seniority and one of 12 job functions.

Data Annotation

This allows you to target an audience by role (or “persona”), making it easier to send the right email to the right people every time.

Want to learn more ways to create highly personalized, winning email content? Download our free e-book, “The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting.”


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