The winner of the Collabspot New Year Competition!

In January we ran the Collabspot New Year Competition, to find the most efficient emailer of 2013. You might remember that all participants got a free analysis of their email skill.

Those who worked in sales positions were competing for the title and a Nexus 5 smartphone!

We measured email efficiency as the rate of customers and suppliers who respond to a salesperson’s emails within 24 hours.

Today we are happy to announce the winner: Tamás Szatmári, Head of Business Development at Doctusoft Ltd in Budapest, Hungary. Tamás has already received his prize, a new Nexus 5 smartphone.  

winner

We asked Tamás a few questions about email efficiency. He was so kind to share the secret behind his email success. Now we can all use his ideas to get better at converting prospects into customers and close more deals.

Collabspot: How do you use email in your sales process? How does it fit in with face-to-face communication and phone calls?

Tamás: As an IT company with a focus on Java, Google App Engine and Cloud Platform development we do consultative sales. So we have to offer a solution parallel to the sales process before creating the official bid. In this process we use Google Apps, so Gmail and Google Drive have critical importance.

In our target audience – the Enterprise segment –  the sales process is long, because it involves many different people, in different phases, on both their and our side.

We use email as part of cold call campaigns, or simply for cold mailing. In this case we ask our recipients – if the topic is not relevant to them – to forward the mail, or to simply offer someone else instead of them to connect with.

In cold call campaigns and in the whole sales process we almost always send memos. Not just after face to face meetings, but after a longer telephone call as well. This is also true for the ongoing projects.

These emails are saved to our CRM application (Highrise) and we can easily track the latest activities with the Collabspot “info” extension in Gmail. This also helps us to collaborate with the whole sales team, because it makes the information transparent to everybody, even when you are not on the project.

Collabspot: Our readers can learn a lot from your success. What is your secret? What can salespeople do to have customers and suppliers respond to their emails quickly?

Tamás: Be as concise as you can. No one likes long emails with traditional sales blabla. Offer something valuable for the potential client, and that is what makes him even read your mail. So, write short, draft-like emails with bullet points, short terms, and keywords.

In summary:

  1. Be short and concise.
  2. Mark your email somehow, whether it needs any action on your part or not.
  3. Focus on consultative sales, offer value.
  4. Be transparent to your team, because this helps to make collaboration faster and more efficient.

Email processing tips:

Tamás: I’m an advanced user of Gmail’s priority inbox and I apply the “zero inbox”-policy in my working method. I check my emails once a day, but I reply to all the messages. Then I close the “unread” section. If I have to wait for something before replying, I star that message, and only get back to these later. This helps to make my day less fragmented and more focused.

If I can answer a letter in 2 mins, I do it, if I can’t, I send the message to Asana (our task managing tool). So I’m using “Getting Things Done”, but a bit modified.