How To Manage Your Sales Pipeline From Your Gmail Inbox

Thu Aug 10, 2017

Niraj Ranjan

Gmail has over 1 billion users worldwide.pipeline

That’s one-sixth of the human population; humans who could be your potential customers. You need to stop looking at your Gmail inbox as just a communication tool, when in fact, it can be your most effective sales tool.

There is no other tool that is so omnipresent, swift, well-known and simple. Email can help you at every stage of your sales pipeline. It can remove the traditional bottlenecks that cause disruptions. You can amplify your sales growth if you play your cards right.

Let’s dive in to learn how you can manage each level of your sales pipeline from your Gmail inbox:

Level 1: Finding prospects

When you try to find prospects, the first step is getting the contact information. Asking for an address or cell phone number can make potential leads uncomfortable. But people do not associate any discomfort when giving their email addresses – 77% see email as a preferred channel for receiving promotional offers.

Cold calling through a Gmail inbox is more effective since people are already expecting pitches. Imagine you are calling a prospect. If they are not looking forward to hearing your pitch, they will shut you out right away. Email does not create interruptions, it’s in the inbox, whenever prospects want to look at it.

Having said that, you also have a responsibility. When cold calling through emails, there is etiquette that you need to keep in mind. Such practices increase the probability of converting leads.

Here is the etiquette to keep in mind when sending cold emails:

  • Be respectful – Remember you are sending an email to a stranger who owes nothing to you. Approaching with respect is the only mantra that’s going get you noticed.
  • No mass mailing – Emails are comparatively less intrusive than phone calls and solicitation. But that does not mean you bombard them with email blasts. Keep it subtle, if they don’t respond, move to the next person.
  • Introduce who you are – Don’t jump the gun. Introduce yourself and your company. Remember you are talking to a stranger, do not push your sales offer onto them – build trust, then sell.

Level 2: Research

In order to increase conversions, you have to understand who your leads are. Use Google analytics to measure the efficiency of your email campaigns and come up with actionable insights.

When sending an email, the links should have a tracking code. It helps you know where the campaign users came from. Get detailed reports on open rates, click rates, bounce rates, to name a few. All of these insights help in retrieving information about your leads’ activities.

Based on their activities, you can categorize the leads into smaller groups. Make a group of highly qualified leads, use the analytics to gain more information. Convert the information into actionable insights for coming up with an effective lead-nurturing strategy.

Level 3: Pitch your offer

You have the leads, you have done your research, next step – pitch them your offer. The data you have collected should be used to customize your pitch. When you tailor your pitch according to what customers want, you create relevance.

Create templates to help you send relevant offers to users. Say, you want to make a hard sell. Since you have already made a group of highly qualified leads, all you have to do is intrigue them with your email content. The aesthetics of your template will decide whether users want to engage with you.

Here’s an example of an email template for a hard sell:


Source

Some may criticize this approach as spammy, some might not. It’s very important that you know your audience. Sending an email which has no relevance to a user can hurt your subscriptions. A series of absurd emails can even force existing customers to unsubscribe, defeating the very fundamental of reducing customer churn.

Level 4: Follow up

Once you have made an initial offer, you have to follow up. This is, perhaps, the most challenging aspect of your sales pipeline. By religiously following up, you won’t leave money on the table.

A good follow-up email can help you:

  • Get status updates – You need information on the progress of a potential deal coming through.
  • Fix meetings – Ask for a meetup, give a sales presentation.
  • Say ‘Hi’ – It’s just a way of keeping a regular engagement. Update users about your company’s latest achievements.

To speed up your follow-up efforts, make fixed email templates – write once, then keep reusing them. This helps you get the monotonous work out of the way and concentrate on more important aspects of your sales pipeline.

Level 5: Post sales

Every sales rep lives for the day when a sale is made. Once completed, all you have to do is send the order summary. Conventionally, this process takes a lot of time, but with email, you can automate the whole process.

It’s very important that you send in the order summary as soon as the purchase has been made, it’s a good practice for building trust. Good sales reps know that every sale made is the beginning of a potential new sale.

Send an email that thanks customers for their business. Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of the book, “The Thank You Economy,” believes that we live in an era of business humanization. It’s about building personal relationships that will foster growth for a long time to come.

Winding up

By managing the entire sales pipeline through a Gmail inbox, you are able to consolidate all your sales efforts on one platform. It allows for sustainable ways of closing deals since all the sales efforts made are systematic and organized. This eventually enriches the journey at each level – from initial prospecting to recurring sales.Save

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About Niraj Ranjan

Niraj is the founder of Hiver (hiverhq.com), an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. When not working at Hiver on programming or customer support, Niraj likes to play guitar. Niraj can be reached on Twitter @nirajr.

View all posts by Niraj Ranjan
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