Sales campaigns are the living, breathing backbone of sales generation. They’re dynamic and highly sensitive to variables, making them a wellspring of insights. With the proper maintenance and reimagining, your sales campaigns can become as productive and valuable as the top reps on your team.
It’s probably apparent that we’re fans of the power of the sales campaign. But you get out what you put in. The fact is, the mere existence of a campaign isn’t enough to guarantee effectiveness. To be successful, analyzing campaigns is a must for sales teams.
In the spirit of learning, we spoke with one of the bests- Steve Ross, VP of Sales Development at Outreach, an industry-leading sales engagement platform, to find out how a top SDR manager thinks about analyzing his team’s sales campaigns.
Ross’s approach to his team’s campaigns is far more fluid than it is rigid. Rather than indiscriminately overhauling all campaign content every X amount of days, Ross analyzes pre-existing campaigns to pinpoint what’s working. “If it’s doing well, then why fix what isn’t broken?” Ross said.
Yes, refreshing content can be useful, but it shouldn’t replace analysis. Otherwise, you’re forfeiting valuable insight into your prospects’ preferences and might be doing more work than necessary. “Some templated sequences we use for over a year. And the reason it stays fresh is the rep is actively personalizing and tying in value into the opener.”
Let’s get into the proper steps of analyzing a campaign and hear more from Ross on the subject.
How to Perform an Analysis of a Sales Campaign
Step One: Gather contacts. These contacts should be acquired during your prospecting process. The more qualified leads you gather, the more accurate your analysis will be.
You want to know what works with leads who are an ideal fit for your company. Poor-fitting leads will skew the analysis’ data and muddy the extrapolation process.
Imagine you’ve emailed three different leads for the first time, using the subject line ‘Thoughts on Your SMM.’ You haven’t researched these leads well, so you’re unaware that only one of them is actually a good fit. Your company’s solutions aren’t all that relevant to the other two leads. This results in the two poorly fitting leads not opening the email, but the qualified lead does.
Already the data is skewed. To you, it looks like the subject line failed 2 out of 3 times, but you’re not getting the whole story. The lead you truly needed to reach liked the subject line, meaning it’s probably something you should continue to use. This is why you need quality contacts to run a quality analysis. Furthermore, this is why open rates aren’t the most solid metric, but we’ll elaborate on that soon.
Step Two: Drop your contacts in slowly. Aim for 20-30 a day, per rep.
You want the data that makes up your analysis to be spread out over time to create accurate averages. When an email hits your lead’s inbox matters. Sending an initial email to every contact on your list in a single day can skew the data and increases the likelihood of a higher bounce rate. Get past spam filters and lay the foundation for quality data by parsing out your contacts.
Step Three: Run that sequence for a quarter. Larger companies may want to run it for slightly less time, around the 60-day mark.
Doing this accounts for the “when your email hits their inbox matters” PSA we mentioned above. This length of time will give you the most accurate data without banking on a campaign that’s not working for half or even an entire year.
Larger companies can move a bit quicker because their volume is higher, requiring fewer days for quality data. A single day won’t give you the information you’re looking for, and neither will a week or a month. Stick with it, let it ride, then get to analyzing.
Ross also recommends finding the right sequence for your industry. “Different industries have a rhythm,” Ross said. This will take some trial and error and looking to external cues as well. “If I were in a different industry, for example, I’d pay attention to trade show season.” Use a quarterly cadence as a benchmark, then look for ways to tailor your cadences to your industry and even your company specifically.
Not a Step but a Tip: Whenever your company releases new features, add-ons or expansions, you’ll need to create new personas as well. Every trait of your product or service is appealing for different reasons, therefore appealing to different types of leads. Create a persona or personas that make a good fit for whatever is new, so you’ll have them in your repertoire when it comes time to start telling your audience about the changes you’ve made.
In terms of strategy, a major indicator of your campaign’s form should be the title of your ideal customer. You can tie this into your buyer personas or it can be thought of separately (we recommend the former), but either way, it should be done. The length, timing and channels involved in your campaign will vary depending on your target.
Executives should be approached with more drawn-out campaigns, a slow burn, if you will. The content involved needs to be highly strategic. Your long-term aims and the path you’ll take to get there need to be made clear.
They will probably take more convincing, are already receiving countless cold touches and are likely more skeptical than those with front-facing titles. Do not waste their time, but also take your time with them. A carefully timed, brief and matter-of-fact set of messages that are in it for the long game is the slow burn.
Conversely, when considering strategies for managers and the like, the approach should be different. It needs to be much more tactical. Entice leads by educating them on your product throughout multiple touches. Your ultimate goal will not shine through as immediately as with the execs. There is room and time here to charm this set of leads. Overall, the campaign will be shorter and a bit more personal, providing details of the use case rather than emphasizing the bottom line.
To summarize, a campaign needs a target. When targeting execs, take your time in terms of outreach, but not in terms of getting to the point. When targeting managers, outreach can and should be quicker, but don’t arrive at your point too quickly.
There’s a balancing act to this, as with most of the skills involved in sales, and it’s not easy to master. If striking the balance feels like a long shot or even a medium shot, consider looking into Regie. We’ll strike the balance for you and generate entire campaigns in minutes.
Step Four: Refresh where necessary. How do you know where it’s necessary to refresh? It depends on your metrics.
“I don’t think it’s time-based; I think it’s results-based,” Ross said. “What that means is you need to look at the results often. For us, we ask ourselves if we’re getting positive sentiment, meaning are we getting positive replies to the emails? Replies and opens are a bit of a vanity metric.”
Vanity metrics like open rates and replies aren’t altogether useless, but digging deeper for the most relevant metrics to your company or team’s success leads to a more applicable and actionable analysis. If you found your reply rates are high, but your conversions don’t seem to match, you still haven’t pinpointed the weak spot.
Unless the bulk of your replies are somewhere along the lines of ‘do not contact me.’ In that case, you’ll know exactly where to improve.
Here are some commonly used metrics:
- Open Rate
- Post-email conversions
- List growth/list decline
- Forwarding/social sharing
- Number of unsubscribes
- Bounces/spam complaints
But we’d like to suggest adding two more to the list. Objection rate and positive rate. Therein lies the intention of analyzing your campaign, extrapolating what your audience wants when it comes to hearing from you. Outreach’s Amplify feature uses AI trained to recognize when a response is positive or when a lead objects to the contact. Both of which would qualify as open rates and replies.
Lucky for you, Outreach is a Regie integration, so your campaigns can level up into the well-oiled machine that they ought to be, and all in one place.
Remember when we said Ross’s approach is far more fluid than rigid? That’s largely because he leaves room in his approach for repurposing or refreshing content when current events or major market shifts call for it. Adjusting for the global pandemic is an excellent example of this. “Compelling events like COVID, where you need to go in and recreate something to not sound tone-deaf,” Ross said. “But if you run it too late, it sounds likes you are behind the curve.”
Understand that there will be events no one can predict, and that will mean going back into your campaigns when you least expect it. Be ready for that, so you don’t give off the impression you’re playing catch up.
Sales campaigns are exciting. They’re your blueprint for taking your industry by storm, and they’re rich with insights on how to do it. If you’ve never analyzed a campaign, don’t be scared to try. Any way you probe or explore will put you light years ahead of where you would’ve been without doing so.
We like that campaigns exist to serve one primary purpose, but further use can be wrung out of them in the form of information. It’s like having a car. You buy it to get from point A to point B, not the metrics it comes with, but the fact that they’re there is super helpful.
Awareness of things like its gas mileage (are we at the point that I should say battery range yet?) and its safety features translate into your assessment of the car’s value, but they’re not the reason you need a car. You have campaigns already. Let their use be multi-faceted. Get more out of them AND improve them with analytics.
At Regie, we remind you to refresh your campaign content and help you do so with the click of a button. Request a demo to learn more.