I recently joked with TrackMaven CEO Allen Gannett, suggesting when sales development reps, or SDRs, report to marketing, they send one perfect email per day. When they report to sales, SDRs send hundreds of lousy ones.

As trends like account-based marketing (ABM) gain momentum, the productivity of SDRs becomes increasingly important, because ABM hinges on effective prospecting. Yet effective prospecting requires the personalization marketing craves with the volume sales depends on — and reconciling the two opposing demands is giving go-to-market teams fits throughout tech. We’re all trying to figure out how to systematize personalization at scale.

We’re living through this transition here at InsightSquared. Our sales and marketing teams know first hand how challenging it is to develop a repeatable, measurable system that generates a high-enough volume of human-enough correspondence. This is why I was floored when an SDR, err “B2B Marketing Strategist,” sent me a pitch-perfect cold email a couple weeks back. Let’s call him Ted.

Ted wrote specifically about a blog article I published titled “The *Annotated* Case for Account-based Marketing,” but unlike others who employ this technique, he didn’t shoehorn his product into my post. Instead, he blended flattery (“You clearly are well past the education stage that I find most Mid-Market prospects to be in”) with relevant perspective from the piece [“You write about the need to be equally as good at building pipeline (supporting SDRs, like me, and increasing close rates (supporting AEs)”], with a credible product tie-in (“A new tool I immediately thought of with the paradox between building pipeline and increasing close rates, is our …”) to produce a timely, relevant, compelling pitch.

I immediately forwarded his email our head of sales and HR: This is such a perfect pitch. Let’s offer him a job. We move fast at InsightSquared. Approval came almost immediately, so I shot off the below note to Ted.

The next day I received a gracious reply. Ted, as it turned out, joined his current employer because they encouraged him to prospect in this thoughtful manner after being urged to spam aggressively in his previous job. He’d even spammed us in the past. Only six months into his role, he admirably decided to stay put.

Meanwhile, I will take a demo of his product — just not until later in the quarter. As anyone who follows this blog is aware, Dreamforce is consuming all of our attention (and budget) at the moment.


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