Sales is weird. Let’s think about it…you’re reaching out to (typically) total strangers, trying to get them to spend money, getting completely shut down a majority of the time, and then trying again . . . and again . . . and again. This would have some people banging their head against the wall hunting for the fastest way out, but for the brave souls in the world of sales, we tip our hats to you. We also owe a good slow clap to the people pumping out resources to help salespeople grow in their strategy and approach. One of those content heroes is the HubSpot Sales Blog, which consistently produces ridiculously useful content.
In the past two years, the HubSpot Sales Blog has seen exponential growth…growing 1500% due to the hard work of Section Editor, Emma Brudner. We got to sit down with Emma in an episode of the B2B Growth Show to talk about three of the HubSpot Sales Blog’s best performing articles.
With their head-turning headlines and insanely positive feedback from the sales community, these posts have spread like wildfire:
25 Sales Interview Questions to Recruit the Best Reps
Sales rep interviews are so meta.
The interviewee is selling themselves to become a sales rep only to sell things for the company that’s interviewing them. Salesception…?
When interviewing a potential hire, the key is matching your questions with what you’re looking for in an employee. To do this, you’ll want to catch them off guard and ask a question they don’t have a scripted answer for. This gets you a more authentic answer and a glimpse into the person you’ll actually be dealing with on a daily basis. Catch the interviewee off guard to get a more authentic answer.
The post, 25 Sales Interview Questions to Recruit the Best Reps, shares interview questions that shake things up and that help companies hire the best sales reps.
A couple of these telling questions are:
- Have you ever asked a prospect who didn’t buy from you to explain why you lost the deal? What did they say, and what did you learn from that experience?
You want sales reps that are constantly learning from their mistakes and strengthening their strategies. This question will reveal if the person invests time in learning what they did well or not so well, in order to grow moving forward.
- What are some of your favorite questions to ask prospects?
The old-school strategy of sales was talking at people instead of with people, but that no longer works in today’s world. Customers are vastly more educated on products and competitors, so the conversation needs to switch from telling to asking.
By asking this question in an interview, you’re assessing the level of genuine curiosity the rep has for their prospects. Sales reps need to be inquisitive and curious to succeed in sales today.
Openview Partners also pulled together a fantastic list of favorite interview questions of some of the top minds in B2B sales.
26 Sales Email Subject Lines that Get Prospects to Open, Read, and Respond
An overflowing inbox is a daily struggle for most of us.
We know the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but that does not apply in email. People are definitely judging your email by its subject line, so you better make it a good one.
This article describes 26 Sales Email Subject Lines That Get Prospects to Open, Read, and Respond. Some of the best ones include:
“Question about [goal]”
This feeds into a person’s natural curiosity of wondering what your question could be. A major benefit to this subject line is that you are not misleading the reader. You don’t ever want to mask that you’re a salesperson looking to start a buying conversation.
“I found you through [referral name]”
According to Nielsen, customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. When leading with a referral, you reap major benefits from borrowing the trust of their relationship. Leads by referrals close at such a higher percentage than non-referred leads that they need to be front and center in the subject line.
To learn how to continue to write a cold email past the subject line in How to Send Cold Emails That Don’t Suck.
Salespeople, Please Stop Sending Terrible Prospecting Emails Like This One
So many reps look at sales as a numbers game, and understandably so. They’ve got a big fat quota hanging over their head, and the typical mentality is that there is simply no time to personalize outreach.
Well, VP of Sales at HubSpot, Pete Caputa, gives a strong and passionate argument for the pitfalls of sending stock emails to the masses. In the article Salespeople, Please Stop Sending Terrible Prospecting Emails Like This One, Pete meticulously dissects a terrible prospecting email he received and describes all the ways it could have been better.
One of the major takeaways of this article was to not pour on the sales pitch in the first email and list all the benefits of your product.
You wouldn’t sit down on a first date and go through the laundry list of all your accomplishments, positive characteristics, and life story in the first two minutes. Or maybe you would . . . and you are the problem. This one goes out to all the desperate sales reps out there—back off.
Your only goal for the first email should be to start a conversation. That is all. You are not attempting to close the deal or get them to try a demo, you’re just trying to get a response.
Pouring it on heavy in the first touchpoint is too much. Engage with the person rather than overload them.
With that in mind, your first email can and should be short and sweet.
From making the best rep hires to personalizing outreach, one thing is for sure: sales is evolving. Understanding your subject lines are insanely important and being intentional with your prospecting emails is key in sales today.
Sales is turning into a conversation rather than a one-way sales pitch, and for that we are thankful.