The problem many of us in the sales engagement industry are facing is that prospects are inundated with digital content, ads, messages, and emails, which leads to a very low response rate, typically low single digits, due to this un-targeted bombardment. Even when emails are opened, there is no signal indicating the prospect’s true interest or intent.

Personalized outreach, without question, increases prospect engagement. But the challenge is how to personalize the outreach at scale, since ensuring your outreach does not sound canned is no easy task and can be very time consuming for your reps. And to clarify, we are talking about high-quality outreach, not the typical and bland “Congrats on your promotion, can we set up a meeting?”.

How do we define “high-quality outreach”? First and foremost it’s about adding value to the prospect, providing insights and information on a key benefit, industry trend, or topic that they are keenly interested in. It’s fine to share your company’s’ content, if it is relevant to the the prospect.

Prospect intent is a hot topic in sales engagement for the simple reason that your prospect is signaling an intent, and if you can capture it, that allows you to be more personalized in your response. For example, intent data allows your SDR’s to provide meaningful and relevant content to a prospect they are focusing on based on the prospect’s stated area of interest.

TOPO, a research and advisory firm that was recently purchased by Gartner, tweeted the following recently:

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The $64k question is, how can we get “intent data”? How will a prospect disclose the topic they are trying to find a solution for?

Your marketing team has already created a fair amount of content including YouTube videos, Social posts, blog postings, whitepapers, etc, this content is used predominantly for inbound leads. We can creatively use it more effectively for outbound sales, but all of this content centers around they key benefits/topics of your company’s value proposition. It is not focused on the customer, yet.

To address this issue we have developed an exciting tool, the “engagement bot”, that analyzes all your content and identifies the “Topics” where you have content posted. Using Salesloft as an example, with one click I can get to a screen in which I as a salesperson can then select the “Topics” that I know my prospects are likely to want to know more about.

See the below illustration from Salesloft as an example:

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These “Engagement Bots”, can be cut and pasted into outbound prospecting emails. When the prospect clicks on that topic, two important things happen:

Firstly, they get directed to all of the relevant content on that topic from your company. So you’ve immediately added value in an area that interests them that they would not have found prior to your outreach.

Secondly, they’ve self identified themselves as having intent in that area. So your subsequent outreach via email, phone or chat can continue to add value leveraging that “Intent Topic” they’ve expressed an interest in.

For example, if your prospect clicked on “Artificial Intelligence” as an intent topic, your SDR can pull an interesting article on AI, either from your own content repository such as a thought leadership whitepaper, or perhaps even a third party industry publication. This allows you to customize your outreach like the one below.

“Hello Ms. Prospect, given your interest in AI, I thought I’d share an insightful article from the NY Times on recent trends in AI and its impact on retail business leaders in your space. As you may be aware, our team at Salesloft are pioneering work in the AI arena for retail leaders such as yourself, and I would love to give you an overview of the business impact we can provide. Please suggest some times that work for you so we can discuss this important topic.”

There’s a lot more under the hood, so if this is an area of interest for you, please reach out to me. We are looking for a few forward thinking companies to partner with as we roll this technology out.