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Sales Strategy
Apr 10, 2016 | Shane Gibson lock
What is it? Both Sidekick and Yesware take the guessing out of one-to-one email marketing & sales and also drastically improve your timing. Both tools can connect with Outlook and Gmail; both also have SalesForce and Hubspot CRM integration.

I’ve used both. I like both of them, so I’m going to leave this one up to you which one you use. With that said Yesware seems to have more options in the way of templates and integration with Mailchimp and also has its own mail-merge tool as well. Sidekick has some great features related to managing teams of people using the tool, the data on the whole group and the integration with Hubspot’s free CRM is pretty cool as well.

How do you use them to hack your sales?

By using either tool you will know:

  • When someone opens your email (and how many times)

  • The geographic region they are in    

  • If they click a link, and which link they click

  • When multiple people in an organization open an email you sent    

This is vital information and can be used in many aspects to improve your sales process and interactions with your clients and prospects. One great approach is for proposals you have sent. Sidekick and Yesware both will tell you when your prospect has opened your email. When you know the exact moment someone has begun to read your proposal you are much likely to have them be receptive when you call. If you have sent 20 proposals or quotes to clients, you can organize your calling or follow-ups to the top 5 most interested or engaged prospects that day.

There’s another benefit to proposal tracking as well. We have all submitted proposals to well-meaning executives who get busy with other things and don’t get around to reading our proposal right away, or they initially delay a decision and say they’ll get back to us.

With Sidekick or Yesware they will let you know when that email is opened again signaling a renewed interest in your proposal days, weeks or even months later. I have had Sidekick notify me a client open an old proposal, I called them within 5 minutes of opening the email, set a follow-up meeting to get an update on their needs and closed the business all within five days; this was after almost four months of radio silence.


Another indication of interest is when you get notifications that multiple parties are opening your email or proposal. You may, for instance, submit a proposal to a local contact in your city, but the head office is New York. You then notice after weeks of silence that someone in New York has opened your email, then an hour later several more people do the same. For me, this indicates in many cases that the deal is moving forward of being talked about. I will often at this point send through additional value-added material or reach out to my initial contact and follow-up the day I see all of the activity starts. This ensures I am talking to a prospect at a time that is very relevant to the products and services I am offering. Calling or emailing people that are already engaged greatly increases your change of doing business with them

If you are trying to reach a prospective decision maker in a company and are unable to get their email address you can send through an email tracked by sidekick to multiple variations of their address. I wouldn’t suggest doing ten all in one day, instead try one a day. For instance, if you were trying to reach Bill Gibson at Knowledge Brokers International, and his email wasn’t public you could try bill@kbitraining.com, then billgibson@kbitraining.com, bgibson@kbitraining.com, ceo@kbitraining.com, etc. and wait to see which account you get notified as reading and/or opening the email. Once you have seen your initial intro email has been opened, you can follow-up with a more specific question or call to action that gets their attention. (By the way if you want to reach Bill Gibson, Chairman of Knowledge Brokers International best to find him on Twitter as @billgibson1)

A final method I have used is one where I am following up with a web-lead or a person who has asked for some general information. I will test which topics or solutions they are interested in by sending them an email with 3 to 5 links in them. Each link is related to a different product or service. If I was running a catering business and notice that they opened my email three times and clicked on the link outlining wine options twice, I would likely lead the first conversation talking about wine or even send additional info on wine options to them before the follow-up to increase interest and engagement.


A final use is of course for A/B testing. You can test subject lines and see which one generates the most opens. You can also use it to test several sales people against each other. In Sidekick, I can look at my entire team and see how long it takes any sales person’s average prospect to open our standard “Follow-up email 1.” If I notice that one person has a significantly lower open rate compared to the rest of the team, it means they either are not having the same quality of initial conversation or are not qualifying their prospects well enough. I can also take those who are performing the best, see what is duplicable and train the rest of team in their approach.

This sales hack is an excerpt from Shane Gibson's new ebook "12 Apps and Hacks for Sales and Social Selling". Download his ebook, audio book and slides here.

About the Author
shane gibsonShane Gibson is an international speaker, sales trainer, and author on social media marketing, social selling and sales performance. He has spoken to over 100,000 people on stages in North America, Southern Africa, India, Dubai, Malaysia and South America. Shane Gibson is #5 on the Forbes.com list of the Top 30 Social Sales People in the World.

Shane’s books include Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside Down. Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals and Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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