I’m often asked how Emissary is different from the myriad of SAAS sales tools that sales and marketing teams invest in.
Simply put, Emissary is a tool for understanding tacit information about your buyers – their priorities, their pain points, and their allies. Not to be confused as a tool for finding contact information, Emissary provides the type of insight that is far more valuable than an email address or an org chart. It’s not until you learn how a decision-maker thinks that you can start to understand how they buy.
There are many ways that Emissary can complement your current sales and marketing stack by validating data and hypothesis. This post is my best attempt to analyze how you can make all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together. For questions, you can always reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Your Shared Network Sharing the Full Story?
If you’re like me, LinkedIn is always an open tab in your browser window. This network has become the go-to spot for sales and marketing professionals, making it easier to learn about target companies and make connections. However, LinkedIn only reveals a little piece of the information we’re looking for.
Individuals only update their profiles with the information they want you to see and, chances are, they don’t want you to know about their pain points, insecurities, or career growth goals. LinkedIn does a great job about telling us basic information about contacts, but it doesn’t provide the tacit knowledge that helps you understand your buyer.
The shared quality of LinkedIn’s network makes it easy to see whether our target contacts work together or know each other, but it can’t answer tacit questions, like:
- Why are two individuals connected to one another?
- How did they first meet?
- Do they have a respectful working relationship with one another?
Imagine peeling back the layers and diving deeper into these relationships. You could uncover the hidden and often emotional information that could impact buying decisions far beyond a resume. Speaking with an Emissary advisor allows you to take that next step. Advisors can paint a fuller picture about your decision-makers, influencers, champions, and naysayers.
It’s possible that your decision-maker is extremely price sensitive or may only work with certain partners because of a longstanding relationship. They could be innovative or a strict process follower. They could work closely with another internal prospect on your list or be their biggest internal competitor.
On the other hand, you may also come across a profile that is out-of-date or contradictory. Their job title or description may look like they would be the best target, but their job responsibilities don’t cover issues that your product can solve.
All in all, LinkedIn is a great starting point as a sales tool, but there is so much crucial information that LinkedIn can’t share with you. Humans and relationships are complicated, which in turn, leads to sales being complicated. There’s no doubt that the right solution for you is going to involve nuance and detail.
Emissary is all about human solutions for human buyers.
LinkedIn can show you which segments within a company are changing. It’s helpful to know that R&D efforts are increasing, but what are the impacts of that? What are the implications of having a whole new sales force? What are the impacts of downsizing the IT organization? LinkedIn is a great starting point, and your Emissary advisor can bridge the gaps.
Dynamics and Details
ZoomInfo provides you with ample company information, but the generalization of the site can seem black and white. Emissary fills in the color. It takes a human to tell you about the various personalities and politics of an organization with more detail and humanity.
Emissary can help to complement these solutions by validating your hypotheses. Know where your contact ranks and if they have influence or decision-making power. For example, where in the hierarchy does your contact fall? Is that person trusted, or are they on their way out to retirement? No data tool is 1001% accurate, and Emissary can help.
Responding to Risks
Organizations such as Hoovers can provide a lot of company information around annual earnings, and challenges and risks of the market and company. This information is extremely helpful, but you still may not be capturing the entire financial picture. How do you as the seller turn this information into context that’s useful?
Company risks are everywhere. There may be geopolitical risks, industry risks, compliance and legal regulations, and even customer churn. Unless you truly understand the worries and vulnerabilities of your target, you can’t sell to them, and no company or individual is going to publicize their vulnerabilities.
For example, your target may limit their capex spend because they’re planning to be acquired, or they may be going through a transformation year to adapt to new market changes. One of the benefits of speaking to an advisor is getting an understanding on how decisions are weighted and prioritized internally. Once you have valuable knowledge of human experience within the company, you can build a solution that truly solves your target’s pain-points.
The Right Personal Touch
Account-based marketing and sales tools platforms are great for understanding intent. They can help you to create marketing strategies that relate to your unique accounts, but these platforms provide insight based on hypothesis, and there’s no true way to know if the intent data collected is accurate.
Working with an Emissary advisor alongside an ABM platform will help you to confirm you’re hitting the right audience with the right message. You also will have the opportunity to learn account-specific information to personalize your message. ABM platforms are a big investment, so it’s worth executing all campaigns with an approach that’s as targeted as possible.
Timing It Right
After taking the time to curate a personalized campaign, the last thing you would want is for it to be ignored. As you read this, it could be the time of year when everyone is on vacation. On the other hand, your contacts could be in crunch mode and too busy to learn about new services. ABM platforms can be helpful to measure ROI, but they are not going to have that insider knowledge of planning and budgeting cycles. Advisors have worked through these cycles, and they can help you determine the right time of year to deploy your ABM campaign.
CIO Summits and IT Conferences
Meetings That Matter
Whether attending or sponsoring, events are a substantial portion of every B2B marketing budget. Conferences can offer great opportunities to network, but there is a limit to what you can learn from a short conversation at an event. When a person is networking at an event, it’s likely not the appropriate time to ask about the critical information you need to power your account planning.
Companies may spend a lot of money sponsoring an event, and walk away with only brief interactions with c-level executives. Your sales team may come away from the meeting without any meaningful insight that they can act on.
Events, conferences, and happy hours are a big element of an effective field marketing strategy – with large potential downfalls. They tend to rapidly consume budget and capacity leading up to the event, and it’s often difficult to engage attendees and measure results post-mortem.
For the same cost of sponsoring one event, the Emissary program can arrange opportunities for high-quality conversations with contacts who know your target account intimately.
There’s certainly a huge relationship value to attending events, and whatever industry you are in, relationships are crucial across the board. While events will allow you to broadly make new connections, they may not provide opportunities to learn meaningful insights that your sales team needs. Even if they do, events likely are not the most efficient solution.
If you need specific, actionable advice about a certain account, it is more beneficial to speak one on one with an advisor. With their undivided time and full attention, they will tell you everything that you need to know about your target. Moving over budget from one or two events to Emissary engagements – that can provide depth, details, and direction into the account – will save you time and yield the results you’re looking for.
Practice makes perfect – especially when it comes to selling. Many of our clients use whiteboarding sessions to sell their product and explain their solution to a prospect. Your Emissary advisor can help you perfect your presentation in order to ensure it’s 100% relevant to the person you’re presenting to.
Understanding Company Culture
Deals can be lost through the seemingly smallest details, and you only get one chance to understand a company’s culture and establish a strong connection with your prospect. Using certain internal company words or deciding to dress business formal vs. business casual can set the tone of a meeting and determine the outcome.
Emissary advisors can give you real working knowledge of vernacular, culture, and meeting expectations. This way, you can put your best foot forward when you begin any conversation with your target account.
Start moving in the right direction and personalize your strategy today with the help of Emissary. You can contact me here to get started.