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Navigate new Gmail and Yahoo email requirements using digital sales rooms
November 29, 2023

Navigating the New Email Landscape: Leverage Digital Sales Rooms and Conversation Intelligence to Enhance Seller Effectiveness

Navigate new Gmail and Yahoo email requirements using digital sales rooms

Big changes are coming for bulk email senders that will impact how commercial email is sent and received—forever altering the global sales and marketing email landscape.

Last month, both Google and Yahoo announced new email authentication requirements for bulk email senders that limit how companies can perform prospect outreach. It’s great news for end users, but it creates challenges for sales and marketing teams.

Beginning in February 2024, bulk email senders must jump through many more hoops to ensure their email to Gmail and Yahoo users aren’t blocked or marked as spam. According to the new requirements, bulk email senders must:

  • Authenticate their emails following well-established best practices such as DMARC, SPF, and DKIM
  • Allow email recipients to unsubscribe from commercial emails with a single click
  • Process unsubscription requests within two days
  • Stay under the email providers’ spam rate threshold

Failure to meet the new email authentication and procedure requirements is guaranteed to derail a company’s sales process and cause them to lose prospects.

B2B Buyer Changes Also Impact Sales Email Effectiveness

The new bulk email requirements come at a time when B2B buyers’ needs are changing, further impacting sales email effectiveness. In essence, buyers want the ability to make informed purchasing decisions with minimal direct engagement with sellers. Today’s B2B buyers want:

  • Self-service convenience: Buyers have unprecedented access to information, much of which is freely accessible. They want to engage with this information on their own terms, aligning with their unique schedules and preferences. With an information-rich environment, buyers can choose the level of detail they desire at any given moment, allowing them to cater their research to their current needs and desires.
  • Independent research: Buyers no longer require live interactions with sellers to gather information. They embark on self-guided research journeys, where they take charge of their decision-making process. They draw their own conclusions, conduct initial evaluations, and narrow down their list of preferred vendors—frequently without any direct communication with a seller.

Industry analysts confirm this. According to Forrester, buyers now conduct up to 70% of their research before reaching out to a sales representative. In addition, McKinsey & Co reports that 67% of buyers are opting away from in-person interactions.

On top of that, response rates to sales emails are at all-time lows. Research shows the average response rate for B2B cold emails is only 1-3%. Sales pitch emails have the same response rate, while introductory emails have a 1-5% response rate.

This transformation in buyer behavior has profound implications for sellers. The traditional notion of exposure to prospects, where sellers could build mind-share, influence buying criteria, and assert the superiority of their solutions, is no longer a given. Instead, sellers must adapt to a landscape where prospects are the architects of their own buying journeys, carefully shaping their decisions based on the wealth of information at their fingertips.

This evolution in buyer behavior, along with the changing email requirements, sets the stage for a dynamic interplay between sellers and buyers, one where sellers must navigate the digital landscape with precision and finesse to remain relevant and influential in the buyer’s journey.

In this landscape, sellers need a technology solution that aligns with the desires of modern buyers. They need an innovative platform that grants buyers the self-service access they crave, while also ensuring buyers receive communications once they do engage with a seller. Sellers must also embrace a more consultative and value-driven approach, prepared to engage with buyers on their terms, when the opportunity emerges.

Digital Sales Rooms and Conversation Intelligence Solve the Email Challenge

The rise of Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs) and Conversation Intelligence technology couldn’t come at a better time. Email as a channel is increasingly scrutinized, clutters people’s inboxes, and ineffective. This makes DSRs and Conversation Intelligence more important than ever. Their cutting-edge technology helps solve the commercial email challenge, while also meeting today’s buyers needs.

What Are Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs)?

DSRs are persistent microsites privately formed for a supplier and buying group to collaborate digitally throughout the customer journey. They’re personalized and auto-generated client sites that combine self-serve convenience with a seller’s touch, streamlining content sharing and collaboration to expedite deal cycles.

DSRs usher in an era where selling is a dynamic dialogue between sellers and buyers. They’re places where convenience meets customization, and where information is elegantly packaged for intuitive consumption. DSRs serve as secure personalized spaces, curated to the unique requirements of each buyer.

Digital Sales Rooms serve as secure personalized spaces, curated to the unique requirements of each buyer.

In DSRs, content is not a jumble of links and attachments; it’s a visual narrative, designed to captivate, inform, and evolve as a relationship develops. Sellers package information in a way that instantly resonates with viewers. DSR viewers intuitively grasp that this is a better way to consume information than wading through a sea of emails cluttered with multiple links or attachments.

The original DSR concept revolved around providing automation of the sales process, such as responding to requests for proposals (RFPs), collecting signatures, and managing document workflows. Today’s DSRs have evolved to primarily help sellers sell. Advanced features in modern DSRs, such as access control models, templating, guided content filtering, highlighting of key messages, automated reminders, and live chat, all support a seller’s ability to build rapport with the buyer and advance the deal.

  • Access control models ensure buyers receive personalized and relevant content, while protecting sensitive information.
  • Templating and guided content filtering allow sellers to create tailored, branded experiences for buyers, ensuring the content within them aligns with the buyer’s specific needs and interests.
  • The highlighting of key messages and automated reminders helps sellers draw attention to critical information, guide the buyer’s journey, and keep the engagement on track.
  • Live chat functionality emerged as a valuable tool for real-time communication, fostering collaboration and enabling sellers to address buyer inquiries promptly while enabling buyers to share their own important files themselves.

Today’s DSRs are integral to modern B2B selling strategies, empowering sellers with open rates as high as 20x regular email and up to 50% shorter sales cycles thereafter. DSRs provide the necessary conduit between self-service and consultative selling. This is especially challenging when communicating with and aligning multiple stakeholders within the buying group. DSRs solve this problem by channeling all involved parties through a secure and centralized hub. This approach not only ensures that your sales team delivers a consistent message, but it also facilitates seamless bidirectional sharing of resources.

Allego pioneered the modern DSR. In addition to providing a powerful and scalable tool for sellers to interact with buyers, while respecting buyers’ desire for self-service, Allego’s DSR offering is uniquely integrated with a full suite of sales enablement capabilities around training and reinforcement, coaching and evaluation, content management, and conversation intelligence.

Digital Sales Room Success Story

OneAmerica has been ahead of the curve when it comes to handling email overload that so many people experience—and which Google and Yahoo are now trying to eliminate. Advisors at the mutual insurance holding company used to have to sift through hundreds of emails to find documents from their sales directors. The time they spent looking for the files delayed sales processes. Now, though, OneAmerica’s sales team uses Allego DSRs to share content with their advisors.

[Digital Sales Rooms are] a helpful tool for advisors. They don’t have to sift through emails looking for that proposal you sent… or the letter of intent or whatever was sent.
— Rebecca McQuillan, Sales Coordinator, OneAmerica

“DSRs are such a wonderful way to house all of the content in one place,” said Rebecca McQuillan, Sales Coordinator, at OneAmerica. “This is a helpful tool for advisors. They don’t have to sift through emails looking for that proposal you sent, or the piece about the OneAmerica story, or the letter of intent, or whatever was sent. It’s literally all housed together. And being able to let them know there’s additional content with just a ping has been really, really useful. It’s something our sales leadership was excited about.”

What Is Conversation Intelligence?

Conversation Intelligence further helps sales teams’ communication with buyers. It leverages generative AI to help them analyze sales calls and video sales presentations to gain insights, target sellers’ strengths and weaknesses, and develop best practices to improve performance. This technology is especially important as sellers turn to phone calls rather than email to connect with prospects. Even more so, when buyers expect sellers to be consultative and prepared to answer their specific questions and add value.

With Conversation Intelligence software, sales managers can unlock the full potential of their sales teams and help them be as productive as possible on the phones. Conversation Intelligence helps sales teams:

  • Improve Sales Coaching: Conversation Intelligence allows managers to observe exactly how sellers interact with buyers in the field, the precise language they use, how they describe the company’s value proposition, and how they handle (or don’t handle) objections. Sales managers can then deliver personalized coaching recommendations and remedial learning content to help reps improve.
  • Improve Sales Training: Conversation Intelligence provides data-driven insights to help sales managers validate sales learning effectiveness, identify areas that sellers must improve, and gain a new source of training content. By knowing exactly where to focus their coaching efforts, sales managers are more effective—and efficient..
  • Improve Digital Selling: As it analyzes communications between sellers and buyers, Conversation Intelligence brings to light topics important to the buyer. It can then recommend specific content for sellers to share with the buyer.<

Conversation Intelligence Success Story

As Arco’s sales reps turned to the phones to contact buyers rather than email or in person, the team’s sales coach realized he needed greater visibility into what the reps were saying. Were they on message? Did they handle objections properly? Were sales stalling?

Allego’s Conversation Intelligence provides that insight, as well as such data as the number of questions a sales rep asks, the pace of the conversation, and overused phrases. Arco sales coach Ethan-Jak Anderson can now quickly pinpoint learning moments during rep calls. This had an immediate impact on the effectiveness of sales coaching sessions.

“In a seven-week period, we improved our ‘offer rate’ (product mentions per call) by 75%, adding an additional 11 sales per day to the bottom line. Allego has helped us measure and track this metric,” he said. 

Adapt to Email Requirements and Buyer Changes or Be Left Behind

In the ever-evolving landscape of email requirements and changing buyer behavior, go-to-market teams face formidable challenges in reaching and engaging their prospects effectively. Solutions like Digital Sales Rooms and Conversation Intelligence offer a way forward.

These innovative technologies provide the necessary tools to engage buyers on their terms, deliver relevant content, and foster productive interactions. Rather than being hindered by the new commercial email requirements and buyer behavior shifts, sales teams can leverage DSRs and Conversation Intelligence to remain relevant, influential, and effective in the buyer’s journey.


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