Here is an introduction to a blog post on finding a sales CRM (#1):
(Click to expand)
and then, here’s another (#2):
(Click to expand)
I’m going to ask you which you prefer, but just hang on a second. Because I don’t really care which intro you prefer, the two intros above aren’t for you.
They’re for sales managers at B2B enterprise sales organizations.
So just put yourself in their shoes for a bit.
It’s a Wednesday evening, you’re browsing your emails and social feeds on the train ride home from work. Your team is doing okay, but they should be doing better. You’re stressed, but not any more so than any other day.
You want to exceed your targets this quarter. You just hit them last quarter which the bosses were cool with but not super thrilled like you want them to be. You want a raise, you want your bonus. But none of this is new.
You’re 41, you’ve been doing this for 20 years. You first got into sales when you were fresh out of college and love it, now you lead sales teams. You know a lot about sales. Like a hell of a lot. Like, two decades worth.
You also know stuff is changing all the time. 20 years ago when you started there weren’t 400 competitors to Salesforce, now there are, and you know choosing the right one, that your reps actually use, is important and could help your career.
Your challenge in sales at the moment is that your team’s reporting is completely messed up and you think adding a new CRM to the mix will help with this.
Now let’s revisit the situation.
You see an article about sales CRMs on your commute home from work. The headline piques your interest because you’re tired of the CRM your team is using (they’re not using it enough, a common problem) and you’re thinking about switching.
It’s one of 400 other things you’re thinking of doing.
Which Blog Introduction is Better?
Now, read those intros again.
Which one makes you feel like the author gets you?
There’s a right answer and it’s #2.
The second intro is better. I’m not going to mince words, it’s just better.
The first gives this elaborate high school paper style intro that says the most obvious things that the intended reader already knows.
(Remember in high school when you had to write a paper on, say, dogs, and you’d start with a sentence like “For centuries, dogs have been a great companion animal to humans.” That’s what I’m talking about.)
If you’re a 41 year old sales manager that has been doing this for 20 years, you don’t need to be told things like:
“Most growing businesses will need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system at some point in their lives.”
Taking care of your customers is one of the most important tasks for any business.
Saying that makes you (and your company) look stupid.
Imagine going up to Jony Ive and saying something like “Design is an important part of building products consumers love.” You don’t need to tell him that!
But worse, it makes you look like a total fool. He designed the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. He knows design is important.
And your intended reader, the sales manager (the person who will make the purchase decision on a new CRM), knows that “Taking care of your customers is one of the most important tasks for any business.”
Blog posts that start off with high school paper intros immediately give away that the author doesn’t know you. That implies to some extent that they don’t really care about you. They don’t get you.
So why should you trust them?
Why should you keep reading?
Why should you opt in to their list or request a demo or contact sales?
Does this company really understand your needs?
If so, why did they have to tell you (a 20 year sales veteran) that most businesses will need a CRM at some point?
Better Blog Introductions Use the Specificity Strategy
The second blog introduction above doesn’t suffer from this high school intro syndrome.
Because it follows what we’ve coined: The Specificity Strategy.
It gets to the heart of a real, specific problem that real sales managers face in real life: their reps aren’t using their CRM. That’s an actual problem sales managers have.
(You can discover these problems with extensive user research.)
The introduction nails it and as a result will immediately hook the target customer who is nodding along as they’re reading more.
Take a long hard look at your blog post intros and ask yourself if they are written for your target audience or written for a high school teacher reading a student’s paper on this topic.
If you’re trying to add high school students to your email list then so be it, but if you’re trying to sell a B2B product to industry veterans, then you might want to be more careful.
Want us to write an in depth case study or story like this about you or your company? We’ll also drive traffic to it. Apply here.
Like this article? We produce stories like these for our clients, learn more here.
Join the G&C Content Strategies Newsletter
We send in depth articles about content marketing about once a week. No list posts, no high level stuff.
It's free and marketers at companies such as Salesforce Desk, PayPal, and Cisco have joined.