Sales teams might find emails fleeting in nature, given how quick and easy it is to fire off, but compliance officers can help them find that RFP when they need it the most - after the deal has been signed and when everyone’s trying to align on the promises made. While some emails lose their value nearly the instant they’re read, it’s those few that are worth keeping around that will really make a difference a few months down the line.
Emails are a snapshot preserving a moment in time during an evolving relationship. But they also often contain valuable information that shouldn’t be locked away in a lone salesperson’s inbox.
To help convince you and your peers, here are six reasons sales teams should archive their emails:
Sales cycles can take a long time, particularly for large and complex deals, and sometimes outlast their original sales reps. Sales teams rarely remain static for long, switching up accounts and territories frequently. Plus, with targets and quotas to hit, underperformers may move on.
Regardless of the root cause of the disruption, sales teams can change their makeup without missing a beat on deals in progress. With a full record of the various messages and documents exchanged, the new account owner and their manager can quickly get up to speed and maintain momentum.
Sales organizations continually update their pipelines, adjusting the deal stage, close date, and expected amounts accordingly to provide senior leadership with accurate forecasts. But this still places a great amount of trust in salespeople to accurately reflect the progress they’re making on each opportunity.
By archiving emails with prospects in a secure, collaborative environment, sales managers will have clearer insight into how deals are progressing. It also creates opportunities for advice and coaching when others can see how different email exchanges are going.
Sales leaders always look for ways to shrink the sales cycle and further develop their talent. By reviewing email exchanges from different deals and salespeople, they can extract winning lines, compelling value propositions, and successful counters to negative feedback. These real-world examples can then be folded into sell scripts and training curricula.
Sales leaders can also, of course, uncover some tactics that aren’t working so well. This gives them the chance to coach up the salesperson in question.
Emails between sales and prospects typically name-drop many of the important players within the target company. Identifying who holds key roles and—most importantly—who has decision-making power is a must to work the deal from every angle.
Not only can data analysts and sales support staff extract these VIP contacts from archived emails, they can also update the CRM so customer support, account management, and other core functions know who to interface with.
For more complex deals, there are often plenty of offers and counter-offers during the course of the negotiations. When things get written down, there are good reasons to save them for posterity, and that goes for email communications as well.
These records can serve a few purposes. Obviously the more that’s documented the better in terms of protecting the organization on legal fronts. But those emails may also hold nuggets of wisdom that can help in the future. For example, when it’s time for an extension or a renegotiation of terms, the current account team can look back through earlier exchanges for leverage by throwing in a wish list item from the original deal.
In the back-and-forth between salespeople and their prospects, those email threads will undoubtedly contain a few key documents included as email attachments. That leaves those files stuck hiding behind a digital paperclip in someone’s inbox when they could be useful artifacts for others in the business.
Additionally, those files—or even the emails themselves—might fall under various regulatory compliance or records and information management policies. Getting them into a secure file management environment can ensure they’re handled and retained properly.
It’s asking a lot to expect every salesperson to diligently open up SharePoint or Microsoft Teams and file away each email in the appropriate folder. Behavior change is never easy, but sales teams can simplify things with a bit of technology.
By adding the harmon.ie 365 Suite to your Microsoft 365 environment, users can simply drag-and-drop emails and their attachments into the appropriate SharePoint or Teams location right from their Outlook inbox. Leadership can also turn on automatic metadata prompts that require users to tag the files for easier discovery in the future.
Now, with a little bit of coaching and a technical shortcut, sales teams can create a searchable directory of deal communications they can leverage for whatever purposes they need.