Sales Scoop: Humanizing the Prospecting and Selling Process to Stand Out

“Hope all is well.”
“Happy Monday.”
“Did you have a good weekend?”

If at any point in your professional career you’ve found yourself reaching out to somebody in which there is a lack of prior rapport, there is a high probability that you’ve used one of these phrases as an introductory filler statement. And you’re not alone! What better way to jump into your ask than by filling the literary void with a mundane, albeit weightless sentence to break the ice? Well, there are actually many.

Battling for Prominence in the Inbox

According to the Radicati Group, a technology market research firm based out of Silicon Valley, office workers receive a little over 120 emails a day, and we can assume that business leaders endure even more. When you’re battling an inbox filled to the brim with pitches, newsletters, conference invites, sweet online shopping deals, and an influx of internal company emails, it’s imperative that you stand out.

Sending a generic, non-personalized message via pre-saved templates won’t garner the responses from company executives that they once did… and that’s a good thing. As you compete against the other inbox warriors, all vying for some sort of positive response, you have not only the ability, but the opportunity to flex your research skills, creativity, and innate curiosity.

Your Contact’s Perspective

Let’s alter the perspective of the scenario for a brief moment. After an abundance of hard work, you find yourself high up on the corporate ladder and in a leadership position that enables you to make purchasing recommendations in hopes to benefit your company’s initiatives. Through a few simple online searches, thousands of sales reps around the world have identified you as a decisionmaker, and they have a product that they feel would benefit your specific company goals.

The cold emails start rolling in, and with each one, you begin to notice the glaring vernacular similarities across each note. The same subject lines, a few random bullet points with less-than-compelling and vaguely referential statistics consisting of little context, and a closing line asking for thirty minutes of your day. After a little time, you find your fingers subconsciously and constantly making their way to the delete button after every new email notification. But every now and again, like a needle in a haystack (or a tech company without a ping pong table), an email catches your eye. While this can be attributed to a myriad of factors, there is an underlying theme in every email that you take time to carefully ponder: Humanization.

Personalize Your Message

As stated by TOPO, only 24 percent of emails are actually opened, which underscores the importance of compelling content creation. What better way to appeal to your intended reader than by leveraging personal facts relevant to their life, key findings that specifically appeal to their role or thought-provoking questions sculpted via in-depth online research?

Personable and relevant outreach is much more likely to gain attention than generic messaging. Losing sight over the fact that you’re writing to a fellow person can be detrimental to your desired outcome. The intended reader is not a business, not a robot, but rather somebody actively participating in the grind of the 9-5, before closing their laptop, plopping on their couch, and reminiscing about the days when Tiger King was the #1 docu-series. Treating them as a person yields the greatest beneficial results.

Research Online Resources

There are a plethora of routes you can utilize to stand out, whether it be over email, through a phone call, video chat, or in-person meeting. Available at your professional disposal are mediums like Wikipedia, Crunchbase, Twitter, Pinterest, and believe it or not, even Google. Why generically open your email by asking someone about their Wednesday morning when you could make mention about their Tweet from early last year professing their love for Santana’s music or an affinity for beachfront properties? When asking about their company, why not utilize Wikipedia to identify obscure facts about the organization that, typically, only people that work there would know?

Maybe said individual you’re trying to get in touch with has a Pinterest Board about different chicken salad sandwich recipes–another tidbit of information that can be thrown into your note’s copy that will surely emote intelligence and thoughtfulness while provoking interest. While the list of examples remains endless, there is a constant factor that remains prevalent in all forms of outreach that receive positive responses: Humanization.

Personalizing your messaging rhetoric provides the opportunity to use your authentic voice in a similar vein to mannerisms used in an in-person conversation. While standardized email templates tend to be a medium where message tonality easily gets lost in translation, utilizing humor and conversational language offers up more flavor and longevity.

While proclaiming “Hope all is well!” at the beginning of an email may be exciting to you, it surely isn’t to the prospective reader. With a few clicks and some search engine usage, you can find yourself down a rabbit hole overflowing with specific, valuable and relevant content, allowing you to showcase your sleuthing skills.

In an age of humanization, flex your creativity.

Ever-changing times continue to evolve around us. In the age of innovation, the fight for market share rages on. Technological advancement runs rampant. Increased automation renders increased competition.

What does this mean for you? That unless you fight for your share of the inbox utilizing proper methodologies, your voice will be drowned out by the hordes of other passionately motivated people, AI-based tech, or email campaigns, all vying for their messages to be heard. It’s not an impossible feat and surely within reach, but it takes patience, practice, and a strong desire to have your voice recognized.

Now more than ever it’s important to stand out. Flex your creativity. Showcase your ingenuity. Allow your intellectual curiosity to shine. Gone are the “hope all is well” days. It’s time to say hello to the age of humanization.


Sales Scoop is our blog series that gives the amazing members of our Sales team a platform to share their perspectives and successes.  Now more than ever, Sales and Marketing alignment is imperative to an organization’s success. We dive into topics important to sales teams, such as humanizing the selling process, outreach strategies with buying committees, and ways you can use Demandbase daily to power your selling.

Read more in the series:

ABM Gives You Wings (With Sales and Marketing Alignment)

Tech Sales & Marketing Tips, Podcast Takeaways with Jay Tuel

How I Went from SDR to AE in One Year

Tips for Personalization within Buying Committees

Account Executive, Demandbase

I'm a sales professional at Demandbase with a focus on enterprise technology companies. I'm well-versed in the world of ABM and display advertising and have practiced demand generation and sales development at leading global and start-up tech organizations. Connect with me: