Direct-sales teams are on the go. They rarely have the time, or the inclination, to sit through long sales meetings. They need to be in front of prospects to make money. At the same time, salespeople appreciate advice that directly supports their efforts. A regular newsletter, sent through email, can provide motivation, product tips and trending news when it’s inviting, easy to read and informative.
Make It Relevant
Salespeople tend to move quickly, avoiding emails and messages that are useless and uninformative. To get your sales team to stop and read your newsletter, make it relevant. Know your audience and who they are calling on so you can provide insights you’ve gleaned from market research. Provide tips and news about the products they are selling. Include information about upcoming promotions and sales so the team is well-prepared when they hit.
Keep It Short
While doing their paperwork and checking emails, busy, successful salespeople don’t want to take the time to slog through a long email about a new product or your recent market research. Provide the information in easy-to-read bullet points. Deliver your message in short, insightful clips, instead of long, drawn-out narratives. Rely on teasers to other links that salespeople will find useful, giving them the option of choosing to read what they need.
Salespeople love challenges. Publish games of trivia or contests in your newsletters that salespeople can only learn about through opening and scanning your newsletter. Announce winners through the newsletter. Let salespeople know about commission updates, lists of top sellers and big deals recently closed through the newsletter. When they have an incentive to read your message, they are more likely to make it a habit.
It’s better to have too few newsletters go out than too many, according to Marketing Sherpa. Creating a monthly newsletter may be more effective than weekly updates. It gives readers something to look forward to. On the other hand, if changes occur rapidly in your industry, weekly updates may be more helpful. Know your audience and your industry to decide how much is too much and what might best serve the interests of your sales force.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."