– 9 min read
How to empower your sales team with persuasive writing skills
Sales professionals do a lot of writing in their quest for leads – and it pays off when done right. One survey found that 77% of decision-makers at organizations respond favorably to sales emails. So, while making phone calls are still an effective tactic in finding and nurturing leads, writing influential messaging in key communications channels like email and social media are now necessary sales skills.
But while most great sales reps are outstanding communicators, not all are naturally gifted writers. It’s not uncommon to see reps who excel at sales demos and presentations at a loss for words or grammatical skills once they’re behind a keyboard. A lack of confidence over writing can kill profitable conversations via email or social media before they even begin.
As a sales or content leader in your organization, you can equip your sales team with the know-how to write clear, persuasive messages to prospects and customers. Plus, generative AI tools make effective business writing easier than ever. Let’s explore the four essential actions your sales team can take to make writing their most powerful sales tool – and how AI can help.
- Equip sales team with know-how to write clear, persuasive messages.
- Train team to focus on readability, correct spelling & grammar and persuasive results.
- Ask leads what matters to them, provide relevant metrics & outcomes, and customer success stories.
- Get details right in communications and tailor message to specific audience.
- Use generative AI tools to help with writing quality and personalization.
1. Make all sales communications readable
Making something readable goes beyond just making it easy to read. When coaching your team to write sales copy, instruct them to ask themselves: Will the intended audience understand what I want to tell them? And did I write something enjoyable that they actually want to read?
Good readability in sales writing is clear and direct.
Concise writing is key to good business writing. Your sales team should keep their words, sentences, and paragraphs short. Try to cap sentence length at 25 words or less, and keep paragraphs to a single topic with two to four sentences. Use shorter, more common words rather than longer, or more obscure ones.
Plain language is key to readability in business writing. Using more complex vocabulary to sound eloquent or intelligent isn’t always the best option for business communications. According to various research analyzed by the Harvard Business Review, simple and concise writing can literally improve the financial gains for most companies and can increase their customers’ engagement.
Don’t overcomplicate the writing. Things like jargon or idioms can confuse a reader, especially if the reader’s first language isn’t English, so discourage your sales team from using them. Also, pay attention to how words and phrases can mean different things to speakers of the same language in different parts of the world.
A simple method to train your sales team in writing readable content: tell them to pretend they’re writing to an 8th-grade student.
How AI can help:
Writer’s Chrome extension can help anyone on your sales team improve their writing anywhere they reach out to prospects online. Highlight a sentence or paragraph and click the rewrite button to instantly reword content to be more clear, concise, fluent, or detailed.
Compare the two variations of this cold email intro – the original version written by a human and the second version produced by Writer rewrite:
2. Use correct spelling and grammar
Spelling and grammatical errors can confuse your audience or give the impression that your sales team is careless or unprofessional. These types of errors, especially in a sales email, are often the first signs that people look for when determining the legitimacy of an email; enough spelling and grammatical errors can get your emails labeled as spam or phishing.
Reduce spelling and grammatical errors in sales writing by taking the time to review the content once it’s written. This additional step improves oversight on any particular piece of writing and might build a person’s overall vigilance on writing quality over the long-term. Train your team to build this mentality for quality assurance when writing sales messaging. According to HubSpot, about half of the salespeople they surveyed turned to their peers to get tips on how to improve. Encourage your salespeople to get a peer or their supervisor to offer their feedback or to proofread.
Equip your sales team with a spelling and grammar checker to help avoid spelling and grammar issues in sales communications. Word processing software and email programs, like Word and Gmail, typically have these built-in. Other platforms might require an external plug-in to add this functionality, or you may need to find a standalone solution.
How AI can help:
Consistent writing quality is a strong indicator of good brand quality and can help to maintain your customer’s or your user’s trust. Writer can check the writing quality in whatever program your team uses, and includes autocorrect, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. To further improve brand alignment, there’s also a terms feature that makes inline suggestions to fix incorrect company language.
3. Focus sales messaging on persuasive results
In sales writing, focus on communicating results rather than product features. Sure, it’s helpful for a potential customer to learn more about what your product can do – and there are specific times when writing about product features can move potential leads through your sales funnel – but what results can your product deliver?
Potential customers want to know impact to the bottom-line: if they choose to spend X amount to invest in your product, what kinds of results can they expect from using it?
Relevant metrics and outcomes
You can’t build a connection with a potential lead unless you know what they care about. Instead of assuming, ask prospective customers outright: what matters to you? Whether it’s in your initial cold email or maybe further along in your email communications, request what types of results or metrics matter. The more information that your sales team has, the better they can prepare talking points that are most relevant for engaging and nurturing leads. Include any internal data or statistics that align with what prospects want to know.
Solutions to pain points
It’s standard for sales representatives to list product features in their emails to potential customers. but it’s even more helpful to connect how each feature solves a prospect’s pain points. Is there a feature that can improve the efficiency of a specific process for a prospective customer? Can your product solve a problem that your lead encounters regularly? What notable product features do you offer that competing products lack? In your sales content, explain how these features of your product can address the common and specific pain points experienced by the potential customer.
Customer success stories
Encourage your sales team to use real examples of how your product delivers results. Take a storytelling approach and use the success stories of existing customers to illustrate how your product can help prospective customers achieve similar outcomes. Work with your marketing team to prepare strong customer case studies that highlight key measured results.
How AI can help:
Thanks to generative AI tools, sales reps can wield the persuasive storytelling power of some of the world’s best copywriters with a simple prompt. With templates, sales teams can easily generate outbound emails using just a few details about the product they’re selling.
4. Pay attention to details
Get the details right in your sales communications. Whether it’s in emails, social media, proposals, quotes, sales presentations, the writing in your sales assets should present accurate information.
The most important piece of information that sales professionals need to get right is the name of the person they communicate with. Names are strongly tied to our sense of identity; when people get our name wrong, it feels disrespectful. The recipient may think, “If they don’t care enough to get my name right, why should I bother reading any further?” (Similarly, when communicating with a prospect or client in a call, ask them how to pronounce their name if it’s unclear to you).
Updated personalization fields
Reusing messaging that previously got good responses is a great way for your sales team to save time when prospecting, but they should use the copy/paste function with caution. Reinforce the need to triple-check that any personalization fields within sales communications templates are updated before hitting send. highlight the sections in each template that requires customization, so it catches your attention and prompts you to update the content.
Tailored to a specific audience
When crafting messages and communications, sales staff should think about their audience. They’ll likely want to adjust the tone of their writing, depending on if they’re writing to a mid-level or a C-suite employee. This could also help provide direction when deciding what type of call-to-action to include. For example, if they’re writing to a mid-level employee who will be the main user, a free trial might be best, while case studies and white papers might be better for a CEO.
How AI can help:
Writer’s generative AI can reference content from live URLs, including a prospective lead’s LinkedIn profile and any relevant company pages, which helps teams to spend less time tailoring sales messaging for specific people.
Win more clients with great sales writing
If you want to see better responses in your prospecting efforts, support your sales team by equipping them with the skills and tools to build their writing. Writer offers a variety of tools that can help your sales team elevate their message to produce concise, effective writing that gains the trust of potential customers and persuades them to use your product.
Don’t know where to start? Sign up for a free Writer trial and use the outbound emails template in Writer that we’ve put together specifically for sales teams to create more compelling cold messaging.