The Most Common Mistakes When Crafting Outbound Messaging (And How to Avoid Them)

Cold Outbound
June 10, 2024

Let's face it—messaging isn't exactly the most thrilling topic in sales and marketing. It's not the shiny new tool or the latest trend that everyone gets excited about. However, here's the kicker: poor messaging is likely the reason your outbound efforts are falling flat. You can have the best product, the most skilled sales team, and the most sophisticated tech stack, but if your messaging doesn't resonate, all those efforts will go to waste. As a revenue and sales leader, you've got to get this right to make sure your team is booking those meetings and driving pipeline. The stakes are high—every word in your emails, every line in your scripts, and every pitch on your calls can be the difference between a new opportunity and a missed one. So, let's dive into the most common mistakes when crafting outbound messaging and how to approach things differently to drive real results. We'll explore the nuances that separate compelling, effective messaging from the forgettable noise that fills most inboxes. By understanding these pitfalls and implementing strategic changes, you can transform your outbound efforts and significantly impact your team's success.

The Usual Suspects: Common Messaging Mistakes

⛔️ Creating Outbound Messaging in a Silo

Mistake: A lone BDR leader, sales exec, or marketing exec creates all the cold call talk tracks and email sequences by themselves.

Impact: Messaging sounds generic and is too heavily influenced by personal bias.

Revenue Leader Insight: Outbound messaging should be a team sport. When one person is responsible for crafting the entire strategy, it’s easy to miss the mark. By collaborating, you get diverse perspectives that can shape more dynamic and effective messaging.

⛔️ Marketing or Product Creating Outbound Messaging

Mistake: A PMM or marketing leader writes all the outbound messaging.

Impact: Since they've had little (or zero) conversations with real customers, the messaging ends up super generic.

Revenue Leader Insight: It’s essential to bridge the gap between product and customer experience. Your sales team is on the front lines—they know the objections, the pain points, and the language that resonates. Make sure their insights are at the core of your messaging strategy.

⛔️ Product Voice: Feature-Heavy Messaging

Mistake: Messaging focuses on how the solution works and specific features.

Impact: This might work on a webpage, but not in a cold email. Messaging feels super salesy and isn't appealing to execs.

Revenue Leader Insight: Shift the focus from features to benefits. Executives care about outcomes, not the nitty-gritty details of your product. Craft your messaging to highlight how your solution solves their problems and drives business results.

⛔️ Not "Chunking Up" to Business Outcomes

Mistake: Messaging addresses all of the pains of the user, not the decision-makers.

Impact: Reps get delegated down to product users and struggle to start sales conversations at the exec level.

Revenue Leader Insight: Elevate the conversation. Identify the key business outcomes that your solution drives and tailor your messaging to speak directly to the decision-makers who care about those outcomes.

⛔️ Not Leveraging Customer Conversations

Mistake: Not using recorded customer conversations to inform messaging.

Impact: Messaging doesn't use the customer's language and feels generic.

Revenue Leader Insight: Your customers are a goldmine of information. Use their words, their pain points, and their success stories to create messaging that feels authentic and resonates deeply.

What to Do Instead: Pro Tips for Crafting Killer Messaging

✅ Build a Messaging Team

Strategy: Get no more than 10 of the best people together to build common messaging. This should include top AEs, marketing, customer success, sales leaders, product specialists, etc. And make sure to assign a single person to own messaging.

Revenue Leader Insight: A diverse team ensures that your messaging is well-rounded and comprehensive. Each team member brings a unique perspective that can help fine-tune the messaging to be more effective.

✅ Live Workshop Messaging by Persona/Vertical

Strategy: Run live workshops to work out messaging together. At a minimum, messaging should be created for each specific persona. For enterprise, messaging should be created by persona AND industry.

Revenue Leader Insight: Different personas have different pain points and priorities. Tailoring your messaging to specific personas and industries ensures that it’s relevant and compelling. A healthcare security leader speaks a different language than a SaaS security leader, and your messaging should reflect that.

✅ Build a Messaging Matrix

Strategy: Create a matrix that outlines:

  • Personas
  • Priorities
  • Current Solutions
  • Problems/Impact
  • Desired Outcomes

Revenue Leader Insight: A messaging matrix is a powerful tool that can be easily repurposed into talk tracks and emails. It ensures consistency across the board and makes it easier for your team to align on messaging that resonates with your target audience.

Parting Thoughts

Crafting effective outbound messaging is both an art and a science. As a revenue and sales leader, your goal is to ensure that your team is equipped with the best possible messaging to engage prospects and drive pipeline. Avoid the common pitfalls, leverage the collective intelligence of your team, and always keep the customer’s voice at the forefront. With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to crafting outbound messages that not only get noticed but also drive results.

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