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How to Monitor the Performance of Your Sales Messaging

Published Date: Friday, Jul 28, 2023
Last Updated on: Wednesday, Sep 13, 2023
Email performance

A well-crafted message can be the difference between closing a deal and watching it slip through your fingers.

Unfortunately, there’s no formula for writing a great sales message. What drives engagement for one brand will not produce the same results for another. Yes, copying your competitors might offer some immediate uplifts in customer interest, but it’s far from a foolproof strategy for sustained success.

So, what can you do to increase your probability of hitting the right notes for your prospects?

It all begins with monitoring and measuring — as what gets measured, improves. By drilling deeper into messaging performance and analytics, strategists can understand what drives customer engagement, where prospects lose interest and whether their messaging truly satiates their prospects’ pain points, and then optimize based on the results.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind monitoring sales messaging performance, so you can drive consistently high levels of engagement and make every word count.

Why should I be monitoring messaging performance?

Measuring inside sales messaging performance might seem like an additional task on your already full plate, but the benefits far outweigh the effort involved. Real-time measurement equips leaders and reps with a live feed of valuable insights. These can be harnessed to encourage better decision-making based on data, rather than assumption, gut feeling or bias.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a common thread at strategy level. Businesses often hastily deploy messaging without any real, meaningful way to track its performance. They throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks, then wipe the slate clean when it doesn’t.

Many businesses are also hesitant to mess with their revenue-driving processes because they fear failure. This is a common theme with older firms who have built consistency and revenue predictability from rigid messaging or USPs. This becomes ingrained into the operational culture. Ultimately, it comes down to education: Leaders don’t see the potential for measurement and improvement, because they’ve never believed there to be any.

What are the benefits of monitoring sales messaging performance?

Here are several reasons why monitoring messaging performance could be critical to your sales success:

Continuous improvement

Sales messaging is not a one-and-done endeavor. Buyer needs and expectations can change quickly, and the approach to selling your product needs constant refinement to make sure it is aligned. Regular monitoring helps you to stay agile, adapt to changing market dynamics, and deliver messaging that resonates with prospects and customers.

Prioritization and productivity

By keeping an eye on which messages, tonalities or tactics yield the most value for prospects, you can reallocate resources to areas that generate the greatest return on investment for your business. This ensures that your efforts are focused on activities that deliver results and avoids time and budget being spent on messaging that doesn’t meet its mark.

Deeper prospect understanding

Without messaging analytics, there’s really no way to understand how prospects are responding to your offer. Engagement data gives you a deeper understanding of their preferences, pain points and responses, helping your team to provide a more personalized and customer-centric experience that strengthens relationships and boosts the likelihood of conversions.

Competitive advantage

Modern markets are crowded and noisy, so standing out is essential. Paying attention to your messaging performance is the only way to stay ahead of the curve. By continually optimizing sales messaging in line with performance and results, you can hone your unique value propositions and ensure they are fresh and compelling against evolving customer needs.

Accountability and success

Concrete performance metrics are the only way to truly understand the success and limitations of your sales messaging. They help you set clear benchmarks, track rep progress, and hold yourself and your team accountable for the results.

How to monitor sales messaging

Measuring sales messaging performance isn’t the same as monitoring revenue. It is a unique process that requires careful attention to relevant metrics, delivery and audience.

Equally, just because an email or call script reads well, that doesn’t mean it will generate leads or convert prospects. You need to begin by setting up the infrastructure to actively track engagement across all channels and platforms you deliver messaging through.

Here are some key steps to begin measuring messaging performance:

Set clear goals and metrics

Start by defining the specific outcomes you want from your messaging. Are you aiming to increase orders? Scale awareness? Gain visibility? Get more attendees to an event or webinar? Once defined, you need to identify metrics that align with these goals. Usually, these will be engagement-focused analytics such as response rates, open rates and call-to-lead conversion rates.

Use analytics and tracking tools

The rise of sales enablement tools has made gathering messaging insights easier than ever. CRM systems like HubSpot, Salesforce and Oracle are onboarded with tracking implementations that are easy to set up and capture necessary data from all connected contact channels.

Conduct A/B testing

Metrics and tracking implementations are only one side of the coin. There is no use in monitoring metrics if you aren’t prepared to run tests or experiment. Split your lead list into two and expose them to alternate variations of your messages. Test different components like subject lines, calls to action, value propositions and tone to uncover new opportunities to improve team-wide results.

Analyze team feedback

Your sales team is on the front lines delivering your messaging. Their insight is absolutely valuable. After running your messaging over time, they should be able to provide firsthand insights into what’s working and what needs refinement. Don’t take everything as gospel, though, and definitely don’t judge too prematurely for new plays — just because a cadence didn’t work for one prospect, that doesn’t mean it won’t work long-term. It can take time for results to truly develop.

Monitor results across the funnel

Assess the performance of your sales messaging at different stages of the conversion funnel. Analyze how your messages contribute to lead generation, nurturing, and closing deals. Look for potential bottlenecks or drop-offs in the funnel and evaluate whether your messaging is effectively addressing customer concerns or objections at each stage. This helps you identify areas where adjustments are needed to improve conversion rates and overall sales effectiveness.

Review and refine

Keep monitoring and reviewing the performance metrics and insights gathered from the steps above. Use these findings to keep your strategy fresh, relevant and meeting the pace of market dynamics, customer preferences, and industry trends.

How to improve your sales messaging

Once you’ve opened up the messaging performance “can of worms,” the insights can be game-changing — and sometimes quite daunting. Experimentation will help you learn what resonates with prospects over time, but this is a lengthy and often time-consuming journey to embark on. That’s not to say it’s not worth doing — it absolutely is — but there are a few quick wins to move the needle on messaging performance in the meantime.

Adjust messaging based on prospect progression

With prospects progressing to the next stage in the pipeline, your messaging needs to reflect this, honing its focus and shedding buzzwords to become more specific and challenge-focused/gain-oriented instead of repeating the same messaging these leads have already been exposed to.

Source/channel differentiation

For inbound, make sure you check where the prospect came from. Did they download a specific guide or whitepaper? What content are they engaging with? What topics/areas are they searching for? These can provide powerful insights into potential challenges and pain points, once again demonstrating that you have awareness of what part of your offering they need.

Ideal customer profile (ICP) optimization

While templates are always useful, they only give you the raw ingredients – great sales reps will know how to add personalization to better target their sales messaging. Creating and sharing a strong ideal customer profile will help you be more personalized. This allows you to speak to specific personas and show an awareness of their role’s objectives and trends within their industry.

Personalize effectively

A SalesLoft study shows that a little personalization can go a long way – for example, by personalizing 20% of the email content, the open rate increased to 33%. However, there’s always a line to be drawn. The same study indicates a drop-off the more you personalize, only picking up slightly again when 80% of an email has been customized. Hitting that 80% can take considerable time and effort that might be better spent focused on other sales activities.

Cut the fluff

Avoid passive tone and vagueness in your messaging. Be black and white. Prove that your product or service is best by including testimonials and case studies. Buyers don’t want promises, they want a guarantee.

Let’s recap

Monitoring performance across all sales activities is crucial to the success of your organization. In this blog we’ve explored why sales messaging is important while offering ways to effectively monitor and improve its performance.

This process can be time-consuming and comes with an element of risk, especially if you are a fast-growing company or startup that maybe doesn’t have a wealth of sales data to work with.

If you’re unsure what messaging will work best in helping to sell your products or services, Harte Hanks Sales Services can help. We combine your success and learnings with our rich, expansive experience to design effective sales messaging for your teams. We also have the resources to effectively test and optimize this messaging before it’s deployed by your internal teams — meaning no reduction in pipeline or existing headcount.