As B2B marketers, our primary audience really is our salespeople, right? You’d think every email we sent to them would be treated as a precious treasure to aid them in their success.
Of course we are humbled–or more likely irate–when we find out that they aren’t even reading the emails.
I thought making friendly sales-info videos was a way to make sure salespeople were paying attention, but if they were just setting-aside my emails, they never even knew about the video.
This column, When too much information harms the office, from Lucy Kellaway helps explain this behavior:
“She has noticed that her staff are responding to the information overload not by digesting too much of it, but by stopping to digest anything at all. She tells me that, in her company, the written word has lost almost all its power. No one reads e-mails any more – with the exception of those from the boss. Messages from anyone else are either deleted unread or given a cursory glance and then ignored.”
Sure, that makes sense. The emails that we require actual reading get set aside until the recipient has time and is mentally prepared. And, unfortunately gets buried.
Lucy goes on to opine that this is potentially a good thing:
“The trouble with the information age is that there are so many people talking simultaneously. Leaders surely need to do not more listening but more ignoring. More than ever, the good leader surely needs to learn how to become selectively deaf.”
There is a lot written about being better managers of our inboxes, and a lot about breaking thru the inbox as a direct marketer, but how do we as communicators of important information make sure our emails are opened, read, and comprehended regularly?
The easiest strategy based on the first quote is to be the boss. But marketers are not the boss of the salespeople. And sometimes even the sales manager isn’t listening.
Personally, I think what needs to occur is more personal (phone or in-person) talking to salespeople to make them aware of the value of what we are sending. Sounds stupid to call people and ask them ‘did you get my email’, but that may be what you need to do. Not everyone every time, but just on a regular basis of some sort.
What ideas do you have? What has worked for you?