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Outbound Cold Email Is Dead (Kinda)

Google recently updated its email spam algorithm. For sales teams that rely heavily on outbound email for prospecting, things are changing. This recent change, in our direct experience, has altered deliverability for sales teams sending small batches of cold emails to prospective customers. Companies are mistakenly being labeled as spammers.

It seems that automated email apps such as Reply.io, Outreach.io, etc. have been ID'd as sources of spam and are now being heavily scrutinized under this new set of rules... Even for small sends to as few as 25 people or less. After speaking with the Google machine regarding this issue, it appears that SPF records can help to address this issue… maybe.
 

The increase in control these algorithms (and Google) exerts over business is limiting to commerce, exclusionary by nature and as a pattern, dangerous to small and medium sized businesses.

Here's why. First, the nature of business is interaction. Most business conversations these days occur via email, and as far as professional selling goes, nothing significant happens outside of a conversation. Next, many companies have atrophied their capacity for telephone prospecting. Automated business phone systems these days are mostly used for screening. Some companies are moving toward the elimination of phone systems all together.

Finally, as a trend, these markers do not bode well for professional selling, free markets and commerce in general. It indicates a cultural move toward an anti-business attitude that I sense will prove unsustainable over time. Particularly in a transaction-based system. It runs contrary to many of the ideals that originally attracted me (and others) to the profession of selling. We may want to ask ourselves if this mindset (anti-business) is at all healthy. Especially if we're attempting to grow commerce and economies.

The basics of selling will always be necessary. Prospecting especially. The very nature of prospecting is reliant on cold outreach and is a cornerstone activity for winning new business. By limiting (governing) the channels by which these activities can occur, innovation and growth are stifled. That is, sales organizations that become reliant on one or two channels for their prospecting activities are really setting themselves up for trouble.

Back in the day, we used to conduct prospecting / appointment-getter workshops. We would take the group through the myriad of ways a professional salesperson could generate new contacts, conversations and opportunities. So, let’s do that again… how many ways can you think of to generate new contacts and opportunities? Let’s go through the process… In the comments below, list a few of your favorite ways to identify, engage and meet new prospects. Let’s remind ourselves that as professional sales people, even a Google algorithm cannot contain the desire to solve challenges and provide value for other businesses. We look forward to seeing all of the different ways you can (and do) prospect.

About the Author​

Robert Allen is the Founder of ProSales Systems and serves as Scrum Master and Interim Account Management Specialist for the team. He advises sales leaders on the topics of Sales Effectiveness, Sales Process, Sales Hiring & CRM / Sales Apps. If you want to know more about Robert, or the rest of the team, connect with us on LinkedIn.

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