1 Simple Way to Never Miss That Sales Team E-Mail

October 29, 2009

Marketing expert Seth Godin has a brief  rant post regarding his frustration at being unable to contact the sales teams at several organizations via an e-mail address.

After searching for that type of product or service, he found the web sites of some businesses that met his criteria. Next step, Mr. Godin starts looking for some pricing information, and…. was having difficulty finding a way to contact the business sales team to get that information!

Yes, as a SME, your Web Site must have the Contact page within 1 click of every page, and I am going to assume that your business would not give Mr. Godin that same problem. I know that your Contact Us page clearly  gives your sales@ e-mail address, your phone number, the works.

What I wanted to expand upon a little, is  how you can ensure that those critical e-mails coming from people who actually found your Web Site actually get monitored by more than one person.

Which of these methods do you currently do?

If you are like many businesses in the SME space, these critical functional e-mail addresses usually work as follows;

* Someone is assigned to manually check an e-mail in box for sales@yourcompany.com. (probably others such as HR@, info@ too)

* Or perhaps one individual has an e-mail alias (secondary address) for this functional sales@ account.

The Problem?

Those methods both require humans and are prone to error.

First; an individual is assigned to do the e-mail check. If that individual is sick one day – will someone know to take on that task? Or will that sales request languish until the one person responsible returns?

Secondly, in the second example, where the e-mail is assigned as an alias, again human intervention is required. Does someone check that e-mail if that individual is sick, or on vacation? How about if that individual leaves your business? that alias must be transferred to somebody else. If you forget to do that, any e-mail saying; ..we need your product tomorrow! is gone to that great computer in the sky.

The Other Option: The Distribution List

Using Distribution Lists is a far more effective, less error prone method of dealing with those critical  sales@yourcompany.com and other functional (eg. HR@, info@) e-mail addresses.

This does assume that you are using an e-mail platform that supports creating these distribution lists. (some Web Only E-Mail programs may not) But rather than relying on one individual to look for these important e-mails, create a a Distribution List (the exact steps will vary depending on your e-mail platform) then assign two or more individuals to that distribution list. In this case all team members assigned to the list will receive that critical e-mail.

With some mail servers, you can even have a central copy of that e-mail stored in a common public folder before the distribution list sends copies to all memebers of the list. This gives you a permanent copy of that e-mail.

The SMB Takeaway

I know you have great people, but if one individual has been checking that sales email address for years, I guarantee that it will be easy to forget that a plan B must exist if that individual is away.

That individual can still be the primary person to act on all email coming in through your distribution list, but since the backup individual automatically gets a copy – they cannot forget that they are that human backup!

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2 Responses to “1 Simple Way to Never Miss That Sales Team E-Mail”

  1. elliotross Says:

    Thanks for dropping by!


  2. Great blog to read thanks.

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