Sales Objectives

9 Critical Mistakes Teams Make When Using Sales Engagement

Be sure to not fall for #4!

Assuming you’re already familiar with Sales Engagement Platforms, you probably know they have no shortage of detractors.

To be fair, there’s a certain amount of merit to these claims..

But here’s the thing.

You can’t just invest in a sales tool and expect it to work as advertised!

It’s like blaming a car for crashing when the driver is under the influence. And that’s just silly. 

So if you want to find success and don’t want to add to the collective “noise” of emails out there, start by avoiding these common mistakes when using Sales Engagement Platforms.

Mistake #1: Sales Reps Send Far Too Many Emails

Do you need more time in your day? Learn how to work smarter, not harder with tips to help you reclaim your time and focus on executing revenue-generating tasks.

Mistake #2: Users Don't Personalize At Least 10% of the Email

The average adult receives at least 50 emails a day. Executives receive hundreds.

To increase your odds of cutting through noise, take a few minutes to add a personal touch.

While SEP’s can queue & deliver prewritten emails with common tags like {{First_Name}} and {{Company}}, this doesn’t quite count as personalization.

Most SEP’s, such as FoxBound Pursuit, allow for personalization before you schedule the emails for delivery.

And it doesn’t have to be over-the-top. It just needs to be relevant. Here’s a few quick ideas for personalization:

  • Career progression or a new job
  • A post the prospect shared on LinkedIn
  • News about their company or industry
  • Their affiliation with a school or nonprofit
  • Remember, sales is still about human interaction. It doesn’t matter how much technology we all have.

We cover more about this in 4 Ways You Can Personalize Sales Emails at Scale

Mistake #3: Sending Poorly Formatted Emails

In reality, messaging deserves an entire book. We can’t do it justice here.

If you want your emails to deliver, don’t overuse formatting or send long emails.

Otherwise, emails will go unread or worse – marked as spam. Over time, this will damage your ability to send emails to begin with. 

Mistake #4: Sending Emails Just for the Sake of "Hitting Metrics"

As a rep working on a team with weekly/daily activity KPI’s, this can be tempting. 

When the choices are

1) just send all the emails and be done with it or

2) prune your lists, find more prospects, send new emails, etc..

There’s no doubt the path of least resistance is 1. If this sounds like you, just know that you’re not only hurting yourself, but you’re hurting the rest of your company. 

By repeatedly sending messages to email addresses that are known to be invalid, your domain will start to automatically be flagged as a spam sender by the recipients’ web servers. 


No Spam. No Nonsense.
Just Quality Content To Your Inbox

Mistake #5: Sending the Same Template Everyone Else is Sending..

Subject: appropriate person?

Body: John – I’m reaching out in hopes of connecting with the right person for discussing xyz.. If you’re not the appropriate person, can you connect me with..

It’s time to retire old templates like this one. 🙂

Copywriting sales emails is not easy and doesn’t come natural for many reps.

There are plenty of blogs and articles that have “The Top 25 Templates for XYZ.” What ends up happening is that thousands of salespeople end up sending the same thing.

In all seriousness, the world doesn’t need any more emails with “Are you the appropriate person to speak with regarding..?”

Instead, try:

  • Teaming up with your colleagues to take a committee approach to writing your campaigns.
  • Deconstructing your own customer reviews into powerful (and original) storytelling-style emails. Here’s a guided exercise here

Mistake #6: Sending the Same Email To Multiple Stakeholders in the Same Company

*Rep thinks to self*

“Well, I have this outbound sequence that’s made for Directors of Marketing. And I have this company on my list.. And they have 30 of them.. hmm. I think I’ll just send this sequence to all of them and hope one comes back!”

Believe it or not, this does happen. And if this is a mistake you’ve made, you probably just haven’t been coached differently.

That stops now.

Bottom line: there is absolutely no reason to send the same template to more than 3 stakeholders max

Ideally, everyone’s getting different campaigns. Not only are you more likely to engage the account, but you’re less likely to get marked as spam by the server or the recipient themselves. 

If you really want results, which we know you do, do yourself a favor and write multiple campaigns. Or, wait until a prospect has cycled through your campaign and then backfill them with a similar prospect.  

Mistake #7: Sending Weak, Passive Emails

Jeb Blount describes this perfectly in his book, Objections.

  • In the same way animals smell fear, so do prospects.
  • If a horse senses that its rider is weak or nervous, it’s more likely to throw them off.
  • Inversely, a confident rider is met with respect.

A few words of advice:

  • Don’t “apologize” for reaching out. If you’re taking your time to provide value to someone, you have nothing to be sorry for
  • Don’t leave the prospect guessing. Ask for what you want. If you’re looking for a referral, an answer to a question, or a meeting – ask.
The worst thing that can happen is that you’re already where you are!

Mistake #8: Not Including Opt-Out Links 😱

In case you didn’t know, laws and regulations are working to clamp down on unsolicited emails and spam.

Instead of digressing into a full review of things like GDPR and CASL, here’s a couple quick pointers:

  • Make sure your SEP adds an opt-out link in your message
  • Don’t send emails with phrasing like, “reply stop to remove yourself from future communications.” Include the actual link!
  • If you don’t have the ability to include an opt-out link, try using a Sales Engagement Platform like FoxBound Pursuit. 

"In the same way animals smell fear, so do prospects.. Don't apologize for reaching out.. Bring value and ask for what you want"

Mistake #9: Taking Rejections and Brush-Off's Personally

Here’s something that most Sales Engagement providers don’t like to advertise..

They’re not rejection-proof!

No matter what, you’re going to have unresponsive prospects that never reply no matter how creative you are.

You’ll also have prospects that overreact to you reaching out to them. These are the people that act as if you walked up to their front door with a bag of garbage when you sent them 1 email.. 

These things happen.

In both cases, don’t take it personal.

Always keep in mind, there could be a million different reasons why someone’s not getting back.

They could be busy, satisfied with another vendor, or just plain don’t want to talk to you.

Be respectful, leave the door open, and move on to the next one. You never know when someone might reply back to your email 3 months from now and be in the buying window. 

We promise, someone else needs your help!

Next Steps

So, now you know what to avoid when adopting & using Sales Engagement Platforms. Next, let’s examine the warning signs that it’s time to adopt a new SEP.


Zach Sergio

Zach Sergio


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January 10th, 2020

Zach Sergio

Zach Sergio


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