Cold Messaging in Tech Prospecting: Guide to getting technical buyers to talk to you

Explore how to uncover intent from developer activity and craft contextual outreach messaging.

Achintya Gupta
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Technical Prospecting
min read

Crafting effective cold emails or LinkedIn messages means capturing your prospects' attention and compelling them to engage with your content. This task becomes particularly challenging when targeting developers—a demographic known for their skepticism towards sales pitches, strong opinions, and critical role in the purchasing process.

Converting cold developer prospects to warm leads

There's a silver lining. Developers tend to leave clues or "breadcrumbs" through their interactions with your product, whether it be through opening a GitHub issue, downloading a package manager, or perusing technical documentation. These actions suggest they're already to an extent acquainted with what you offer, transforming them from the so-called cold prospects into warmer leads.

As a Sales Development Representative (SDR), your strategy should then involve deciphering these patterns of product interaction and understanding where developers stand in their purchasing journey. This way you can tailor contextual messaging to address the specific challenges they face, thereby positioning your solution as the answer to their needs.

Understanding intent while messaging to technical audience

The first step to crafting contextual messaging to developers is recognizing their intent while they engage with your product assets. Every activity done by the developer will reveal unique intent. Understanding this will enable you to provide relevant solutions, alternatives, or enhancements to their current tools and workflows. Revenue intelligence tools like Reo.Dev are built specifically to capture millions of the breadcrumbs that developers leave and intelligently decode such intent and thus sales opportunities from them.

Cold messaging templates based on developer activity

As highlighted earlier, each developer activity unveils a distinct intent, crucial for tailoring your messaging. We've compiled a list of common developer activities, deciphered the intent behind each, and provided examples of targeted outreach messages accordingly.

Segment 1: Developers exploring competitor technology

If a developer is toggling between your product and a competitor’s, it’s a signal they are weighing options. Here, emphasizing the unique benefits and differentiators of your product becomes crucial. Share case studies or testimonials that showcase your product's superiority in areas they care about.

Sample outreach message:
Hi <__________>,

If you are looking for a Kubernetes security solution, do check out <Our Product>

Here is how <Our product> compares with <Competitor product> and <Other popular products> in the category. Where <Our product> really shines is <XYZ>

If you have any questions do let us know. We can get K8 Security Experts on the call to help you out!

Segment 2: Developers exploring complementary technology

This segment of developers is actively using tools that align with or enhance the functionality of your product. The outreach should emphasize your product's ability to seamlessly integrate with the developer's existing tech stack, enhancing efficiency and functionality.

Sample outreach message:
Hi <__________>,

Kubernetes is very powerful but can be quite challenging to setup.

<Our product> can help you get started with Kubernetes within minutes and you evaluate whether Kubernetes is the right solution for you without wasting a lot of time on deployment.

If you would like to know more, happy to share some material or get a Kubernetes expert on a call

Segment 3: Developers active on multiple platforms

Let’s take an example, developers visiting your GitHub repositories and then reading your API documentation pages. This behaviour suggests a keen interest in understanding how your product works. A targeted message to the buyer should emphasize the pain points that your product solves, highlight the value proposition of your offerings, offer incentives, and include a compelling hook to initiate a conversation.

Sample outreach message:

Hi <__________>,

Curious if you are facing <problem that your product solves>

<pointed value proposition>

<Why they should try your premium offering> Or, <Hook to get on a call>

Segment 4: Developers building POC

Developers actively engage with your product, such as executing commands in the Command Line Interface (CLI), initiating a PIP install, or thoroughly perusing your documentation, it's a clear indication they're moving beyond mere exploration to actual experimentation. The objective here is to understand their needs deeply and identify what additional value your cloud or enterprise product can offer over the community/open source version. This understanding can then be leveraged to create a compelling reason for the developers to engage in a more in-depth conversation about the advantages of upgrading to a more sophisticated solution.

Sample outreach message:
Hi <__________>,

Our [cloud/enterprise product] not only offers [list of premium features] but also provides [specific advantages over the community/open source version].

I’d love to discuss how these can align with your current experiments and elevate your work to the next level.

I'm here to answer any questions and can also arrange a tailored demo with our Sales Engineer.

Segment 5: Developers asking for help

Imagine a developer who frequently opened issues or commented on GitHub or posed queries on community channels about your product features. This behaviour suggests a keen interest in understanding how your product works. Tailor your message to offer deeper insights or extended trial periods, demonstrating that you recognize and value their curiosity.

Sample outreach message:
Hi <__________>,

I'd love to offer you an extended trial period of [Product Name]. This would give you ample time to experiment with its full range of features and capabilities.

Additionally, I'd be happy to provide you with more detailed insights and resources to enhance your understanding of how [Product Name] can best serve your needs.

P.S: Feel free to take these messaging ideas and tweak them to suit your own situation. Ideas provided here are suggestions and should be adapted and tailored to fit your specific context and audience.

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