Sunday Stories: The Digital Revolution of the Sending Economy

A 50% decrease in time to closed won.

Sending personalized gifts as part of the sales process might be the most effective way to build trust for B2B SaaS companies.

Gifting isn’t new, but the ability to marry it with data is.

The power of sending gifts was under-utilized and not tied to the systematic sales process. That insight led to the creation of Sendoso, a sending platform that connects gifting with data and scale.

The signal of sending

There’s a reason Roman roads created an empire and gift-giving has been an integral part of every culture. Getting goods and information from one person to another is the most effective way to form human connection and get decisions made and deals done.

Costly signals - acts that can’t easily be copied - have always been an important way to build trust.

In business, the golf outing, the lunch meeting, and the annual client wine bottle or chocolate box were staples. Sending gifts was a part of doing deals and maintaining customer relationships.

From personal to impersonal

The information age made sending easier and cheaper than ever. This allowed for massive scale, reach, and efficiency. But over time, the signaling power  plummeted. It’s too easy to blast out emails, so it doesn’t carry a lot of weight.

Advances in sales and marketing tech allowed for new products and business models to identify and win niches, grow globally, and create repeatable processes for obtaining and retaining customers. Cloud software and automation were a game changer.

But the personal touch of physical gifts took a back-seat. So much so that those who still did it stood out more than ever.

Bring back the touch

The mailbox is not dead. Everyone has one, and if your brand isn’t in it, you’re missing out.

Working in sales, Braydan Young kept irritating the marketing team.

He was raiding their swag closet and sending out items to prospects and clients that they wanted to save for events.

It seemed to be working, as he was closing deals and crushing quota, but there wasn’t really any way to prove it. It was creative, but the approach was a bit too random, not personalized, not systematized, and not trackable.

Sending the right thing at the right time to the right person definitely seemed unlocked magic. But there were too many unanswered questions.

What parts of the sales process are best aided with a gift?
What kind of gift?
Can you test it?
Can you keep track of who’s been sent what and when?
Can sends be brought into the normal workflow?

Braydan had an idea. He and colleague Kris Rudeegraap spun up an app that allowed salespeople to automatically send Starbucks gift cards to clients and prospects based on criteria in Salesforce.

Tracking the untrackable

They were on to something.

That app eventually became a company. Since Braydan and Kris founded Sendoso in 2017, the company has grown to 850 employees, over 150 million dollars in funding, and over 1,000 customers.

By tying each send to a CRM, Sendoso unlocked the ability to automate, scale, and measure ROI in the sending space. Companies can now view the direct influence of each send, which means no more taking shots in the dark.

Instead of a spray and pray, data, timing, and customer preferences are woven into sends.

All the science and automation of digital sales and marketing that’s developed in the last few decades can now be applied to the age-old art of gifting. A/B testing, segmenting, automatic triggers, tracking, and reporting create a best of both worlds scenario where the human touch of a gift meets the power of SaaS.

IRL, meet digital

Through Sendoso, each send is data driven. Sendoso offers suggestions on customer preferences so companies can make sure they are sending the right gift at the right time. It turns the typical swag-from-a-helicopter approach into a well-orchestrated strategy.

A specialized sending platform has other advantages. In the past, sending gifts meant finding, buying, storing, and shipping them. To make it possible, most companies resorted to a minimal supply of ill-fitting shirts or hats. The ability to send a diverse range of unique gifts, including perishable and boutique items, wasn’t practical.

The combination of warehouse space, vendor relationships, and user data means salespeople can access and send a vast array of products. It’s the equivalent to a few extra hires. No more dealing with the hassle of writing notes, storing, and mailing gifts in-house.

The death of conference swag

A cheap plastic item with your logo on it is not effective. Think outside the box with really cool sends at conferences. The unique items get the most attention.

Braydan believes the old approach to swag is being replaced with something a lot more interesting and fun. Getting a unique gift after an event, when there’s less noise, can pack a bigger punch. Innovative salespeople have had success setting up sends to attendees as a post-event thank you.

Marketing teams have used e-gifts to increase registration and attendance for virtual events.

The ‘better together’ send

Think of joint sends like ketchup and mustard. People want to buy software that works well together, not guess.

Perhaps one of the biggest impacts the sending space has made is in the partnerships world.  Partnerships are exploding in importance, and gifting plays right into the new ecosystem reality.

Sendoso has seen tremendous success with joint sends between partnering companies. This is a way to strongly signal to potential leads the interoperability of the partnership. Companies are searching for ways to tell their ‘better together’ stories with partners, and personalized gifting tells that story in a tangible way.

Smaller companies looking to partner with larger ones can also leverage the power of gifting to get in the room. It’s a lot harder to turn down a thoughtful, personal gift than it is a bullet point list or slide deck.

The future

I think gifting will be used for every deal.

Based on the recent growth of sending platforms and the influence Sendoso has gained, especially through the partnerships and integrations with giants like Salesforce and Amazon, sending doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Other trends in the world further support the thesis.

Online giving is a bigger part of personal and company activity than ever. Sendoso offers recipients the option to donate to a charity of choice in lieu of a gift.

Average tenure is getting shorter and people have more flexibility in their careers. For salespeople, that means each human connection you form is likely to lead to multiple accounts. The value of those connections is far greater than the value of the current deal.

Sending personalized gifts will only increase in value as the job market becomes more dynamic.

Strengthen the signal

As software eats more of the world, the value of personalized sends increases. Any time you can jolt someone out of their routine with an unexpected gift, you create value and build trust.

Start sending, keep closing

We’re excited to partner with Sendoso and provide PartnerHacker members with an exclusive offer of up to $2,000 off for 3 months.

Check out the details, only in the PartnerHacker marketplace.

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