Back in the glory days, before the internet, it was normal to call a prospect again, and again, and again. Living and dying by the phones was the name of the game in outbound sales.
Now don’t get me wrong, cold calling is still the most powerful tool in the salesperson’s toolbox. But today there are other channels we can use to support our outbound call efforts.
This isn’t a secret. You know that email, LinkedIn, social media, and even direct mail are all methods of contacting your prospects. You might even know that you can get 10x results by taking a multi-channel approach. Heck, you might even already do it!
But… I bet you don’t know how to properly build and automate a salesflow sequence. After all, most sales sequences I’ve seen are like leaky boats at best, with the worst of them completely sunken and algae-filled at the bottom of the proverbial ocean.
How to Build a Winning Sales Sequence
As part of our TraXion system here at C-Level Partners, we do thorough research on our target market and then reach our prospects where they’re at. And we often switch up the touchpoints based on the industry. We have a proprietary method we implement for our clients, which I can’t get into fully, but I’ll share some hot tips here.
For starters, it’s critical to meet your prospects on their native platforms. (And yes, a cell phone is a platform!)
If we’re going after VPs of business consulting firms, we always call first and then stick to a call-heavy sequence with a couple emails mixed in. If we’re after a CMO of a tech company, we’ll mix cold calls with LinkedIn and email outreach.
If a startup founder or CEO is a younger millennial or Gen Z (in their late 20s or early 30s), we mix in some social media engagement and even text messages. And if it’s a more traditional sector, we don’t shy away from (personalized) direct mail. But I’ll touch more on that in a bit.
The point is to meet your prospect where they’re at. This can’t be overstated. Just remember that every prospect is on their phone, making cold calling the king of the jungle for prospecting. For many c-suite prospects, we only reach out via cold call.
Personalize Your Sequence
The key to crushing it in sales is to personalize your outreach. You probably know this by now, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Be sure to find (and use!) your prospect’s name, their current title, and other identifying information. And mention things like recent promotions, awards received, and even their interests or hobbies (if they just posted a pic wearing a Miami Dolphins sweater on Instagram, mention the Fins on the call!).
To be relatable and to build trust you must do some digging and personalize your touchpoints. The best sales sequence in the world will flatline if your outreach is cookie-cutter and impersonal.
Automate Your Sequence
Part of what makes it a sales sequence — or “sales cadence” as some call it — is that it’s scheduled and mostly automated. This takes the guesswork out of sales for your SDRs and makes their workdays more efficient with less down time.
I recommend going with at least eight touches to your prospects over the course of two to three weeks. (Remember, it takes an average of eight touches before you’ll even reach someone.) Schedule these out with predefined intervals in place between each outreach.
Your sequence might look like this:
Monday – cold call
Wednesday – cold call
Friday – email
Tuesday – LinkedIn msg
Thursday – cold call
Monday – cold call
Wednesday – cold call
Friday – email
This might seem like a lot, but your emails should be mostly templated (with a custom first paragraph) and your cold calls only take a minute if no one picks up. So when the dust settles, you’re only spending 5-10 minutes trying to reach this person. And all of this is scheduled out in your CRM with automatic notifications enabled. When you or your SDR clocks in, the day’s to-do list is already laid out and ready to go.
Also, in most instances, it’s important to not call consecutive days in a row. Like a fine wine you have to let it breathe so you don’t “scorch the earth” or alienate your prospect. That’s why it’s best to allow 2-3 days to pass between each touch. Now – this isn’t always the case. Depending on different variables, we might call the same person Monday through Friday.
Good Data is Vital
Another thing to keep in mind is that good data is absolutely necessary for a successful sequence, otherwise you’re wasting your time. So don’t try to sequence out a purchased lead list. Build your lists in-house so that you can be confident that phone numbers, emails, and company titles aren’t out-of-date.
This principle is important for any type of cold calling or outbound outreach, but it’s especially vital when you have prospects in an eight-touch sequence. (Imagine reaching out to “Dave” eight times calling him “Dale.” Ouch). Your well-oiled outbound sales machine will grind to a halt if your data is no good. And it can even ruin your reputation.
Sales sequences work because they ensure successful follow-up and that no prospect falls through the cracks.
It also squeezes every bit of juice out of your best leads. If I can mix metaphors, doing outbound without a sequence (or one-call quitting) is like sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner and taking one small bite out of a giant turkey drumstick and then tossing it in the garbage. There’s SO much more meat on that bone. Stay hungry and get after it! Don’t call once and quit. Reach out eight times to dramatically increase your chances of having a meaningful conversation.
Finally, multi-channel sales sequences work because let’s face it, some people are email people, and some people are LinkedIn people. Some people enjoy taking calls, and some people never take calls. Variety is the spice of life, and this is proven true in sales time and time again.
Until next time…