The sales sequence. Like a second set of eyes, it's a lifeline for most sales teams. Simplifying your sales process, sales sequences have become an indispensable tool for sales reps. But as anyone familiar with sales sequencing knows, the strategies and resources involved are not static.
Optimizing your sales sequence into a custom fit for your goals takes constant re-evaluation and adaptation. To help you get the most out of your sales outreach strategy, we suggest leveraging and constantly re-evaluating these four resources.
1. Email - The foundation of sales sequencing
The reputation of email is constantly in flux, but we recommend saving a spot for it in your sales activity for three reasons:
- Automation - Email sequences are simple to incorporate when using a sales engagement platform, saving time and ensuring your message arrives when intended. You won't forget to send that follow-up email if you've already scheduled it, and top sales engagement software like Outreach or Salesloft can automate thousands of personalized sequences simultaneously, ensuring you always follow up with each prospect at the right time. This can be invaluable in terms of the doors it opens; follow-up emails tend to receive a higher response rate than the initial contact.
By automating a portion of the process, your time and attention can be reallocated while your sales automation tools continue nurturing what you've already started. Another benefit, when email send dates are staggered, they're more likely to get through Google's spam filter because the algorithm interprets them as human.
It's counterintuitive, but it makes sense. For humans, it's not so easy to coordinate 1,000 emails sent out over time. Automation just does it better.
And ending up in a prospect's spam folder is more than unfortunate, so why not outsource where you can?
- Personalization - The value of personalizing an email is undeniable, but its content isn't the only aspect that should be custom. Step one is discerning whether an email is the best channel for reaching your prospect, at least initially. Some prospects are less reachable via email, while for others, email is the perfect place for that first touch.
Think about what your prospect's day might entail. Are they working from a desk or on the go? Do they check their email while they're having their morning coffee, or are they trying to get their kids up for school?
Take your prospect's lifestyle into consideration, and you won't get caught in the trap of thinking cold emails are outdated. For some opportunities, email is precisely where you want to be.
Personalizing does come with a bit of push and pull. Volume is definitely decreased and consideration for the timing of a message is time consuming. But this is where the payoff of personalization lives. The time and care personalization takes is what drives effectiveness.
The emails you dedicate more time than usual to should be for leads with the highest potential. In other words, segment your audience, to get the most out of the messages you’re putting the most into.
- Persuasion - Some people have a way with words. While every sales rep should be honing their emailing abilities, there are cases that it just comes naturally. If you are that person, email is a requirement for your sales sequence.
Yes, utilizing multiple channels is critical to a sales strategy, but if writing emails is your strength, there's no reason not to lean into it. Emails can feel less pushy than other channels. Plus, you can edit them to oblivion before sending, and they're a solid way to start building rapport.
Ultimately, whichever channel a rep is most comfortable using feeds the dynamic between them and the prospect. So if an email is where you shine, email away.
Tip: Most sales reps aren’t great copywriters, and most sales managers have trouble coming up with effective emails. Consider using a sales enablement tool with the ability to generate personalized messages for every prospect at every step of your sales campaign. So you don’t have to make the choice between personalization and saving time. You can have both with regie.
2. Calls - The house on top of the foundation
Think of calls as the salt to email's pepper. A good dish needs both. Or, in this case, a good sales sequence.
Sales sequences are about covering a diversity of channels to better meet your prospects' needs. Adding calls to your sequence will do just that. We like calls in a sales sequence because:
- They can be scheduled in coordination with emails to increase the number of interactions you have with your prospect, upping the likelihood of that initial meeting. And just like with email, calls are also easy to semi-automate with a sales engagement platform.
Schedule a reminder for a follow-up or block out your next month of phone calls to ensure your timing is optimal. Let the details be something you focus on once, so you can return to the big picture.
- Calls cover territory that emails can't. Remember the people that an email heavy approach isn't the best fit? Those are the people you should be calling. Take lifestyle into account, along with the generation your prospect belongs to and their role or position.
Calls feel more personal than an email, are better at garnering a direct response and require more effort to be ignored. They're not for every prospect, but nothing about sales is one size fits all.
- Some people have a way with words. Yeah, we used that line again. But the way that “way with words” presents itself often varies. Some reps are more literary leaning, while others possess the gift of oration.
Knowing your strengths may be the greatest strength a rep can have. If you can activate charisma and articulation in front of an audience, consider a call heavy sales sequence.
If done correctly, calls provide more time for questions and the opportunity to demonstrate your listening skills and off-the-cuff feedback that an email can't. You can also actively adjust your approach as you listen to what your prospect has to say. Calls aren't easy, but that might be why when they work, they really work.
Tip: When on a call, remain cognizant of your tone, clarity, pace and volume. These factors can communicate just as much as the words you're using.
3. Social Touches - Only effective if done right
Coordinate social touches with your calls and emails to round out your sales strategy. Think of social touches as the supplementary portion of your sales sequence. Regardless of the channel used for your initial contact, social touches should be at play. Use a social touch:
- Before the initial contact. Demonstrate your research finesse by finding your prospect on both popular and more obscure social media. You can also use the information you find to customize your cold reach.
If your initial contact is an email, incorporate an aspect of your findings in its subject line. This increases the likelihood that your prospect will open it.
- Just after a call or next steps email to stay top-of-mind. This also demonstrates diligence. You're not just reaching out; you're engaging. Prospects can appreciate a rep who operates above the bare minimum, and by engaging with their socials, you're taking that extra step.
- After a deal has been closed, to keep upselling opportunities alive and ensure your support is still felt. Don't let your prospect turned client feel used. Automate or set reminders to engage with their socials well after you've closed the deal. Doing so also increases your presence and name recognition.
Tip: Never sell in your social touches. They serve the purpose of either building rapport or nurturing a relationship. Instead, use social touches to tag and share prospects' posts or leave comments and likes. Stay cognizant of diversifying your social touches in terms of channel and type.
4. Video - The new(er) entrant producing engagement
Remember the story about the Kennedy/Nixon debate, and the difference that watching versus listening made on the audience's perception? While popular media exaggerated the effects of that debate, there is still a lesson to be learned. Everyone has a medium they thrive on.
Diversifying the channels and resources leveraged in your sales sequence is two-fold. It's about your audience and it's about you.
So don't be too quick to relegate yourself to the more traditional channels. You might find videos to be a significant asset in your sales sequence. Here's why:
- Videos require little to nothing from their recipients. Prospects are able to watch a video without disrupting their schedule. Unlike with a cold call, a prospect's time remains at the forefront when a video is leveraged.
- Videos can be used as either a follow up after an email or call, making them versatile.
- Videos reduce back and forth. When a prospect has questions, instead of having to schedule a meeting or call, send a short video. This is especially helpful when a screen recording is included. Through videos you're able to pair audio with visuals to answer questions with ease in a way that's respectful of your prospect's time.
- Videos are a low pressure way to discuss pricing. Everything in a proposal can be demonstrated with screen recordings of your product, and your potential client has time to sit with the information before they get back to you. Seeing your face and hearing your tone of voice can also make the interaction feel more about value and less about cost.
Tip: Use the word "video" in your subject line to pique curiosity. Replace voicemails with videos, or use them in follow-up emails. Videos will stand out to prospects, so use them where you can.
Each of these resources makes up where another lacks and mutually enhances value. Utilizing a sales sequence that incorporates multiple channels not only caters to each segment of your audience but to you and your strengths as well.
Stay vigilant about what works by regarding your sequence as a living, breathing thing. Making adjustments along the way will keep you adaptable and at the top of your game.
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