You’re scrolling through your LinkedIn feed when you receive a request to connect from an account executive. They recently saw you speak at a sales conference, and your talk resonated with them — seems harmless enough.
Of course, you know that there’s a 90% chance this interaction ends in a hard pitch within the next 48 hours — but there’s a part of you hoping to be wrong.
After all, their first message to you was relevant, engaging and had fantastic timing. You can’t help but think: Maybe this will be a different story.
Two days go by with no additional messages.
You see that they liked your most recent LinkedIn post, prompting you to look into their company. Their conversational intelligence tool could be a good fit for some of the sales coaching challenges you’ve been dealing with.
After 72 hours, the dreaded follow-up InMail arrives, and it’s not what you expected.
It speaks to challenges on your radar and is personalized to your role and industry — suffice it to say you’re intrigued, so you click the auto-response “Thanks” and plan to follow up later.
Immediately, you’re hit with a message asking for a meeting. Ten minutes after that, you receive a Zoom link even though you never accepted.
Admittedly, this is a nightmare scenario of when automation goes haywire — but it’s only so far-fetched.
Think of when salespeople send 12 emails within two weeks or call repeatedly armed with only a prospect’s name and title. Where does it get them? Blocked or sent straight to spam.
To generate results that fill the pipeline with winnable opportunities, sales professionals must build strategically-choreographed and multi-channel cadences to dramatically increase the odds of connecting.
Step 1: Carefully Crafted Messaging
The best cadence in the world won’t get you anywhere — unless you start with succinct messaging that proves you’ve done your homework on the potential buyer, their company and their industry.
In virtual selling, you have to maximize every communication. That means going beyond titles and pain points to understand business drivers.
For instance, do you know the CEO’s top three initiatives for Q2? The company’s latest product news, or if they recently implemented new technology?
The key is to develop the knowledge that allows you to present yourself as a problem expert that’s showing up to solve business challenges.
One way to demonstrate expertise is to share third-party content that’s relevant to your prospect’s challenges and establishes you as a subject matter expert. Another effective tool is the value-based story.
These two methods can be used together to demonstrate relevance and build credibility — because, ultimately, buyers spend their time wisely before spending their money wisely.
Step 2: Tailoring Cadences to Target Buyers
There’s been a lot of talk recently about multithreaded engagements — and with good reason. When you’re selling complex solutions to complex buying groups, it only makes sense to engage the different members of a buying committee how, when and where they prefer.
The same goes for prospecting.
Only, there’s a catch: When prospecting, you don’t know your buyer’s preferred communication method, which is why a strategically-choreographed and multi-channel approach is so vital.
Build your cadences using a mix of phone calls, social media actions, InMail messages, email and voicemails — and throughout it all, never forget to add value. In fact, the first few touches should be focused on thought-leadership and sharing valuable content.
When building these cadences out, fall back on your research. For instance, recent research by LinkedIn shows that potential buyers are 65% more likely to accept InMail if they switched jobs within the past 90 days. With these prospects, it’s a safe bet to start with InMail. On the other hand, if your primary prospects are manufacturing leaders, your best bet might be a phone call.
Respectful and personalized persistence is critical. To stay top-of-mind, never go more than five business days between touches — and remember that a typical cadence involves 15 to 17 attempts across 20 to 24 days.
Step 3: Guarding Your Time
Take a page from the playbook of every successful executive and guard your time fiercely.
Schedule non-negotiable blocks of time on your calendar for prospecting and prospecting alone. No coffee breaks or scrolling Instagram. Focus on one task, and you’ll be rewarded. Not only will you achieve the consistency that generates results, but the dedicated and focused effort will help you improve.
Of course, things will come up. The trick is to never let an interruption shorten that prospecting time — move that block to later in the day or the week on your calendar and aim for 10 hours/week.
It sounds simple, but it works. We’ve seen clients create about $6.5M (USD) in pipeline in their first three days of call blocks. Capitalizing on this initial momentum, that same company went on to have the best Q4 in the company’s 24-year history and see a 131% increase in YOY revenue.
Ultimately, there’s no cure-all for your prospecting problems, but when you put in the work with quality research, buyer-centric cadences and consistency, the results speak for themselves.
Until next time, happy selling,