Why Your Team’s Prospecting Methodology and Sales Cadence Is Broken, with David Elkington, Episode #108
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It’s hard to believe, but many B2B sales leaders never give strategic thought to the implementation of their team’s sales cadence. What is a sales cadence? It’s a strategic sequence of sales activities that increase connections and enables your sales team to better qualify leads. Every sales rep responsible for prospecting has some kind of sales cadence, whether they are methodical about it or not – and most are not implementing it either strategically or effectively.
On this episode of Selling With Social, I invited my friend, Dave Elkington, CEO and Founder of InsideSales.com (now Xant) to share his data-based expertise on what makes for an effective sales cadence. He highlights many of the mistakes sellers make and worst yet that sales leaders never review and explains how to fix them. He also shares a very helpful set of tips for making prospecting emails more effective, so make sure you take the time to listen.Not seeing good #salesprospecting results? Listen to these data-driven improvements you can make to your team's #sales cadence, with @DaveElkington of @InsideSales on #SellingWithSocial with @M_3Jr of Vengreso. #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
The Biggest Problem With Your Sales Prospecting Methodology
There are a variety of data points Dave draws from to highlight the best practices of what goes into a winning sales cadence. But before we get to the solutions, let’s look at some of the biggest problems his company’s research has found in modern sales cadences.
During our conversation, Dave explained that many sellers operate according to what they believe to be true, but are really myths based on old data. Another reality is that what derails effective follow up is that most sellers are only utilizing 2 channels to connect with prospects – phone and email. But the data shows that’s not enough to move the needle significantly or effectively.
The problem is that we are stuck using the outreach methods and tools that feel comfortable to us rather than reaching out in a way that is meaningful to the prospect and using the right sales prospecting tools. Modern B2B sales prospecting requires personalization. Listen to this episode to find out how to fix these and other problems in your sales cadence.
Minor Changes To Improve Your Team’s Sales Engagement By 100% Or More
Data shows that most sales reps are only using two methods of communication to reach out to prospects. But if as a sales leader, you train each sales rep to mix their communication methods to include an omnichannel approach, even adding only one additional source, they will get a 400% higher engagement than if they just use two methods of engagement in their sales cadence.
When a sales representative uses an omnichannel approach, she can discover the prospect’s favorite channel. Some people prefer a phone call, others prefer emails (or even a LinkedIn® InMail), or social media or even SMS.
A successful sales cadence also includes outbound cold calling. Even though many people say cold calling is dead, many leaders have found it to be an effective sales activity for conversions. For instance, a phone call allows the seller to have an interactive conversation where he can discover the challenges and pain points of the prospective customer.
Now, if the salesperson has already used an omnichannel approach and interacted with the potential customer through social media and sent a few emails, the phone call won’t be a cold call anymore.
Here is another small change that will make a big difference. When surveyed, most inside sales departments believe they are responding to prospect inquiries within 24 hours. The reality is that it’s far longer than that. But the good news is that data shows that if sellers can figure out how to respond to their inquiry within 5 minutes, they’ll be 100x more likely to get the prospect to engage.
Finally, make sure your sales process includes multiple touchpoints. Many times a sales cadence strategy fails because the salesperson gives up after a few tries. If a prospect doesn’t reply after the first contact attempt, the rep should keep trying, at least six times.
Do you see how data-supported social selling practices are incredibly powerful for the modern sales organization when implemented correctly?Trouble reaching your #Buyer? The problem is your #sales methodology. Improve results by 100%+ with these changes. Listen to @DaveElkington of @InsideSales on #SellingWithSocial with @M_3Jr of Vengreso. #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
The Simplest Way To Know If Your Sales Cadence Is Broken
Is your team’s outbound sales cadence broken? Are prospects falling through the cracks or not being contacted in a timely manner? You don’t have to dig into your CRM to find out. It’s a lot simpler than that.
Dave suggests you use a generic email address – that of your child or your spouse – and fill out your own sales prospecting forms. Then sit back and watch what happens. Does your team respond in a timely manner? Do you get sent to the right person and are the solutions you inquired about provided to you effectively? Is the sales rep reaching out to you via a variety of methods?
It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t require a degree in Machine Learning technology to figure out that something needs to change. Take the time to test your department’s sales cadence and outreach. Would you respond to the messaging and the frequency?
How to Prospect Effectively Via Email
The typical seller does email prospecting when they feel fresh, and generally early in the day. Data shows that’s usually between 8 AM and 11 AM, with follow up being done later in the day. But Dave says that is backward from what the data suggests is most effective.
Most execs or decision-makers are very busy early in the day. If you’re prospecting during that time all your sales messaging is likely going to the bottom of the priority list. The data indicates that the best time for prospecting is between four to five PM in the prospect’s time zone. When your email hits their inbox at that time of day, they are most likely to give it attention.
Dave says that one change can get you a 21% higher open rate. If you’re sending a cold email that includes an attachment, you should delay your outreach by one hour – between 5 and 6 PM.
Dave suggests that this finding can vary between industry and niche, so even though you just learned the general best practices, you need to apply it in a way that is informed by your knowledge of your own audience and your market.
Listen to this episode to hear the latest data-supported best practices using email, including email subject lines, email length, and more. It’s all on this episode of Selling With Social.Trying to drive up your #sales engagement rate with #buyers? @DaveElkington of @InsideSales shares essential #SalesTips on #SellingWithSocial with host @M_3Jr of Vengreso. Listen now! #DigitalSelling #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
Outline of This Episode
- [1:54] Dave’s story and the history of how Inside Sales came about
- [7:16] What is AI and what should sales pros be doing about it?
- [12:58] Applying AI at work to increase effectiveness
- [17:40] The typical sales cadence problems and how to fix them
- [30:35] A LinkedIn outreach campaign that revealed prospecting effectiveness
- [37:48] Email prospecting tips for better effectiveness
- David on LinkedIn
- David on Twitter: @DaveElkington
- The State of Sales Development Report
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Truth Behind Successful Sales Cadences
- Dave’s all-time favorite movie: Billy Madison or Nacho Libre
- Modern Marketing Engine Podcast – Bernie Borges
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