According to HubSpot, 40% of sellers say that prospecting is the most challenging part of their work, and pipeline generation is also the most common pain I hear from sales leaders. One of the reasons is that many companies don’t have a plan in place to reach out to prospects consistently and through different channels.
Sales leaders must train their sales reps to fill their pipelines and build relationships with potential customers through a well-planned outbound sales cadence.
A sales cadence is simply the steps or actions you take to move prospects through your pipeline, from first contact to closed deal.
Let’s look at five tips to create an effective outbound sales cadence.
1. Use an Omnichannel Approach
My first tip is to use an omnichannel approach to discover your customer’s favourite channels. Some people prefer email, others SMS and others talking to a person over the phone.
When you use this strategy, you can work out which is your prospect’s favourite channel. If you use only one or two channels, you may end up complaining that the prospect won’t answer your emails or call you back after leaving a voicemail, instead of finding out that the prospect prefers text messages.
Furthermore, when you use an omnichannel approach, you’ll find out that each channel complements the other. For instance, if a prospect has previously seen an email or LinkedIn message from you, a phone call won’t be a cold call anymore.
2. Make Outbound Calls
You should always include outbound phone calls as part of your sales cadence.
Talking to a lead over the phone allows you to have an interactive conversation where you can discover the lead’s challenges and pain points. That way, you can get rid of the guesswork and offer a customized solution.
Would you like to see statistical proof that outbound calling generates conversions today? Check out my recent LinkedIn post for an example from one of my clients.
3. Include Many Touchpoints
This is where many salespeople fail — they give up after a few tries.
In my experience, you should not give up but include lots of touchpoints. I’ve created what I call the ultimate outbound sales cadence. In it, I recommend 30 touchpoints spread out every 2 to 3 days.
Thirty touchpoints may seem aggressive to some people, but bear in mind that these touches are not always seen by your prospects. For example, you may need to call a lead 10 times until they pick up their phone, and they would only know who you are once they answer.
4. Add Value
I’ve learned that you must give before you receive, especially on email and LinkedIn.
In the first couple of touches on LinkedIn and email, always give away valuable content, templates, videos or other documents that can help your buyer personas overcome common challenges.
When they can see in action what you can do for them, they’ll be more receptive to your offerings.
5. Combine personalization and automation
When it comes to prospecting you can go extreme on either personalization or customization. I recommend a hybrid approach.
For best results, don’t completely automate everything. In your first LinkedIn touch, do some research about the prospect and mention something relevant in your communication (it can be a common friend, a shared professional experience like an event or something of interest they shared recently). Later messages in your cadence can be easily automated.
Other tips you can implement are:
- Use an account-based sales approach to send customized sequences based on company events such as roles they are hiring, global expansion or acquisitions.
- When automating, try to split sequences into industry and buyer persona segments, so that the messaging is still relevant.
There you go. Five ways to create an outbound sales sequence to unfreeze your pipeline.
About Michael Hanson
Michael is the founder of Growth Genie, a sales consultancy that helps companies set up repeatable, scalable processes for outbound and LinkedIn social selling.
Michael is passionate about sales and marketing alignment, and believes the two departments should operate as one engine for companies to be truly successful in modern business.