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About This Episode
Imagine an organization with an average performing sequence that gets a 66% open rate and 25% reply rate. And one where their best performing sequence actually gets them a 76% open rate.
Pick your jaw off the ground, these are real numbers from David Hershenson, the Director of Sales Development and Productivity at tray.io. We were so honored to host him on the Sales Engagement podcast where he shared some of the secrets that have led to this extraordinary success.
Before we go any further, let’s define what a sequence is. Simply put, it’s a predefined series of sales touches, such as an email, call or LinkedIn message.
David’s team has six specific outbound sequences they use and track today based on the certain buyers they’re going after. The majority of the time, they’re using emails, voicemails and social media touches.
He says it’s really important to have a predefined pattern over a set number of days to maximize the SDR’s chance of getting a response. For example, all of the sequences referenced above have a minimum of about 16 touches over a three week period.
Three Key Steps to Creating a Successful Sequence
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the messaging. It’s about figuring out how the SDR can have an effective, scalable and repeatable method to create a compelling message that will get them a response. There are three key components David’s team uses to create that.
- Provide a reason for the outreach:
Before you create or send an email, you should ask yourself, Why am I sending this email? Why am I leaving this voicemail? What is the purpose of it? You have to be able to communicate that clearly and succinctly.
The sequence referenced earlier with a 76% open rate contains a fair amount of customization that the SDR does for the specific buyer they’re contacting. They spend important time doing research on mediums like LinkedIn to learn more about their prospect. It’s about knowing what to research and what to do with that research in order to catch the person’s attention.
The most important reason that you should do research is to become more human. To bring a level of personality to the conversation and make it more genuine. Lead with the professional pieces that you find about them rather than the more persona information.
And when it comes to the subject line, David advises his SDR’s to use a piece of the statement value in it, but don’t make it more than just a couple words.
- Deliver value
There has to be a very compelling statement to showcase how you can help them solve a challenge they have. Buyers do not care about you, your products or your services. What they care about are their issues and how you help solve them.
One tip he offered was to provide 2-3 examples of customers who experienced success through your product, and most important, look exactly like they do. It needs to be relatable. This is what will compel someone to respond, not spouting off your features.
Again, don’t make it about you, make it about the buyer. Educate the buyer on what you know to be true based on the successes of your other clients. That’s it.
- Create a very specific call to action
What’s the one thing you want the buyer to do? David says most SDR’s are too soft in their ask. They’re not specific enough in what it is they want.
They might write, I would love 15 minutes of your time, let me know when a good time is to talk. Instead of being more direct and writing, I’d love to set up 15 minutes to share some of these stories that we’re seeing with our customers. Are you available Tuesday at 2 PM or Wednesday at 3 PM?
Give them one very specific call to action. If you’re new to this, the only “secret” to becoming good at selling directly is to do it repetitively. To practice. Do it even when it feels uncomfortable because the more you do it the more you’ll see success and it will begin to feel more natural.
Eventually, it will then become a new habit. Start now and get comfortable, you don’t build a habit of soft asks. The best sellers are those who are very specific in their ask and who have an ability to create actionable next steps along the way.
David continued to reiterate the importance of focusing on the buyer when it comes to messaging. Before you send an email, self assess what you’ve written by looking at how many times you mention yourself or your company vs how many times you talk about how your product can help the person be more successful. You are sure to get better response rates if you focus on the people you’re trying to reach vs yourself.
And this training should start in the on-boarding process. Don’t spend the majority of the on-boarding process teaching your new reps everything about your company. Spend time focusing on the buyer, their major pain points and how you solve their problems.