Episode TwoHundredThirtyThree

Wisdom on Sequences from a Sales Engagement Ninja

Guest: Patricia McLaren, Cofounder at RevShoppe

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About This Episode

Where do you start creating your sequences in cadences?

If you already have your sequences, how do you optimize them?

Recently on Sales Engagement, I spoke with a sales engagement ninja, Patricia McLaren, Cofounder at RevShoppe, about building and optimizing sequences.

“I wish there was a silver bullet for everyone,” Patricia said. “It’s different for everybody.”

Fortunately, she shared some sequencing guidelines.

Let’s dive in!

Segmenting your sequences

The place to get started in segmenting is planning and looking at what your customer data tells you.

Almost certainly a persona-based segmentation will be a success, but here are the overall categories:

  • Persona
  • Industry
  • Product suites (a.k.a. segment by offering)

“Within the different personas, you want to think of their level of influence,” Patricia said.

Lower level means tying in some automation, while a high decision maker or high influencer means more manual and creative touches.

As for the number of sequences you should have…

Aim for less than 1,500.

True story, some customers who come to Patricia really have that many.

“The more streamlined you can get towards using master sequences or core sequences that you can adjust and plug and play within — that’s the approach that we’re after,” Patricia said.

She suggests that most organizations have 20-25 sequences.

Patricia recommends a core “sequence library” that includes

  • Direct interest
  • Inbound
  • Outbound
  • High touch
  • Low touch
  • Supplemental (ex.: no show demos)

“We want to make sure that we’re accounting for the whole prospecting lifecycle, and we have sequences for each of those scenarios,” she said.

The right touchpoints

Call versus email or email versus call?

Again, to know which touchpoints are the “right” ones, you have to return to customer data. “Start broad, start wide,” Patricia said.

Up front, trial, different channels — that’s a good rotation.

“Try an email followed by a call followed by social, and let the data help you determine what the best channels are and where your buyers are engaging with you,” she suggested.

See what they prefer. If you see a lot of conversation over email, then double down on email.

Touchpoints can be highly influenced by industry, too. Say your persona is engineers and you notice there aren’t many on LinkedIn… but they’re huge on Reddit. Incorporate those touchpoints instead.

As the data starts to compile, you’ll start to see the best channel to engage them.

Measurement matters

If Phase One is segmentation, then Phase Two is measurement.

Think about your plan to track and measure the sequences once they’re launched.

There are so many indicating factors:

  • Open rates
  • Click rates
  • Reply rates
  • Meetings booked
  • Actual pipeline
  • Closed revenue

Tactical tip: “We always recommend to install the last touch sequence attribution package to their Salesforce instance,” Patricia said.

It takes you beyond vanity metrics to actual revenue generation and shows at what touchpoint actually converted that opportunity.

Creative writing & emotion

People often underestimate the extent to which creativity is an integral part of sales.

Copywriting is part of the art of sales that can show finesse and originality.

Most cold emails fall along the same old boring pattern (but they don’t have to).

“What’s really missing in a lot of the cold emails that we’re getting is that emotional piece,” Patricia said.

Any emotion, any feeling, created by the email pattern disruption triggers a desire to know more.

To pattern disrupt, ask yourself:

  • What are the personas feeling?
  • What do we want the personas to feel?
  • What emotionally charged words can we use?
  • How can we stand out?

Patricia said to pay special attention to the subject line and the first sentence to trigger the pattern interrupt.

Psychology & storytelling

Be sure to focus on the emotion or psychology of the prospect. “It should be all about them, and how you make them feel,” she said.

When you’re getting creative with your storytelling approach, you don’t want to blurt the punch line in the first email.

Small real estate plus short attention spans.

Figure out ahead of time what the whole story is, and parcel it out into the other touchpoints.

In other words, create an overarching narrative across your whole sequence using various channels.

Yes, it’s a tall order, but using tiny, digestible pieces will leave your prospects interested in learning more.

A new strategy

Something new that Patricia launched with one of her clients is building a content piece around a single touch point to tie inbound and outbound together.

Someone has downloaded content, such as an ebook, and instead of being reactive, you take a proactive approach and tell a story around that.

To the individual person: “We noticed that you are interested in XYZ and thought you might like to hear more about it.”

Simultaneously to others at that person’s company: “We noticed that people in your company have downloaded this content and thought you might like to read it, too.”

This approach builds up on the initial engagement/touchpoint (the content download) and spreads that specific story across the org.

Patricia’s 3 takeaways

  1. Look at the data and plan how you want to segment out your sequences.
  2. Measure the right metrics.
  3. Pattern disrupts. Make the prospect feel something by telling a story and being different than all the others in their inbox.

Get in touch with Patricia on LinkedIn.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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