How to Get Outbound Sales Development Cadences Right

Author:

Michael Hanson
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Episode

91

How to Get Outbound Sales Development Cadences Right

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Michael Hanson

Founder and Sales Consultant at Growth Genie

Pre-pandemic, the average connect rate for a cold call was about 4%.

That has actually increased by about 1% — which doesn’t sound like much, but has huge implications for your outbound sales cadences and how to get them right.

Recently on B2B Revenue Acceleration, we spoke with Michael Hanson, Founder and Sales Consultant at Growth Genie, a master of outbound sales cadences.

“When companies outsource a challenge, they don’t have good playbooks, cadences, and messaging in place,” Michael observed.

Growth Genie can act as a virtual SDR manager, as well as helping companies optimize their cadences and playbooks.

Let’s dive into Michael’s outbound sales cadence strategy!

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When people think of 30 touches, often they’re thinking of having 30 conversations. That’s not it. It can take 30 touches, essentially, to have one conversation.

Michael Hanson – Founder and Sales Consultant at Growth Genie

The 30-touches sales cadence

30 touches sounds like a lot, but when you leverage different channels, it can fly by.

The details of the sequence haven’t changed that much through the pandemic, except for maybe a bit more emphasis on phone.

The 30 touches:

  • 10-15 phone calls
  • 7-8 emails
  • 7-8 LinkedIn messages

Listed out like that, it sounds like an insane level of harassment.

Actually, there are statistics behind that. Remember that 4%? If you make 20 calls, just maybe one will be answered.

“When people think of 30 touches, often they’re thinking of having 30 conversations. That’s not it. It can take 30 touches, essentially, to have one conversation,” Michael said.

Don’t ask for a meeting on the first email or LinkedIn message. Just ask relevant questions or share a bit of relevant content.

Other types of touches to consider are LinkedIn voice notes (a quick way to scale personalization), videos can take a long time – but this is a quick option, and LinkedIn surveys or polls (easy to respond to, great data about pain points) – purely asking for feedback on a questionnaire of pain points, so you can make the message specific.

Michael uses WhatsApp in Europe and iMessage/SMS in North America. Think about the messages as if you’re texting a friend — super short and informal. Usually these leads also come from webinars or e-books, in which case – this could also be a starting point of conversation to help warm them up.

Example: Send a personalized email followed by this text. Any thoughts on my email, Jeff? 

Some prospects are so much easier to contact this way, it’s a new channel to accelerate things.

The key to successful outbound sales cadences is mixing a high level of personalization with a quick WhatsApp or SMS follow-ups.

Check out Growth Genie’s outbound sales cadence here.

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That’s the most frustrating thing when I hear SDRs say, ‘I spend 50-60% of my time researching and building lists.’ You want them to be spending their time actually reaching out to people.

Michael Hanson – Founder and Sales Consultant at Growth Genie

How to be targeted & personalized, but at scale

There’s two ends of the spectrum when it comes to sales prospecting, ‘automate everything – it’s a numbers game’, compared to ‘don’t automate – use personalisation’. 

Michael sits somewhere in the middle of these. 

He explains that the key is when you have your data list, segregate it – into triggers, job titles and industries etc., this will lead to more success from your messaging. 

For your best leads (best fitting companies) use hyper personalisation. 

Let’s back up for a second, though. The foundation for outbound sales cadences is data alignment. 

Data sources

Good data on clients is one of the first steps to personalization. Find out where your leads are coming from and make sure that your vendors are providing the best data source on your ideal customer profile.

Sales engagement platforms

What platform are you using to reach your ideal customer profile?

And, more importantly, are you telling your SDRs to spend all their time building lists? That’s a waste of a SDR, frankly. SDR’s should be doing outreach.

Give that job to interns or a junior sales person — or outsource it.

“That’s the most frustrating thing when I hear SDRs say, ‘I spend 50-60% of my time researching and building lists.’ You want them to be spending their time actually reaching out to people,” Michael said.

SDR role

Of the 2 mistakes that Michael sees companies make with SDRs, one is believing that SDRs should research and collect data.

The other is thinking that SDR’s can do their jobs without a manager. This is incorrect. SDR’s should focus on outreach, and to do that well, they need managerial support.

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The phone is still the number one channel to prospects because you can have an interactive conversation.

Michael Hanson – Founder and Sales Consultant at Growth Genie

Shifts in outbound marketing

Since the pandemic, Michael has seen 2 shifts that affect outbound sales cadences.

1.The connects rate has increased

The percentage of connect rate has gone up from 4% to 5% through the pandemic. Practically, that means if you’re doing 50 calls a day, you’re going to get 1 or even 2 more conversations every day. That means, at minimum, 4 more conversations a week and 60 more conversations a month. Per SDR.

That’s potentially millions more a month, which makes it essential to get your outbound sales cadences ironed out.

“The phone is still the number one channel to prospects because you can have an interactive conversation,” he said. If you’re on the phone with someone, they’re probably going to answer instead of hanging up.

2.Personalization needs to be on target

A C-level person at a big company is going to get 100s of prospecting emails a day. 

Your messaging needs to be pro if you’re going to automate.

One way to do that is to build trigger events into the messaging.

Basically, you segregate your list and build messaging around different triggers like job titles and industries. Your best leads deserve hyper-personalization, of course.

“If you’re personalizing, you’ve got to look into their LinkedIn profile and their company in order to stand out because there’s just so much noise on email now,” Michael pointed out. 

Connect with Michael about outbound sales cadences on LinkedIn or by email at m.hanson@growthgenie.co.

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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