[This blog was originally published on Salesforce's Blog which can be found here.]
This is the environment that today’s account executive lives in:
- Our buyers receive 100+ emails a day
- Our voicemails have a less than a 5% chance of being returned
- We “engage” a prospective client 2 attempts or less before giving up
- We use email & phone as the primary means of outreach
Oh yeah, if you rely solely on marketing created pipeline, you will have a tough time differentiating yourself from the pack.
The good news is that there is hope! There are more mediums than ever before to reach your prospects, and when those mediums are employed consistently, meeting rates can exceed 80% (see below for Day 1). I mention meeting rates because pipeline can only be created during a meeting — meetings = pipeline.
If your outbound prospecting game is flawless, stop reading now. But if you want a 10-day playbook for prospecting net new clients, have a look below.
- You have a list of target, tier one accounts, and have the accounts CEO / COO/ CMO/ CIOs’ email, LinkedIn and address handy.
- You are not following up solely on marketing generated leads. This is for the account executive who is responsible for generating new logos.
- Your goal with this campaign is getting a meeting, which then creates the opportunity to generate pipeline.
Without further ado, here is the 10-day plan.
Day 1: Thursday - High Impact Direct Mail
- Send a tailored piece of mail to your targets, such as a relevant book (bonus tip – write a short note in the book sleeve), a congratulatory note.
- Or, take a play from sales thought leader Gabe Larsen's Coffee Play, which registered a 37 meeting hit rate (out of 42 recipients) and one of the mediums used to engage prospects was a direct mail piece.
- For details on how to run your own Coffee Play, skip to 24:35 of this interview with Gabe.
Day 2: Friday – Follow Prospects on Social & Send LinkedIn Message
- 8-9am: LinkedIn message prospects
- 12-1pm: Follow all prospects on Twitter and LinkedIn and then engage: re-share, comment, or like their content. This is a theme that should be practiced everyday of this plan. I like to use 7:30 – 8am to scan LinkedIn and Twitter for relevant news for my prospects.
Day 5: Monday - Send Tailored Email
- When: 4-5pm
- What to write? See Tucker Max’s Guide to Cold Emailing.
- What’s worked for me?
- Subject line should reference the title of a recently published press release.
- The first sentence should focus on the prospect, e.g., congrats on the new funding round.
- Avoid leading with a sentence about yourself or your firm.
- Did my email hit their inbox? I’m a big fan of using Salesforce’s Inbox to see who opened the emails, if any links were clicked, and to automatically set a task if the receipt doesn’t get back to me by Thursday.
Day 6: Tuesday - First Round of Calling
- 4-5pm: Call prospects and leave voicemail. This is the best time to call, according to an MIT study
- Need a tip on voicemails? Fast forward to 21:18 of an interview with Tom Freese (founder of Question Based Selling) for advice from a pro.
Day 7: Wednesday - Calling & LinkedIn Message Round Two
- 8-9am: Call prospects and leave a voicemail round two. This is the second best time to call, according to the same MIT study.
- 4-5pm: LinkedIn message round two.
Day 8: Thursday – Email Take Two & More Calling
- 8-9am: Thanks to Salesforce Inbox, I know who received my initial email and who didn’t. For those who received it, do a take two email. For those who didn’t, change the subject and re-send original email.
- 4-5pm: calling round 3 and voicemail
Day 9: Friday – Finish Strong
- 8-9am: Email take three
- 2 – 3pm: Call but no voicemail
Day 10: Saturday – Reap the Rewards
- Take a minute to acknowledge the number of meetings you just created and the resulting pipeline.
- For those contacts that didn’t get back to you, didn’t open your emails, and didn’t accept your LinkedIn message, there is still hope but I’d advise swapping in a new contact.
I hope this approach helps you in your outbound prospecting efforts. If it does work, feel free to share with your colleagues. If it doesn’t, please email, or reach out on social media and we can revise together
About the Author
Ryan Warner is an account executive on Salesforce’s Financial Services team. Ryan also co-hosts the TR Talk Podcast, where co-host Tom Alaimo and Ryan interview leaders in their fields to learn how millennials can make an impact in today’s workforce.