My most successful sales cadence
I recently launched one of my most successful email sales cadences.
Targeted towards prospects who are actually the end users of our platform, not the buyers (I'll expand on this in a minute).
The results were incredible.
Yes - this went against my training from past sales roles..." Junior -- only contact prospects who buy our stuff. That's the best use of your time".
I agree the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (contact buyer → close sale). But there is more than one way to skin a cat (cringe expression). Especially in a today's world, where there are more people involved in the sales cycle than ever before.
Started the process by contacting ~500 sales reps (my peers). Each would be ideal Pickle users. The multistep campaign lasted 1 week & led to:
- 👀 85% open rate
- 💬 24% response rate
- 👑 A ton of CRM data gold volunteered
- 🤝 11 introductions up the ladder/meetings with the actual buyer
- 💰 And so far 1 intro has progressed into one of our biggest deals ever
So you know I'm not full of it. Here are a few responses I got:
That's from just a 1-week basic sales cadence...best believe I'm making this a habit.
Want to do this yourself? I'll dive into the process and my sales cadence templates below.
Understand Your Peers (aka Daily Active Users)
Before I spill the beans on my sales cadence process, allow me to paint a picture first.
Here’s the big-brain play: you want to gather bulk data about your ideal customer personas (ICP), your Daily Active Users in particular.
Ideal Customer Persona Refresh
Quick refresh — there are two types of ICP: buyers & users.
In the B2B software world, buyers are who you typically sell to & users are the people using your platform every day. Leveraging every feature, reaping the benefits, and hopefully living their best life.
Sometimes the buyer & user are the same person, sometimes they're different (manager & rep). This sequence works more effectively if they are separate.
To try & put this in an odd, yet accurate comparison: think about the ice cream truck business model.
The truck comes down the street blasting music. The powerful brand recognition has their ideal users that enjoy the product running out to meet them. All while dragging the ideal buyer to pay for the frozen treat.
Buyers = Parents. Users = Kids.
On the next visit, the ice cream rep learned:
- Red & blue houses have budget and like the product.
- The green house with dead grass doesn’t have budget, bought their own ice-cream, or don’t care for sweets.
Data is the Key to Success
Now let’s talk about that CRM data!
The stuff we learn from contacts that help us prospect better, qualify/disqualify, & find deals faster.
- "We use your competitor."
- "We just implemented a solution."
- ‘We thought it would solve problem X, but it doesn’t."
- And of course the gold, "Let me make an intro."
This is the information you’re aiming to gather from your users in this prospect sales cadence.
Step 1: Find your ideal users
Time to dig in and put in the work to reach the right rep contacts.
Use your data enrichment tool for this. My tech currently being Seamless & LinkedIn Sales Nav, I’m using these filters:
- Department = Where your product impacts
- Titles = The common titles of users in your platform
- Industries = The main genre of company
- Employee Size = Find the average size of all your customers. If you go too big or too small on your customer base, the data you get will be less relevant.
- Search = You’ve now built a fantastic list of your daily users
Step 2: Know what users want
You’ve got the list now you need to optimize your message to what your daily user needs/wants.
While this may seem straight-forward, best to double-check.
Often your product, while sold to your buyer, won’t have the same impact or workflow as the people actually using it.
Remember the user is the kid wanting the ice cream, the parents are only buying it to make the kid happy. Two very different reasons & impacts for something as simple as getting ice cream.
You're the ice cream truck rep, so put a different cap on. Start thinking about your users and why they need/want your product.
I suggest reading articles, asking friends/mentors, and live where your users live (mine live on places like LinkedIn).
Are you still with me? Hang in there, let's build your sales cadence.
Step 3: Build the cadence
Step 1: Connect where they live (LinkedIn for me). Interact there. Comment on their posts/comments. Add value where you can.
Step 2: Email #1
The goal of this email is to build trust with your user that you know their pain. Let them know that you live their pain every freaking day. That you left your previous gig because you needed the solutions you have now.
- Subject Line: 4 words that stand out (as personalized as you can)
- Intro: do some research and make a familiar connection.
- Body Text: This is where you demonstrate you know their pain. I suggest 3-4 bullet points outlining the research you did about what your user feels.
- Why you're here: Your unique value prop and how you can solve their problems.
- Call To Action (CTA): make it a low-lift ask. I asked for an intro up. Maybe ask if they think your product would provide significant value. Either way, remember, you’re trying to gather CRM data and pipeline.
Here's my first email:
"Subject: (first title) to (current title). (Example: Lifeguard to Account Executive)
Body: (Name), you've had quite the jump from (first job) at (company), and now (current job) at (company - kudos on making it happen. AE to AE, what got you to this point was working hard, hustling, and improving. However, the roadblocks can be real:
- Interpreting chicken scratch notes after 5pm
- Piecing together account plans (timeline, budget, stakeholders)
- Sending recap emails based purely on memory
- Figuring out how to say more than "it went good" to your VP
Why I'm here: Pickle records & enhances Zoom meetings. Making it easier to capture every detail, so you can be 100% present on your calls.
CTA: If you think this would be valuable, can you introduce me up the ladder?
Day 4 (3 -days later)
Continue to live where they live. But the next emails are scheduled out.
You’ve showed them you know them, now you need to build as much curiosity as you can. Don't cop out with an "any thoughts?" message.
They haven’t responded, that’s fine. Now you want to give them real use-cases from current customers.
Subject Line: RE: (original subject)
Body: Layout the use-cases you’ve researched. Listing 4-5 ways your product is being used.
CTA: Ask something very direct. Tied to an impact your customer’s gained.
Here's my second email:
Body: Here are some use-cases for ya:
1. Take sound-bites outlining your prospect's pain.
2. Build personas and easily identify what matters to them.
3. Track products, stakeholders, or other motivators in your pipeline.
4. Get more direct feedback from 1:1's.
5. Ease the hand-off between you and Implementation/customer success.
CTA: Would this shorten your sales cycle?"
Day 6 (2-days later)
This is the final email of the cadence. Time to close the process out.
At this point, your user hasn’t responded, but they are VERY aware of you (maybe their SPAM filter is at least). Believe me.
The goal of this email send is to share a laugh and go for the final ask in the cadence.
Subject Line: RE: (original subject)
Body: Address the fact that you know you reached out to the user, not the buyer.
CTA: Final ask. Last chance to get THE DATA. Whatever you do make sure your ask is pushing for a response. That's it. You're not asking for time or interest, you want DATA.
Here's my final prospect email (yes... I included a highly targeted meme):
Body: I'm sure my last few emails got you feeling like this meme...
CTA: Can you point me in the right direction?"
That's it...that's the cadence
You made it!
Your last step is to take your list & plug into your sales cadence software.
Take it and run.
At the end of the day, you walk away with an immense amount of CRM data from your users. You've also built some new connections that turn into relationships and gained an overall better understanding of your true buyer.
Never forget: the parents might pay for the ice cream, but the kid dictates the flavor.
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