If you work in marketing or sales, you’re probably already familiar with sales sequences.
Sequences are the series of actions a salesperson takes to brings leads into the funnel and eventually turn them into buyers. They include phone calls, emails, in-person meetings, live demos and other touchpoints where salespeople and leads interact. They are pre-determined and, when done effectively, can lead to increased sales and revenue.
If you want to create an efficient sales sequence strategy of your own, here are some best practices to keep in mind.
1. Define your audience
The first step of any successful sales sequence is to identify your audience and who you are targeting with each sequence. For instance, you may have leads who have never purchased from you before, or you may have customers that you want to turn into repeat buyers. Maybe you met leads at a conference and are following up with them, or you’re cold emailing for the first time. Once you define your audiences, segment them so you can specifically target them.
2. Find a suitable email marketing platform
Today, emails are a critical part of a sales sequence. According to WordStream, 59 percent of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue, and email is the third most influential information source for B2B audiences. If you’re running email sales sequences, you need a platform that allows you to properly send out your messages.
For example, your platform should be able to determine what kind of email to send a recipient once they trigger an action. They may download your white paper and receive a nurturing email. Then, once they purchase an e-book from you, they should be placed into a customer sales sequence, where the goals are the going to differ than from the nurturing sequence.
Doing A/B testing and segmenting on your email marketing platform will ensure that your emails are making an impact. It’s critical that you find a platform (or email marketing agency) that provides these capabilities.
3. Create your templates
Before you start sending out sales sequences, you’ll need to create templates that you’ll personalize later. Great templates will attract prospects and encourage them to continue through the sales funnel. For instance, if you are reaching out to prospects but they have never interacted with you before, send an email showing you did your research. Mention goals they are trying to accomplish and how you can help them reach these goals with your products and services.
If they live chatted with someone, send a follow-up email asking if they have any additional questions or concerns. If they downloaded a white paper, send a trigger email that asks how they enjoyed the white paper, and offer them additional interesting, related content.
Be sure to give your audience enough time with your emails. For example, if they just downloaded a white paper, don’t send a follow-up email the same day. Always include links to helpful resources on your website, and make sure emails are coming from real salespeople who will be there to answer any questions in case recipients reply.
4. Send emails at the right time of day
In the same vein, you need to be sending emails at the correct time of day to have the maximum effect on B2B leads. Many businesses find that sending an email on a Tuesday or Thursday morning between 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. is best. However, your business might not follow the same standard practices of others.
For instance, if your B2B product is targeted to fleet managers who work at night, consider sending emails during the beginning of their shifts instead of in the morning, when they are just going to bed.
As always, use your sales sequences and perform A/B testing to see what has the highest open and click-through rates.
5. Make sure your emails are responsive on mobile
Today, 55 percent of business emails are read on mobile phones, according to The Drum/Return Path. If your B2B buyers are reading emails on their phones and making purchasing decisions, make sure your emails are optimized for mobile. Some best practices for your emails are:
- Limit the use of images (especially high-resolution ones)
- Make the font and buttons large enough
- Utilize a responsive template
- Avoid sending long, text-dense emails that people don’t have time to read and can’t easily read on their phones. Break up text where possible.
6. Follow up consistently
Salespeople know it takes a lot of time, energy and effort to close just one deal. The Whole Brain Group/Scripted and The Marketing Donut report that 44 percent of salespeople will give up after following up once, even though 80 percent of sales require five follow-up calls after a meeting takes place. Make sure you’re sending out emails through your sales sequences and making phone calls consistently until you get a response.
7. See if you hit your goals
Once your sales sequences are complete, go back and look at how you performed. You can see when people enrolled, what emails were opened more than others, which links had the highest click-through rates, and much more. When you run your sequences again, do more A/B testing to figure out what you can change, and, as always, ask for feedback from your loyal customers. If you have an email marketing agency, discuss reporting with them and make sure they include all of the data you want to see (and none you don't).
Sales sequences are an important part of any sales campaign. By taking the best practices into account, you can run successful sequences that are sure to improve your quota and help you meet or exceed your sales goals.