The Best Sales Touchpoint Email Cadence

The words “sales email” and “touchpoints” are evil — pure evil — because of the context in which “touchpoint” is used. Managers feel pressure to see reps making “X” number of contact attempts per week.

EmailThe words “sales email” and “touchpoints” are evil — pure evil — because of the context in which “touchpoint” is used. Managers feel pressure to see reps making “X” number of contact attempts per week.

“How many new touchpoints have you made in total?”

“How many times did you attempt/touch each prospect on your list?”

This kind of requirement leads reps to type, “What is the best sales email cadence?” into Google.

The results can be disastrous.

Accountability for Spamming

Most sales managers hold reps accountable for spamming. You can call it volume of outbound attempts at new customers. And, yes, it’s vital to aggressively prospect using email, LinkedIn/social and telephone. All channels.

But are sellers being held accountable for spamming?

My experience working with reps proves: 99.5 percent of the time “you need X touchpoints per week” encourages good reps (who know better) to start spamming.

It also forces reps who don’t know better to start spamming … and to fail as sales professionals. Habit formation is key. Bad habit formation is deadly to the individual and organization.

Worse, I see top-performing reps who know a mass, templated, “touchpoint” approach won’t work still doing it. Because they need to follow orders, and unfortunately have very little freedom to explore what works.

The Freedom Box

The last thing you want to do with great reps (and reps who have the potential to be great) is to micro-manage their activities. Instead, manage their activities and keep them moving full steam ahead. But also out of trouble as they find their way forward. So how to balance? Freedom.

Forbes contributor, Jim Keenan created the “freedom box” several years ago.

“If the results are there the employee has all the freedom they want. They can do anything they feel is necessary to be successful,” says Keenan.

The box is big with lots of options. Reps have lots of freedom to innovate on what works.

“They can attack their job in any fashion they see fit, leveraging any approach they want. They have full autonomy,” says Keenan.

“Keenan’s ‘freedom box’ shrinks as a function of bottom line results for each rep and gravitates towards activity management as the freedoms (and the results) decline,” says sales manager coach David Masover.

“In other words, there is a reciprocal relationship between freedom and results.”

Accidentally Forcing Reps to Spam?

By not allowing reps enough freedom to experiment, fail and learn from failure we all lose. Including customers who need our products/services. Sellers end up spamming, failing and developing failing habits.

“Let’s be clear — you can’t manage results. You can only manage activities that lead to results,” says Masover.

Are You Making a $250K LinkedIn Sales Navigator Mistake?

Sales teams are spending big bucks this year on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, primarily to access LinkedIn’s database and InMail — allowing full access to prospects’ inboxes. From $30,000 to $250,000, most sales teams are “all in.”

LinkedIn LogosSales teams are spending big bucks this year on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, primarily to access LinkedIn’s database and InMail — allowing full access to prospects’ inboxes. From $30,000 to $250,000, most sales teams are “all in.”

But marketing teams are making a big mistake when training sellers on social selling. They’re failing to focus sales teams on an effective communications technique to spark conversations with buyers. Even worse, sellers are going in cold — with their cold email approaches.

Most sellers are sending InMail messages on a test-and-learn basis. Big mistake considering one cannot test InMail open rates (at all).

Graceful Interruptions
Prospecting is all about interruptions. Cold calling is part art, part science. And it ain’t easy. But when a seller masters the ability to earn discussions, look out! They churn through prospecting lists — booking appointments like mad.

When a seller figures out how to interrupt customers gracefully, everything changes.

Today’s top reps are effectively interrupting prospects gracefully. Effectively. Using the phone, LinkedIn, email … whatever it takes.

As Hank Barnes of Gartner Research puts it, the best sellers

  • are relevant to the buyer’s situation
  • quickly help the prospect tell if they should care (they’re to the point)
  • offer a clear next step that honors the buyer’s time-frame

Good cold calling and cold emailing techniques leverage graceful interruptions. Problem is, most marketing teams undervalue (or just don’t plain understand) this part of sales.

The Problem With LinkedIn Sales Navigator
“The simple truth is most people and companies on Linkedin use it to sell to other companies and members,” says Simon Marley, CEO of Growth Logik. “But ironically they don’t want to be sold to.”

Marley conducts surveys of CEOs and studies how C-level contacts are using LinkedIn. He’s been documenting a growing problem for sellers using Sales Navigator.

LinkedIn’s InMail is a new piece of the prospecting puzzle. Small, middle and large businesses are spending serious money testing the waters. Yet for most sellers (and teams) it’s been problematic.

Honestly, it’s been a bust, because little investment is being made to help sellers master earning the right to speak with buyers via digital.

Is Your Team Spamming?
Most likely, they are. Specifically, most sellers are sending email (InMail) with nearly zero confidence in their ability to earn response.

Are you or your reps being reduced to figure it out on their own — for $10-plus per InMail!?

I see one practice more than anything else: Spamming on LinkedIn using InMail. Yes, LinkedIn does everything in its power to prevent such use. Yet I see it repeatedly. Why?

Reps aren’t receiving training or communications guidance. Sadly, they’re getting LinkedIn guidance from marketing teams — without the crucial communications guidance.

It’s crazy. Sales reps are given cold calling training. Why not cold emailing training?