Selling is as much a science as it is an art. You make enough calls, send enough e-mails, do the right things X amount of times, and a certain percentage of those actions are bound to end in a close. This also means that selling is repetitive work, and sometimes it can be difficult to sustain those pipeline-building activities that your reps need to keep up with to be successful.
A good prospecting strategy should generate quality appointments while being easily incorporated, executed, and sustained on a day-to-day basis.
At the core of HubSpot's Sales Pro software is a set of features that facilitate this precisely by automating prospecting and qualifying activities without losing the individual sales rep's voice. Implementing these tools in a strategic manner will enable your reps to spend more time selling and less time grasping at straws.
Below I've segmented the implementation process by first giving you a look into the tools you'll be setting up and using and then combining those tools into a strategy that will be easy to start and maintain.
I highly recommend that you read up on how to best set up your Sales Pro tools (even the setup has strategic considerations), but if you're feeling confident with the individual components of the software and want to jump straight to the strategy, feel free to scroll right into "The Strategy" component of this blog post.
The meetings tool is the bread and butter of HubSpot Sales Pro. With this feature, you can create a link that gives your prospects direct access to your calendar through an attractive and easy-to-use interface that looks like this:
A good chunk of deals are lost to the back-and-forth that comes from scheduling a meeting through e-mail. With the meetings functionality, you're aiming to reduce that friction by allowing the booking process to happen in one motion.
In order to book a meeting on your calendar, prospects will need to enter their name and e-mail by default, but you can set custom questions as well. This allows you to ask qualifying questions at the point of booking the appointment that will help you both assess the quality of an appointment and come prepared to the call with a value proposition in hand.
Using the example above, it's one thing to show up to a call and take the approach of,
"Thanks for booking time with me, how can I help?"
and it's another to say,
"I understand you booked time with me because solving for X is a priority. I've come prepared with a few ideas; are you ready to start?"
Now that you've got your meetings link up and running, you need to make it part of something bigger, an overall message that is going to compell your prospects to use it. That's where templates come in.
Templates allow you to capture situation-specific messaging once and re-use it whenever relevant. You can create as many templates as you have uses for. Ideally, you're creating a template for every persona, trigger event, and conversion event you can sell into in an effort to tailor your sales outreach as much as possible.
Depending on how much of their own voice your sales reps want to capture in their templates, they can create their own templates. However, in the spirit of reducing your reps' workload so they can focus on selling, it's common to see sales directors take the helm at creating these around messaging they know works well with prospects. As much as your reps like the sound of their own voice, they'll appreciate the baseline guidance and can always clone and edit the templates if they see fit.
Now you have a set of templates which host your messaging and a meetings link that allows prospect to book time directly on your calendar. Sequences is the tool that binds all these things together.
Sequences allow you to take a look at the templates you've built and drag and drop them one after the other, effectively "sequencing" your outreach. You can set delays that determine how much time passes in between each e-mail template and set tasks in between that act as reminders to do X in between days.
You can put up to five templates in a sequence, which means with the push of a button you can touch an account up to five times. Once you put your templates in order and save your sequence, you'll find the ability to enroll your prospects in it on your email interface itself (just make sure you have your sales email extension installed).
Pulling up a sequence also gives you one last chance to edit it, which means you don't solely have to rely on personalization tokens. For example, if you have a prospecting strategy that references trigger events, you can write your template with an obvious placeholder and then edit the e-mail being sent out at the point of sequencing your prospects to be as personalized as you want it to be.
1. Determine who you're talking to
In order to make the most out of the above three tools, you need to determine who you're talking to. For example, what matters to a CEO will be different than what matters to a manager. The former may spend all day looking at how to increase return on investments, while the latter may spend all day looking at how to reduce day-to-day labor inefficiencies. If through your prospecting your value prop doesn't capture the essence of what your prospects care about, your e-mails will get ignored (no matter how many you land in your prospects' inbox).
For that reason, you don't want to create a catch all / generic prospecting strategy just because you can automate it. My clients who see the most success with sequences have strung together a set of templates that are persona-specific and speak to the priorities of the particular type of individual / company / industry they're reaching out to during that part of their day.
2. Carefully craft your meetings link
What's a question that only the persona you determined above can answer? What kind of answers, if screened for, will help you deliver the best value proposition possible?
If I'm talking to CEOs who are in the market for a marketing solution, I'm using my meetings link's custom question section to ask,
"What is your biggest growth challenge?" or
"How are you measuring your current marketing strategy's success?"
Every sales team has information they wish they knew leading up to a call with a prospect. Here's your chance to gather that information. Done correctly, you'll be able to reduce the amount of time you spend assuming and guessing on a call and increase the time you spend drilling into relevant solutions that solve for your prospects' priorities (because you've been tipped into what they are ahead of time).
The end result of a strategically built meetings link is:
- A faster appointment-setting process with higher conversion rates
- More efficient call prep (less time spent on LinkedIn and guesswork)
- More effective sales calls that get to the core of your value prop faster
We're not stopping here though; you still have to get your meetings link in front of your prospects.
3. Write your templates and string them together
Once you've determined who you want to create your first sequence for, go into your templates tool and create five e-mail templates using the language that best speaks to your persona.
Each template should have your uber-personalized meetings link very clearly placed in the content, leaving your prospects an obvious path to your calendar and subsequent qualifying question.
As you write template one to template five, remember that if your prospect continues to receive your sequenced e-mails, it's because they've neither replied nor booked a meeting. Therefore, make sure the tone in your templates reflects that.
Make your tone progressively more direct than the last, as with each passing e-mail you have less and less to lose. As an example, if I'm selling marketing software to CEOs, my template lineup might be formatted in the following way:
E-mail 1 Subject line: [First Name] is your marketing actually generating revenue?
E-mail 2 Subject line: Nurtured leads produce 20% more sales, happy to discuss why
E-mail 3 Subject line: Getting worried [First Name], how are you scaling growth?
E-mail 4 Subject line: [First Name], am I off base in regards to your growth goals?
E-mail 5 Subject line: Closing your file [First Name], but before I do...A few free resources
Once all five of the above templates are written, your next step is to put them into a sequence with two days in between each template.
I've found through working with my clients that two days in between is a sweet spot; not so intense that you put your prospects off, but not so lengthy in between that you lose their interest. It also gets you to the "No" (if there is one) a whole lot faster than a less aggressive strategy.
With the sequence ready, you can get to work!
4. Introduce and maintain a Net New prospecting strategy
With so much power in your hands, it'll be tempting to automate ALL of your prospecting processes with sequences. Remember though that there's still a chance you'll get your prospect on the phone on the first try (Albeit small, but in a 1:1 comparison, still higher than e-mail). So, keep up the number of net new prospects you dial in a day.
Sequences come in when you call your prospect and they don't answer. That follow-up e-mail you used to copy and paste from a word doc into your e-mail interface will now be sent with the click of a button (along with the follow-up e-mail you'd send to that follow-up e-mail, and the one after that, and the one after that).
Let's say in a day you dial 35 net newprospects (which is on the lower end for a sales organization), and 5 of them pick up the phone. That day, you're sequencing 30 prospects that will now receive an e-mail every 2 days until they've received 5 total.
The trickle effect of that day's sequencing efforts will look like this:
By itself, not all that impressive, right? I mean it certainly paints the picture that by enrolling 30 net new leads you'll be sending out an additional 30 e-mails every couple of days automatically. But, is that it?
Sequencing's power starts to grow as it compounds, which is why the second part of this strategy is maintaining it day-to-day. Let's take a look at what happens when every day for two weeks you keep up that Net New 30 approach we discussed above.
You can see that as we get towards the tail end of a two-week period where we're sequencing 30 new leads a day, we're ending each day at 150 e-mails sent.
That's 150 potential clients receiving personalized e-mails every single day. What's better is that each of those 150 leads now has the chance to book a meeting directly on your calendar.
Carving out time to dial and respond via e-mail to 30 net new leads a day is monumentally worth it if it means you can walk in on any given day to a percentage of 150 clients having booked time on your calendar.
Let me repeat:
By sequencing 30+ net new leads a day, you and your reps can walk in on a Monday morning to your entire week's meeting quota on the calendar.
All in all, like any part of your sales strategy, the key to seeing success with these tools and their strategic implementation is consistency.
Hopefully this post has given you what you need to change your prospecting processes for the better. As you give the tips in this blog a try, comment below or shoot me a message to chat about your results!
Originally published Jan 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM, updated December 20 2019