In modern sales automation, it’s easy to make your small team of five feel like an army of 50 reps. But more volume isn’t always the answer to successful campaign outreach.
If you have email automation and dialing tasks queued up for your sales team -- but are wondering how to turn the corner with automated outreach, this post is for you. I’ll dive into the tactics and tools used by some of the top sales campaigns out there.
Here’s how you can turn your sales outreach from good to great -- plus some helpful email campaign templates you can implement today.
1. Built-in dial analysis
What separates the best calls on your team from the worst? If the answer doesn’t jump to mind right away, you have a problem. It’s important to know the calls that get demos and deals vs. those ending with upset prospects or hang ups.
Dial analysis tools like Rambl answer this question for you. You can see when certain topics are coming up (i.e., competition, budget, and timeline) and monitor for certain keywords (i.e., cost, specific features, and point points).
One of the best features of dial analysis is that it gives each of your reps the ability to see their performance from the perspective of listen time and follow up. Sales leaders also receive full access to analytics, so they can make changes on the fly.
Head of Sales Andrew Johnson says, "Dial analysis gives me visibility into the conversation quality my reps are having on the phone. With this information, I can see calls are qualified and whether our call playbook is working. Our reps love it too -- it’s streamlined their process, so they spend more time on calls and less on data entry and logging calls in our CRM."
2. Automatic contracts
Are your SMB reps spending too much time on the wrong prospects? Deals that will never have an average revenue per account (ARPA) worth your time can still add value to your company -- but you don’t want to use account executives on unprofitable accounts.
What if certain leads could self-select into your closing process? Tools like PanaDoc enable you to add lightweight contracts right into your workflow. This lets your reps focus on larger, more complex deals and relies on a low-touch/no-touch model to bring in SMBs.
With auto-contract sending as part of your workflow, you can have certain customer types (those that raise their hands) pinged with the right information to make a buying decision when and where it’s convenient.
Additionally, these tools enable you to send one-pagers and PDF content as part of your workflow.
3. Hand raises
How does your team handle content engagement? When a prospect engages with an email -- you usually know it’s done its job. Once you get the prospect on your website, it’s time to get your BDR team engaged.
Dialing a prospect after they’ve self-selected (i.e., clicked on your content which signals they deem it relevant) gives you the opportunity to connect with a prospect at the right time in the buying cycle.
This can be achieved by using text alerts on HubSpot Sales. A text alert can be set to notify the campaign owner any time a prospect performs a certain action.
For example, if someone clicks your email and visits the pricing page, you might trigger a text alert to the relevant BDR, so they connect with the prospect to field questions and qualify the opportunity.
4. Direct mail campaigns
What do you do when leads don’t respond; Put them back into a nurture drip campaign? Before throwing in the towel, give your contact one last push through a new channel.
Direct mail has come back into the forefront in recent years as a great way to get through all of the noise prospects have in their inbox. How can you get direct mail to tie in to your sales automation?
Tools like Inkit make it easy to automate direct mail helping companies leverage exploding offers and promos to the tune of a 8.9% redemption rate. That makes for one nice revenue boost.
These systems integrate directly with your outreach cadence, your HubSpot CRM, and your other conversational commerce channels (i.e., chat).
5. Automated email sales campaigns
Brandon Redlinger, director of growth at Engagio, says, “Marketing automation is perfect for nurturing campaigns and email newsletters. But when it comes to sales -- especially if you’re doing targeted account selling -- pure automation is dangerous.”
There are too many moving pieces in top-of-funnel sales, and Redlinger says if you mess them up, you instantly lose the trust of your prospects and will be condemned to the spam folder.
He preaches the importance of coupling an understanding of the dangers of too much automation with a powerful platform that streamlines the personal elements of your outreach efforts. Here’s Redlinger’s strategy for creating the perfect automated email prospecting strategy.
Create Your Campaign Templates
For your first warm outreach email, follow these guidelines to boost your chances of getting a reply:
- Keep it short: People don’t have much time to read, let alone respond to your email. Aim for no more than three to five sentences.
- Open strong: Mention a common professional connection or interest, offer congratulations on a new job or award, or send a relevant piece of content.
- Offer a compelling value proposition: Distill the value of your product into one sentence.
- Include a call to action: What action do you want your prospect to take next? Ask a specific question or give them instructions on how to follow up.
- Sound like a real person: Remember, people want to connect with other people. Buyers are much more inclined to answer an email that says "Hey prospect, did you have a chance to check the whitepaper I sent? Let me know!” than one saying “Dear Mr. Prospect, I would like to cordially invite you for a brief demonstration of our product. Sincerely, Mr. Salesman.”
- Choose a relevant subject line: Don't slap on a completely irrelevant subject line.
Here’s a template for your first warm outreach email campaign.
Hi [First name],
I saw on LinkedIn that we’re connected through [common connection. [Write one sentence about why that connection is relevant].
Given your position, I think you might be interested in what my company does. [Give your one or two sentence value proposition].
Are you free for a 15-minute call this Thursday or Friday? I’d love to see if I can help.
Subsequent touchpoints should not be “Just checking in," or “Wanted to follow up.” Instead, formulate a legitimate reason for following up. Here are four great reasons to follow up that will make you a welcome guest instead of an annoying pest:
- Re-emphasize business value: It’s all about what you can do for them. Find a different way to show value. Talk to a different pain point.
- Offer insights: Share a different perspective on their problems or a novel idea for how they can reach their goals.
- Educate: Not every follow up should be a pitch. Instead, offer a piece of valuable content, like a whitepaper, ebook, or webinar recording.
- Share news: Why do you think social media is so addictive? People don’t want to miss out. Follow up with news in your industry, product updates, or news about their competitors.
After some time has passed and you haven’t received a response, a big mistake is thinking the lead is now dead. But that's not true -- it might just be a matter of following up a few more times. Here's one of my most effective follow up emails for 30+ days out.
Hey [First name],
Are you still interested in [Your solution]?
It gets great responses. Some people thank me for reaching out, others politely say no. Both are valuable answers because I now know the status of that lead.
Set Up Your Campaigns
Here’s where you’ll apply a custom cadence for each campaign touchpoint. Set up different campaigns for various segments of your list. The more you can segment your list, the better your chances for a reply.
If you have a large list, start A/B testing different aspects of your campaign to find the best outreach plan. Here are a few suggested variables to test:
- Number of touches
- Time between touches
- Subject lines
- Social media mix
- Calls to action
- Top-down vs. bottom-up approach
- Language and tone
Add Your Leads
It’s time to start importing your leads and dropping them into appropriate campaigns. If you’re using the right platform, at the end of each working day you can drop the newly discovered leads into ongoing campaigns without having to start a whole new campaign. The trick here is to make sure you don’t have the same leads in different campaigns.
Launch Your Campaign
Make one final pass through your list and templates to ensure there are no missing variables -- then hit send.
Analyze and Adjust
After you’ve given your campaign enough time to run, take a step back and see what’s working and what’s not. Hopefully you have benchmarks to compare how each touchpoint and campaign is performing. If not, don’t worry. Start tracking now so you can run a data-driven prospecting campaign.
A cautionary note: Beware of “industry averages,” which are often inflated. Companies sharing benchmarks are usually those doing well. Furthermore, many of these companies are much further along in their testing programs. So, aspire to benchmark numbers but don’t be held captive by them.
These tactics and tools are all about helping your reps work smarter not harder. Sales requires a lot of volume to get results -- but that doesn’t mean more volume is always better.
Sometimes what your outreach really needs is better insight on what call types and content are getting the most traction.
Other times, it’s about adding a touchpoint and remembering not to throw in the towel too soon. Either way, the determining factor for having your sales cadence turn the corner is your ability to iterate and try new tactics. So, go ahead and drive some pipeline.