Sales Sequences: The List Is the Strategy – Not Your 27 Step Sequence


The list is the strategy, not your 27 step sales sequence.

What does this mean?

Whoever is on your list when you start prospecting is going to be the difference between success and failure.

Lets run an example:

You are a rep and you just built a fresh list of 100 leads who work inside of your named accounts list and match one of your ideal prospect personas (i.e CFOs/Head of Finance).  All of the records have premium contact information from a top data provide so mobile phones, direct lines, and verified emails are all included.

What most people are doing today with that information:

Take this list and put it into a magical 27 step sales sequence that starts something like this:

Day 1, Step 1: LinkedIn Profile View

Day 1, Step 2: Email 1

Day 3, Step 3: Email 2

Day 6, Step 4: Phone 1

Day 6, Step 5: Email 3…

100 Leads, 6 days in and maybe only 100 calls against this list. Or since they have multiple phone numbers so maybe its 200 dials and 7 conversations.

They continue down this path for 27 days only to max out at about a 12% Top Line Response Rate.

What percentage of the individuals in your sequence reply at some point? This includes returned calls, emails, or any other point of contact. This metric assesses how well the sequence elicits a response. Baseline: 12% reply rate for a cold prospecting sequence.” – Outreach

12 total conversations/responses from your 100 CFOs over the course of more than 1 business month. Ouch.

Here is the truth:

This is how the data works out on most lists researched off of LinkedIn and enriched from your favorite Premium Data Vendor:

3 types of leads from this list:

Type 1 – incorrect or bad contact data:

This is usually about 5 to 20% of the leads in your list, even when you’ve just purchased the premium data from your favorite data provider.

Type 2 – workable contact data:

This is usually about 60-80% of the leads on your list. These leads have contact information that seems to be working. You make calls and get to voicemails, you send emails and they don’t bounce back, you do your activities and you’re feeling like your doing work, but you are not actually having any conversations or getting responses.

Type 3 – reachable contact data:

This is usually about 20-40% of the leads on your list. These leads actually pick up the phone when you call them enough times, or respond to emails, etc.. When you are working these leads, you are not just doing activities, you are actually having conversations, setting up meetings and closing deals.

Armed with this knowledge, let’s try a different approach to this sales sequence.

Day 1, Step 1: LinkedIn – View profile and make sure they are still the CFO at Company and if active on the channel. Remove from your sales sequence if they are no longer at the company and do not add future social touches if they are not active.

Day 1, Step 2: Call all numbers and get rid of all bad numbers during this step and only move working numbers forward.

Day 1, Step 3: Email – optimize for a delivery with a subject line for opens and very short body. Check if email delivers and later if there is an open move to a more personalized email follow up. If delivered and no opened, continue to the next step with phone first.

Day 2, Step 4: Call – only working numbers, no voicemails, no emails.

Day 4, Step 5: Call – only working numbers, no voicemails, no emails.

Day 6, Step 6: Call – only working numbers, no voicemails, no emails.

Day 8, Step 7: Call – only working numbers, no voicemails, no emails.

What have we accomplished here?

You are only 8 days in and you have eliminated all Type 1 Leads and have prioritized your efforts to maximize outcomes across Type 2 and Type 3 Leads.

8 days and likely over 20 conversations with CFOs from this list and now you can turn the remaining 60-80% of the non-phone picker uppers over to a marketing specialist on your team who can try to get some action over emails with the working emails. And you can go out and start this process over again with 100 more highly targeted and highly valuable leads from your sales territory.

When you compare these two approaches remember 1 thing:

Same list.

Same rep.

Same message once you get someone on the phone.

Only 66% more of the exact same outcomes in 30% of the time. 

I really have no dog in this fight, but I do want to see more of you finding more success in outbound in 2023! Put this into action and let me know what you discover on your own.

P.S. Want to skip the line and only call Type 3 Leads? Visit us here to learn how.

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