I want to thank Neale Martin and Lavender for sharing an amazing study that we’ll explore in this newsletter. The summary – your emails and LinkedIn DM’s are way too long. Even 100 words (which is only a few major sentences) creates anxiety in the prospect’s mind pre-reading your email. Why – it fills their phone. And if the message fills their phone, it’s like being asked to read a page of an Ernest Henningway book – quickly. Not going to happen!
Here is what we’ll cover this week:
- Email/LinkedIn message < 40 words will 2x the response rates over > 100 words
- Prospect isn’t calling you back? Overcoming the Dead Zone.
- The power of an Accountability Sales Coach.
- What’s your “Magic Date”? The 3rd dimension to Quota Waterfalls.
Email/LinkedIn message < 40 words will 2x the response rates over > 100 words.
I’m 44 years old. What the digital world calls a “digital immigrant” – meaning I was not born nor grew up with the internet and hand-held devices. I’m now at the perfect sweet-spot age where my peers are becoming CRO’s, CMO’s, CISO’s, etc. – your ideal buyer. Even us, who are more patient than the next generation (millennials and now Gen Z) , tolerate longer emails because we grew up making and reviewing 5-paragraph essays – the science has spoken. We just won’t anymore.
Our world has become too “soundbite”, too “TikTok”. My children talk, write, act in sound bites and that’s affecting my generation. Your buyer is now… ME!
The science is clearly stating that the DM messaging world of WhatsApp, Slack, text have bled into all forms of written communication. The best performing emails are < 40 words. That’s not a lot. You can’t describe complex product details in 40 words. But that’s the point.
You need to be able to write in Hooks.
Also, I’m 1000% bullish in the performance of video inside a < 40 word email. Video allows me three (3) advantages:
- Humanize me.
- Synthesize complex information into a 1-minute video.
- Buying intent tracking.
Step 1 – start crafting emails that are basically Tweets.
Step 2 – leverage video inside these short emails to maximize the contextualization.
Prospect isn’t calling your back? Overcome the Dead Zone.
“Jamie, call me back in two weeks and we’ll move to next steps”. I can the prospect back in two weeks, and 👻NOTHING. Next week, nothing. One (1) month later – nothing. I’ll bet this happened to you many, many times as a seller.
We call this the Dead Zone. It’s the uncomfortable feeling of expecting a response, and the prospect ghosting you.
Without empathy, it’s hard to understand why prospects do this to us. Why can’t people keep their word?!?
The reality is people overpromise, under deliver, all day long. They have 5-10 “priorities” (which if you have that many priorities you don’t actually have any priorities, you have open projects… but that’s another story) – at any given moment. But that’s THEIR wish list. Not the other 5-10 priorities that CXO #1 has, and 5-10 that CXO #2 has, etc. So the average buyer is being pulled like spaghetti strings.
How do we combat this?
- Empathize with this reality.
- Recognize you are fighting mindshare.
- Remind the prospect of THEIR priorities.
- Create a storyboard of insights that will be helpful to your prospects priorities. Start with 5.
- Make assets that align to that story: competitive intelligence comparisons, video of what the first 100 days would look like as partners, examples of customers results, etc.
- Deploy this cadence over a two (2) week period. Remember, you are fighting against mindshare. Bring the prospect back mentally to their priorities.
Hope this helps.
The power of an Accountability Sales Coach.
When I turned 40 I realized it was time to take annual physicals seriously. I wanted to start investing in myself so I went to TELUS Health, a private clinic that basically does a diagnostic on me for 6 hours – they even ultrasound every organ to create 3D comparisons every year. Amazing stuff.
At the end of my 1st year going there, I had three “yellow flags”. Essentially I had a list of items that if I don’t tend to these now, they would become problems later in life. One of those items was my flexibility. I had always noticed that I appeared extremely stiff and sore compared to my friends, but I also chalked it up to my extreme sports (competitive waterskiing and backcountry snow skiing).
But it was genetic. Like anything, flexibility is a learnt skills/muscle that deteriorates over time. If kept unchecked, I would be like all the immobile elderly people you see shuffling around the mall. I wanted to prevent that. So I knew I need a solution.
I acquired a stretching coach. That coach worked with me for a few months to:
- Make sure I showed up to stretch every day. Never miss a day.
- Stretched properly.
- Ate and drank things that would aid, not hinder that new found flexibility.
80% of anything is getting started. Over the last 4 years, I stretch for 20 minutes EVERY day. Since then, I have never had an injury that I couldn’t shake off in a few days. I waterski competitively every day in the summer (which is like being hit by a car some days), and I ski in the backcountry off a cliff every weekend in the winter.
In sales, we tend to not seek out coaches. Yes, you may have an internal sales enablement team. Typically, sales enablement is fantastic at program managing a series of initiatives, but rarely are SME’s at very specific skills. If you have a prospecting problem, you want to talk to a prospecting EXPERT. On speed dial, every day, have their access.
Go get a sales accountability coach!
What’s your “Magic Date”? 3rd dimension of Quota Waterfalls.
We have all seen quota attainment charts. The reverse-engineer your financial target (typically in dollar value), and the compute this financial target into more controllable attributes like:
- # of Deals Won
- # of Opportunities to Create
- # of Conversations that Lead to Opportunities
To be able to design these waterfalls, you need two metrics:
- Probability (Conversion)
Again, most companies have these readily available from their CRM.
What is often missing is the 3rd dimension – TIME. Time in sales is called Velocity. The speed at which deals are typically won.
As an example, in Pipeline Signals, the Velocity of our sales cycle in 2022 was 38 days. Meaning, on Average (and the Medium of these transactions was 40 days), that within +1 month, a prospect would move forward or not. By Day 90, the opportunity almost never closed. This was either a Top 3 priority for the buyer, or it wasn’t.
The reason Velocity is so critical is because of Legacy opportunities that bleed between Time Period 1 and 2. As an example, if you have an average sales cycle timeline of 120 days, with a FYE of December 31, then any opportunity created from September, October, November or December is most likely going to bleed into next year. This is often forgotten.
Sales leaders will build these elaborate models and say “we need to create 10 opportunities every month for 12 months = 120 opportunities, and we’ll get to our plan”. Actually, no. If the pipeline coverage is bare (meaning you don’t have many to any open opportunities), and your sales cycle is 120 days, then you have to create 120 opportunities in 8 months – 15 per month!
The speed at which sales opportunities close is like wind to a sailboat. You can plot the direction in which to sail, but you have to also calculate the speed at which wind will take you there.
FREE RESOURCE – Fortune 2000 Executive Job Change Report (every month).
Do you sell into the Fortune 2000?
We are tracking all executive job changes in these organizations, and providing you that lead list – FREE. Download it here.
Never miss the ‘Window of Change’ ever again. The ‘Window of Change’ is a magical time period between Day 30-Day 100 when new executives are most open to new people, process and technology for their new team.