I Thank Neale Martin and Lavender for sharing a fantastic study they we’ll explore in this newsletter. The summary – your emails and LinkedIDM’s’s are way too long. Even 100 words (only a few significant sentences) create anxiety in the prospect’s mind pre-reading your email. Why – it fills their phone. And if the message serves their phones, ‘it s’s like being asked to read a page of an Ernest Hemingway book – quickly. That is 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 of Quota Waterfalls.
Email/LinkedIn messages < 40 words will 2x the response rates over > 100 words.
I’m 44 years old. What the digital world calls a “digital immigrant” means I was not born or grew up with the internet and hand-held devices. I’m now at the perfect sweet-spot age where my peers are becoming CROs, CMOs, CISOs, etc. – your ideal buyer. Even we, 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, and act in sound bites, affecting my generation. Your buyer is now… ME!
The science clearly states that the DM messaging world of WhatsApp, Slack, and text has bled into all forms of written communication. The best-performing emails are < 40 words. That’s not a lot. You can’t describe intricate product details in 40 words. But that’s the point.
You need to be able to write in Hooks.
Also, I’m 1000% bullish on video performance 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 the next steps.” I can get the prospect back in two weeks, and 👻NOTHING. Next week, nothing. One (1) month later – nothing. I’ll bet this happened to you 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 and under-deliver all day long. They have 5-10 “priorities” (if you have that many priorities, you don’t have any importance; 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 prospect’s priorities. Start with 5.
- Make assets that align with that story: competitive intelligence comparisons, video of what the first 100 days would look like as partners, examples of customer 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. This private clinic 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, would become problems later in life. One of those items was my flexibility. I had always noticed that I appeared extraordinarily stiff and sore compared to my friends. Still, I also chalked it up to my extreme sports (competitive waterskiing and backcountry snow skiing).
But it was genetic. Like anything, flexibility is a learned skill/muscle that deteriorates over time. If kept unchecked, I would be like all the immobile older people you see shuffling around the mall. I wanted to prevent that. So I knew I needed 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 newfound 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 I couldn’t shake off in a few days. I waterski competitively every day in the summer (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 not to 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 SMEs are rarely at particular skills. If you have a prospecting problem, you want to talk to a prospecting EXPERT. On speed dial, every day, have their access.
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 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 often needs to be added is the 3rd dimension – TIME. Time in sales is called Velocity. The speed at which deals are typically won.
For 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 rarely closed. This was either a Top 3 priority for the buyer or not.
Velocity is so critical because of Legacy opportunities that bleed between Time Periods 1 and 2. For example, suppose you have an average sales cycle timeline of 120 days, with an FYE of December 31. Any opportunity created from September, October, November, or December will likely 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 open opportunities), and your sales cycle is 120 days, you must create 120 opportunities in 8 months – 15 per month!
The speed at which sales opportunities close is like the wind to a sailboat. You can plot the direction to sail, but you also have to calculate the rate at which the 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 administrative job changes in these organizations and providing you with that lead list – FREE. Download it here.
Never miss the ‘Window of Change’ ever again. The ‘Window of Change’ is a magical time between Day 30-Day 100 when new executives are most open to new people, processes, and technology for their new team.
Free Fortune 2000 – Executive Job Change Database
Do you sell into the Fortune 2000?
Immediately launch your Fortune 2000 sales campaign to book meetings / SQL’s. Fill out the form and get your hands on the Free Resource – Fortune 2000 Companies Signals.