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    07/09/2024 |

    It Now Takes 12 to 15 Touches Before Prospects Are Ready To Meet With Sales

    A recent HubSpot webinar revealed that their research shows it’s taking 12 to 15 touches from a business development representative (BDR) to get a prospect ready to speak with sales.

    This number might seem high to you, and I’ve seen several research studies that support a slightly lower number. But regardless of the actual number, we can all agree it’s taking many more touches today than it did even a few years ago to get someone interested in what you do.

    You can ignore this and continue doing what you’ve always done, or you can take action based on this new prospect buyer behavior.

    If you want to take a more strategic approach to the changing buyer behavior, map out what a 15-touch outreach program might look like. If it only takes you seven or eight touches, you’ll have some extra ideas.

    Let’s make a few assumptions. First, this person and their company is a good fit for your targeted persona. This is a company you’d like to work with and the appropriate person at that company.

    Next, I’m going to assume you have an email address that was either submitted to you, making the lead an inbound lead, or you purchased an outside list that has email addresses. Regardless, we’re going to set up our touches to work with both types of contacts.

    Keep in mind the goal is to get a meeting. I’m not going to continue the process (at least not in this article) to highlight what should happen up to, during and after that initial meeting.

    Finally, I’m not providing you the text for these touches you and your marketing team can come up with these on your own. However, I am providing you the context for the outreach, tone, approach and strategy you should consider so that you never have to run out the entire string and prospects engage after three or four touches instead of the expected seven or eight (or the dreaded 15).

    Also, each email has to be as personalized as possible. This means the content should be specific to each recipient’s company, industry and role. This will take more work but will convert at much higher rates.

    Day 1: Touch 1 – Email

    This initial outreach email has to be remarkable. The subject line should be short (under 60 characters) and pack a punch. Focus on what you can do for this person, not what your company does. Lean into their potential challenge, not your products or services.

    The email should be less than 150 words. Make sure there’s a clear next step and action the target can take to get engaged. That action should include offering some content in the email one link in the email that sends them to the content you’re offering. This gives them a chance to get engaged with you on their terms.

    Day 2: Touch 2 – LinkedIn

    Emails alone probably won’t do it with new contacts, so you have to attempt to get to them in more than one way. LinkedIn, while not great, is one of those other channels you’re going to want to try and open up.

    Don’t just ask to connect; instead, send them a compelling message that’s highly personalized like the first email. Once they connect with you, say that you’d like to send them something educational related to their role, industry or challenge.

    Day 4: Touch 3 – Email With Video

    Many people prefer to watch than read. Video helps your email stand out, but keep it short and professional. Make sure your prospect is the star of the show, not you or your company. Again, this has to be about how you can help. What can you do for them? Let them see that you understand their challenges and have a compelling solution.

    Day 7: Touch 4 – Blog Article Sent

    Lean into your educational content. People who are in the Awareness or Education stage of their buyer journey are actively looking to get smarter. They want to make a safe purchase decision, and the more you can educate them, the safer they’ll feel with you and your company.

    You should be running a fairly active blog publication program, so select a new and relevant article to send. Encourage them to subscribe to the blog, as this ensures more automated touches will run in the background.

    Day 8: Touch 5 – LinkedIn

    Share a relevant post from LinkedIn. It could be from an industry expert or influencer, or it could be another piece of content from your website. Make sure the message is highly personalized and does not look automated. Encourage them to check out your website for more content similar to what you’re sharing. Again, getting them to subscribe to an email newsletter or podcast gets more automated touches.

    New Connection Achieved

    Let’s assume after this amazing LinkedIn outreach sequence you’ve at least made a new connection.

    Day 10: Touch 6 – Email

    Provide some relevant industry stats that help your prospect make the case for engaging with your company. What might seem like a pain that is unique to her company is likely to be a pain for many companies. Highlighting this and arming her with additional data helps her look smart and continues to position you as an advisor. If you have a larger research study available, provide a link for her to get access to all the data.

    At this point, start actively working to see if she’ll move further along in the buyer journey. Offering an invite to an upcoming webinar is a good way to see how serious she is. If you have an industry event coming up, see if she is attending. Offer to set up a meeting at your booth or in a central location to share additional information and insights.

    Day 11: Touch 7 – Blog Article Sent

    If you’ve successfully encouraged her to subscribe to your company’s blog, this touch can be executed automatically as part of her blog subscription. In that case, check your marketing automation to see if she viewed it. If you don’t have her subscribed, get a quick email together that shares your latest blog article. Connect it contextually to her pains and send it along. Again, encourage her to subscribe if she hasn’t already.

    Day 13: Touch 8 – Email

    The goal in these sequences is to move the prospect closer to a meeting. This is also where you might want to share some examples of how you helped similar companies. Success stories, case studies and testimonials are all valuable to moving people further along in their buyer journey.

    Here’s where you can suggest setting up a call to go into specifics of her company, her situation and her challenges and offer to provide suggestions for solutions. Requesting a 30-minute phone call or video meeting makes sense. You’ve done your part to make a deposit, and now it’s time to ask for a withdrawal.

    Response With Phone Number

    Success! Your outreach earned you direct access to your prospect. You have a phone number and can continue to reach out via phone. Text messaging might also be an option, as today many people are more responsive via text than through phone or email.

    Day 14: Touch 9 – Phone Call With Message

    Remember, you’re still looking forward to that initial meeting. Reaching out via phone or sending a text message with something new or interesting to share would make sense at this stage. This could be a new program, an opportunity to extend payments or some relevant insight that would significantly impact your prospect’s business.

    Day 15: Touch 10 – General Company Marketing Email Sent

    You’re two weeks into your outreach, and if your prospect subscribed to your company’s general marketing email, it should be arriving at this time. Again, get as much of the outreach automated as possible. These touches count, and you can let marketing carry some of the burden associated with telling your story, getting your prospect engaged and continuing the conversation.

    Day 17: Touch 11 – Email

    OK, so it’s been about two weeks and 10 touches with no real movement. You have to pull out the big guns here. This is the last big push.

    Here’s where to start talking about their competition what they’re doing, how they’re getting ahead, how your prospect’s business might be falling behind and how this will make marketing and sales execution more challenging. Also, offer something of value to get them to engage. For example, we do website reviews, sales rep skills assessments, 13-point HubSpot checkups and other free engagement offers that add value to our prospects’ businesses.

    Day 21: Touch 12 – Wrap-Up Email

    Remember, it’s OK to wrap up your individual outreach if you’re not making any progress. Sometimes people are just not interested (at least right now). You want to leave them before they get annoyed.

    However, recognize human behavior. People want what they can’t have, so gracefully letting the prospect know you’ll be stopping the outreach often triggers them to get in touch to continue the conversation, usually with a meeting.

    Keep in mind, if you’ve done this correctly you have them subscribed to your company blog and general email newsletter. You’ve made it clear that your company is uniquely positioned to help. You might have even done enough to create a referral source. I’d say that’s mission accomplished.

    But the real goal here is to create a sales opportunity. Now you can’t get anyone to do anything if they don’t have acute pain, you’re not talking to power and there’s no strategic fit between what you do and what they need help with.

    Assuming they have pain, you’re talking to power and there’s a strategic fit, these emails should move the prospect along in their buyer journey to get a meeting with your sales team. The rest is going to be up to them.

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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