Congratulations, you’ve started a sales acceleration program. This stage of growth is an important one for your team to nail, as it can dramatically enhance your ability to grow. It’s also one where, if done poorly, it can result in costly setbacks, and in some cases, even sink a company.
So today, we’re going to talk about the pitfalls of ramping up sales acceleration.
Sales acceleration is a concept old enough to be established as common practice in the market, but still new enough that there remain a lot of questions about how to best execute it. If you’re just getting started and are looking for best practices for writing sequences, establishing appropriate touch cadences or selecting proper metrics, I highly recommend Trish Bertuzzi’s “Sales Acceleration Playbook.”
When companies are being sunk by their sales acceleration process, it can literally stop the entire business from getting anything done. Emails sent from your company’s domain can trigger algorithms that look for phishing attempts and spam and permanently block your domain. The way you configure and execute these sends can protect you from being incorrectly and irreparably lumped into these categories.
Here are my key tips for running a successful campaign:
Skip the Attachments
The goal of a good intro email is to introduce yourself or your representative, explain why you’re reaching out, and get your prospect’s attention. Keep this email short and concise. Bombarding them with – and expecting them to read – an attached whitepaper or report isn’t just bad for deliverability; it’s bad sales acceleration. Servers will block emails with too many attachments because they appear to be spam. A few links will get through the algorithms, but don’t go overboard. Save the attachments for when your prospects respond.
Sales acceleration tools come with built-in throttling mechanics in place. As you start your sales acceleration process, slowly ramp up the number of emails coming from each rep. Servers will flag as suspicious any senders who jump from 20 emails a day to more than 500 in a 24-hour span. It’s best to gradually ramp up your sales acceleration motions.
Another helpful tip is to remember to include your follow-ups when calculating how many messages you’ve sent. It’s not as simple as adding 25 people to a sequence and counting it as just three emails. You’re actually adding 75 sends that are spread out. Keep it at or under 500 sends total per day.
Watch Your Bounces
You’re going to get some bounces, and that’s okay. Some sales acceleration tools automatically track bounces, and they require no manual effort. Adding an email verification and list cleaning tool to your tech stack that can stop bounces before they happen is critical. Know where you’re getting your data from, and make sure to clean your lists and don’t reuse old data. It may be tempting, but don’t dig up old and potentially inaccurate leads when you need new leads.
Watch Your Opt-Outs
Put a system in place for tracking opt-outs by campaign. Use metrics to determine each campaign’s opt-out rate and abort the ones doing poorly. Make extra sure to never email someone who has opted out – doing so can inflame people in your target market and lead to a negative brand reputation. Create and refine processes with customer-facing reps to make sure your organization never misses an opt-out.
Privacy laws are always expanding. How you stay compliant differs based on the regions to which you’re selling. Best practices include: providing an opt-out link in all of your emails and tailoring your messaging based on persona or industry to establish the reason you’re reaching out. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the laws, so that when – not if – someone threatens to report your company, you can confidently assess the situation and know that you’re abiding by privacy laws.
Avoiding these potential pitfalls positions you well to successfully scale your business. Your go-to-market strategy will undoubtedly be influenced by the size of your operation, the technologies you use, and the conditions in your market.
There’s no one-size-fits-all motion for scaling sales, and how you grow to meet these challenges will be unique to you and your business, but staying vigilant and not making mistakes will ensure you build momentum as you grow.