One thing I know about marketers: we optimize everything.
We optimize online ads, email messaging, landing page design… the list goes on. I love optimizing so much, my first boss gave me an Optimus Prime action figure and called it Optimize Prime instead! While this “always be optimizing” mindset makes our marketing better, it can sometimes lead us down an unproductive path in problem solving and prioritization.
Exhibit A, and the purpose of this post: When marketers generate lots of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), but none of them convert, we assume we need to optimize our lead scoring model.
We often miss the most obvious question of all, which is, “What does the lead’s journey look like once I hand it off to Sales?” Is there a cadence my reps are following? What does the sales script look like?
We need to work with Sales to optimize their process, too.
What is cadence & script, anyway?
A sales cadence is a defined series of touch points sales makes with leads. It can include phone calls, emails, social media activities, in-person meetings, direct mail outreach, or a mix of the above. Creating a cadence ensures leads aren’t being left behind and accelerates them through the funnel. Think of a sales cadence as a nurturing campaign on the sales side.
At LeadMD, our cadence includes a series of touch points across multiple roles in our organization. Our sales teams always have a forward-facing activity logged, our CEO contacts leadership at the lead’s organization, and our services team connects with the prospect on LinkedIn. This is all outlined in our sales playbook and is enforced with operational workflows in Marketo and Salesforce.
The sales script is what the rep is actually communicating to the lead. A script doesn’t have to be said verbatim. Instead, think of it as a guide to help sales stay on track. Typically, the script has language and messaging that reflects the company’s unique selling points. It also includes a series of statements to help sales reps overcome common objections.
Why don’t marketers typically care about Sales cadence?
Most often, it’s because Marketing and Sales are not aligned. Either Marketing doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to improve the sales process (I did my part by getting Sales the lead) or the sales team doesn’t want Marketing’s help. (Don’t overstep your boundaries, Marketing.) In both cases, departmental silos are preventing the sales funnel from being—wait for it—optimized.
The buyer’s journey should feel like one path—not two. It’s like a relay race. Each department has its part, but you can’t win the race without a proper handoff from one person (or team) to the next. Either the baton gets dropped or the transition isn’t smooth, which slows down the race time.
How do I get started?
The first thing to do is get familiar with what your sales team is currently doing. Do they already have a cadence and script? Poke around in your CRM to see how they manage their workflow. Sit with a few reps to actually witness their workflow.
If you have a platform where you can listen to call recordings, like ExecVision, listen to sales calls. If you don’t, ask sales to be a fly on the wall during their next call. Do this for all divisions, products, sales teams, etc. The more information you can gather, the better.
Once you’ve gathered this information, don’t get too eager with it. In my experience, you can’t just tell Sales you are going to write them a script. You should start small. Show them how you are going to tweak your existing marketing process based on what you learned from your shadowing experience. Show them you’re learning from them too, then start the conversation around messaging alignment.
Tools for optimizing Sales cadence & script
I wouldn’t be true to my Optimize Prime roots if I didn’t leave you with a few tips for optimization. You can accomplish a ton with a marketing automation tool and CRM alone, but there are always platforms that help make this process even better. Here are a few that come to mind.
Data Append Tools: The more a sales rep knows about a lead, the better. Ideally, this vendor will be integrated into the marketing stage to help with messaging and qualifying. Sales can then use this information to shape their cadence and messaging.
Sales Engagement Platform: The same way that Marketo helps marketers automate nurturing campaigns, tools like SalesLoft help reps operationalize their cadence. Make sure to choose a tool that integrates with your CRM so marketing has insight into the activities, too.
Provide consistent feedback: Call recording tools like ExecVision allow marketing and sales leadership to provide consistent feedback on sales calls. These tools also provide a way for reps to listen to their own calls, helping them reflect on strengths and areas for improvement.
Optimize & Transform
These are just the basics to get you started. If you love optimizing your systems and processes, set your sights on cadence and script. By working closely with Sales to ensure buyers are on a smooth, unified path from end to end, you’ll definitely be making your marketing better. And isn’t that why we optimize everything to begin with?