How to use Social Selling Touches in your Sales Cadence

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Social Selling Show Hosts:

  • Daniel Disney is the King of Social Selling, a best selling author and keynote speaker. Daniel is also the founder of The Daily Sales.
  • Will Barron is the founder of Salesman.org where he helps B2B sales professionals master modern sales in just 28 days.

Transcription:

Will Barron:

Welcome to the Social Selling Show. My name is Will Barron. I’m the founder of salesman.org. And joining me, co-host to this show, the king of social selling, Daniel Disney. Daniel, how’s it going, mate?

Daniel Disney:

It’s going very well Will, excited to be back and digging into our next episode. This background shouldn’t be around for much longer. I’ve got some exciting furniture coming in the next week or two to turn this into the new Social Selling HQ. So hopefully in a couple of episodes time, we’ll be in a much more settled instead of box chaotic area. But excited to be back, Will.

Will Barron:

We should probably reveal the curtain a little bit, we do batch some of these episodes. So Daniel hasn’t been lazy if you see this episode a few weeks after the previous one, because we talked about you moving weeks ago now and anyone who follows you on social media as well, which will be a reasonable percentage of the audience, right? They might have seen that you’re moving house. I don’t know you did a LinkedIn post about it as well. So Daniel isn’t being lazy, we just batch some of these episodes together so they come out a few weeks after each one airs. But with that, I couldn’t get a good transition in the Daniel. I failed there slightly. We’re going to talk about cadences in this effort. I thought the episode podcast timelines I could together, but I couldn’t. We’re going to talk about cadences.

Will Barron:

Now I’m interested here in a few points to pick your brains on where social selling fits in with a more traditional sales cadence. And then cadence is on social media. Whether that be on LinkedIn, Twitter, wherever else as well, wherever we can find our potential customers, whether that’s its own conversation in its own right. But to get started, can you just give us an idea for someone who isn’t familiar with that word, cadence, perhaps someone like myself in medical device sales, who sold pretty much in person in field sales his whole career, what does cadence mean, especially in the world of selling via the internet?

Daniel Disney:

Cadence Will, it’s essentially a process. It’s a series of activities you do throughout the sales process, depending on which parts of it to either prospect or again, through any other parts of the sales process. So a common sales cadence around prospecting would be, maybe you try them on cold call, then you leave a voicemail, then you follow up by connecting on LinkedIn, then you send them an email. We’ll dig into all this today. But that is a cadence. It is a process. There are a lot of companies that don’t have a cadence out there. They don’t follow any guidance. And it’s very much just shooting in the wind as such. And the reality is once you have some structure, you start to see generally good increases in results. So yes, it’s a process. And obviously LinkedIn is a new addition to that, which a lot of companies aren’t sure where it fits in.

Will Barron:

Okay. So multiple things here, but we’ll start with this. In 2021, as we record this, when sales is becoming less of this art and perhaps more the science and it was probably a science all along, but we’d like to think of ourselves as these people with gift of the gab and we can communicate effectively and we’ve got great influence skills. As some of that moves to one side for the science of selling, which people who’ve been scaling sales teams have known for decades. And I know you know Aaron Ross. Now I’ve had Aaron Ross on the salesman podcast a bunch of times to talk about the science of selling. Do we need a cadence? That was a long winded way of teeing up the question. But are we doing ourselves a disservice if we not using a cadence of some kind. Some documented playbook for ourselves and our teams?

Daniel Disney:

I do think we do, but I think of cadence is very much like scripts. If you follow it too closely, if you are literally reading off the paper and following it, you run the risk of becoming too robotic and missing a lot of opportunities. So I prefer to use things like scripts and cadences as guidance, as reminders, as prompts of things you should be doing. But yeah. You need to find that sweet spot. I wouldn’t not use them. I wouldn’t want to follow them robotically, but you need to use them as a guidance because you might forget, “Oh, do you know what? I didn’t try connecting on LinkedIn. Oh, I didn’t try sending this,” or “I forgot to leave a voice…” Sometimes we forget. It’s a natural thing. When you’re in your sales zone, you’ve got your list of prospects to call these things can help provide support and guidance. So, that would be my personal view on it.

Will Barron:

For sure. Totally agree. And as we covered in the previous episode, if you’re qualifying your potential customers effectively, then there shouldn’t be that, obviously everyone’s an individual, all that lovey-dovey stuff, but there shouldn’t really be that many conflicting variables between them. And so a cadence that will work relatively well for one individual, one company, one account, should work relatively well for another. And so I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have… Again, I agree with what you’re saying. A at least a formal playbook then when someone says, “Hey, I’m ready to buy. You don’t need to go through the rest of the steps, the process,” you can be somewhat flexible with it. But I think there’s real value in having that.

Will Barron:

And it also allows you as an individual sales person, if you’re an individual contributor, but more so that the company as a whole, if you can document this, whether it’s a CRM, whether you do it on a spreadsheet, however you do it. Allows you to build IP or intellectual property. It allows you to say, “Hey, I know pretty much for certain,” barring any global pandemics and economic downturns which have been through. Barring all that stuff. That if I outreached 400 people this week, 100 people this week, I’m going to get so many meetings. So many leads, so many sales, so many deals commission at the end of it, which I know for me takes a lot of the stress and the pressure out of sales. Because I know that I’ve just got to get my head down and grind out these last few calls or emails or connection requests on LinkedIn. And hopefully, everything goes smoothly. Barring any global pandemic, the over end of things is going to be absolutely fine.

Will Barron:

Is there anything you would add on to that front? Because I feel like this is.. When we talk about cadences, when I think about cadences, I think it has as a framework, as an opportunity to reduce stress, even though it might be a little bit more work up front.

Daniel Disney:

Yeah. I completely agree Will. I think there are a minority, a tiny minority of people that might work better without that type of structure. But the vast majority of people, even those that don’t want to admit it probably will work better and more effectively and be more successful with a little bit of structure. So yeah, I agree with you 100%.

Will Barron:

For sure. Okay. So this is the big question I feel. Is there a cadence where we go from logging into LinkedIn, deal closed, without having to essentially leave LinkedIn? Or is LinkedIn and social selling part of a larger series of cadences perhaps and it’s a piece of a puzzle as opposed to the whole pie in its own right?

Daniel Disney:

For the majority of sales people, LinkedIn is a piece of the puzzle. It is a slice of the pie. It is part of lots of other components. One important thing I think is important to mention Will, is that a lot of people segment LinkedIn and social selling just to prospecting. And the reality is LinkedIn and social selling can and should be used at every single part of the sales process from prospecting through to delivery, through to account management or referral. There was no part of the sales process that LinkedIn can not have a benefit. We can focus on prospecting in this episode today. But it’s important to understand LinkedIn has its place everywhere. So yes, I think LinkedIn should be a part of the wider puzzle.

Daniel Disney:

However, on our previous episode, when we talked about qualifying, we did talk about how some people stay on LinkedIn. And so there will be a minority. And for me, it’s probably around five, maybe 10% of my business and opportunities happen entirely on LinkedIn. It’s a small percentage. Then there’ll be a cadence on LinkedIn in its own right, to take you through that process. So they’re all both of them, but the majority will sit alongside all the other parts of sales and prospecting.

Will Barron:

And I feel like that’s almost an even more interesting conversation because I don’t really do any prospecting on LinkedIn. And you probably tell me off on this and give me a slap around head. But I tend to do… And this is what works for us, right? Cold emails. And then I do more what a marketer would call, I don’t know if we couldn’t call it the same in sales, but what a marketer would call nurturing on LinkedIn. So I’ll do cold outreach and typically called email. If I’ve got the person’s number and I’ve got an [inaudible [00:08:44] I will cold.. It’s not quite a cold call. I wouldn’t just cold call someone out of the blue, but if I’ve got an in, if I’ve just been on meeting with the team, wherever I’ll give them a call.

Will Barron:

Well then LinkedIn for me typically, my cadence is a cold email, phone as quick as possible. If I can’t get that phone call, add them on LinkedIn, have a chat with them, drop them messages, send them links to articles. If we create content because typically, without going too far into the marketing side of things, a lot of questions I get from salespeople who are potential prospects for our training course over at salesman.org, I got a lot of questions, whether that come in the form of objection or whatever it is.

Will Barron:

And then we’ll do a podcast or an article to answer that question, or I’ll answer on the weekly live chat that we do, then I’ll send them the link to the article, whatever it is. And I tend to do that on LinkedIn rather than clog up their inbox because it’s… And also people then tend to share it on LinkedIn as well. You’re almost poking them a little bit to be like, “Hey, I’m just giving you this tonne of value. I’ve shared on a platform where you can very easily share it onwards and make me look good.” And there’ll be a virality in there as well. So I’m glad you said this because I typically use LinkedIn as a way to nurture leads as opposed to prospect or close them at the end of the funnel.

Daniel Disney:

So that’s a great way. There is a percentage of my business that was done in a similar context through nurturing. So I might connect with, more probably for the trading side of my business, the LinkedIn Social Selling Training, I will connect with target prospects. So VPs of sales, sales directors, sales managers, and then it will be a case of almost personal brand nurturing where I’ll be sharing content regularly. And then as an example like yesterday, I shared an article focused around LinkedIn messaging within that article is a video of me doing a talk and promotes it. And that tends to prompt whether it’s after a few weeks months, whatever it may be, people to then come in when they’re ready. So that’s a great process that works very well.

Daniel Disney:

But certainly for things like with the daily sales, I will do more outbound prospecting where I will target, find potential prospects. I will then connect to them, personalise the message, send a follow-up message to start a conversation, usually including some statistics or some numbers. And then usually take that into a Zoom conversation or an email and progress it through to a point of hopefully closing it. So, yeah. And that’s the whole thing, LinkedIn and social can fit into so many different parts of a cadence and a process. And like you say, it can be its own process as well. It’s just understanding and using it in all the ways that make sense for you, your product, your industry and your common traditional sales process.

Will Barron:

For sure. Do you have a defined cadence that you can share with us? And from my perspective, I don’t really have a defined cadence over than what I’ve shared of the gist of things. We don’t really use it. We use HubSpot CRM. But I’m not particularly religious until the lead is super qualified and I’m in the account and I’m doing account-based selling within the decision makers. So opens a lot points. I’m not as focused on, I’m not as religious and as a dead-set with cadences. Quite contrary to what I said at the top of the show of this, I would [inaudible [00:12:03]. Do you have a set cadence that you can share with us or are you more like me of, I don’t want to say doing it by feel but I feel like I’ve just got enough experience now that I know when and when to reach out as opposed to having to write it down and get a ping from some software.

Daniel Disney:

Yeah. I’m very similar to you Will, I’ve worked in sales for quite a long time now. And so a lot of it is just ingrained. It’s just natural habits. But just to give an insight, the most common process I use, certainly from a daily sales perspective will be search connects with target prospect, send prospecting message, usually written. If they don’t reply to the written one follow it up with an audio voice notes or potentially a video. The goal of that is to usually get an email address to which I will send more information via email with the goal of then looking to arrange a Zoom call or a phone call, that conversation usually has a follow up email that eventually will then either have a follow up call or potentially go to close or present solution. That’s probably one of the most common cadences, but it’s not something I have written on my wall or written on a piece of paper. It is something that, again, having worked in sales for a long time, it’s something I’ve used for so many years now.

Will Barron:

Have we just been massive hypocrites? Preaching the importance of the science, well I was preaching it. I don’t want to put words in your mouth. But I was preaching the science of selling and having numbers and then building your own intellectual property on the back of you know that this, this and this will lead to… 1, 2, 3 will lead to X. Have I and somewhat you just been a massive hypocrite here, Daniel?

Daniel Disney:

That’s a fair assessment, Will. I mean, to be clear, we were clear to say that it’s a guidance. It is something to help you. And like with all scripts, how long do you have to look at a script before you memorised it before you know it? And I think I’m sure it’s the same for you will having used cadences and processes for so many years now, I’m using a cadence, you are using a cadence, we’re just using it in a much more natural habit based way. Whereas if we hadn’t used cadences before you do need to start with something.

Daniel Disney:

So I know for a lot of people listening to this, they may be SDRs AEs. They may have a cadence, but it may still be relatively new to them. Yes. Following a process and having that structure is important. But as you progress through your sales career a lot of this is going to become second nature and it will become a natural thing. That’s what happens in sales. So yeah. Maybe slightly hypocritical with our passion around cadences at the start. But I do think it’s fair to say, as you start to work in sales for a long time, a lot of this does become second nature.

Will Barron:

Do you have any, where it’s informal in that you want to mention the gist of the companies or formal where you want to mention the actual companies or the software recommendations of how to manage a cadence? So for example, outreach.io . I’ve worked with them on different things in the past, just to be clear. So maybe I’m somewhat biassed. But they have email cadences nailed, locked down within their software. And I don’t know how well, if at all that integrates with LinkedIn, for example, if we want to get pinged to send a message or ultimately the message of in LinkedIn, do you have any recommendations or thoughts on managing the cadence process, so that we can automate some of it as opposed to having to rely on our own brains as we’re doing we’ve experienced or relying on a CRM to be texting us or pinging us off, “You need to do this. You need to do that”?

Daniel Disney:

We also lucky Will to live in an age where we have these tools because I can remember selling in a world where none of these tools existed and I’m a huge advocate for them. Outreach is fantastic. SalesLoft is fantastic. VanillaSoft is fantastic. They’re all great at helping streamline the cadence process. And as you say, we are human. So we make a lot of mistakes. Whereas having things automated can help win opportunities you otherwise would have missed.

Daniel Disney:

When it comes to integrating LinkedIn into some of these cadences and certainly automation, my advice is tread carefully. It really comes down to what you’re selling and how you word it as to whether it will be successful to automate messaging on LinkedIn. For a lot of companies in my experience, it’s not a successful strategy. It works well on email. It can work well in lots of other areas, including content sharing, et cetera. But when it comes to prospecting and messaging, I often find that it’s better done as an individual in full control, in pilot mode than trying to autopilot it. But here are some industries products and if it’s worded the right way, then actually automating that can be successful.

Will Barron:

And we’ve done a previous show on automation, on LinkedIn, on social, which I’ll include in the show notes of this episode as well. And with that Daniel, do you think… because I agree. I can sniff out a automated LinkedIn message a mile away. And typically, I’ve now just started blocking people because I know once I get one automated message about some bullshit webinars that’s nothing to do with me. I’ve got one this morning, which is top of mind on a HR for car dealerships. Someone was just spamming me. Clearly my business has nothing to do with cars. And it’s clearly, I am the HR departments. You know what I mean? There isn’t anyone else to sell to it. We’re not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on HR software because it’s me dealing with it all for better or worse. So I’ve just started blocking the individuals.

Will Barron:

Do you think this will change over time though, of I’m sure 10 years ago, if you got an automated sales email, you’d be going, “Oh, what is this crap?” And you would just immediately be deleting it. Whereas I think it’s almost now more appropriate because we just get so many of them would just used to it. Do you think LinkedIn will forever remain at this platform where it’s culturally inappropriate to spam people? Or do you think we have enough spam eventually it’ll just become what email is now.

Daniel Disney:

I think you’re right, Will. But I think one of two things is going to happen. Number one, LinkedIn is going to change its inbox to include things like junk folders, et cetera, to help better manage it, which I think will help people accept more of that type of messaging. But the other thing that I’m seeing happening already is the software that is automating messaging is getting better at scraping information from a user’s LinkedIn profile to make it less spammy and slightly more personalised. And I’ve seen a few that are starting to just borderline convince even the most sceptical people that they are being sent by an individual. So I think the software’s going to become more advanced and create better messaging. But I also think LinkedIn as it continues to grow as a platform, we’ll adapt it in bulk. So yeah, I do think it will become more acceptable. But don’t use that as an excuse. You still should be putting your best efforts to have the best possible conversations. But yeah, I think you’re right.

Will Barron:

Yeah. I guess acceptable versus effective are two different things, right? And final thoughts on this. Just to wrap up the show here. Am I wrong? Tell me if I am. Because I might just be being thick here. I’ll be just doing something wrong on the platform. Does LinkedIn inbox suck? Is it just rubbish? Because I can’t seem to put messages in, I honestly don’t even know this is a feature, but messages in folders, the things I want to come back to, archive things. It just seems like it should just be a Gmail inbox at this point. And it seems slightly archaic. Am I just being thick, doing all wrong or does the inbox suck?

Daniel Disney:

To be clear Will, I love LinkedIn. [inaudible [00:19:41] works at LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn to all ends. But you are right, the LinkedIn is missing a lot of opportunity. And I am confident, probably more believers than I should in LinkedIn to change this. I do think they’re going to be updating it soon. But you are right. It is a bit of a mess. It is so challenging to keep on top of, to manage, to organise. But as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, obviously LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft now. And you shared some insights. We know there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes to elevate it as the amazing tool that it is in can be. So yeah, I’m pretty confident they will improve the inbox. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. But you are right. It is a challenge. More work than it should be.

Will Barron:

It sucks. Rubbish. And because of the lack of integrations, you can’t pull it out into something else. Because I would love to just have a one universal inbox. I can’t remember the software now. It’s the guys behind BaseCamp have come out with their own email software and it was in the news for shenanigans in the Apple App Store not too long ago. Well, they’re doing some of this of, on top of all the filters built into the actual email providers, whether it be Gmail, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use Gmail. Yahoo Mail, if that still exists. Hotmail, if that exists. I think a Hotmail might be outlook now by this point. But yeah. On top of all that they do their own email sorting and auto replies to things that come in regularly and things like this. It seems like if they could integrate with LinkedIn, maybe I’d spend less time on the platform, which is not ideal for LinkedIn, but I’d be much more effective in replying to my LinkedIn messages.

Will Barron:

Because I do reply to basically any of them, unless it’s really timely, unless someone really pats me on the back. Because a lot of my messages there, “Hey, Will. I really like the content, a big fan of the show, I just wanted to say hello.” Even though I don’t reply to all of them because you’re so cumbersome to work through the inbox. So I’m going to spend a bit of time this afternoon, going through it just to make sure I’m not missing anything. But yeah. It seems like be able to either drag messages out or just improving the platform itself seems like a no brainer at this point. Daniel, we have a sidetrack in here mates back to cadences. Is there anything else you want to add to wrap up the show with?

Daniel Disney:

Just a final thought, Will. It is important to embrace these tools and technologies in these processes. I’ve worked in managed a lot of salespeople that are very resistant to utilising things like cadences because they think they can do it themselves. They think they know everything. And trust me for most people, having a bit of structure can have a hugely positive impact on your results. So utilise cadences. And when it comes to LinkedIn and social selling, just appreciate LinkedIn has its part and pretty much every part of the sales process. So be keen to integrate it in any way that you can. And obviously everyone is different. So some people will stay purely on LinkedIn and you’ll have a cadence based on LinkedIn entirely. Others, you will integrate LinkedIn into probably what you’re doing already. But utilise it. Utilise the tools and technologies out there. And sell more, sell better.

Will Barron:

Sure. My final thoughts is just to renege slightly on us both being hypocrites here and not formally having a cadence and a software that we were both using. And we’re both small business owners as opposed to salesperson in a corporate job. So we’ve got other responsibilities and stuff. It is slightly different even though we are frontline salespeople with, I’m sure you write yourself a quota and we write ourselves a revenue goal each quarter that I’ve got to hit it. Me carrying the bag, right? But with that said, there’s still massive value in not just the efficiency improvements of going, “Well, I’ll try this cadence this month. I’ll try a slightly different cadence next month, which one was better. I’ll use that or moving forward.”

Will Barron:

There’s efficiency benefits in that, which are clearly valuable, especially if you’re a sales manager, a lead and you’re doing this across 5,500 people to source out what the best cadence is. But just be selfish about all of this. Stick your cadence in right now do that bit of extra work and it’s going to relieve so much stress and pressure three months, six months from now, depending on your deal size, when you know what’s coming in and what’s going to come out the other end, I would do it just from that perspective alone as an individual contributor as a sales person. So with that, that was Daniel Disney, the king of social selling. My name is Will Barron and I’m the founder of a salesman.org. And that was this week’s episode of the Social Selling Show.

Daniel Disney:

See you next time.

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