Timing is a key factor at every aspect of the modern sales funnel. From reaching out to new leads to finalizing details on a proposal and closing the sale — sales is a delicate balance of finely tuned messaging and great timing.
So how can anyone practice perfect sales timing, all of the time? In this post we’ll look at five sales tips related specifically to timing, and how email scheduling can help execute.
Always communicate on your recipient’s schedule
This one may seem obvious, but it’s easy to catch ourselves making assumptions about our recipient’s schedules. Just because you’re in B2B, the leads you’re contacting for the first time may not work 9-5. Business hours may be a good starting point for knowing when to hit send (or schedule), but digging deeper is what will separate your approach from the competition. For highly valuable leads, check recent Twitter updates (if possible) to see if they’re out of the office. Every piece of information can help increase the chance that you reach your recipients at a time when they are more likely to respond.
Taking this idea one step further, scheduling outbound emails makes it easy to strategically personalize your message around industry events. A practical example we’ve seen used is for leads that were out of the office at a tradeshow. Here, an email scheduled for a few days after the show is over (with messaging that mentions the show and their company’s presence) is sure to set your email apart. Email scheduling makes it easy to replicate this strategy with an entire list of trade show leads!
Avoid being too pushy (or too eager)
When it comes to responding or following up — the sooner the better, right? Generally yes, but not always. There are situations where you may want to delay your response (i.e. negotiations), or to spread your follow ups out to avoid seeming too pushy. In these situations your timing can say a lot about your intentions, so plan accordingly.
In another common situation, you may already have drafted a proposal or don’t want to give the impression that you’re sending your lead a generic template. Schedule that proposal out a few hours — whenever falls in line with with your messaging and when you committed to have the the document ready.
Keep your promises
No piece of software will truly keep you accountable, but email scheduling makes it easier for you to accommodate your leads’ requests without needing to go out of your way (or with Bananatag, without needing to leave your inbox).
Often times when reaching out to leads you may encounter a situation where a potential customer isn’t ready today, but asks that you get in touch at a later date. Perhaps they’re waiting on their new budget or about to go on vacation for two weeks. A phrase that sales people often hear goes something like, “This sounds great, but can you get in touch next month?” Now you can check that follow up off your list by scheduling an email while the conversation is fresh in your mind, and keep your commitment without needing to remind yourself to follow up.
Figure out what times are best for closing
Great sales involves creating more predictable situations around how leads are interacting with your emails. Timing plays into this as it can help develop a consistent strategy when it comes to leveraging work schedules and communication preferences in the industries you’re targeting.
Perhaps Fridays are a good day to close your next customers (think pitching to a lead with pushing the benefit of them having one less thing to worry about deciding on next week). Or, maybe everyone’s out to lunch all afternoon at the end of the week. Knowing your audience is step one, but matching your messaging and your timing when closing can make the difference. Over time, a consistent approach to timing will help your business better understand your customers as well.
Manage your own schedule effectively
Whether you’re a lone sales rockstar that handles the entire funnel or a specialist in one aspect of your company’s sales funnel, your productivity determines how much time you have for everything else your job is about. We love email scheduling because it allows us to front-load our work week and often times free up an entire day to let our scheduled emails do their thing and focus on finding opportunities to improve other aspects of our outreach. Perfect timing always starts with optimizing your own schedule, and great sales people develop their own habits to how they both manage their own workflow and time their outbound communications.
If you’re not already using Bananatag, download our email tracking and scheduling plugin for free and schedule your way to legendary timing in sales!