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The 5 Prospecting Channels Your Sales Process Needs

6 min read
Updated Oct. 18, 2023
Published Sep. 15, 2017

Single channel prospecting is a thing of the past.

Here’s why. The fastest growing companies depend on multiple channels to boost connection rates. In 2016, TOPO’s Sales Development benchmark report revealed that 80% of high growth sales teams were using the triple touch method — sending an email, leaving a voicemail, and a LinkedIn InMail within minutes of each other.

But in a sea of emails, phone calls, and LinkedIn messages, it can be hard to stand out to your prospects. That’s why many sales organizations are expanding their campaigns with additional channels like video and direct mail. The increased popularity of these channels is quickly bringing the five touch prospecting method into being.

So with five touch types to incorporate into your sales process, what’s your best course of action? Let’s dive into how to build your campaigns around the five-touch method.

1. Email as the Campaign Foundation

Email still reigns as the most effective and efficient way to reach out to prospects. It’s the easiest way to provide valuable content to your prospect that triggers them to respond, making email an incredibly powerful channel within your sales campaigns.

Due to its robust nature, your email should be the cornerstone of your five-touch campaign. Your email’s primary purpose is to provide your prospect with information about your company, product, and industry. But your email can also support the other channels you use within your campaign. They will be the adhesive that keeps your entire campaign together.

When building out your cadence, schedule out your content-centric email templates three to five days apart (depending on your sales cycle). Then, plan additional email touches around the alternative channels that are in your cadence. If you connect with someone on LinkedIn, reference their profile in the next email you send. Follow a voicemail with an email that sums up the purpose for your call, and prompts the prospect to respond.

2. Calls to Boost Conversions

Getting a prospect on the phone is the best way to have an authentic, two-way conversation. The struggle most sales reps experience with calling prospects isn’t really about the conversation that takes place but making the connection in the first place. Some people even claim that the cold call is “dead” due to lack of connection rates.

But by incorporating call steps into a multi-channel cadence, the additional channels revitalize your call’s capabilities and increase overall conversion rates. Organizations that hit prospects with the combination of a voicemail immediately followed by an email have reported a 10% increase in email conversions.

To get the most out of your call steps within your cadence, always leave voicemails. Engagement platforms like Salesloft allow you to pre-record voicemail messages and drop them into calls when you don’t connect. Even if you don’t get in touch with the prospect, your message is out there, and you will follow it with an email. Later in your cadence, if the other channels have not provoked a response, set some time to war dial — an hour devoted to calls without voicemails aiming for connections.

3. Social Touch for Greater Awareness

As a standalone channel, social would fail miserably. The power of LinkedIn and social media in general stems from the ability to generate further awareness of your company and product. TOPO reported that one company reported zero responses to LinkedIn InMail messages, but then experienced a 30% increase in connection rates when they added a LinkedIn touch to their campaign.

Within a Salesloft cadence, social touches fall under “other” steps. This means that they take place outside of your standard actions, like emails and phone calls, but they are still an important step in your process. By incorporating social touches as a defined step within your cadence, you can log the activity that occurred (e.g., connected on LinkedIn). Then keep track of email response rates that follow your social touch to analyze increased awareness.

4. Video for Face Value

Prospects receive emails and are blown up by phone calls every day. But a personalized video adds a human touch and creative element to your standard process. Since technology has made it so simple to share videos, the personalized video is well on its way to becoming a common touch within campaigns.

With Salesloft, you can incorporate videos directly into your cadences with our Vidyard integration which makes it super easy to send personalized videos at scale. One best practice tip is to send a video with you holding up a whiteboard with the prospect’s name on it. Bring a lot of energy to the video as you discuss your product and call the prospect to further action. The next day email your prospect and ask them, “What did you think of the video?” If the video alone didn’t prompt a response, your persistence to leverage the second channel should encourage the prospect to interact.

5. Direct Mail, the Endearing Touch

The last channel to use within your five-touch campaign isn’t new at all. Yes, that’s right, snail mail is making a comeback. Sending prospects a letter or a tangible item in the mail delivers an exciting element to your campaign. Direct mail takes your campaign away from the prospect’s desk, keeping you and your product at the top of their mind throughout the day. Plus, let’s be honest, it’s really awesome to get something in the mail that’s not a bill.

While you can send a personalized note at any point in your sales process, kicking off a cadence with a direct mail send is the most effective use of this channel. A prospect who receives an item — whether it’s a baked good, relevant book, or branded swag — will be very quick to remember you when you start to email, call, or connect with them throughout the sales journey.

The phrase “strength in numbers” rings true even when it comes to your prospecting methods. By combining these five channels throughout your cadence, you deliver a more personalized and valuable buyer experience that will have your prospect jumping at the sale.

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