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Mastering Signal-Based Selling: 4 Guiding Principles for Sales and Marketing Leaders

Traditional mass cold emailing and calling have become ineffective in today's saturated market. Signal-based selling offers a targeted approach, enabling sales teams to engage prospects at the right moment with relevant outreach. By leveraging key signals—such as web visits, webinar attendance, and social posts—this guide will help you transform your sales strategy and achieve better engagement and results. But how to get started?

🏁 Start with Intuitive Playbooks

Begin with a couple of very prescriptive and intuitive playbooks and involve 1-2 sales reps. Source your first opportunity and build a success story from there. Create FOMO within your sales team, motivating everyone to want access to these prescriptive playbooks.

📥 Achieve Inbox Zero

Whether you practice Inbox Zero with your email is a separate matter, but for signal-based prospecting, a play should only surface as many people as a seller can handle in a day. Clearing the inbox is motivating. If your play is unmanageable in a day:

  • Your audience might be too broad. Make the audience more specific by e.g. focusing on best fit companies only, narrow down time frames, etc.
  • Ensure the seller's actions are well prescribed and semi-automated (e.g., pre-written sequences, automated tracking).

🧮 Apply the 80/20 Principle

80/20 rules are everywhere, here is an important one for signal based prospecting. 80% of a seller's actions should be based on person-level plays, while 20% can be account-level plays that require more research effort.

  • Person-level plays surface the right people to contact in the moment and link the respective message to them.
  • Account-level plays, which require research and finding the right person, can be super impactful but daunting. A clear step-by-step prospecting guide and automation (e.g., acquiring additional contacts) are key.

📧 The Message Matters

With abundant data available, it’s easy to create complex rules to identify specific personas. But without a specific, relevant message, even the best playbook becomes unusable. We recommend starting with the message (e.g., a good email or LinkedIn message) and working backward to identify the right audience for that message. A good message should help the buyer find a solution to their problem rather than just sound good for the seller.

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