Building B2B Prospecting Sequences that Drive Results

24 Jun 24

Prospecting in business-to-business (B2B) sales has transformed significantly over the years.

As technology evolves, so do the strategies used by sales professionals to reach potential clients. Today, a multi-channel approach is essential to engaging prospects effectively. This blog will explore how prospecting has changed and provide best practices for creating successful B2B prospecting sequences.

How Prospecting Has Changed

Twenty-five years ago, prospecting was predominantly phone-based. Salespeople were expected to make 50 calls daily—that was the playbook. In some cases, enterprising sales reps supplemented their phone-based efforts by sending out letters, adding a personal touch in hopes of standing out.

The advent of email revolutionized prospecting. Salespeople could now reach a larger audience with less effort. However, as email usage grew, so did the volume of junk emails in prospects' inboxes. According to a 2021 report by Statista, the number of emails sent and received per day worldwide reached approximately 319.6 billion, up from 205 billion in 2015. This flood of emails led to a decline in effectiveness, as prospects became overwhelmed and more selective about which emails they opened.

Today, the rise of social media, including LinkedIn, and the shift from traditional phone-based communication to virtual meetings and texting have further changed the prospecting landscape. Buyers are no longer waiting for your phone call, assuming they still use a business phone.

The main challenge facing sales teams today is prospecting in an environment where buyers’ attention is fragmented among online platforms. This shift necessitates a multi-channel approach to prospecting, engaging prospects where they spend their time. That means prospecting across various channels, including phone calls, voicemails, emails, personal videos, social media outreach, text messages, and in-person events. According to LinkedIn's 2022 State of Sales report, sales professionals who use multiple channels are 82% more likely to achieve their targets than those who rely on a single channel.

Best Practices for Creating Multi-Channel Sequences

Modern prospecting techniques are built around the sequence—a series of activities designed to engage, nurture, and convert prospects into meetings, leveraging multiple channels to maximize reach and engagement.

Here are some best practices for creating successful B2B prospecting sequences:

  1. Personalize Your Outreach
    Personalization is critical to standing out in a crowded market. Use data and insights to tailor your messages to each prospect's specific needs and interests. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Addressing prospects by name, referencing their company, and mentioning relevant industry trends can significantly improve your response rates.

  2. Timing and Frequency
    Striking the right balance between persistence and annoyance is crucial. Research by TOPO, now Gartner, a sales research and advisory firm, indicates that the optimal number of touches in a prospecting sequence is between 8 and 12. Spread these touchpoints over several weeks to avoid overwhelming prospects while maintaining consistent engagement.

  3. Incorporate Value-Driven Content
    Provide value at every stage of the sequence. Share industry insights, case studies, whitepapers, and other valuable resources that address your prospects' challenges and pain points. This positions you as a thought leader and builds trust with potential clients.

  4. Utilize Automation Tools
    One of the most significant challenges of using complex prospecting sequences is managing all the activities engineered into your sequence. For example, if you design an eight-touch sequence (see the example below) and then sequence 50 prospects, you will have up to 400 activities to manage. Leverage sales automation tools to help schedule and track touchpoints, send personalized emails, and monitor engagement. Automation can save time and ensure that no prospect falls through the cracks.

Example of a Multi-Channel Sequence

Here’s an example of an effective multi-channel prospecting sequence consisting of eight touches over a two-week period:

  • Day 1: Send a personalized email introducing yourself and your company.
  • Day 2: Follow up with a phone call. If unanswered, leave a voicemail mentioning your email.
  • Day 4: Send a LinkedIn connection request with a brief message referencing your email and call.
  • Day 6: Email a valuable resource, such as a whitepaper, case study, or research report.
  • Day 8: Make another phone call to discuss the resource shared.
  • Day 10: Email a personal video message addressing the prospect's specific needs.
  • Day 13: Make another follow-up phone call.
  • Day 14: Send a final follow-up email summarizing the benefits and offering a meeting.

There is no one-size-fits-all perfect sequence. You must experiment and see what works best for you based on your target prospects and sales environment.


The landscape of B2B prospecting has evolved significantly over the past 25 years. While phone-based outreach was once the norm, the rise of hyper-connected buyers has necessitated a multi-channel prospecting approach. You can create effective prospecting sequences that engage and convert potential clients by diversifying your channels, personalizing your outreach, and providing value-driven content. As technology continues to evolve, staying adaptable and innovative in your prospecting strategies will be key to success.


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