Book Review “Tactical Pipeline Growth” by Mark McInnes

Winning the outbound sales battle using cadence strategies

Q&A with Mark McInnes

1. What was the deciding moment to write this book?

About two years ago I came out of a meeting when my lawyer tried to reach me on my phone, left voicemails, sent email and even text messages about what he wanted to talk to me quite urgently. In his mind it would have been the most important thing for me at that day. His self-belief in reaching out to me across multiple channels made me realise that it is exactly the same mindset we need as salespeople when we deliver our message to the perfect client. By reverse engineering of that process especially around his urgency I came up with the idea to write about it a longer piece.

2. How long did it take from concept to launch?

From November 2019 to January 2020 I have done most of the writing, so it was pretty quick. Then I gave it to the editor who needed about the same time again; Bryan Szabo did a lot of great work, he was fantastic.

3. How did you perform the research to create the practical content?

A lot of it was based on what I have been training over time and certainly what I have been using on social. I had an informal cadence for a long time and now I created one that was more formal to reach out and start conversations with people on social. This means to follow them, share some content, create a bit of rapport, then invite for a connection, send them content, and then ask them for something deliberately after up to five touches. That was the most part of the practical piece before building out the rest of the cadence through the traditional channels such as phone and email.

4. What was the biggest challenge along the process?

First of all, it was the limited belief that I would not be able to create something worthwhile for people that they want to read. On a more practical note it was allocating the time to write. In many cases I was writing in the mornings three hours per day literally a couple of pages which was pretty tough. There were also days when I got out of bed at 5.30 and wrote 15 pages in 1.5 hours because I knew exactly what I wanted to get down. The other big challenge has been cutting pieces out when I wrote a whole bunch of content and realised it was great, but I wouldn’t be able to use any of it.

5. What was your own reflection along the journey?

As much as I challenge my clients about the value they deliver, it was self-realisation if the message I offer would be valuable for a segment of my audience. Sales leaders often tell me that most people don’t spend as much time and effort in researching new outbound strategies in my area of specialty which is quite easy to forget and a good point to reflect on.

6. What is the outcome in having this book available?

I never finished my marketing degree and don’t have those educational certificates. Writing a book is probably the next best thing to put the theories and strategies in a book which is going to be well received and people can take the content into practice. I’m super excited about the messages of people who tell me they used some of the strategies to get more meetings than before. That’s a great outcome!

7. What would you advise others about writing their book?

Just start writing, don’t think too much about the structure. There are a lot of guides about how to write a book, I read many of them and subscribed to a couple of people who helped me to figure out the best way how to do it. In hindsight just write a bunch of content and get an editor involved earlier than in my case because I wrote a lot of stuff we couldn’t use. When I thought it’s finished, I still had about 60% of the writing to go. The sooner you can get 30,000 words down and send it across to an editor, the better it will be as you can add the remaining 20,000 words on top of that afterwards.

Social Selling advocate at Hootsuite, strategic networker, book reviewer and leadership mentor. Writing here, on LinkedIn and on www.gunnarhabitz.com.au.

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