The Agoge Sequence - Your Guide to Increase Response Rate
December 10th 2021
Outbound Sales
agoge sequence
Movies have depicted sales floors as managers instructing reps to win and win immediately. What is your takeaway? Fail faster! Dial for deals! Now or never! With the evolution in sales, the techniques of sales outreach also continue to change. Contemporary sales requires a strategy to ensure consistent outcomes. Planning how and where to reach prospects can be challenging, but techniques and best practices can simplify this process.

Successful reps know that meaningful coverage of the entire sales outreach process can lead to conversions. Planning for successful outcomes requires you to avoid cringe-worthy, spammy email blasts which get deleted instantly. Conducting outbound outreach can be planned using the agoge sequence.

Creating an Agoge Playbook

Designing an agoge playbook helps in structuring the process for SDRs. It is an essential part of outbound campaigns as it streamlines the way they communicate and build connections. Let’s look at the ground rules of an agoge playbook:

  1. Clarify or assign the priority of prospects based on the various titles. Clearly define which prospects deserve what level of attention.
  2. Keep your content clean. Avoid links, attachments, images, or videos as they can impact the outbound email deliverability.
  3. A/B test to finalize subject lines, body, etc. Successful playbooks are quick in adopting changes.

Steps to Create A Complete Playbook:

  • Step 1: Prioritizing accounts
  • Your choice of sequence will differ based on the priority of accounts. You need to identify your primary prospects. You can run campaigns for your competitors’ customers. You will know who is buying from them and what is their market behavior. It’ll further help you understand whether they will buy from you.

  • Step 2: Prioritize prospects within accounts
  • You can start by defining the prospect titles and breaking them into sectors based on likely engagement. The matrix will help SDRs with lesser experience too. You can segment the departments that align with your buyer persona. Organize them based on the hierarchical order of importance — from the most to least significant.

    You can assign the respective job titles to their department and arrange from 'high priority' to 'no priority'.

    • High priority 🟩: prospects capable of immediate opportunity
    • Lower priority 🟨: prospects that may be closer to immediate opportunity
    • No priority 🟥: prospects that you do not engage

    Here’s a sample of how a completed matric should look to you:

    Agoge Matric
  • Step 3: Perfect sequence for high priority prospects
  • The agoge sequence is most effective as it addresses the primary issue of being ignored. It uses the triple touch approach, including email, social media, and call — all within the first day. It builds the sequence, especially for high-priority prospects.

    Agoge Sequence for High Priority Prospects
    • Sequence to apply: This row mentions the exact name of the sequence to apply for each prospect.
    • Time to allocate: It highlights how much time an SDR should spend on each strategy.
    • Expected SQLs: Here is an estimate of the number of SALs or Sales Accepted Leads, qualified meetings.
    • No. of Target Prospects: Provides a range of prospects an SDR can manage within each sequence during the allotted time. For the agoge sequence, 80-120 is a suitable range. The automated sequence is completely automated unless an email is opened more than two times, after which a call is queued.
    • Criteria: It explains the criteria for assigning a sequence to a prospect. The green pillar is for prospects within the green matrix above, yellow for those marked in yellow, and the hit list for prospects qualified to take a meeting over a call.

    We will further discuss the agoge sequence elaborately but before that, let’s see what else is essential.

  • Step 4: Create a sequence for low priority prospects
  • Agoge Sequence for Low Priority Prospects

    The sequence for low priority prospects from the above matrix removes time-consuming tasks like phone calls. You can focus your attention on high-priority prospects to close more deals. Maintaining a load balance between high and low priority prospects is essential to prioritize your tasks consistently.

  • Step 5: Stay prepared for referral sequence
  • If turned into customers, referred prospects have 18% lower churn than customers acquired through other channels. ALWAYS ASK for a referral if a prospect responds with “I'm not the right person.” You can inform the referencing person in the email to save time and appear more relevant.

    Agoge referral Sequence
  • Step 6: Best practices for follow-ups
  • “Let's connect after 3 months” is a shared sales objection that you can easily tackle with the follow-up sequence. You can reply to such emails immediately and then follow this sequence to restart the conversation. If the prospect doesn’t respond via email, you can catch up through a phone call and continue with the following sequence:

    Best practices for follow up

    The follow-up sequence may provide immediate results, but it ensures consistency and nurturing with minimal effort.

    We’ve covered all the possible sequences you should know about to create a complete playbook. Now, let’s dive deep into the agoge sequence to target and convert the ‘high priority’ prospects.

What is the Agoge Sequence?

Agoge sequence is a widely used outbound outreach method that uses a simple, formula-based approach to increase conversion rates. It uses specialized messaging and a combination of specific touchpoints like social media, email, and calls to drive engagement. It helps you engage even those prospects who may have never heard of your business before. The sequence focuses on short, personalized touchpoints to maximize results for your effort. It uses automated cadences to continue the conversation going and drive results without additional inputs.

Agoge Sequence

How Does Agoge Sequence Work?

Create A Cadence

Agoge sequence is all about strategically contacting prospects multiple times through various sources for quick response. The agoge cadence is built to keep the human touch alive. The idea is to keep you top of their mind and your messages at the top of their inbox throughout the cadence.

Create an Impression with the First Email

The secret power of the agoge sequence builds its success off the first two sentences of the first email sent to prospects. It personalizes the first sentence to get the prospect's attention. You need to mention a unique attribute of the prospect, their role, or company. Acquiring such details requires minimum time and effort, and implementation can result in better outcomes. The idea is to show that you care about them individually instead of sending generic sales pitches.

Best practices for follow up

Start with the triple touch approach: Custom email, call & LinkedIn personal message

It will help you

  • get recognized
  • acquire early traction and prolonged benefits like increasing the chance of getting a reply
  • repurpose one personalization 10 times throughout the sequence

Best Practices for Personalization:

  • Acquire information from their company website and blogs
  • Use LinkedIn to get their personal experiences
  • Ensure a human touch from the starting to stand out
  • Avoid the cynical and generic cold email approach

Move to the next sentence

The personalized first sentence should be followed by a sentence that speaks about the value proposition of your product or service. You can help in solving the prospect's existing challenges with your product or service. It can be followed by a supporting fact, statistic, or even a brief testimonial.

Conclude with a call-to-action

The call-to-action will determine whether the prospect will engage after reading your email. It needs to be clear and compelling. Here are a few examples:

  • A meeting request
  • Link to relevant resource
  • A webinar invitation

Try Reminder, Follow up or Reply Emails

Traditional best practices don't include reply emails as a part of their outreach sequence. However, according to the agoge sequence, reminding your prospects with a customized sentence, for example, "Just checking if you got this…," "Any thoughts?" can increase the response rate. Ensure the reply email is short and original.

Pro tip: Keep the previously sent personalized email visible to get another chance to be viewed.

Best practices for follow up

Emails at Middle Level

You can use a similar approach like opening emails; however, the first email is based on a template and sent automatically. You can draft a generic email with clear value propositions for the middle email and ask for a meeting at a specific date and time. The following two emails are replies that will follow the same strategy as the first email replies.

Connect on Social Media

To further continue the conversation, you can effectively reach out to prospects on social media. You can keep the messaging similar to the emails but reach out to them on their preferred social media channel. Suppose your prospect is active on LinkedIn, you can have multiple touchpoints like sending a connection request, a message, profile view, InMail, and so on to keep them thinking about you and your product or service.

Make A Phone Call

You need to use the first two lines of your first email to open your call script. It enables you to make the most personalized phone call to your prospects. It opens the conversation to understand your prospects' pain points and how they are currently addressing them. You can identify opportunities and even get a chance to explain how your product or service can help. You portray yourself as a trusted resource, and the value proposition will be hyper-targeted for their pain points.

Break-up Email - The Final Attempt

When you think it's time to move on, the break-up email can be the last attempt in the sequence that can encourage your prospect to reply. If your sequence has reached this point, try something different that you didn't try previously. The purpose of this email is to get your prospect's attention. It is a hail mary where you may not gain, but you will lose by taking the risk. We suggest the following techniques:

  • Add humor to break the tension or bring down the prospect's guard.
  • Instead of beating around the bush, directly tell them the purpose of reaching out.
  • Share your experience as a sales rep and the quota you're trying to fill.

If you get a reply or reaction from a prospect, you must

  • Keep your composure.
  • Look for their contact details in the email signature.
  • Thank them for their reply over a call (and apologize calmly if the reply wasn't pleasant) and move the conversation ahead.
  • Bring out the value proposition.
  • Ask for a meeting.

When done right, the agoge sequence claims to drive 3x growth. Complementing your sales outreach efforts with a sales engagement tool can simplify the process. You can access the entire sales cadence and follow best practices in your industry. Acquiring leads is not the end of the sales reps' responsibilities. Once you've secured the relationships, you need to nurture them. You can encourage referrals, testimonials, case studies, and other relevant resources to keep the relationship going.

Richa Sharma
Content Marketer
Richa Sharma
Content Marketer
Sales Best Practices
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