This article is part of the Gong Labs series, where I publish findings from our data research team. We analyze sales conversations and deals using AI, then share the results to help you win more deals. Follow me to read upcoming research.
How do you know whether your buyer is going to sign?
Do you trust your gut? Ask your reps? Maybe check your CRM?
Eyebrow-raising data is in, and you’ll never guess what the best indicator for closing deals is.
According to our data: The best indicator of whether your deal will close is email velocity.
Email velocity, or email frequency, is the number of emails exchanged between a sales rep and prospect over a given period of time.
Seems simple, right?
But there’s A LOT more to email velocity than meets the eye (or inbox).
And if you’re not taking this into consideration during the sales process, your forecast is at serious risk.
(PS: Stop any deal from slipping into the next quarter. Download our Closing Kit Master Class below.)
Here’s Where This Data Comes From
I’ll quickly explain how we process our data in case you’re new to Gong Labs.
We use data from an anonymized pool of sales interactions from our product users — web conference meetings, phone calls, and emails.
For this post, we analyzed over 500,000 sales emails sent during sales opportunities, then applied AI to isolate the sellers’ and buyers’ patterns with pinpointed algorithms.
Then we analyzed the deal outcomes (closed won/lost, sales cycle length, etc.) to find interesting trends … like what positively and negatively impacts deal success. From here, we drew additional insights and identified new closing sales techniques.
Okay, back to our story.
Here’s the Top Predictor for Winning Deals
Have you ever heard someone ask, “How engaged are they” in a forecast meeting?
What you’re really hearing is, “Does the prospect care?”
It’s easier to answer than “Will they buy?”
Which is why most sellers lean on engagement as a proxy.
But engagement is subjective and asking about it only tends to elicit stories about the deal.
There’s nothing there you can really trust in terms of predictions.
That’s why email velocity is your best friend. It’s a yes/no answer.
Prospects are either engaging with you via email or they aren’t.
Here are the shockingly clear stats you’ve been waiting for:
This chart shows that in an average closed-won deal, about eight emails go back and forth per week.
Compare that to just under two emails per week from deals that never see a signature.
That’s a 339% difference.
There’s one more detail that makes all the difference …
The TRUE indicator is whether your prospect emails YOU.
Unfortunately, trying to boost your email frequency by sending a daily email to your prospect won’t cut it.
You need THEM to write back to YOU.
The gap gets even wider here with a 531% difference.
Here’s your takeaway: A prospect’s email velocity is one of the strongest indicators that you are moving in the right direction towards closing a deal.
To add heat to your feet, the last week of a deal is the most crucial for email frequency.
Healthy deals have a significant increase in email exchanges as you zero in on a signature:
Now the gap is wider than ever with a whopping 753% difference.
If your estimated close date is coming up and your email velocity is weak, that deal is sinking fast.
The beauty of this data is that it’s binary. There’s either a healthy dialogue, or there isn’t.
In short, emailing your prospect is good, but it won’t seal the deal.
The key to understanding their level of buyer-readiness is how often they email you.
So how do you increase prospect email frequency?
Here’s your answer:
You Need More Stakeholders to Increase Your Win Rates
You can see from the chart below that more prospect emails reflects a steady increase in close rates:
Now that we’ve established a direct correlation between the number of inbound prospect emails and engagement, here’s how to increase your email velocity:
The key is including more stakeholders in your deal.
If you’re relying on a single point of contact to email you 30+ times over the course of a couple of weeks, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
That means multithreading—identifying and engaging multiple stakeholders—is critical to deal success.
Accessing multiple stakeholders means more engagement (and deal insights) that will help you close the deal.
Not to mention that it gives you several channels for getting deal updates from your prospects.
Ever relied on a single person to run with your deal, only to have them go dark or leave the organization?
Then you know to go grab a shovel, ‘cause that deal is dead.
It’s one of the reasons you need multiple points of contact for every deal in your pipeline.
If you have four points of contact, and each one emails you twice per week, you’re increasing your odds of winning the deal (and ringing the gong).
Here’s the thing: multithreading isn’t an optional closing technique. It’s a MUST.
It’s how modern sales pros and leaders own their destiny. They control their pipeline by multithreading their sales conversations.
Again, if you aren’t incorporating this insight into your forecast, you’re leaving your forecast to chance.
Here’s Why Sales Managers Miss Their Forecast
Sales reps know if they’ve been emailing back and forth with a prospect.
Your CRM probably does too.
But you don’t.
That’s because this knowledge transfer never happens.
Ever pulled any of these moves?
Slacking your reps for deal updates, sending weekend emails, or offering a (beloved) tap on the shoulder and asking, “What’s going on with that deal?”
No one enjoys that.
Nor is it effective.
Not to mention, it’s not scalable for growing or remote teams.
So … what now?
Here’s How To Win Every Deal
Aside from using technology that serves up email velocity insights, you need an ace up your sleeve to help you close every single deal.
Luckily, we’re dealing out the equivalent of poker’s royal flush with our new sales asset.
Our new and completely FREE Closing Kit Master Class will give you the upper hand with you need to close out your pipeline.
You’ll take home:
- A deal “green-light” checklist to overcome ANY buying process
- Info on why avoiding negotiations via email boosts win rates (and how to execute them properly)
- A Mutual Action Plan (MAP) template so you know exactly when your deal will sign
Don’t leave your deal (or commission) to chance.
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