Creating a Repeatable, Successful Sales Process: Principle 2 - Know Who to Call On

  • Career Advice
  • By Morgan Holycross
  • Published on February 15

In the dynamic world of sales, success hinges on more than just ambition and persistence; it requires creating a repeatable sales process. We understand the intricacies of this challenging field - marked by emotional ups and downs, extended sales cycles, and frequent rejections. 

At Dakota, we’ve created this repeatable process for our investment sales team. Our four core principles have led us to success, and provided 20 years of results helping us raise $35 billion.

We review these principles monthly in our Rainmaker sessions with Gui Costin. This is a class for any investment sales professional as it lays out the blueprint for a winning sales strategy. No matter the experience level - wanting to touch up, wanting to learn tips and tricks, or new to fundraising - Rainmaker is a sales training program with proven results. 

In this article are diving into principle two to creating a repeatable sales process: know who to call on. By the end of this, you’ll have a better understanding of the three things you’ll need to do in order to achieve this and how they will only help you reach your fundraising goals.

To learn more about our four principles to sales, check out an upcoming Rainmaker Live! session with Gui Costin.

Principle 2: know who to call on

Sales is an arena filled with challenges - long cycles, frequent rejections, and intense competition. To navigate this landscape successfully, it's essential to first embrace this challenge.

Next, it is critical that you know who to call on. To be successful, you must align your strategy with the most receptive channels. We call this your total addressable market (TAM).

Identifying your TAM

Your TAM is the first step to becoming successful, it’s the pool of people who buy what you sell. At Dakota we call this selling apples to apple buyers.

When you’re in an arena of selling to buyers of your strategy, you find more success. It still won't be 100% accurate all the time, but it will lead to a lot more yes rather than no.

City scheduling

Once your TAM is identified, you can get started with city scheduling. This is something we have implemented into Dakota’s sales process since day one. It eliminates the need for coming into the office and creating your plan for the day, because you’ll already have it outlined.

The simplest way for you to have a plan for the day is to put cities on the books. What we mean by this is to literally write a specific city on your calendar. Then you’ll put time slots of 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm. Using your TAM, you can easily segregate the people you’ll want to reach out to in Boston who fit the channel and the product that you're selling.

To get those 5 meetings, you’ll need to send 35 or 40 emails. While all of these people won’t answer you, they're still seeing your email, seeing your name, and seeing your brand - your outreach is still making an impact.

Always have 5-10 cities on the books at any given time to keep yourself structured and your schedule full.

Writing your email 

As we touched on above, you’ll need to send around 35 or 40 emails in order to fill these time slots. But how do you write an email that gets a response?

The answer is simple: a clear subject line. Subject lines are what catch someone's attention and decide whether or not they even see the rest of your message. Following the subject line, have 1-2 sentences in the body of your email and a call to action to round it out.

Here’s an example: 

Subject Line: Meeting Request January 4th - 3:30pm


I will be traveling to Boston with Alan Breed, President of Edgewood, on 1/4 and would like to introduce ourselves.

Edgewood manages approximately $30 billion in a 22-stock, high quality, large cap growth portfolio with weightings between 2% and 8% that has performed in the top decile of its peer group since 2006.

Can you meet at 3:30pm on 1/4?

Really pack a punch in the body of your email while being short and to the point. By ending your email with a clear call to action, you give them specificity and no opportunity to say “No, I can’t meet”.

To summarize, incorporating these strategies requires a thoughtful approach. By consistently applying these principles and refining your methods based on feedback and results, you can build a sales process that not only reaches but exceeds your goals. 

Remember, the key to sales success lies in understanding your market, planning your approach carefully, and communicating effectively. With these tools in hand, you're well on your way to achieving sales excellence.