Consumers control the buyer’s trends and behavior of your product. To be able to constantly adapt to their needs, your sales team has to change their tried and tested sales outreach to something one. Digital innovations had led us not to just rely on traditional sales outreach methods but to also take new risks to broaden the company’s market.
Today, decision-makers of the business are swamped with messages from varied sources and more importantly, it’s becoming difficult to cut through these noises. The work involving sales seems daunting and to be successful in your sales outreach seems even more herculean these days.
Table of Content
1 . Channels of Sales Outreach
2 . How to Choose The Right Channel?
3. Best Strategies/Practices
Here we don’t mean that your outbound strategy doesn’t work. It remains an integral part of every sales strategy and using them correctly will help your business to be successful. To keep actively increasing your sales engagement personalize and be consistent with your outbound strategy, this drives the desired results for a B2B prospect.
Now, please read on to understand how to implement the same to become super successful in sales outreach.
First, what do we mean by Sales Outreach?
Sales Outreach is an outbound sales method where the sales team members aggressively contact prospective buyers in the hope of generating new business for the company. It runs through both stages of prospecting and following up in the sales funnel process. Usually, when you use it for prospecting, it is generally used as a cold outreach meaning the salesperson has not had an interaction with the potential buyer.
Channels of Sales Outreach
Since the beginning of the outbound sales, entrepreneurs have done door to door sales, in-person meetings, and cold callings. Remember even Richard Branson used outbound sales in this manner. But today, with technological innovations, we rely on email and other digital channels. Technological advancement has not just paved inroads to different channels but also proved beneficial to engage with far and wide prospective buyers. Another added advantage is quicker than traditional outbound sales techniques.
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While it has greater benefits, prospective buyers are flooded with more and more sales messaging and have become difficult to pass beyond this noise and stand out among all of them.
As we all acknowledge, email has gained great importance in the past 5-10 years and it has also become one of the most common techniques used for sales outreach. Email sales outreach is less intrusive than calling. Delivering a sales pitch through phone requires more time and this adds pressure to create a lasting impact within a window of time. Whereas delivering your sales pitch through email can be less pressurizing and you can take your time to craft the message accordingly. Sujan Petal, co-founder of Web Profits suggests few tips on when should you use email as your channel of sales outreach
- When you are following up
- When you have something in writing
- When you have a quick question
- When you need to send the same message to more than one person
#2 Phone Call
In today’s scenario, prospective customers generally don’t like to be called i.e cold-called and their reactions are unpredictable. For this very reason, salespeople are wary about using them. However, with the right practice, sales calls will prove beneficial and effective for your business. Sales call helps to build credibility because of authentic human interaction. This follows you to build a connection with your prospects. When to choose a phone call as your channel for sales outreach?
- Trying to build a relationship
- Complex process or when explanations are required
- Need to make an apology or deliver a bad news
- Need an answer fast or quick turnaround
- Looking to close the deal
#3 Social Selling
Social Selling is a newer way of targeting prospective clients. It is also a relatively modern way to create meaningful relationships for the business. It is where you use social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc to find, connect, and engage with prospective clients in a more authenticly. You should always be spontaneous to capture the right moment to join the conversation with your audience by presenting yourself as a solution to their problem.
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According to Hubspot, “Instead of a hard closing tactic, social selling more closely resembles lead nurturing. Therefore, social selling isn’t for reps seeking quick wins or a silver bullet.”
#4 Personalized Video
According to Wistia, including video in your outreach efforts led to a 140% higher click rate. Video cannot be a channel altogether, but it could act as a medium through which you can share from other channels like email, live chat, social selling. Nowadays videos are being consumed more than ever. The benefits of video are numerous, adding colour and video to a rather plain text on a screen and increasing the retention capacity of the audience has made this an unstoppable medium. Video outreach can help your sales team to be more personal, more visual and humanizes the interaction of the team. It is obvious you haven’t automated that email. If you want to get better at sales outreach, you need to create specialized documents that focus on sales only – business proposals. The problem is, writing and personalising proposals can be tedious work, which is why we suggest using proposal templates.
#5 Direct Mail
Direct Mail is used as a marketing and sales strategy – for both B2C and B2B selling, it can involve sending a physical letter, package, mailer, brochure, postcard, gift, etc., to your prospects. It might come as a surprise to you, but say Direct Mail is back! Direct Marketing Association found the response rate for direct mail is 4.4% when compared to email which is 0.12%. An essential tip to understand is you can incorporate direct mail to any stage of your sales process. But typically, sales organizations use it to kick off a prospecting campaign. For example, when you can send a handwritten note along with the book, you can follow up with the book send with an outreach campaign. Direct mail can provide brand recognition and goodwill before delivering the phone call, email, and social touches. This, in turn, increases the conversion rates. Learn more about how to use direct mail using the Hubspot’s Guide.
#6 Live Chat
Live Chat is a technology that provides companies a way to interact with customers when they visit an organization’s media properties, including but not limited just to your website. Live Chat can be used universally by different departments such as marketing, sales, or customer support to solve different purposes. But typically they are used during the consideration and decision making stages of the buyer’s journey.
Interesting Read : 6 Ways to Make Sure Your Email Deliverability Is Not Stagnating Your Outreach Campaigns
Live Chat engages users with a little more help in making their purchases. Research shows that 61% of shoppers say they are likely to make a purchase after using Live Chat. Learn how to boost your sales with Live Chat.
#7 In-Person Meetings
If you are anticipating your prospects visiting the town, you might probably invite your prospects to your live event, business dinner, or in-office meeting to impress your prospect and also show them how valuable their business is to your company. A study from Cornell University in 2017 shows that in-person requests are 34 times more successful than those made over email. When can you use face to face meetings –
- A bigger deal than normal
- Big Opportunity for expansion even though it’s an average deal
- An important deal that’s in jeopardy
- Normal deal but you are available and in that geographic location
- Your champion would like to introduce you to potential customers
- Your prospect is going to the same event
Learn more about in-person meetings using this Hubspot’s guide.
How to Choose The Right Channel?
Previously we discussed major channels for sales outreach, we will now move to understand how to choose the right channels for your sales prospecting strategies. By this we mean you need to focus on the sales outreach channel, medium, and method that achieves the best results from a prospect. Throughout your sales process, you can use each method at different stages. Determining which one you need is the key factor in achieving success in your sales.
Here are the four areas that you should assess before reaching out to your prospects
- Objective – If your objective is to close the deal with a specific sales outreach, don’t choose email. Choose either in-person or phone calls. However, for simple goals, you can choose an email.
- Urgency – If you need a quick reply or fast turnaround, the best possible way is to talk directly to the prospect. But if you have time with you, an email could be the best channel in this situation.
- Prospect’s Preference – There are a number of factors that could influence the prospect’s preference, including age, gender, position, job level, industry, stage at the buyer’s journey, etc.
- Timing – Day of the week, time of the day, and even time of the month and year could also affect response rates for your outreach. Depending on the cadence, you can choose the right channel.
Optimize Your Program
- Target the Right Prospect – It is essential for the sales team to make sure you convey a clear and accurate picture of what your ideal customer profile is. Focus all your efforts only in that specific area where those prospects are likely to be found. If you cannot narrow down on your buyer’s persona, you are going to invest time in people who could actually not buy your product/service thereby wasting your efforts, time and resources. Never fall into the trap of going after anyone who is willing to listen. Practicing these will take time and patience, but it will pay off in the end.
- Have a Sales Cadence – According to GetAccept, Sales Cadence is a scheduled sequence of touchpoints created to establish a connection with potential buyers. Having a cadence helps you follow a structure of your sales outreach and helps you effectively organize. Each day when you start your work, you exactly know how many calls, emails, and social touches need to be worked on to cross off your checklist. You can experiment and always adjust your cadence until you see the pattern that works the most successfully for your sales. You can learn more about building the right cadence from Freshworks Blog.
- Follow Up with Them – On average, it takes about 5 to 15 touches to get in contact with your prospect. It’s highly unlikely that you will receive a response right away after your outreach, so always keep following up with them. So you need to find new and creative ways to tell your brand’s story. Be sure that you show you truly believe in what you do. This persistence and consistency prove what you are selling to solve your prospect’s business problems.
- Leave When They’re Not Interested – No matter who hard you work to find, engage and follow up with your prospects, not every one of them is going to become your customer. Focus on determining what’s a prospect and what’s a lost cause. As a salesperson, you should be instantaneous to qualify and disqualify opportunities. Do not invest/pour your time into a prospect who is eventually not going to be using your product/service. One tip you can easily figure out is when you get a negative response that will normally get a positive response, that’s a strong indicator.
- Collaborate with Marketing – Sales Outreach often blurs the line between marketing and sales, as if salespeople are also marketing. You need to maintain a consistent voice for your brand and align them with your buyer’s journey from start to finish. In an effort to get across an effective strategy you can ask your marketing team to review your strategy, emails, and sales content. To have creative content from the sales team you can ask them to share their resources.
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- Balance Your Research Time – The essential aspect of sales prospecting is to invest time in research trying to understand your buyer’s needs and preferences. But investing too much time researching also leaves with nothing in your hand to show at the end of the day. For example, you can set a goal to find three facts about each prospect in just three minutes. This prioritization ensures you to stay on track without diverging in too much research.
- Leverage Out-of-Office Situation – Certain times while reaching out to your prospect, they may not be able and you would receive an OOO email response. And most of the time this includes your prospect’s direct dail. You can use this situation to get to your prospect through follow-up calls. And don’t forget to pause this prospect in your outreach program until the day after they are back in the office.
- Be Yourself – Today being authentic can determine whether your business can be successful or not. Being yourself helps you build credibility and trust with your prospective client. Never try to show yourself as something that you never were or are. For instance, if you are a small business, do not try to act like you are an enterprise. Connect with your customers in an accessible and humanistic way possible. Only when you show people you are genuinely interested in them or their business, they will consider you seriously. If in the near future, they run into a problem with your product/service, they should be able to speak to a human. That’s what they are looking for.
- Personalization – Whether you are calling a prospect, sending an email or video, make your outreach so hyper-personalize that they cannot ignore. As mentioned above, make your prospect feel like a priority and an important customer of your business. Some steps to follow –
- Never use generic greetings like “Hi, there”
- Align your content strategy and recommend them based on what they share on social media
- Recommend them to join forums or groups based on their interest
- Go beyond your usual routine to make them feel valued
- It’s all about them and not you so don’t right away sell all your features
- Stay Relevant – Don’t get confused with being personalized and being relevant are one and the same. Being relevant is to use the right sales strategy or content that will likely engage your customers based on where they are in the buyer’s journey. You might always not be personalized but you should always stay relevant.
- Address Specific Pain Points – Don’t provide generalized statements, prospects do not resonate with this. Instead focus the buyer’s journey, be more involved and address their pain points. Make them understand how your product/service addresses the pain point and benefits the prospect. Sometimes it might not be applicable considering where your prospects are on the buyer’s journey, so use discretion on when to speak about product/service.
- Regularize Value Engagement – Many SDRs make the same routine of using “the following up” or”just checking in” to try and keep the leads warm. Unfortunately these kind of messages do annoy your prospects. Being responsive is one of most powerful forces in communication. For example, when you ask for something, you should also be willing to offer something. It basically results in an incentive based behavioral equation. What can give you an edge over your prospects is being able to offer something before even being asked for. Before placing an request for your prospects time, provide a value accompanying your request. Focus on sharing your resources such as white paper, relevant articles, or business books or even invite them for lunch or an event where you can introduce them to similar or third party customers.
- Demonstrate Credibility – Your prospects need to feel they are valued and bestow their trust on you and not feel you are like any other salesperson trying to pitch them something you don’t need. Provide your existing customer stories or case studies to your prospects. Bonus would be to provide them with resources aligned to their industry/company. This will provide your credibility to your prospects.
- Referrals – One of successful ways in providing your messages to the buyer’s target is through referrals from a happy customer or mutual connection. According to Salesforce, leads coming through referrals gain 50X higher than leads coming from email campaigns. Basically lead to win conversion rates are higher with referrals. With the proliferation of peer reviews on sites like G2Crowd, buyers are becoming more and more wary of vendor-generated content.
- Include Humor – Most of the outreach is plain, boring, serious and straightforward. Adding humor with a twist to your usual strategy will help you stand out of the competition and make your pitch more memorable. It will not be easy and it will be worth the effort to make your prospects laugh. You can Giphy or meme.com to send funny or even better make a funny video or picture of your own. You can also look at funny email templates from Hubspot.
Optimize Your Message
- Prefect Your Subject Lines – Email subject lines can be an important part of outreach especially it can mean make or break to connect with cold or warm prospects. They need to have enough reason to click and look into the email. Depending on the kind of prospect emoji or statistic can grab their attention, either way pay attention to personalization and spend time understanding what can grab attention of your customer. For example, you can use breakup email subject lines like “Did I fall through the cracks?” or “Should I stay or should I go?”.
- Make It Short – Make your messages short and crisp irrespective of email, call, video, social or anything. Keeping it to the point will prove beneficial in respecting your prospective time as well as yours. Ensure you convey thorough information and remove unnecessary noise in between. You need to keep your outreach message to be conveyed in a minute. A great tip for a call: write an outline covering all the points that has to be discussed on the call that ensures you hit the right points and also helps you gauge the duration of the time.
- Provide a Clear CTA – Never send cryptic emails or messages or puzzles. Make sure you are clear about the action that your prospect should take and make it simple and easy for them to say. If you want them to download an asset that you think will be valuable to them, just state the say straightforward. Don’t overcomplicate things and add many things to the plate that will take the prospect away from the main objective.
- Talk About Them – It’s not about you but all about them. With the business turning towards a customer-centric approach, you need to always keep them as your priority and speak their language and create the tendency to keep them coming back for more. Your language should be bold, polarizing, and educational. Don’t educate your customers on things that you don’t know about you but rather educate on things they don’t know about themselves. For example, before reaching out to an executive buyer, try sourcing some insights from lower-level team members or even publicly available insights or statistics.
- Use Sales Automation – To gain more time in your hand, you have to automate your sales outreach work as much as possible, like using email templates and sequences. This can help you understand how your outreach is being perceived, how engaging is your content, and how compelling your call to action is. But it is also important to understand where to strike a balance between automate and manually taking actions in hands. Learn how to be more personal with automated messaging.
- Track Engagement – With much advancement with technology, you can not only track and document messages but also all your calls. Tracking activity shows views, clicks, time-spent, and replies critical to staying on top of hot prospects and measuring the success of sales outreach. There are amazing tools in the market to help you turn current activity into an efficiency machine.
- Use a Powerful Dialling Tool – A power dialer handles the dialing process when your salesperson only uses it to speak with your prospects. There are many available dialers in the market but make sure you choose the dailer that seamlessly integrates with your dashboards. As you prospect and call, make sure to track calls, voicemails, and conversations to better determine the minimum number of activities to attain an appointment or demo.
- Change your Timing – Again this applies to all your channels of sales outreach. Experiment with your timing and try something new. For instance, try sending an email to your prospect on weekends, usually sales outreach during weekends are lesser when compared. So see if you receive a response. It can be helpful for executive level prospects. Or with the social outreach, try early morning or late evening to see how it works out.
- Different Channels – As mentioned above personalized video, live chat, and social outreach is relatively new channels. If you haven’t incorporated them it might be the time to use them today. You may even use all the listed channels here. Try to change cadence and experiment with something new. For example, instead of following up the third time on mail or call, reach out to them on Linkedin or Instagram.
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- A/B Testing – Whichever channel you use either phone, email, social, video always keep testing. You can test all kinds of content, video, subject line, cadence, images, scripts, etc. What has worked previously will not necessarily today or vica versa. Make sure you test with a large sample so that you aren’t biased or doesn’t have skewed results.
- Measure Your Results – What gets measured, gets improved irrespective of which field of business you are in. It applies the same way to sales outreach. You need to always keep testing, innovating, implementing new strategies to stay relevant and gain more prospects. And all these start with measuring, so start taking this step seriously.
- Be creative – Never write dull and boring messages. Put in efforts into creativity, build a flair to write follow-ups to grab your prospect’s attention. Sending them gifts, coffee, or inviting them for lunch or an event keeps you appearing humane and not just someone trying to just sell their product/service. This helps in building relationships. Low-tech ideas like engaging your prospects with a Piñatagram or a good ‘ol fashioned handwritten note work as well.
- Go Against the Grain – Gain all these information and try to adopt them to your own needs. Not all of these methods listed above will work for you. Nobody else knows your business, market, and customers like you do. Above all have a customer centric approach, understand what needs and preferences are and prove beneficial to their business.
- Use SaaS Outreach Tools – The right sales automation tools, like a powerful agent-assisted dialer, can save time, enhance productivity, and alleviate some of the stress from your sales team. Choose sales outreach soft8ware that dials the right prospect at the right time. Email and call sequencing is another aspect of outreach automation that cannot be overlooked. To create a consistent experience across prospects, sales reps should utilize sequencing tools to send emails and create call tasks at the right time in the buyer’s journey. These sequences can be customized based on verticals, industries, personas, or product offerings. Learn about outreachplus here.
You can find more tips on sales prospecting with the Hubspot ultimate guide to super successfully in Sales Outreach.
Here we go with our 29 tips to help you become successful in your sales outreach. Let us know if you have any other tips. Comment here on how well these tips worked in your sales outreach.