Editor's note: this blog was originally published on Aug 31, 2020. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Effective sales outreach is an essential part of the sales process, and more than likely if you’re a sales professional, you’re involved in some sort of sales outreach. When people think of sales outreach, they often think of cold calling but it’s become much more than just picking up a phone. The introduction of email really changed the ‘cold call’.
The challenge is that people are smarter than they used to be; email response rates have rapidly decreased over the years as people no longer respond well to the cold, hard sell. However, other forms of outreach are on the rise, such as text messaging, digital advertising, social media, and more.
Sales outreach is the best way to maintain a steady flow of warm leads. And with the right outreach strategy, sales professionals can deliver quality leads and close more deals.
Here are our top tips to help you boost your sales outreach to be more successful:
1) Identify the right target audience
First and foremost, make sure you are targeting the right people. It doesn’t matter how good your sales outreach is if you’re going after the wrong audience because no matter what, those leads will never warm up. And what sales professional wants to waste time and energy chasing prospects that will never buy?
Spend the time to identify your ideal target audience and build a list of people that meet the criteria you identify. Work with your marketing team to create buyer personas. By first creating an ideal customer profile, sales teams can figure out who the right people to target are. They can then use qualifying questions to zero in on these ideal prospects quickly. It's important to prepare the right qualifying questions in advance to quickly figure out which prospects to pursue.
2) Commit to active, ongoing outreach
The thing about sales outreach is that it’s not a one-and-done deal. Active outreach means ongoing engagement with prospects. So once you’ve done a round of outreach, make sure you are circling back and following-up. Sometimes you may need to follow-up several times before getting anywhere.
If a prospect asks you to follow-up on a specific date, add a reminder to do so. Getting back to someone at the right time proves that you’re listening to them and respect their time.
3) Determine the right outreach channels
There are a plethora of sales outreach channels; email, social media, direct mail. Make sure you're spending the time and effort on the channel that most of your prospects are engaged on. For example, if most of your prospects are active on LinkedIn, then utilizing LinkedIn for outreach would be your best bet. If they're equally as engaged with other social media platforms, then you should do sales outreach on both.
There's an old saying, "meet your customers where they are" — so determining the right sales outreach channels should be top of mind.
4) Use sales outreach, automation, or lead gen tools
The challenge with ongoing outreach is it takes up a lot of time. In order to be successful at it, you need to allocate a few hours a day at minimum just for outreach and follow-ups alone. The good news is, there are effective ways to automate this process effectively to save time without compromising personalization or quality of leads.
The right sales outreach automation and engagement tools save you tons of time, enhances productivity, improves organization and alleviates the stress of having to stay on top of outreach and follow-up.
Check out a few of our favorite sales tools here.
5) Align marketing and sales outreach
It’s extremely important that sales and marketing align their outreach efforts in order to better support each other. Marketing is likely producing and sending content to leads to help qualify them before passing them along to sales. As a salesperson, you can benefit from knowing what content is being published as it can help aid the sales process. There may be a relevant piece of content available that answers a specific question or use case example a prospect is asking you for.
The feedback loop between sales and marketing should remain open, so marketing can not only help sales, but sales can also help marketing improve their own outreach by knowing the kinds of questions that prospects/customers have been asking.
Sales outreach, though sometimes tedious, is a necessary part of getting prospects and converting them to customers. When done successfully, sales outreach is a powerful way to boost sales and company growth. If you want to learn how to improve your sales outreach, talk to us today.
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