8 Tips for Success with Sales Outreach
One of the essential keys for B2B sales success is keeping your pipeline filled with quality leads. Prospecting for leads is not easy – in fact, 40% of salespeople say that’s the hardest part of what they do. Once those leads are identified, they need to be brought into your sales funnel. This is where sales outreach, a proactive way of discovering and following up with potential customers, increases conversions.
From prospecting to the post-purchase process, a B2B organization must have a high-quality sales outreach plan. Keeping a steady stream of incoming customers purchasing and then becoming regular clients ensures continued profitability. But sales outreach can be a time-consuming and arduous process. It can be difficult to know how to reach out, what concepts are successful, and which strategies are most beneficial for your sales team.
The extended B2B purchase cycle and multiple decision-makers involved only serve to complicate matters further. However, there are ways to amplify the effectiveness of your sales outreach efforts. Let’s take a closer look at B2B sales outreach, why it’s so important, and learn eight tips that you can use to increase your sales outreach success rate.
What is sales outreach?
The process of engaging with prospects, either directly or indirectly, to convert them to paying customers is known as sales outreach. Sales outreach is generally proactive, which means that the goal is to accelerate the B2B sales cycle from its normal course of evolution. Essentially, the salesperson’s job is to cut through all the noise buyers are constantly overwhelmed with, be heard, and get them to buy in.
Anyone who has contact with potential prospects or material they may be sent is part of your sales outreach team. This can include salespeople, their managers, and the marketing department. Some businesses have dedicated sales outreach teams, while others spread the duties around, depending on how the business is structured and the nature of its customers.
Sales outreach works best when there is a consistent sales outreach strategy, a combination of tactics used to attract each new prospect. Depending on your business and customer, you might use one tactic or several to accomplish your sales outreach goals.
What are the two types of sales outreach?
B2B sales outreach strategy can consist of inbound or outbound sales tactics.
Inbound sales outreach is far simpler because potential buyers come to you based on what they already know about your offered service or products. It is usually simpler to get buy-in from inbound sales since the customer is already interested.
Inbound sales outreach tactics might include email campaigns for businesses familiar with your product, prioritizing content marketing, or utilizing SEO optimization on your website.
In outbound sales outreach, the seller makes the initial move by seeking out and selling to potential buyers. Cold calling used to be a big part of this, but now it includes cold email outreach and social media outreach.
Whichever method you decide on, or even if you go for a mix of both, you will need to formulate an effective outreach strategy to convert a prospect into a buyer successfully. Consider your ideal customer personas, then handpick the outreach tactics that will fit them the best.
Why Successful Sales Outreach is Important
When used effectively, B2B sales outreach will allow you to identify the client most likely to make a purchase. It will also enable your sales team to target potential clients that were not aware of your product or that you might have otherwise missed.
Sales outreach is essential to the long-term success and profitability of your B2B enterprise. It helps seal purchasing deals, establishes new relationships with customers, creates trust with your audience, and educates leads on your company’s offers.
With an effective sales outreach strategy, you actively break into a company’s sales cycle by introducing yourself and your services before a prospective client comes to you. When your sales outreach team is firing on all cylinders, they will even boost sales by introducing a solution to the customer’s particular problem before the customer is even aware of what they might need.
8 Tips for Success with Sales Outreach
The following eight tips can help drive success in your B2B sales outreach and should be part of your outreach strategy.
1. Get Personal
Did you know that 47% of people determine if they will open an email based on the subject line? But if that email subject line is personalized to them, it’s much more likely to be opened.
Prospective clients want to feel a sense of trust and connection with a company before they purchase. The best way to give them that is to personalize your message. Incorporate the individual’s name, company name, and why your product is relevant to them in your cold emails’ subject line and body text. Keep in mind that coming across as too generic or scripted will decrease response rates, while personalizing a message will increase click-through rates.
2. Stay Organized
Staying organized will help you streamline outreach efforts and increase personalization for each prospect. Using a CRM will help you manage your data, allowing you to formulate a comprehensive customer profile and track information in one place.
Taking the time on the front end of sales outreach to put all your information in a CRM will let you see trends later, so you can adjust your sales outreach to do more of what works. Additionally, a robust CRM will integrate with a B2B social media management platform, allowing you to more effectively conduct sales outreach over the social platforms where your leads spend time.
3. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
One of the major B2B tools for sales outreach and management is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It improves and simplifies lead communication and monitoring, allowing you to filter profiles and search results. It also includes LinkedIn InMail, which is a powerful tool for lead generation and outreach.
Sales Navigator boasts insights that allow you to send messages to non-connected profiles, assign notes and tags to customer profiles, and then sync that information with your CRM. It’s a proven tool that increases your visibility and engagements with other businesses on LinkedIn.
4. Automate Your Outreach
Salespeople spend a lot of time doing routine and mundane tasks that aren’t focused on building a client relationship or closing a deal. Why not take advantage of powerful B2B software to automate the “busy work” tasks? Even better, why not automate significant parts of sales outreach itself?
Some of the things that can be easily automated include:
- Sending follow-up email sequences
- Using a VOIP dialer to automate sales outreach calls
- Use a Chrome extension to send connection requests to profiles found in LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Automate social media publishing
Automation will give the sales outreach team more time to focus their attention on potential customers, which will ultimately help make more sales.
5. Leads Like to Watch Videos
A concise and well-put-together video can show potential buyers how the product is used, showcase customer satisfaction with your product, and connect with your audience by setting the tone for your sales outreach better than you could in a text format. Incorporating videos into emails, social media, and sales pitches will increase engagement and translate into more sales.
Animated explainer videos and whiteboard animation are popular ways to demonstrate your product, its uses, and its value to customers. Social proof through the power of customer testimonial videos also serves as invaluable aid to the sales process. Through the power of customer testimonial videos, social proof also serves as an invaluable aid to the sales process. What’s great about video is how it can be used at all stages of the sales funnel – and that 54% of buyers want to see that kind of content above all others.
6. Empathy Counts
B2B customers are wiser than they used to be – and no longer respond favorably to the cold, hard sell, as evidenced by declining email response rates. This general trend appears to have accelerated in recent months due to many circumstances, and people are, in general, extra sensitive at the moment.
In most circumstances, this necessitates a more deliberate, gentler sales approach. In practice, this could entail conducting more research to anticipate a particularly difficult prospect, or just delivering value upfront without hammering home the call-to-action.
Consider a more empathetic approach in your outreach tactics, such as incorporating storytelling that evokes emotion. This tactic allows buyers to empathize with the subject matter and the business delivering the story, which helps increase sales by building trust.
7. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
To maintain success with B2B sales outreach, it’s vital to always keep your eyes open for new opportunities and your ears open to what your customers need, then be prepared to act on that information.
One of the best ways to do this is through social listening. Be on the lookout for posts about similar products or offerings to yours, then read through the comments and get an idea of what people want. Doing so can allow you to generate leads and outreach strategies based on what someone from that company specifically has said they require for their business.
8. Always Follow Up
Part of maintaining a client relationship is how you follow up with each person. Create a quality and personalized strategy for following up on each client. This extra attention to detail helps keep you top of mind with that business, and confirms your willingness to answer any additional questions or concerns they might have.
Not only is sending a follow-up email a simple act, but it can also be crucial in generating a response that leads to a purchase. A study by SoPro found that follow-up emails garnered a 77% response rate. How much revenue was lost because someone did not follow up on their initial sales outreach?
Increase Your Sales Outreach Success
Sales outreach is an essential part of keeping the pipeline stocked for any B2B enterprise. Building relationships through sales outreach, both inbound and outbound, leads to more sales and increased profitability. Successful sales outreach hinges on incorporating an efficient and focused strategy for connecting with prospects. By utilizing the eight tips found in this article, you are sure to increase your overall success with sales outreach and grow the ROI of your sales efforts.
Remember, one of the best ways to reach out to potential customers is through social media. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, B2B buyers can often be found researching brands and products on social platforms. Employ a social listening solution to find out what buyers and prospective customers are looking for, then target them with the right content, published through robust B2B social media management software.