Effective sales outreach is an essential part of the sales process, and often the initial contact your prospects/leads will have with a ‘real person’ from your company, so it’s important to get it right.
We all know by now that consumers are wiser than they used to be. Email response rates continue to plummet, and people no longer respond well to the cold, hard sell.
Outreach can be a great way to maintain a steady flow of warm leads. It prepares your prospect/lead with enough information to either prompt a response, or at least for them to respond in a more welcoming way to cold calls.
Here are a few tips to help you boost your sales outreach strategy in 2019, so you can capitalise upon all the effort you’ve put into refining your business this past year
1. Ask the experts
By experts, I mean your marketing team. Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin, and sales outreach often blurs the line between the two.
Collaborate with your marketing team to create content, and share resources which you may be able to adapt for outreach purposes. Ask them to review your strategy, emails and content in general – this is useful to ensure you keep a consistent voice and ultimately ensure your customer has a consistent journey from start to finish. There are too many reasons to list here for more cohesion between the two teams; the more the better.
2. Use your resources wisely
Not every company is blessed with an enterprise-sized sales team at their disposal, so use your resources wisely. This requires choosing a realistic strategy, which allows your sales team to spend their time efficiently.
For example, if you have a team of 3 salespeople, you will probably want them working on your most promising accounts. This might mean sacrificing the ‘SDR’ (Sales Development Rep) role, which generally involves high volume calling, whether warm or cold. While this can be a very effective element to your team, you may have to let your Email or Linkedin outreach do the majority of the work here, and prompt only the most interested of customers to book a call with sales, for example.
Anything you can do to further qualify your prospects will save your team from blindly casting their rods out into the vast ocean of potential customers.
This one is pretty self-explanatory and follows on nicely from the previous section. We live in a world where a sales team of 5 can operate as a team of 50, by automating some of the everyday ‘leg work’.
Automate your regular contact with suspects and prospects alike by setting up a lead-nurturing campaign: a steady drip of correctly-timed emails, based on their activities. This will require monitoring your customers and setting measurable goals that allow you to gain an accurate picture of how your outreach is being perceived, how engaging is your content, how informative is it, and how compelling is your call to action. One great piece of software for measuring activity and subsequently creating action-triggered messages is Intercom.
This being said, don’t get carried away and automate everything. Some leads will be worth allocating your precious, good ol’ fashioned human efforts to. As they say, people buy from people (for now at least). Itsessential to find this balance to ensure an efficient and well-oiled Sales team and automation will be one of your greatest assets.
OK, so we can’t all afford to send our hot leads a gift in the mail, but we can pay the extra bit of attention to personalising our messages (a great substitute for gifts are handwritten letters).
The main point here is to speak in a personal tone throughout all your communications. These days too many companies try to be something they are not – don’t try and speak in enterprise jargon if you’re not a large company. Embrace the appeal of being a ‘small guy’, connect with your customers in an accessible, humanistic way. People want to feel like you genuinely care about them, and they want to know that once they commit to purchasing your product or service, they will be able to speak to a human if they have any problems in the future
5. Stay Relevant
As well as keeping it personalised, keep your content relevant. Use your ideal customer profile to inform you of what is likely to engage your customer at different points in the buying journey.
Then, once you know what interests your customer, get to the point. Help the customer understand what you offer and what they will gain from your offering, using as little words as possible. That’s enough for this section – see what I did there?
6. Go against the grain
Finally, and most importantly, a point that I am particularly passionate about: you do You. Take all of these tips with a pinch of salt and adapt them to your own needs. One-size does not fit all, not all industries, markets allow for the same approach, meaning what works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours.
Nobody knows your business like you do, and that will follow on to you knowing your market really well and being able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Above all, use your common sense and think about what your customer truly wants, because the customer is always right.