Sales Outreach Strategy – How To Build One To Propel Sales?
Are you wondering why your killer advertisements are failing to bring in sales?
Many startups face the challenge of reaching out to their prospects. And this is because they limit their sales efforts to traditional advertising despite the customers’ rising dislike to promotion. In fact, 61% of salespeople agree that selling is way more challenging than it was 5 years ago.
What you need now is a comprehensive strategy to approach and convince every customer over multiple digital channels using personalized promotional messages. This strategy is also called the sales outreach strategy, and ads are just one tool in its arsenal!
So, are you interested in giving sales outreach a shot?
If yes, you are at the right place! This blog will offer valuable tips and tools to help you design and implement a compelling outreach campaign that stands out and propels your sales.
Keep reading to learn how you can easily create a multi-faceted sales outreach strategy to find, target, and convert your prospects into loyal customers at low costs.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Sales Outreach Strategy?
- What Are The Two Types Of Sales Outreach?
- Why Is Sales Outreach Important?
- Top Sales Outreach Statistics
- How To Build An Outreach Strategy?
- Sales Outreach Strategy Tactics To Improve Your Sales Outreach Strategy
- How To Know Your Sales Outreach Strategy Needs Improvement
- Sales Outreach Tools To Help Automate The Process
- Sales Outreach Mistakes To Avoid
What Is A Sales Outreach Strategy?
Sales outreach strategy is the planned process of engaging with prospects to convert them into paying customers. It is a combination of tactics a company’s marketing manager and salespeople apply to reach out to new prospects and turn them into buyers.
The strategy’s objectives include:
- Closing deals
- Initiating new relationships
- Building trust with the audience
- Educating leads about your offerings
- Successfully contacting new potential customers
But the ultimate goal is to boost sales by reaching, attracting, and converting new prospects. Accordingly, modern sales outreach strategies use diverse channels like email, phone, social media, and advertisements to conduct a more expansive and customized outreach.
What Are The Two Types Of Sales Outreach?
A sales outreach is either inbound or outbound based on the side that initiates its process. And the initiator may be the sales representatives or the end customers. Let us understand the two types of sales outreach in more detail-
Inbound sales outreach
Inbound sales processes are started by prospective customers who show an initial interest in the company’s product or service. Here are the main characteristics of this strategy-
- The prospect comes to the company by searching for information to solve their problem.
- The prospect may show interest by interacting with your site, downloading your content, reading blogs, scheduling a consultation, submitting his/her email id, signing up for a newsletter, attending a sales webinar, etc.
- An inbound salesperson may email or call them in response to the interest shown.
Outbound Sales outreach
In outbound sales, the salesperson reaches out to the prospect to offer them the service or product.
- Outbound sales leads are usually less aware and less engaged as they have not yet shown direct interest.
- As a result, outbound salespersons aim to reach, inform, and attract the target prospects.
- The salespersons use cold outbound sales techniques like cold calling, cold emailing, or even cold texting.
Both inbound and outbound sales techniques can effectively get qualified leads and convert them into sales to boost revenue. However, the best strategy for you will depend on several variables. This includes your business type, average order size, budget, and existing awareness of your brand and offerings.
Why Is Sales Outreach Important?
When used effectively, sales outreach will allow you to identify and target prospective customers, increasing your conversions and sales. It will help you with these key activities across your sales process-
- Find and approach your prospects using multiple channels
- Inform and impress prospective customers to seal deals
- Establish new customer relationships and create trust with your audience
- Maintain your customers’ brand loyalty by engaging with them regularly
- Upsell or cross-sell to existing or interested customers
Top Sales Outreach Statistics
Here are some insightful statistics related to sales outreach that reflect its importance and relevant opportunities-
- 54% of buyers prefer video content above all others.
- 92% of all customer interactions happen on the phone.
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls to materialize.
- 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow-up call.
- 8.5 percent of all outreach emails get a response.
- 41.2% of salespeople find their phone the most effective sales tool.
- 75% of business executives are ready to make an appointment or attend an event based only on a cold call or email.
- 33% of a sales representative’s time is spent actively selling.
- 5-10 minutes is the average time that customers give to salespeople to prove their offering is good for them.
- 90% of buyers are willing to engage with sales professionals early in their buying process.
How To Build An Sales Outreach Strategy?
Building and implementing a sales outreach strategy is the joint responsibility of sales managers and salespersons. And its structure depends on your business needs, the nature of your offering, and the personas you’re targeting. Accordingly, here are the critical steps involved in building an effective sales strategy–
1. Know Your Target Audience
The first step in a sales outreach plan is to research your target audience to find their demographic characteristics (such as gender, income, livelihood, and social status) as well as their needs, problems, and preferences. This is a crucial step as you must direct all your promotional efforts and messages towards attracting and convincing the target audience. Moreover, you need to know who you’re talking to before you can convince them to spend their money!
In this step, you must use audience research techniques such as interviews, online surveys, and questionnaires along with secondary sources to find more about your target audience.
2. Create Buyer Personas
This is the step where you use the results of the audience research in the previous step to create a fictional personality or persona of your ideal buyer. The persona must include all the buyer characteristics relevant to your offering and brand so you can use it to design the further steps in your sales outreach. In the case of a business, your focus should be on its goals, budget, market, and SWOT analysis.
For example, the buyer persona for a luxury sedan may be rich people in big cities who have a luxurious lifestyle and a preference for quality products that reflect their status.
Apart from end users or business decision-makers, you may make multiple buyer personas, including subject matter experts, influencers, business stakeholders, procurement professionals, and low-priority personas that are less likely to convert.
3. Prioritize Contact Data
At this step, you must acquire contact data for leads and prioritize the data as per the chances of lead conversion to create a priority list of leads. You can acquire this data through multiple means, and you can prioritize your leads based on their similarity to specific personas.
The popular methods to collect accurate contact data include-
- Website contact forms
- Webinar forms
- Survey forms
- Social media platforms
- Referrals from existing customers
- Database of sales outreach tools (like SalesBlink)
4. Choose An Outreach Channel
You must now identify the digital channels your prospects are most active on based on their personas, offerings, and the characteristics of every channel. Once you’ve done that, you can connect with the prospects using one or more suitable mediums.
The outreach channels typically include-
- Social media
For example, you may connect with the decision maker of a business on a professional networking platform like LinkedIn.
5. Craft And Send Your Personalized Message
You must now create an attractive and compelling promotional message based on the persona, channel used, and your product or service. Remember to keep your messages personalized to match every prospect and add an eye-catching call-to-action in every message to initiate further action.
This message may range from the script for cold calls, cold email copies, social media ad copies, forum posts, social posts, personalized newsletters, and chatbot replies. And the CTA should include the request to schedule a meeting for further discussion. This is crucial as the prospect may not be interested in committing to a purchase at one go.
Moreover, you may use tools to manage and automate the repetitive work involved in this step. These include email outreach tools, copywriting tools, ad network tools, ad management software, sales automation tools, and a CRM for maintaining records.
6. Send Follow-Up Emails
One contact is usually insufficient to get a sale and may often get no reply at all! So, you must send follow-up emails after contacting a prospect once.
If there is no reply, try following up. If the client replies to the first or eventual attempts, you must keep the conversation going to ensure that the prospect eventually buys the offering.
Remember that sending a follow-up message shortly after the engagement is usually most effective at converting prospects. But what is a follow-up for, you may ask?
The follow-up email to a successful engagement recaps the conversation you had with the prospect and shows your willingness to answer any questions they have. It also serves as a reminder for the time and date for the follow-up meeting decided during the first engagement. Check out our top follow-up email templates that can fetch you more responses from prospects.
7. Perform Multi-Channel Outreach
The internet is a vast world, and your target audience will likely have their presence on multiple channels. So, you need to be wherever they go to make the most of your outreach efforts!
Hence, you must implement a multi-channel outreach strategy based on the results of the audience research. A multiple-channel approach will help you get more attention and sales. It will also help you use the advantages of every channel to create multiple touchpoints, making your outreach more effective.
For example, when you may find customers expressing interest on your social media post, reach out to them with direct conversation over the phone and follow up using email!
8. Store Data In Your CRM
Your salespersons must contact as many people as possible to expand your outreach, but they must simultaneously keep track of each conversation they have with their prospects. And this can be tough unless you use a lead management and documentation system.
Hence, you must record and organize your outreach efforts in your preferred customer relationship management (CRM) system. Storing all of your prospects’ data in a central CRM will let you readily pick up where you left off without fishing for information. Naturally, this will make your sales process much quicker and easier.
Sales Outreach Strategy Tactics
The best sales outreach strategy involves the successful and efficient implementation of a combination of successful tactics. Here are some tactics that you must consider to make an unbeatable sales outreach strategy-
1. Get Personal
Generic and scripted promotional messages often lead to low open rates and response rates due to customers’ resistance to promotion. On the other hand, personalizing a message will make it more attractive, trustworthy, and relatable. And this will improve email click-through rates and conversion rates.
You can personalize a message by incorporating the individual’s name and addressing their specific needs in simple language
2. Stay Organized
Staying organized will help you streamline your outreach efforts, raising your cost-effectiveness. Using a CRM, sales management software, social media management tools, and other analytical software will help you at each step of the strategy building, implementation, and improvement process.
3. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator simplifies your lead communication and monitoring process, allowing you to filter profiles and search results conveniently. Moreover, it comes with LinkedIn InMail, which is a powerful messaging tool for lead generation and outreach on the B2B platform. It is a time-tested facility that increases your visibility and engagement with other businesses on LinkedIn, making it perfect for B2B outreach.
4. Automate Your Outreach
Various automation software can simplify or automate some of your most tedious outreach activities. You can use automation tools for various outreach activities, including-
- Sending automated follow-up email sequences
- Using a VOIP dialer to automate your sales outreach calls
- Automating regular social media publishing
5. Use Videos
An engrossing and concise video can engage and convince your prospects about the product/service usage, its effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. It is an engaging and compelling media format that can be applied to emails, social media, and sales pitches to attract and convert potential customers. Moreover, you can use videos at all sales funnel stages to create a lasting impact.
6. Focus On Empathy
The response rates and conversion rates achieved from standard promotional messages have declined as customers are getting more informed and looking for specific solutions to their problems. Hence, you need to use a more personalized and empathetic sales approach during your outreach. You must show your understanding of the prospects’ problems and make personalized suggestions in a genuinely helpful manner instead of a blatant promotion.
7. Maintain Awareness And Flexibility
The market changes fast, and you must stay up to date with the latest trends to stay ahead of your competition. For this, you need to continuously perform market research and quickly adjust your outreach strategy accordingly. And this includes analyzing your customers’ needs and situations, competitors’ marketing campaigns, and other environmental factors.
8. Always Follow Up
You must maintain client relationships through follow-ups with each lead. This will help you to obtain new customers while maintaining the brand loyalty of existing customers. In fact, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls! Moreover, follow-ups allow you to maintain relationships and upsell or cross-sell to past buyers.
9. Implement A Closed-Loop Marketing Approach
Sales and marketing teams should cooperate to integrate and interpret the information about your customer outreach and its final returns. Aligning your sales and marketing efforts requires your sales and marketing teams to have a single customer journey and customer persona in mind, use consistent messaging throughout the campaign, work together to plan the outreach and analyze its results, and also cooperate at the post-sales and retention stage.
10. Value Your Time
Not all leads whom you’ve tried to contact will choose to consider your offer, and you can’t continue following up forever! At least five follow-ups on average have been found suitable for 80% of successful sales cases. But proceeding beyond that or contacting those who have shown apparent disinterest may seem pushy and leave a poor brand image. So, you should stop and switch to other prospects in such cases.
How To Know Your Sales Outreach Strategy Needs Improvement
You can easily measure the results of your sales outreach strategy by measuring and analyzing your engagement and conversion metrics. Some of the many metrics that may indicate that your sales outreach strategy needs improvement are-
- Email open rate
- Response rate
- Conversion rate
- Marketing Return on Investment
- Cost incurred per lead
- Click through rates
- Sales revenue
- Likes, shares, retweets
- Customer ratings
- Other engagement metrics
A low value of such metrics indicates that you must check and improve your sales outreach strategy. This may involve implementing the proper structure and tactics discussed above or eliminating any common mistakes, which are discussed later in this blog.
Sales Outreach Tools To Help Automate The Process
There are various sales engagement platforms that will help you find, approach, and convert your prospects quickly and affordably. These tools either simplify or automate the steps involved in implementing your outreach strategy, and here are some of the best options available-
SalesBlink is a comprehensive cold outreach automation and lead generation platform that helps you find leads for your business, reach out to them, and close sales through the following –
- Lead Generation features
This includes B2B company finder & email search.
- Outreach features
It includes LinkedIn outreach, cold email, and cold call sequences.
- Closing features
This includes managing and tracking client deals, scheduling client meetings, and an in-built CRM solution.
It is amongst the most powerful and feature-rich sales outreach automation tool that provides valuable contact data and automates the flow of your campaign with support for all outreach channels. Moreover, it offers a 14-day free trial so you can try it before you buy it!
Here are the pricing plans of SalesBlink when billed annually-
- Email Warmup– $11 monthly per user
- Email Outreach– $29 monthly per user
- Sales Outreach– $89 monthly per user
Outplay is a multi-channel sales engagement platform that helps your sales teams close more deals and increase their profits. It is a smart platform that helps you engage pre-qualified leads and prospects from your browser. It enables centralized content management, call monitoring, team management, and call recording with advanced reporting.
Outplay’s pricing varies from $8.85 a month to $19.95 a month based on the features you need.
Mailshake allows you to send automated email sequences from your email provider to your prospects. It helps you conduct public relations outreach and automatic follow-ups and offers powerful analytics to optimize your email campaign.
Mailshake’s pricing plans are-
- Email outreach plan– $58 monthly
- Engagement plan– $83 monthly
Lemlist helps you personalize cold emails, automate follow-up emails, and engage with leads across various channels. It is a combined sales automation and cold email outreach software that offers all you need for your cold email outreach campaign.
Lemlist offers 3 pricing plans-
- Email warm up– $29 monthly per user
- Email outreach– $59 monthly per user
- Sales engagement– $99 monthly per user
Reply is a sales engagement platform to create new opportunities using personalized touchpoints. It offers full cycle sales engagement with an email finder, CRM integration, deliverability suite, and analytics.
Reply offers the following plans-
- Individual– $70 monthly
- Small team– $70 monthly per one team member
- Scaling sales– $60 monthly per one team member
- Predictable revenue– $50 monthly per one team member
Mixmax is a sales engagement platform for Gmail that helps you automate and personalize your cold email outreach seamlessly. It supports email campaign scheduling and monitors prospect engagement by tracking your outreach emails.
Mixmax costs $65 a month when billed monthly and $49 monthly when billed annually.
SalesHandy is a cold email automation and tracking tool that maximizes your outreach by sending human-like emails that help you avoid spam filters and achieve high email deliverability.
It starts at $29 monthly and increases based on the features you select. It also has a free version with limited features.
SalesLoft is one of the most advanced sales engagement platforms that helps you build pipelines, automate communication, and close deals. It helps you with each stage of the sales funnel with complete features such as sales email automation, conversation intelligence, analytics, and reporting.
SalesLoft’s pricing plans are-
- Group version– $75 monthly
- Enterprise edition– $125 monthly per user
Woodpecker.co is a robust and convenient cold email outreach tool that helps you create automated email marketing campaigns with powerful email validation, sequencing, tracking, A/B tests, and reporting.
Woodpecker has 3 versions-
- Starter– $39 monthly
- Pro– $99 monthly
- Teams– $299 monthly
Yesware is a popular toolset for your sales team to track and optimize your email outreach campaigns. It is a comprehensive tool that provides email tracking, customizable templates, an email scheduler, a meeting booker, and CRM integration.
Yesware has the following variants-
- Pro– $15 monthly per seat
- Premium– $35 monthly per seat
- Enterprise– $65 monthly per seat
- Free– $0 with basic features
Sales Outreach Mistakes To Avoid
Sales outreach is a complex process that poses a challenge for every marketer. And making any mistake in the outreach process can take a toll on your engagement and conversions. So, here are some common mistakes that you must watch for and some tips to help you get around them-
1. Failing To Offer Interest Or Value
You must figure out how your product or service can help your customers and present your offering to prospects accordingly. If you cannot pique the customer’s interest by offering something they truly value, you will become one of the many promotional messages they ignore daily!
2. Product-Centric Messaging
If you promote your product or service to new prospects directly by highlighting its features, you will find it tough to stand out and will likely be met by resistance. Instead, you must talk to prospects to form a rapport with them and then present your offering as a useful suggestion for the specific problem they are facing. In other words, you must center your marketing on the buyers and their issues rather than your solution.
3. A Lack Of Research And Sales Call Planning
The lack of market research and sales planning leads to generic and ineffective promotion calls or messages to irrelevant people. Hence, you must research to uncover the prospects’ lifestyle, problems, desires, and also their role and company (if the clients are businesses). Then, you should plan and personalize your promotional messaging and deliver it in a helpful manner.
4. Having No Qualified Prospects
Not having enough qualified prospects in the sales pipeline can cause a deficit in leads and sales. You must focus on high-quality prospects to close more deals, as they will likely convert. But focusing too much on only the quality of prospects and ignoring all cases where there is doubt may leave you with too few leads to start with! You must balance your quality standards for prospects and the costs of reaching out to them.
5. Indiscriminate Pitching
A common mistake in sales outreach is to pitch the product or service to everyone hoping that someone will buy. Reaching more people is indeed a good idea, but indiscriminate pitching can send your marketing costs through the roof without good returns.
So, you must keep your outreach cost-effective by targeting the ideal customers or decision-makers. This requires you to apply proper customer research, market research, data analytics, the best CRM software, and applicable targeting tools/options.
6. Failing To Build Real Relationships
You must build and maintain relationships with your prospects to ensure that they trust your brand and stay loyal to it, or your competitors will win them over! Building customer relationships involve-
- Confident body language, commitment, and helpfulness of salespersons.
- Showing empathy and understanding, followed by personalized and valuable suggestions.
- Sharing interesting and informative content online and encouraging replies.
- Regularly emailing or calling interested/existing customers with special offers or greetings.
Start Building Your Sales Outreach Strategy!
In this blog, we found that a sales outreach strategy is the crucial marketing plan to get yourself heard and acknowledged in the noisy advertising world. The right outreach strategy offers a cost-effective approach to reach, impress, and convince your target audience while forming lasting relations with them. And this converts into sustainable sales and profits for your business.
To help you begin, we covered the process of building an outreach strategy, the tactics to ensure the best results, and the common mistakes to avoid. Moreover, we also listed some advanced yet affordable automation tools to ensure you get an extensive market reach without costs going through the roof!
It’s now up to you to form and implement a customized sales outreach strategy tailored to your business and target audience by applying the discussed tips and tools.
All the best!
Sales outreach strategy is the planned process of reaching and engaging new prospects to turn them into buyers through various digital channels like social media, digital ads, email, phone calls, etc.
Here are the steps for building your sales outreach-
Research your audience
Create buyer personas
Obtain contact data
Choose an outreach channel
Send personalized messages with follow-ups
Store and analyze data in your CRM
Here are the top outreach tactics-
1. Get personal
2. Be organized
3. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
4. Apply automation
5. Use videos
6. Foster empathy
7. Be aware
8. Follow up
9. Use closed-loop marketing
10. Value your time