If you manage a sales team, you are engaged in some sort of sales outreach. But what exactly is sales outreach? It’s more than just picking up a phone and dialing a number. Sales outreach means engaging with prospects or past customers who have gone cold but may have the potential to become active. This engagement can be done over the phone; via email; personalized, embedded video in email; text messaging; or social media.
It’s important to remember that marketing and sales outreach are not interchangeable terms. Though these phrases describe complementary actions, they have different meanings. Outreach marketing is about staying in touch with online communities where your prospects are. This is often done through emails, social media, and digital advertising. Both kinds of outreach are necessary.
With the right outreach strategy in place for inbound marketing and outbound marketing, sales and marketing professionals can assist in delivering quality leads and close more deals with the right strategy and tools.
Tested Sales Outreach Strategies
Try these active outreach tactics to boost inbound and outbound sales and better align outreach marketing and selling:
Target the Right Leads
Some leads get cold because they haven't been approached the right way; however, some leads will never warm up. Sales reps want to spend time connecting with potential customers, but they don't want to waste time and energy chasing prospects who will never buy. It's important to prepare the right qualifying questions in advance to quickly figure out which prospects to pursue.
Some sales teams cast too wide of a net in an effort to attract as many B2B sales prospects as possible. Unfortunately, this strategy wastes valuable time and money. Reps might have low morale when attempting this strategy, as going after any lead results in reduced productivity. While they are constantly engaged with multiple contacts, they have an increased percentage of deals that will never close. This doesn’t just make their numbers look bad, it makes them feel bad.
By first creating an ideal customer profile, sales teams can figure out who the right people to target are.Then, they can use qualifying questions to zero in on these ideal prospects quickly.
Commit to Active Outreach
Active outreach means always being engaged. Sales reps should allocate large amounts of their day for email or phone outreach. In particular, call on the prospects who have been contacted least often. This ensures leads in danger of going cold never do.
Set reminder tasks for email and call follow-up to avoid missing an important touchstone with a qualified lead. Avoid letting those small things, like a quick email, fall through the cracks. Sales reps also need to stay heavily engaged with their best leads by checking in regularly or just as often as that lead requests. Another important part of active outreach is proving that you’re listening. Calling back a lead back at the right time shows them that you’re paying attention.
It sounds obvious to tell salespeople that they need to remain pleasant when involved in sales outreach. However, in the course of a long day or even a long month, it’s easy to sound gruff or impatient when prospects aren't responding to repeated contact efforts, piling on questions, or putting off contact because they are busy.
It may be an unfortunate truth, but prospects (even if they’re interested) don’t always have time for you. But demonstrating respect for their time is a good way to get your foot in the door. Some ways to achieve that include rescheduling calls, staying organized, returning messages promptly, and maintaining a friendly tone. At some point, it may be time to stop following up with a prospect; however, that doesn't mean a salesperson should ever slam the door shut by expressing frustration. Experienced salespeople learn to control their reactions and always practice phone etiquette, no matter the situation.
Use Outreach SaaS Tools That Help Implement Automation
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 software that dials the right prospect at the right time. Besides removing quite a bit of drudgery from the job, sales outreach software also helps enforce good habits and an optimum sales schedule.
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.
Align Outreach Marketing and Sales
Sales and marketing should not operate in their own bubbles or even worse, have an adversarial relationship. When sales and marketing share data about customer outreach, they can more easily support each other's efforts.
- Salespeople can enhance sales outreach by knowing the kind of marketing emails that prospects have opened most recently.
- Marketing can improve their own outreach by knowing the kinds of questions that direct customers and prospects have been asking lately.
- Salespeople should have a way to tell marketers when to remove customers from the marketing cycle to let salespeople either handle communication or decide the lead isn't qualified.
Sales outreach is a necessity. Done correctly, you will improve productivity, customer relations, and sales figures. Start combining a targeted outreach strategy, daily prospect engagement, a positive attitude, marketing and sales alignment, and the right sales outreach software to convert more leads into customers. Check out our blog post Tips for Building an Effective Outbound Calling Strategy for more help with cultivating effective sales outreach.