In B2B sales, you are always engaged in some sort of outreach as you are trying to contact the prospect and build meaningful relations with them. But the term doesn’t boil down to just making connections, so let’s clarify what outreach in sales actually means.
What is sales outreach?
Sales outreach is the process of reaching out to potential and former customers via phone calls, emails, messaging, and social media to engage them in cooperation and persuade them to make a purchase.
The main challenge of a B2B sales outreach is contacting the right business, the right people, at the right time, and with the right offering.
Sales outreach has close tights with sales prospecting methodologies, which represent two sales approaches: inbound and outbound.
Balance between inbound and outbound sales
The key rule to a successful sales outreach lies within a unique strategy to balance between inbound and outbound sales methods. The primary difference between them is the origin of your leads.
- Inbound sales presuppose that leads get interested in your company themselves. They reach you to inquire more about your product or service, hence, the prefix IN in the term.
- In outbound sales, you reach potential customers who have not expressed interest in your business yet. The prefix OUT means that you figuratively go out to prospect for leads. The typical outbound sales techniques include cold calling, cold emails, and automated emails.
What is an outreach strategy?
In sales, outreach strategy is a planned and systematic approach used by sales professionals to initiate and maintain contact with prospects or leads with the further goal of turning them into paying customers.
The key point of a sales outreach strategy is, as mentioned, balancing between inbound and outbound sales opportunities.
Sales outreach strategy tactics
Here are six sales outreach strategy tactics to help you improve your conversions and boost sales:
1. Identify your best customers
Probably around half of the prospects are not always a good fit for what you are selling. So the first thing to do for your effective sales outreach is to understand your ideal customer profile. In other words, you should have a hypothetical image of a company that would be the best candidate for purchasing your product or service.
To define the ideal customer profile, you should use firmographics, including the company’s:
- average revenue
→ Read our post about how to create an ideal customer profile for your company
2. Choose what buyer personas to contact
As soon as you’ve identified who your ideal customer is, you need to understand the roles your buyer personas have in their company to come out with a corresponding messaging strategy. After that, you’ll be able to prioritize them.
For example, you may first choose to speak to a purchasing specialist, i.e., an employee responsible for communications with potential vendors, or be lucky to reach a decision-maker. No matter whom you are going to contact, your communication should be adapted to the prospect’s position.
3. Outline your communication
You can’t start reaching your potential clients if you are not prepared for the conversation. As such, you should identify:
- your prospect’s primary projects and responsibilities
- several ways on how your company may ease their daily work
- their main goals and pain points
- your business’s solutions to help them reach their goals
This way, you’ll sketch your forthcoming communication and ensure it’ll be relevant to your prospect.
4. Determine the outreach channel
Now that you know the specifics of your buyer persona and have mapped their needs and your ways to fulfill them, you have the last thing to think about — how you’ll reach your prospect.
Keep in mind that the choice of communication channel must solely depend on their activity, not your common way of contacting your customers. So, don’t start sending a sales outreach email or giving your first call if, for instance, you’ve noticed that your prospect is an active LinkedIn user. In this case, you should make the first interaction on this platform.
→ Read more about how to find and reach out to leads on LinkedIn in this guide
On the other hand, if you see that your potential customer has already joined your email list and is highly engaged with your content, there’s nothing better than getting to them right through their Inbox.
5. Start with a personalized message
Remember that the best way to start cooperating with your prospective customer is to build trust with them. That’s where personalization is a must. It makes your prospect feel you’ve done your homework and know what they need. There’s no surprise that personalized email campaigns get an 18.8% open rate.
When conducting outreach, ensure you’ve customized your message with the prospect’s data, and that the problem you are about to highlight in your message is relevant and burning.
For example, the Snov.io email outreach tool allows you to send highly personalized emails not just to single leads but the whole lists of leads – all owing to personalization variables that automatically adjust the email text to the relevant information about each of your email contacts.
6. Record outreach in your CRM
Make sure all your interactions are documented in your CRM. Businesses from all over the world have already adopted a CRM to take control of their sales outreach. So, if you haven’t started using a sales CRM yet, it’s high time to think about it.
CRM will enable you to keep all outreach information in one place, share it with your team, and access the data whenever you need it.
Sales outreach tactics
Sales outreach tactics refer to specific actions employed to engage potential customers, generate leads, and drive sales. Here are some common sales outreach tactics:
- Cold calling: initiate phone calls to prospects who haven’t expressed prior interest to introduce your product or service and spark a conversation.
- Email campaigns: send personalized, targeted emails to prospects, providing relevant information, addressing pain points, and inviting further discussion.
- Social selling: leverage social media platforms to connect with prospects, share valuable content, engage in conversations, and establish relationships.
- Networking events: attend industry conferences, trade shows, or other events to meet potential customers, showcase your offering, and build connections.
- Referrals: seek referrals from existing customers or professional contacts who can introduce you to potential leads.
- LinkedIn outreach: utilize LinkedIn’s messaging and connection features to reach out to prospects, establish rapport, and initiate conversations.
- Sales presentations: conduct presentations or demos, either in-person or virtually, to showcase the features, benefits, and value of your product or service.
- Personalized videos: create short, personalized videos to engage prospects, deliver targeted messages, and demonstrate your offering’s value.
- Follow-up sequences: implement a structured sequence of follow-up communications, such as phone calls or emails, to nurture leads, address objections, and move prospects further along the sales process.
These tactics can be combined and tailored to suit your target audience, industry, and specific goals. Remember to analyze the effectiveness of each tactic to optimize your outreach strategy over time.
Sales outreach best practices
Now that you know how to build your sales outreach strategy, here are several tips on how to implement it in the best way.
1. Use a sales outreach automation tool
To enhance your sales outreach, you’ll most likely need good automation software among sales outreach tools. It will save your time, increase productivity, and work as a one-for-all platform to record your sales results.
Snov.io is a perfect solution for your sales outreach ambitions. It contains sales prospecting, email messaging, and campaign analytics tools gathered within one platform, which, by the way, you may try for free.
2. Target the right leads
93% of B2B buying processes start with an online search. Although the web seems to be a vast space for getting prospects, finding those who will convert is rather challenging.
The biggest mistake you may make is trying to chase as many potential clients as you can. Going after any lead will cost you tons of wasted time. As an outcome, the percentage of deals that will never close will grow, causing the loss of productivity and overall frustration.
Not to face this unpleasant moment, you should always have a clear vision of your perfect lead and target only those prospects who fit your ideal customer profile.
3. Always stay engaged
Sales outreach requires lots of energy and daily hours of active work. That’s a never-ending process. You should get in touch with new prospects, send follow-ups to those who stay cold, and be quick to respond to any prospect’s requests that arise.
Keep in mind that about 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. So, the golden rule for your successful sales outreach is:
‘Not any touchpoint with the potential customer should be missed.’
4. Value your time
Just like with sales prospecting, not all leads whom you’ve already tried to contact and followed up will decide to consider your offer. Much fewer will decide to purchase it.
You can’t continue following up forever. At a certain point, it will become too pushy and just useless. As some sales gurus claim, you need at least five follow-ups on average for 80% of successful sales cases. So, if you did all you could but got no positive response, stop and switch to other prospects.
5. Implement a ‘Smarketing’ outreach approach
Sales and marketing teams should never operate separately. Ensuring that both share the information about your customer outreach, you’ll be able to achieve 38% higher win rates. That’s why successful companies already use the term ‘Smarketing’ to explain the necessity of aligning their sales and marketing efforts.
To make your sales and marketing outreach go hand in hand, you should have a single customer journey and customer persona in mind. You should also match messaging throughout the whole campaign, work together to analyze the client feedback, and continue cooperating at the post-sale and retention stages.
Top sales outreach statistics
At last, we’ve collected the most popular and up-to-date sales outreach statistics, so you can see how important it is to run effective sales outreach campaigns.
- Sales outreach is still most effective with email. The most prevalent communication channels for salespeople are email (78%) and phone (70%).
- Social selling is growing rapidly. Sales reps who use social selling techniques for outreach enjoy 45% more opportunities.
- LinkedIn is the top social media for sales outreach. About 32% of sales reps use this channel to reach prospects.
- LinkedIn InMail is skyrocketing its sales outreach power. With response rates 3X higher than regular email, LinkedIn InMail is proving to be an effective platform for outreach that, in many cases, can outperform standard cold email outreach.
- Video content in emails is a trend. Using videos in your sales emails can bring you 65% more click-through rates.
- Email personalization is king. Giving your email readers a personalized experience in your email can increase average response rates by 32.7%.
- Sales reps are not persistent enough. It’s incredible, but 70% of cold emails don’t receive a follow-up at all. Send follow-ups and be a way ahead of the game.
- Follow-ups are a must. Cold email campaigns with 4 to 7 emails per sequence receive three times as many responses as campaigns with fewer than 4 emails per sequence.
- Writing emails is very time-consuming. Sales reps spend about 21% of their time writing emails alone. That’s why AI solutions like ChatGPT have become a part of our reality today.
- ChatGTP is a game-changer. Emails, where ChatGPT generated the main body, had an average click-through rate of 4.5%, which is above the industry average of 2.62%, and a 3.2% conversion rate, in contrast to the industry standard of 1.95%.
Sales outreach is a crucial part of your sales routine. If done correctly, it’ll bring you desired conversions, closed deals, and customer loyalty. That’s why you should plan ahead and come up with effective outreach strategies that will help you achieve your sales goals.
Stay proactive, build your ideal customer profile, and Snov.io will do the rest — our platform will automate your sales outreach efforts and keep your data safe in one place.