So now that you know what outbound prospecting is, it is time to talk about strategy, our bread and butter here at SalesPipe.
The first step mentioned previously to ensure your outbound prospecting strategy works well is to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is.
Let's say you sell a service and your service is offering the logistical support and creation of international study abroad programs for American university students in Spanish-speaking countries. Your ideal customer profile has two distinct possibilities: administrators at international study centers in American universities and professors at those universities who may be interested in running programs in such countries. The subjects covered may be incredibly varied and your customer profile should account for this.
Making use of this customer profile, it is time to search for your prospects. As seen previously, your prospects can come from a variety of sources. Conference lists, previous customers, social media
- joining LinkedIn Groups
related to your customer profile is an underutilized resource. Services exist specifically for this
, if you want them as well, as this is also a time-consuming process, although great tools like LinkedIn Sale Navigator
do make it easier. As our example is specifically regarding universities, it would also be worthwhile to look at the university websites.
And also to take into account the time of year. Universities are bound to the school year, so knowing when exactly is the best time to reach out about considering study abroad programs for the following year or years is key. It's a particularity of this customer profile, but this is the kind of information that helps to build it with the utmost precision to ensure you generate interest.
Then you organize your list from most to least likely to respond and become a customer, according to your service and industry. For instance, perhaps a professor is more likely to respond, but they do not have the final say as much as a university administrator - depending on the university. On the other hand, perhaps a university has to spend a certain amount of money on study abroad per year, and the administrator can find the professor for a program instead. All of these things should be researched and taken into account. You want to make sure you're finding the decision-makers themselves.
From here, you begin your outbound contact processes. You have your qualified list and you can do one of several different ways of prospecting
: cold calling
, cold emailing
, LinkedIn profile visits, connection requests, direct messages or InMail
, social selling, video messaging, to name a few. But whatever you pick, you want to make sure you have clear ideal outcomes and following steps - these are the best practices for prospecting.
Your strategic prospecting should always have a prospecting cadence and the frequency of that cadence depends on the goals your sales team is trying to achieve. The best ways to prospect in sales are the ones that are continuous, evolving, and work for you. No two SDRs
nor two industries work the same.
Sometimes even within the same company two different prospects with similar roles may react completely differently.
Keeping this in mind is always important whenever sales prospecting has you a bit down.
Following the study abroad example, the best idea is to begin with cold emailing.
With the correct, fun, creative copy, tailored and personalized
depending on the customer profile, whether an administrator or a professor, you can begin to spark interest that may result in a conversation. Even if it is a not right now
, you could add them to the nurturing efforts of your inbound team so they continue receiving information about you in a newsletter.
You can do a video message after your emails to really drive the point home and personalize it even further. And have fun with it as you would with the email copy. If you're looking for professors that may run programs based on language, use some of that language. If you're looking for professors that may run business programs, dress in a suit.
For LinkedIn, a great way to make your direct messages or InMails more memorable is to include GIFs
- they're not only great conversation starters, but they provide a good chuckle from all parties. Whatever you do, ensure each touchpoint is accurate to the associated customer profile and as personalized and creative as possible.
This sounds a lot harder than it is. Trust us, with the right information and tools, it can be done effectively
This is how to target sales prospects in a way that ensures they feel comfortable and interested: multiple avenues of contact and making yourself stand out.
You are presenting them with a potential solution to logistical problems, or additional help
they may require that they had not thought was a possibility. You want them to feel like they are part of a conversation, not an ATM that you want to get money from.
Because the ideal outcome for every sale is really a beneficial partnership - not a one-and-done transaction.