Different Types of Sales Channels To Get Results

Learn what each sales channel has to offer.
sales channels cover photo
Businesses rely on sales channels, which are points of contact with customers, to reach out to them and provide a good or service. There are many channels a product might take to reach its final customer, so a business needs to ensure they know which channels are best.

A company must make the strategic decision of which channels to use to sell its product or service very early on in developing its business strategy.

Which of the several solutions would be best for your company?

Cold emailing, cold calling, and cold messaging are the most used sales channels. And every one of them has its own unique approach.

Characteristics, benefits, and best practices of each strategy are going to be explained in this article.

A Short Reminder: What Are Sales Channels?

Businesses rely on sales channels, which are ways to engage them and their customers, generally by reaching out to customers and delivering a product or service. An outbound SDR is the one that uses sales channels to start conversations and tries to move prospects along the buyer journey.

The most common and successful sales channels that SDRs use are:

  • Cold emailing
  • Cold calling
  • Cold messaging on social media
  • Video messaging
types of sales channels infographic
Each channel has its own advantages and disadvantages and should thus be treated as a separate entity. You should use different sales strategies and promotional offers depending on the sales channel you've chosen.

Different sales channels can also be used to target different audiences.

This article will introduce you to the sales channels listed above and give you tips and tricks from professional SDRs to succeed in your next outreach campaign for outbound lead generation.

Cold Emailing

Simply stated, cold emailing is when you email someone you don't know for any reason. These emails are intended to establish a relationship with the prospect who can be your future customer.

Cold emails help you reach your potential leads anywhere across the world. It is a continuous and friendly sales channel for turning your cold leads into potential customers.

Benefits of cold email outreach

  • Direct communication with decision-makers
The cold email channel allows you to have a direct conversation with a founder, CEO, or other key decision-makers without the involvement of gatekeepers or complicated processes.

You'll be able to contact people around the globe and have genuine, mutually beneficial conversations once you've mastered the process of sending cold emails that get responses.

  • A low-cost sales channel
Most sales channels involve purchasing costly tools, time spent learning how to perform well, and a rigorous ROI period. Cold emailing opens the opportunity for everyone who has a valid email address and a value proposition that is relevant to the recipient.

That is not to say that it is simple to succeed. Cold email takes time to perfect, and standing out in the inbox is difficult.

However, the entry barrier is nearly non-existent.

But be aware that performing well enough to stand out in your recipient's inbox and being able to communicate your intention needs expertise.

  • High response rates.
Cold email campaigns that are well-targeted can consistently generate 10-20% response rates.

If the rest of your sales funnel is optimized, your overall conversion rates can compete with any other available sales channel.

  • Don't forget to follow up
According to Invesp, 48% of salespeople don't even follow up.

Proper follow-ups are effective, and it's not uncommon to receive positive responses after the twelfth touch email if you're persistent but polite.

Pushy, guilt-tripping, or aggressive follow-ups, on the other hand, will hasten the resolution of your spam complaints.

A successful cold email strategy

A successful cold email has these characteristics:

  • Your name and job title
  • Your contact information, including your website, social media profiles, phone number, and so on as appropriate
  • Personalized content – this is your key to success!
  • A particular request that works as a conversation starter
  • It should be short, a maximum of two to three paragraphs, and on point

The foundation of any cold email strategy is to structure your campaign around what helps your target audience.

If you offer a great automatization tool, your potential customers won't be interested unless you show them how your tool will solve their problems. This personalizes you and your approach and makes it easier for them to think about your solution when they run into their pain point.

You want to show them how it would increase their profit, speed up production, lower costs, prevent injuries, increase customer satisfaction, or reward their shareholders, among other things.

To get more familiar with the structure of cold emails, read our blog about cold email structure.

Cold emailing remains a relevant sales channel. It would not exist if it did not play a role in the sales processes of many companies.

Cold Calling

Cold calling may have a bad reputation, but when done correctly, it can help your business: a study by RainGroup shows that 82% of buyers accept a meeting from a cold caller who actively reaches out to them.

Cold calls, as the name implies, will be cold — but you don't want to go into one freezing!

You must still do your research and communicate a specific value proposition. You're wasting resources if you don't know how to do it or who you're talking to.

Benefits of cold calling

  • Rapid relation-building with your contacts
Cold calling is a great way to build initial rapport and quickly learn about their pain points or areas where you can help prospects. If you strategize correctly and focus on calling highly qualified leads whom you've checked for relevance, your pipeline will fill itself.

During the call, you create a human connection and understand the prospect's personality, sense of humor, and so on. Unlike in an email, where you don't receive feedback on the spot, cold calls lead to a deeper connection.

And that can go a long way toward starting a business relationship.

  • Talk directly with decision-makers
If your direct dials are accurate and your cold call script is smooth, there is no better way to speak directly with a decision-maker.

Avoid the noise of a busy inbox and stand out simply by getting to their phone.

  • Gain confidence
Cold calling is an excellent training tool, especially for new sales representatives: you present your sales pitch until it is solid.

After a few conversations with prospective clients, it also helps by providing real-time feedback, allowing you to adjust your pitch as needed.

  • Increase brand awareness
The more you get your company, brand, and products in front of people, the more likely it is that you will succeed.

Cold calls allow you to introduce your brand to people who have never heard of you before.

A successful cold calling strategy
Characteristics of a professional cold call
  • Having a script to not lose your line
  • Your goal in the first few seconds of a cold call is to buy time
  • Don't prospect to make a sale but to start a conversation
  • Delivering a message
  • Show that you've researched your prospects with personalized content

  • High-quality list
Despite how good your company's message is or how skilled your team is at articulating it if a salesperson speaks to the wrong contact or the wrong type of business, the campaign will fail. Having a proper and valid B2B list with high-quality data about your prospects is a critical component.

  • Determine when you will call
According to Indeed, the sweet spots are eleven in the morning until lunch and between four and five in the afternoon, local time for the buyer. Wednesday and Thursday are the best days of the week for your cold calls to land.

Understand when your calls will be most effective. Remember this and plan accordingly.

  • Take notes after every call
When you review the call later, certain details can stick out and create talking points for future conversations. Thus, by taking notes, you make sure to not forget important details.

Cold calling is a common practice in many, if not most, sales organizations. It's a difficult process that requires a lot of patience, persistence, practice, and skill to master.

Cold Messaging on Social Media

LinkedIn, along with Facebook and Twitter, is one of the most successful platforms for salespeople.

LinkedIn is growing in popularity, and every B2B sales team should be using it to generate leads.

Cold messaging is a popular way for salespeople to reach out through these social media channels. If you know how to use LinkedIn for cold messaging it can be one of your most powerful sales channels.

Benefits of cold messaging on social media

  • Higher open rate
LinkedIn users are more likely to "get" LinkedIn and to be open to receiving a message from a stranger. It is the premier B2B networking social media platform, so using it accordingly makes sense.

It's also worth noting that most people spend their time on social platforms instead of in their email inbox section, so using LinkedIn gives your more visibility.

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This tool provided by LinkedIn further demonstrates that the site is meant for B2B networking and sales. It has features such as advanced lead and company search, alerts on your sales leads and accounts, and gives you the ability to create custom lists.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a must-have for every sales team.

  • Less spam, more security
InMail occurs within the borders of LinkedIn's closed system.

This makes it safer for users to open and less likely to contain malware, viruses, and other potentially damaging software. LinkedIn users can feel more confident when they open an InMail message from another LinkedIn user.

And if you're sending a direct message, it is only because the other user has already accepted your connection request into their network. You've already got a foot in the door. Just need the right messaging now.

A successful cold message campaign on social media

Characteristics of a professional cold message on LinkedIn:
  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Write short phrases without commas
  • Short paragraphs of two to three sentences maximum
  • Line spacing to increase readability
  • Use of GIFs or memes to stand out from the crowd

But these characteristics by themselves are not enough. Here are pointers for a successful cold message campaign:

  • Show appreciation for their work
People enjoy hearing how amazing they are, so don't be afraid to tell them!

Allowing someone to know you've seen their work, are impressed by it, and would like to learn more about it is an effective way to get them to read and respond to your cold message.

  • Offer value
Do not attempt to sell your brand, product, or service to someone you do not know.

Make sure you explain how you can provide value to them by making this connection.

Show that you want to give them something to start this relationship, and things will go much more smoothly after that.

  • Networking as your primary focus
Present your message as a "networking" opportunity rather than a sales call.

Many LinkedIn users see networking as a healthy way to share ideas, learn about new opportunities, and meet new people. It's a much more laidback way of meeting someone new.

Video Messaging

Sales representatives can use video prospecting with Loom to record and send a short, personalized video to a prospect.

Prospecting videos are typically distributed via email, but they can also be sent as a text message or as a private message on LinkedIn or other social platforms.

Benefits of video messaging

  • A video allows you to build trust and credibility
This way makes it actually possible for the prospect to see the person talking. It humanizes the salesperson and the entire process by showing that the person is real.

They are not a bot or a scam – it increases trustworthiness.

  • Uses emotion to drive engagement and effectiveness
The most effective communication is transferred via emotions, and in a video message, you can demonstrate that a lot more effectively than via writing or phone.

You can create a video that inspires different emotions and is tailor-made to each specific target audience.

  • Explain complicated topics in a short clip
Instead of sending your prospect a long and complex white paper to read, watching a video saves time and requires less effort from the prospect to deal with your solution.

They are more likely to remember what you offered when they run into their pain point if you laid it out quickly and clearly via video.

A successful video message campaign


Characteristics for a successful video message

  • Mention the relevance of your outreach
  • Explain why you're reaching out
  • Use natural light
  • Get the clearest sound and picture possible
  • Avoid clutter and distractions in the background
  • Be confident even if it's new for you – you can always make a new take

To truly have a successful video message campaign, here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Follow-ups
Follow-up emails typically receive a higher response rate than the initial outreach.

When following up, using video rather than repeating your previous message can increase engagement.

  • One part of the sequence
Use video messaging as an additional way to follow up with prospects. Even after the first outreach to prospects on LinkedIn or after a cold call, a video can increase your success rate to fill up the funnel.

Use video to support your interactions with prospects, but remember that you, the salesperson, are still the most important player.

  • Add value to each message
The more focused your message is on the prospects rather than you, the more likely you are to keep their attention.

Before you begin creating, consider what the viewer will gain from it.

Why An External SDR Can Perform Better

An external SDR is an SDR that is hired through an SDR As A Service company, such as SalesPipe. Companies can outsource their early sales funnel tasks to these companies that offer professional SDRs that already know how to sell across multiple sales channels.

These SDRs have a bit more freedom when it comes to experimenting with sales channels. And because of this freedom, inside sales outsourcing typically results in more leads.

On the other hand, in-house SDRs may be more restricted to the sales methods they can use due to company policies. They often also have to communicate with the marketing team or work with other departments. The consequence is that an in-house SDR has multiple things to do which are not always related to their main task.

External SDRs should have, after a successful ramp-up, all the information they need to succeed. They can focus solely on outbound prospecting. There is no other work they have to do, which means they are less distracted from their actual work.

External SDR Companies have the tools and experience in outbound prospecting. They can test new markets and target groups, and may already know where to prospect when they contact you.

In-house sales teams might get a fixed strategy from their management. This can lead to lousy campaign results when the predefined market is not the best choice.

An SDR team that handles top-of-funnel activities can be able to focus on closure. At the same time, the external SDR partner takes care of lead generation and appointment setting.

And external SDRs are not afraid or limited in trying new sales channels, as they have the time and resources to experiment. This provides valuable information for the business they are working with as well.
sales channels infographic

Conclusion

All outbound sales channels can be extremely effective to boost the performance of your sales funnel. You can use them to boost the effect of inbound, or simply test them as new outbound strategies if you don't have time to wait for inbound to begin working.

Every sales channel has its particularities. They require expertise and tools to lead to successful outreach campaigns. Combined as a multichannel approach to keep prospects engaged, they are a great way to turn prospects into clients.

Often, an external SDR has more freedom to tackle new markets and customer groups. This can create many opportunities that will ultimately lead to great success.

If you want to know more about how B2B companies can outsource sales, make sure to read our blog about it.

Do you want to explore different sales channels for your company? Fill out this form, and we will be in touch.
Post by Mattes Wöstemeier.
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