Sales is often a numbers game, but a successful outbound strategy requires more effort than just flooding the top of the funnel — like targeting the right person, creating compelling messaging, automating your process, etc.
Not getting enough quality leads? The answer probably isn’t to start sending more emails…at least not without thinking through other contributing factors as well.
Here are some other things to consider if you’re trying to get more out of your outbound process.
Create the Right Ideal Customer Profile
Are you getting (sometimes angry) responses from prospects that say they aren’t the right person to talk to?
If so, you need to revisit, or create your Ideal customer profile. Your messaging, your timing and your strategy aren’t effective if your email lands in the inbox of the wrong person — they likely won’t see the value of your offering and as such, they won’t be willing to help you.
Quick side note: In some cases (like if your buyer is an extremely busy high-level exec), it may be beneficial to cast a wide net and work your way into a conversation by reaching out to someone who may not be the best fit, but could become an advocate for you down the road. But this certainly isn’t the most direct way to see value from your efforts, and your strategy (and messaging) needs to reflect the difference.
Who is the right person?
When creating the ideal customer profile, it’s most important to put yourself in the shoes of the person who will directly benefit from your offering. An email about payroll service that’s intended for an HR exec, but winds up in a sales manager’s inbox will almost certainly be ignored. There are a few other things to consider as well:
- Does the person you want to talk to having buying power or authority to make a decision?
- Is the company a good fit for your product/offering?
- Does this prospect have anything in common with your best/worst customer?
A lot of outbound programs generate too few responses because of things that were overlooked earlier in the process. If you want to get better qualified leads, start by creating profiles of your ideal customer.
The most outstanding sales teams have highly accurate profiles, and they know exactly who to target with their outreach. Get in front of the right people, and your response rates will naturally improve.
Write Compelling Messaging
The average person gets 80+ emails in their inbox every day. So even if you’re targeting the right person, you’re competing for their attention against a deluge of emails from customers, colleagues, Amazon, and other salespeople who also have something valuable to offer.
To stand a chance of getting a prospect’s attention (even for a few seconds), your messaging has to be incredibly compelling. And writing great copy takes work and creativity.
It all starts with your subject line, where you can address a problem, reference a shared connection, or try out any of these high performing subject lines that we’ve tried in the past.
Secondarily, but most importantly, your email should be centered around the challenge the prospect is facing, and not what your company does. Anything that you say about your company should be in the context of how you can help the prospect solve a problem.
Your messaging should also be tailored to the persona. For example, you might be selling a cloud-based tool that can be used by both marketing and HR teams — but, you’ll need to write two completely different sets of messaging specifying the challenges of each customer.
Automate the Prospecting Process
Prospecting is the heavy-lifting part of the sales cycle — you have to compile data on who to reach out to, find their email address/phone number, send dozens/hundreds of emails a day, keep track of responses, filter those responses and send follow-ups, etc., etc.
And as you know, this seemingly never-ending process leaves you with too little time to focus on converting opportunities. It also makes it virtually impossible to spend time on research during the prospecting process that would allow you to further customize your outreach. Consequently, your conversion rates on email outreach ends up being disappointingly low.
To increase your reply rates, as well as your opportunity to close ratio, automate your prospecting process with software like Vista Lead Generation.
After running the outbound process for ourselves, we noticed that on many occasions, a prospect would:
Check out our website after receiving an email…
…and then not respond to our email.
And even though we didn’t get a response, the prospect going directly to the website is a good sign, and we want to be able to stay on their radar.
But without a direct response, it’s hard to manage a follow up process. So, you need to get creative.
A simple way of doing this is to create a re-targeting process in sync with your outbound campaign. Maybe the prospect planned to respond to your email, but they visited the site, got distracted by something else and then forgot. Or, maybe it wasn’t the best timing — either way, re-targeting allows you to stay on the forefront of the prospect’s mind.