Three cold outreach approaches you can use successfully in B2B

byGuido Croce

Cold outreach with, for example, a cold mail can be an effective channel to find prospects interested in your product. And, there are multiple approaches to reaching out, from low to high aggressiveness. So, in this post, I would like to share with you a few B2B outreach strategies and how to choose one.

Before I start breaking down each topic, here is the list of them for reference:

How to choose the optimal cold outreach approach

Different approaches to cold outreach and their pros and cons

  • all out approach
  • periodic approach
  • department focus approach

Risk management


How to choose the optimal cold outreach approach

A Head of Sales or CEO has to consider two main influencers when choosing a cold outreach approach:

  • the sales team experience and temperament
  • the optimal strategy for your target market

If the sales team had previous success with a type of cold outreach approach, then it might be beneficial to adopt it (if it fits with your business model). Also, the salespeople’s personalities may match better with a slow or faster pace approach.

Here are a few factors to help you choose the optimal approach based on your target market:

  1. market saturation –  the number of competitors to possible targets can impact your aggressiveness with each company; or how many new companies you reach out to at the same time.
  2. number of employees in target companies – reaching out to companies with more employees can allow for long term extensive targeting; with fewer employees, you will go through accounts much faster.
  3. reputation management – if you are in a smaller market, then it is better to take longer to reach out so that you do not damage your reputation; bigger markets allow you to be more aggressive because you are easily forgettable.
  4. pacing – if you have any external pressure to get more deals, be that investors, debt or running out of runway, then you will need an aggressive strategy to find customers rapidly.

I have discussed the factors that influence the choice of a cold outreach approach. So now, let’s examine the pros and cons of three common cold outreach approaches.

Note: the following three approaches are the ones that I commonly see our customers take on. That does not imply that there are no more. As a company striving for a leading position, you should test new methods to optimize your sales approach.


All out approach

In the all-out approach, you send messages to all the relevant employees in a short amount of time. They can be high seniority employees from departments that resonate with the problems. If there is no immediate interest, then you move on quickly.

Pros:

  • you are able to find interested companies more rapidly

Cons:

  • you alienate potential customers that are on the fence and need more time to make a decision

Periodic approach

In the periodic approach, you slowly get into the company’s network by sending a cold message to a few new random decision-makers per month.

Pros:

  • you do not exhaust any department
  • you have a higher chance of convincing companies on the fence

Cons:

  • you do not find interested companies as fast
  • you do not as easily get internal positive conversations about your product; that is because people are in different departments (only applies if the company is quite big)

Department focus approach

In the department focus approach, you reach out to all the decision-makers in one department, before moving on to another.

Pros:

  • you are able to instil curiosity in the department and provoke internal positive conversations (only applies if the company is quite big)
  • you have a higher chance of convincing companies on the fence

Cons:

  • you risk creating negative talks in a department if you are too aggressive
  • you do not find interested companies as fast

Risk management

The strategies described above are all close in regards to risk. The variables of your company’s situation are what will help you determine the best approach for you. Here are the potential risks of the three approaches:

  • you do not find enough interested companies as fast (periodic and department exhaustion approach)
  • you burn through the market too quickly (all out approach)
  • you risk damaging your reputation in smaller markets (all out and sometimes department exhaustion approach if you are too aggressive)
  • you do not have enough internal talk to generate deals (periodic approach)

As long as you accept the risks that come with your chosen strategy, then you are on your way to having a successful cold outreach campaign.


Conclusion

In this post, I explained the factors that influence the choice of a cold outreach approach. And described the top strategies and their pros and cons. Hopefully, you are able to take the information and optimise your campaigns with it. Here are the main takeaways of this post:

How to choose the optimal cold outreach approach

Consider if your sales team’s experience with a specific cold outreach approach. It may work for you.

Also, be mindful of the factors that influence your ideal outreach strategy:

  • the saturation of your target market and how aggressive you have to be
  • the number of employees of target companies; more allows for extensive targeting; less means you will burn through companies faster
  • the reputation management necessary in smaller markets vs big markets, where companies forget you more easily
  • possible external pressures to grow your company faster, such as investors

Different approaches to cold outreach

  • all out (send messages to all the relevant employees in a short amount of time)
  • periodic approach (send messages a few new random employees in a company per month)
  • department focus approach (focus on one department in a company before moving on to another)


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