Eight use cases where cold outreach will be your number one tactic

byGuido Croce

A successful inbound strategy in the B2B market requires a lot of upfront investment and momentum, therefore, bigger businesses usually come out on top because they have more cash to burn. In contrast, outbound is a good strategy for up and coming B2B businesses and SMEs because it allows them to compete with the more established companies without needing huge amounts of cash.

In this post, I want to share a few tried and tested use cases where you can utilize cold outreach to your advantage.


Accelerate enterprise sales

Enterprises usually require a long sales cycle ranging between six months to two years from generating an opportunity to closing a deal. There are several reasons for the long sales cycle but here a few that can be dealt with cold outreach.

In enterprise sales, there are, on average, a higher number of stakeholders and decision makers involved than in smaller and medium-sized companies. Typically in smaller companies, our customers report dealing with two to four stakeholders in the sales cycle, whereas in large enterprises the typical number of stakeholder involved is above six.

In the absence of cold outreach, the speed at which stakeholders are introduced into the sales cycle is entirely dependent on the level of pro-activity of the stakeholders that are already engaged in the sales cycle with you. By using (cold) outreach you can accelerate the same from the get-go. The earlier all the relevant stakeholders are included in the sales cycle the more time you can cut from it.


Enter new markets

Entering a new market is a costly and risky strategy, so it should be properly validated by collecting real market feedback from prospects before committing to an investment to expand.

With cold outreach, you are able to rapidly contact relevant decision-makers in your target market within a period of four to six weeks and gather valuable intel on the market, feasibility to enter, the tactics that would work vs that would not work and the objections you are likely to face from your potential customers.

By gathering a lot of intel before you launch your expansion strategy, you can better design your pitch and adjust your sales and marketing collaterals for the needs and pains of the (new) target market.


Test product market fit

Cold outreach is useful when you aim to launch a new product or brand, but you do not know whether or not:

  • the market wants what you have at that moment or if you need to make some changes to it,
  • and whether the strategy or the targeted market for the product launch is the right one

You can reformulate the points above to questions. Is the product ready to serve the market? Is the customer target the right one?

There is some overlap between new market entry and testing product-market fit, but the main differences are that instead of already having a product and wanting to go into a new vertical, you either have not brought the product to market yet or you are making significant changes to it before you do a full launch. Beta-testing is a very early stage use-case of this category.

Cold outreach can help you answer key questions regarding your product market fit, the target market, the missing features, the potential value of the solution, and how to approximate the right price for it. All key questions that any sales and marketing professional would want to have answered before the actions begins.


Modernise cold calling

The hallmark of sales and a tactic a lot of salespeople swear by, cold calling, is a term almost undetachable from B2B sales. Many of hubsell customers use cold calling to generate opportunities however there is the old way and then there is a new way. In this point, I would like to show how cold calling is being changed to include sales and marketing automation.

Cold calling as a standalone activity is not an ideal long-term strategy for B2B sales because it is very hard to scale, requires human energy, and it will eventually take a toll on your team and exhaust them. In addition, it is an extremely expensive activity. Another somewhat hidden consequence of cold calling is that it also limits the potential of your skilled cold callers who should use their skills in activities further down in the sales funnel.

A lot of our customers who successfully do cold calling, do so by integrating it into their overall sales and marketing automation workflow.

You can integrate cold calling into your overall sales and marketing workflow by making it conditional. For example, after reaching out to prospects through other channels, if they have opened your emails or visited your website a certain number of times (which indicates interest) then you can give them a call. Another example is, if they have not responded to any of your touchpoints, then you can call them as a last resort to exhaust all options.

The number matter, consider the following two scenarios:

  • you cold call all of you one hundred prospects, one after the other
  • you reach out to them and only call the ones which indicated interest or never replied to your automated outreach

The second option does not result in lower overall conversion but is definitely less time consuming and more scalable.


Recruitment

What we hear from our customers is that when they need to recruit it is actually harder than getting a new customer. The core reason for that is, unlike B2B sales, recruitment has not yet been automated/improved by cold-outreach.

A lot of the cold outreach tactics can be somewhat altered and deployed in recruitment use-case. Here are the parallels:

  • in sales, you do prospecting to find potential customers whereas in recruitment you do candidate sourcing
  • in sales, you do a discovery call wherein recruitment you do the initial interview
  • in sales you have inbound or outbound channels, in recruitment, you have candidates applying to your vacancies or you head hunting for them

The activities are quite similar but the wording, channels and campaign design are different.


Link building and public relations

Link building is quite similar to sales, in essence, in both situations you are selling a mutually beneficial relationship to the other party, wherein link building/PR you are trading one good with another, in sales one of the goods is money. E.g. you are exchanging value by offering qualitative content in return for a link and exposure to their subscribers.

The process consists of finding websites that post media related to your industry and contacting them or contributors responsible for the articles, a process which can be fully supported with cold outreach tactics.


Increasing ROI in conferences

Often times, conferences are not ROI positive for companies because the focus is only on making connections only during the event and not setting up appointments beforehand. The problem with relying on spontaneous networking is that everyone is fighting for the attention of their relevant prospects, so the time that decision makers have is in low quantities.

The real value of conferences is in the attendees list, which enables you to plan ahead and prospect beforehand. The weeks leading up to the conference, attendees are looking forward to the event and getting in the mood to connect with people. This is where cold outreach works its magic because a well worded cold message asking for a meeting very frequently gets a positive reply.


Connecting with investors

Cold outreach can help you get in touch with potential investors. Sure the best way to connect with investors is through a warm intro, however you do not always have access to the right people that can introduce you to the right investors. Also think about generating counter multiple offers, if you are already in touch with a number of investors interested to fund you, it is still advisable to connect with more to strengthen your negotiating position.

It is advisable to connect with investors even if you are not ready for investment just to keep them updated about the progress of your company so that when the time is right (for both parties) you can easily start a dialogue.

Furthermore, by reaching out to investors you even might be able to get an introduction to their portfolio of companies. If your solution resonates with those businesses it can generate you a good amount of deals.

On a side note: more and more investors are also using cold-outreach to connect with potential companies to invest in.


Conclusion

In the B2B market, outbound sales should be amongst your top tactics to quickly find new customers, partners as well as investors. In this article, I have discussed some of the most popular use cases for cold outreach which will hopefully inspire you to adopt them in your company’s strategy.



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