Gone are the days when cold outreach was only used for outbound sales. There are now much more nuanced ways of using cold outreach to your advantage.
Collated below in this blog post are 8 use cases where cold outreach will be your number one tactic to use and apply.
Accelerate enterprise sales
Closing a sale may be the most rewarding part of the sales process but it’s also one of the most challenging ones, more so in the case of enterprise sales.
In Small to Medium-sized businesses (SMB), selling is a little easier due to less red tape and a low number of stakeholders. This is, however, not the case in Enterprises, which on average have 6.8 stakeholders and a painfully long sales cycle of up to 2 years as per our customer testimonials.
Even though Enterprise or complex sales may be tougher to close, it won’t do you good to forgo them altogether and focus on easier SMB Sales. In essence, you would be letting go of an opportunity to bring in big bucks and also the chance to showcase these big companies on your website for social proof.
It may be worthwhile to try out the Diagnostic Business Development® process by Jeff Thull specifically devised to close complex sales. He is a leading-edge strategist & business advisor for major companies worldwide and author of the best-selling book, ‘Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes Are High!’.
This process encompasses four phases: Discover, Diagnose, Design and Deliver.
This refers to understanding key business issues and establishing relevance in the enterprise ecosystem by getting in touch with key stakeholders. This step is powerful enough to either propel you towards the final goal or expel you out of the race altogether. The edge in this approach is the level of research that is required pre-engagement and the resulting credibility that sets the stage for further business.
This refers to spotting indicators of a problem(s) and laying out their financial impact. A good salesperson finds ways to solve problems people didn’t even know they had simply by caring enough to investigate. Only by positioning yourself as an expert in your field, can you build credibility for your product.
This refers to presenting the solution to the customer or better yet co-creating it with them. By paying attention to customer expectations and hammering down details of the proposed solution together, you assure them of your support. Openness combined with a proactive, prescriptive approach on the part of the salesperson can increase customer satisfaction by 86%.
This is the final step of implementing the mutually finalised solution. A crucial part of this is offsetting buyer’s remorse, which occurs in 40% of B2B purchases as per a study. In other words, it’s implementing the solution and leaving customers feeling satisfied with the purchase they made.
How cold outreach can help.
While all the steps of Diagnostic Business Development® are equally important, the initial ones (namely “Discover” and “Diagnose”) require a lot more groundwork to make sure that your solution receives the required buy-in from all the stakeholders.
Cold outreach can help you here by identifying and engaging all relevant stakeholders from the get-go. By delivering personalised messages to everyone, a cold outreach cycle can ensure that you include all of them in the sales cycle and get the conversation flowing at all levels thereby accelerating the process.
Enter new markets
There comes a time when you feel you have gained an advantage in your current market and you are ready to ramp up your business. That’s when the idea of expanding into a new market starts crossing your mind. It’s an easy thought to have but not very easy to tap into.
It’s no secret that investments in market analysis, selection and entry methods can set you up for that endeavour, but before doing that, it may be worthwhile to spend some time getting down to brass tacks.
You may feel like you already have all the answers figured out as the product isn’t new and only the market is, but a whole different environment of a new market begets new challenges.
Delineated below are some key prompts to initiate you into the process of planning and strategy:
1. Identify the need
“Don’t sell a product, sell a whole new way of thinking”, quoted Mark Bonchek, business strategist and CEO of Shift Thinking.
The first primer to entering a new market is being customer-focused and identifying customer needs in the market. Once that is done, you can think of ways of presenting your product.
2. Define target segment
In marketing parlance, ‘If you try to sell to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one.’
Even with the perfect solution and the perfect strategy, you cannot target the Total Available Market (TAM) nor do you need to. What you need is to define the ideal customer profile (ICP) for your product. The more you whittle down the ideal customer profile or buyer persona for your product the better focused your strategy will be.
3. Engage with the target audience
“You cannot buy engagement, you have to build engagement”– Tara Nicholle Nelson, Transformation expert and CEO of SoulTour.
After figuring out the first steps, you need a way to engage with your target audience to glean interest in your product or service and create engagement around your brand. To do this, keep your ideal customer profile in mind and think:
- Is there a specific industry they belong to?
- Are they in managerial positions or executive ones?
- Is the problem related to their work or personal life?
- What is the best channel to reach out to them?
- Have you correctly identified the need?
The demographics and psychographics of your target audience lay the foundations for how you will communicate to them and where. You should always try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience to understand the kind of information they crave, how and where they consume it. This will help you come up with ways to engage with your audience the right way.
4. Competition and brand positioning
“Your Brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints.” – Jonah Sachs, author, speaker and marketing trailblazer.
Competition mapping is an essential part of launching yourself in a new market as that allows you the space to consider (or reconsider) your price point and also think of ways to position your brand the way you want to.
Your goal via brand positioning should be setting your brand apart from the competition that surrounds it and carving space for it in the market.
How cold outreach can help.
Entering new markets can be mighty unpredictable, so it always helps to test waters before diving in. What you need is a cost-effective way to reach out to a large section of your target audience at once, gain insights into their interest and engage them.
Cold outreach can help you do just that through personalised surveys and beta testing. You can directly reach out to your audience, have your questions answered and get them to try out your service. Offering a one-month free trial is a popular strategy to incentivise participation and achieve engagement.
Test product market fit
Product-market fit describes a scenario in which a company’s target customers are buying, using, and also spreading the word about the company’s product in numbers large enough to sustain that product’s growth and profitability.
According to Marc Andreesen, an American entrepreneur and investor, who is credited with developing the concept, product-market fit simply means finding a good market with a product capable of satisfying that market.
There is some overlap between new market entry and testing product-market fit, but the key difference lies in the fact that in one there is a product that is being tried out in a new market whereas in the other the product is just being launched or relaunched after some modifications. Like new market entry, beta-testing is a very early-stage use-case of this category too.
How cold outreach can help.
Cold outreach can help you answer key questions regarding your product market fit such as the target market, missing features, 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 action begins.
Modernise cold calling
The harbinger of outbound sales, cold calling, has immensely pervaded the sales & marketing landscape, more so in 2021. Thanks to lockdowns and the subsequent shift in the work-from-home model around the world, people are spending more time on their devices post-2020. This in effect means an opportune time for cold outreach due to higher open and response rates.
To put this in perspective, research shows that, during the current times, more people are likely to open emails and receive updates from brands. April 2020 saw an incredibly high average open rate of 21.2%. There has also been an increase in click-through rates and click-to-open percentages. Furthermore, the research suggests frequent brand communications (typically 1 week apart) was deemed favourable by the audience.
It is fair to say that audience engagement has soared in covid times, making cold outreach an ideal strategy for businesses to adopt right now.
When launching cold outreach you must also be careful to avoid common mistakes that often slip through the cracks, such as those related to prospects’ data, sending process and most important of all, content. It is important to know who you are marketing to, how you are going to go about it and what exactly your pitch is going to be.
How cold outreach can help.
You can modernise cold calling with a blend of cold outreach and automation to ensure your brand messages reach the customer through all of the triple touchpoint channels viz. email, phone and social media.
It will help to ensure consistent messaging and maintain a certain frequency at which the messages reach the customers, so you can make your brand known without being pushy.
With great sales automation tools and accurate data, you can reach your sales target in a very small period. Case in point, our customers have attested to achieving their ROI in less than 2 months using hubsell for enterprise B2B prospecting and sales automation.
Employees are the backbone of every business, big or small, but hiring the right talent can often feel like a task of its own.
The core reason for that is, unlike B2B sales, recruitment has not yet been automated or improved by cold outreach.
Recruitment is quite similar to sales and can benefit from cold outreach, which can be somewhat altered and deployed in recruitment use cases. 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 whereas in 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.
How cold outreach can help.
The activities (sales and recruiting) may be somewhat similar but the wording, channels and campaign designs are entirely different. Even so, you need a fast and effective way of connecting with candidates here just as you would with customers in the case of sales.
This is where cold outreach methods come to the rescue. With a specific campaign that caters to your specific recruitment needs, you can apply cold outreach tactics to reach out to multiple candidates on various channels for a quick turnaround.
Increasing ROI in conferences
The pandemic has changed the way we live and work, so much so that schmoozing at conferences now feels like a thing of the past. With most of the physical changing to virtual, conferences too have become virtual in the new normal. The quintessential outcome of a conference however still rests on networking.
Below are some tips to make the most out of your next virtual conference:
1. Chalk out your goals
To make the most out of a conference, you need to first and foremost identify the goals you wish to achieve from the event. Whether it is career development, learning from the pros, gaining insights on competition, making connections or something else.
2. Organise your calendar
You will need to clear out your calendar enough to ensure that you can be fully present at the conference without any distractions. Being an active participant can enhance the whole experience by leaps and bounds.
3. Familiarise yourself with the tools
You wouldn’t want to miss out on the great opportunity due to technology hiccups. So, take some time to test your audio and WIFI connection before the event starts.
4. Take advantage of replays
A definite advantage of virtual events is the possibility of having recorded sessions at your disposal. If you feel like you missed out on something important or just feel like going back to the very impressive presentation someone gave, you can easily recap with a few clicks.
5. Say yes to networking
The real value of a conference is in the attendee list as that gives you the golden opportunity to plan and prospect beforehand. In the weeks leading up to the conference, attendees are looking forward to the event and getting in the mood to connect with people. That’s when you should reach out to them and start networking.
How cold outreach can help.
Cold outreach should be an essential part of your before-the-conference preparation to make conferences or webinars ROI positive for you. Let me explain how.
Oftentimes people think of networking as something spontaneous that happens during or after the event. The problem with that is a very small window of opportunity as everyone is fighting for the attention of their prospects, making it impossible for you to get their full, undivided attention. This has only become worse in the virtual conference context where everyone is solely focused on the speakers and not on networking.
Cold outreach before the event can put you on the same page as your industry colleagues and enhance your ROI of attending the event. A well worded cold message from an industry colleague on the pretext of a conference they are set to attend is very hard to ignore. This will forge lasting relationships which could thrive long after the conference ends.
Connecting with investors
Scouting for investors can often feel like a mammoth task, but if you’re looking to launch a start-up or looking to scale your business, I can tell you right now that it’s well worth the effort. Investors provide you with more than just financial backing, they also assist you with their subject-matter expertise.
Even if you think you have the capital and the know-how, it is never a bad idea to get some offers on the table to ignite your ‘Growth Spurt’ in the niche market. Besides, staying in touch with industry experts and keeping them updated about the progress of your company is always a plus, as that will help you easily start a dialogue and raise funds when the time is right(for both parties).
Furthermore, by reaching out to investors you might even be able to get an introduction to their portfolio of companies. If your solution resonates with those businesses, it can generate a good number of deals.
How cold outreach can help.
Now that you have a great product ready to launch with sufficiently lean profit margins, it’s time to sit back and let your cold outreach strategy drive the bandwagon. Cold outreach can help you get in touch with the right investors swiftly and seamlessly.
All you need are the below steps to back you up on this ride.
1. Invest in quality research
An inbox is a noisy place, standing out from the crowd is no longer an ideal, it’s a necessity. The only way to do that is to spend some time researching your prospects so you can craft a personalised message that resonates with the investor you need on your side.
2. Show them value
One of the most important drivers of the process is showing your prospect who you are, why they should care and what exactly you need from them. This is not the place to be vague and leave any loose ends. Send a taut message chock full of details including your revenue, project proposition and scope of growth.
3. Set up a conversation
Call to action is an essential part of any message, as it acts as a loud and clear signpost that lets your receiver know exactly what is desired of them. So, be sure to use it as an opportunity to clearly state your objectives and close with a simple meeting request. Something like, ‘Are you free for a quick call in the next week?’ can do the trick.
Never leave the message in an open-ended manner asking them to schedule a call with you if they’d like to jump in on the offer. As you’re reaching out to them, the onus lies on you to make the process as seamless as possible for them.
On a side note: more and more investors are also using cold-outreach to connect with potential companies to invest in and a lot of our customers are finding merit in this approach too.
Whatever your objective may be, cold outreach can be amongst the top tactics in your handbook in each one of the use cases described, namely quickly finding new customers, partners as well as investors, recruiting new candidates, finding out whether or not your product is ready for the market, getting some digital PR, Networking et al. Combine cold outreach with personalised automation to bid adieu to common cold outreach challenges and find easy success in all your business objectives or use cases.
For those unfamiliar with hubsell, we provide a seamless end-to-end B2B prospecting