Did you know that 70% of salesmen don't send a second email when attempting to reach a prospective customer? Although it's proven that persistence in follow-up is key to successful cold outreach.
If you're a business owner who excels on the phone or you have staff in place to focus on cold calling, it's still an effective revenue driver. But 63% of sales reps say that cold calls are the worst part of their job, according to sales agent stats. Additionally, training salespeople can be cost-prohibitive. A Brevet Group study found that an average of $2,000 is spent annually to train salespeople to reach leads by phone.
Based on these negative factors and the scalability and high ROI of email marketing. We recommend email marketing as a great tool to build an Outbound Campaign around. But it doesn't have to (and shouldn't be) your only tool on your belt.
If you don't want to double down on cold calling, email marketing should be the centerpiece of your cold outreach and should be routinely tested and tweaked by your team.
An effective email marketing campaign is:
Just like a championship football team, a balanced offense provides results. Employing a diversity of tactics and touchpoints when conducting cold outreach increases the likelihood of your message cutting through the clutter.
You might be thinking, "I thought this was an article about cold outreach! Why are you bringing up ads?"
According to a study by LinkedIn, ad exposure on the platform can increase purchase intent by 1/3!
We find that "cold outreach" is best done when your lead is at least lukewarm, and a lead can be warmed up with an awareness campaign. Consider creating a LinkedIn advertising campaign targeting your target market previous to or running concurrently with your email sequence. A well-crafted campaign will familiarize the lead with your company and product(s) setting the stage for your personal outreach.
We aren't talking about selling beauty products through Facebook messenger, although B2B salespeople could probably glean some lessons from the top-performing multi-level marketers.
We're talking primarily about LinkedIn and Twitter. These social media platforms are generally more based on transactional relationships than Facebook/Instagram. Additionally, the platform claims that 4 out of 5 LinkedIn users “drive business decisions”.
What better place to nurture your relationship with your next customer than LinkedIn?
There are several ways salespeople can interact with prospects on LinkedIn. These interactions vary in seriousness but all notify the prospect of your interest.
The first way is simply viewing their profile. When you view a LinkedIn member's profile, they are notified. Depending on their notification settings, this could mean a notification via phone, email, and on LinkedIn itself.
Another way to interact with a prospect on LinkedIn is by sending a connection request. This is a much more serious step in forming a digital relationship. A salesperson sending a blank connection request to a prospect is almost guaranteed to be ignored.
That's why we recommend hitting "Add a note" and including a personal message with your connection request. The message is limited to 300 characters, so be sure to make the most of your space.
If you're lucky enough for the prospect to accept your connection request, you will then have the opportunity to continue to nurture the relationship on LinkedIn. That doesn't mean you should immediately send them a sales pitch.
Reaching this new level of connection allows you to continue to learn about and interact with the prospect. Interacting with their posts, congratulating them on their achievements, and sending them a helpful blog post/podcast are all options to further the relationship.
The final option for interacting with cold prospects on Linkedin is LinkedIn Inmail. Inmail allows salespeople with a premium account to send a set number of messages to LinkedIn members that they're not connected to. The messages can include 200 characters in the subject line and up to 2000 characters in the body. According to LinkedIn, Inmail messages have a 10%-25% response chance.
We couldn't write a blog post about sales touchpoints without mentioning cold calling. Cold calling is hated by consumers and the majority of salespeople. But when the time is right for the potential customer, it's great for all involved.
Obviously, it's tough to know when the time is exactly right. Reaching a qualified lead with outbound when they are actively searching for a solution is already a challenge. On top of that, you have to call the lead on a day and time that's convenient for them. So the "solution" for salespeople is to call at various times and hope they don't get sent to voicemail.
Sprinkling phone calls into your sales process can take an email-only strategy to the next level. Diversifying your approach will help you reach a wider range of prospects. Some people prefer to do business over the phone. For example, RAIN Group found that 57% of the C-Suite prefer to be contacted by phone.
So how do you find a prospective customer's phone number? There are many ways to find a cold lead’s phone number. Often, sales pros will simply call into a company and ask to speak with the lead. Sometimes you will get lucky and they've included their number on LinkedIn or their online resume. Other times you have to do a little bit more digging. This can be done by conducting more online research or by asking mutual connections from your business network for their number.
Another way (and our favorite way) is letting the lead give us their phone number. This can be accomplished by focusing on getting a response to your cold email because oftentimes if you earn a reply from your lead their phone number will be at the bottom in their email signature.
The sales process is complex, it varies by industry, it varies by individual, and there are no shortcuts. Diversifying the way you contact leads will help you reach a larger number of prospective customers.
Cold emails, LinkedIn messages, ads, and sales calls are all valuable tools in a diverse sales process. And every lead will have a preferred method of contact. In this blog post, we made the case for using all these elements. But that's only if you have the team and tech in place to do them all well.
Sales engagement platforms allow your team to schedule and execute diverse touchpoints at scale, and it allows management to track what outreach has been done.
Training someone to send sales emails and sell over the phone are two different processes with different price tags. The sales rep who is selling over the phone must know the product inside and out, and they must be skillful in answering questions in real-time. Sales reps who focus on cold emails need writing skills, but they don't need the same level of communication skills.
It comes down to trust. You may trust your employee to contact someone by email but shudder at the idea of them talking to someone over the phone. That's perfectly understandable! They are representing your company. If this sounds like your situation and you want to diversify your outreach strategy, hire and fire with this in mind.