| Jan 19, 2023 | | 5 min read

Are you doing sales outreach all wrong?


​​The average North American sees thousands upon thousands of branded messages every day. From billboards to social media advertising, brand messaging is everywhere. Then add in the fact that billions of emails are sent per day (TechJury). You should be getting a clearer picture of how crowded the market is. If your sales outreach efforts haven’t been landing lately, this noise might have something to do with it.

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The good news is it doesn’t take much to change how you do sales outreach—and make it more effective.

Sales outreach needs to get the prospect’s attention

The stats for traditional sales outreach can seem a bit bleak. Cold calling is one arena that’s declined in effectiveness. In 2007, reps needed to make fewer than four calls to reach a prospect. Today, they’ll need to make more than four times as many calls just to get through (Medium).

Then consider that cold calls have a low success rate. It’s little wonder that most salespeople think cold calling is dead.

Talk to a B2B buyer, though, and you might get a different picture. Most buyers prefer to have reps call them, versus sending them an email or a social media message. The majority also say they enjoy receiving information from new-to-them reps. Perhaps most surprising, the majority book an appointment after sales outbound calls.

So, why do salespeople think the cold call doesn’t work? Most of the time, the issue is that they’re not getting the prospect’s attention—or keeping it. Your sales team isn’t the only one leaving voicemail messages for harried business owners. You'll have to have a message that gets them to sit up and take notice.

The same is true no matter what channels a salesperson uses. If you’re sending out email blasts, then your subject lines must grab attention if you want to get into the 18 percent of emails that actually get opened (SmallBizTrends). Social media DMs and text messages might also be ignored. That is, unless your sales team lands with something that intrigues the prospect.

Present the prospect with something new

This is the new reality for sales outreach: You need to cut to the chase. Statistics about successful cold calls uphold this idea. Salespeople who stated their reason for calling were more successful. The average successful cold call is only a few seconds long.

The email subject line also drives home urgency. Your subject line needs to stand out among hundreds or thousands of emails. Many of those messages are from other salespeople vying for the prospect’s attention.

So, how do you grab that person’s attention? The best method is to present the prospect with new and useful insights about their business. If someone says, “This data on your company shows that your business could really use some new reviews, and we can help,” you’re going to pay attention. A headline that says, “Is your business having trouble with reviews?” or “Get More Reviews Now!” is less likely to pique their interest.

Why is the first option so much more appealing? First, it takes the time to pinpoint a problem within the business. The second and third options don’t consider the business’s unique needs at all. The second asks a question—which suggests the salesperson doesn’t know if the business needs help or not. The third doesn’t care if reviews are the problem or not—the rep just wants you to buy now.

Sales outreach is successful when it takes the time to connect

Imagine you're a business owner having trouble with your online presence. Now imagine a sales rep shows up in your inbox and tells you that

  • they can pinpoint the problem, and
  • they have a solution.

You are probably going to make a point to talk to this person!

That’s why the first headline is so effective. It tells the prospect exactly where the problem is. Then it positions your team as the experts who can help solve that problem.

This makes the prospect more inclined to hear you out for a couple of reasons. First, it’s evident your team took the time to do a little research and understand the prospect’s company. Second, it also suggests that your team has the expertise needed to help the prospect succeed.

This approach to sales outreach establishes a connection between you and the prospect. If the prospect feels you took the time to understand the unique situation they’re facing, they’re going to be more invested in the solution.

How do you get insights to share during sales outreach?

There are plenty of sales intelligence tools out there that can help your team. A little bit of research goes a long way in today’s environment.

There’s a good chance you’re already using some sales intelligence tools. You might have one that allows you to take a look at the makeup of your current client base. Knowing that breakdown can inform research into new leads. It could also change how you qualify leads. It might even let you think about other services you can offer to both your existing clients and new ones.

Some of these sales intelligence tools also allow you to take a “snapshot” of a prospect’s online presence. In turn, you can quickly identify the problem areas for the business. Your team can offer insights as well as personalized recommendations for solutions in order to open the relationship and close prospects.

Make the conversation about the prospect (not the product)

Sales outreach is most successful when your team puts the prospect first. That’s why providing them with personalized reports and solutions is so effective. It puts the prospect at the center of the conversation.

One of the most common mistakes salespeople make is talking only about their product or service. They sometimes fail to show why a prospect should sign up—beyond the fact it will help the team reach their quota.

With a personalized report or product and service bundle meant to meet their unique needs, you’re showing the prospect why these solutions work for them. Your team members become trusted experts invested in helping the prospect succeed—not people who are just trying to make a quick sale.

Sales outreach can be effective with the right approach

There is no denying that, in a crowded market, it’s tough to grab your prospects’ attention. With a little planning, some research, and a focus on the customer, sales outreach can be easier for your team.

The right tools and service mix can go a long way in supporting your team. Give them the insights they need with better sales intelligence tools, like Vendasta’s Snapshot Report. In the process, you'll discover a better way to reach more of your prospects.

About the Author

Solange Messier is the Content Strategy Manager at Vendasta. Solange has spent the majority of her career in content marketing helping companies improve how they connect with their prospects and customers. Her diverse background includes magazine publishing, book publishing, marketing agencies, payment processing, and tech. When she's not working, Solange can be found spending time with her family, running, and volunteering.

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