Outbound prospecting is a vital part of every sales process, but when it’s based on static data, it’s bound to fail. Static data might help you find the right person, but they might not be a valid prospect. Intent-based marketing can help you eliminate cold outreach and improve your outbound process.
Today on The Sales Evangelist, Tukan Das explains why trigger events are important to your outbound process, and why static data isn’t sufficient for outbound prospecting.
Tukan is the CEO of LeadSift, a sales intelligence platform that generates qualified leads from public web.
Use signals to predict buying probability.
Before LeadSift pivoted to the B2B realm, the company was targeting large brands and agencies, going after the CEOs. LeadSift began the process by building lists of target accounts based upon static data. They chose accounts that matched their typical buyer and initiated an email nurture sequence.
They discovered that the process was labor intensive, and that it didn’t necessarily produce prospects that were ready to buy.
The key, they determined, was finding prospects when the need to buy a product or service was top-of-mind. Trigger points were the answer.
LeadSift monitors how prospects engage with content across the web. Using information about how they talk to competitors, how they discuss industry events, news articles they read, and positions they hire for, the platform interprets signals to predict the probability of a prospect’s readiness to buy.
Once you’ve used trigger events to determine the prospect’s likelihood of buying, you can craft your outreach accordingly.
Eliminate cold outreach by gathering relevant information about your prospects.
Separate outbound from account development.
Many times, the same account executive is tasked with nurturing leads as well as sending out cold emails to book meetings.
That can be problematic because the motivations are very different: the person responsible for outbound shouldn’t necessarily be the same person to close deals. Because account execs don’t typically enjoy cold calling and cold emails, execs may not follow through on them.
Instead, consider having an entry-level sales person do the research and prospecting.
Measure your outbound people on the number of relevant people they are engaging with, and make sure they have a very clear definition of your ideal customer profile.
As you evaluate your audience, distinguish the buyer from the decision-maker. In the case of LeadSift, account development managers use the data, but they sell the product to VP’s of marketing.
Evaluate your messaging and determine who is responding to it.
Send proper outbound outreach.
Your outbound outreach cannot be one email sent to a list of 100 people.
Mix in other strategies like social selling and phone calls.
Keep your emails short, and don’t try to make them too cute. Provide value without writing long, dry emails.
Test your emails. Personalize your email sequence and track its performance. Adapt your messaging to your audience, and if it isn’t working, change it.
Realize that the same email won’t work in every situation.
Use meaningful data.
If, at the end of 90 days, you cannot report how many emails you sent, how many phone calls you made, how many emails were opened, and other relevant data, you are setting yourself up for failure.
What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get improved.
Too many companies “wing” their outbound efforts. They have no intentional plan, so their process doesn’t work consistently.
The industry is trending toward account-based sales, so your outbound process should include a strategy for each company or each cluster of companies.
Rather than buying lists, which is always static data, use LinkedIn to find your seed set of companies and prospects.
Outbound prospecting cannot be an afterthought. No strategy works every time, so you must be patient. If you’re doing the right things and conducting a good email campaign, you should see results within 180 days.
“Eliminate Cold Outreach” resources
Find more information about LeadSift, and connect with Tukan on Twitter.
You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based upon research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.
Once you’ve applied the concepts you heard here today, message me or email me and let me know what your results were.
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