Outbound Sales Prospecting: Step by Step

The first step in any sales campaign is to first figure out who you’re selling to, which means segmenting your prospects. Once you’ve identified a few target groups, the question then becomes: How do I reach them?

Most of your potential prospects are going to have a personal phone number, work phone number, work email address, and one or even two personal email accounts; not to mention a slew of social media accounts.

When you reach out to a prospect, how do you know that your message is even reaching them? Rather than wasting time sending messages into the virtual void, identify a handful of specific people within a company or an industry.

Once you have a group of individuals to reach out to and a reliable way to contact them, it’s time to work on creating the message that will catch their eye and peak their interest. When looking at your segment, try to identify common factors beyond basic demographic information. Are there a few with a similar business title or position? Do some share a common business problem? Considering these factors will help ensure that the message you send them is relevant.

In addition to tailoring your message’s content to your prospect, the other two elements to include in your draft are:

  1. A short reference story to a previous customer you’ve had, and the positive impact you were able to have on their business. It’s a given that anyone trying to sell something is going to claim that their product or service will be beneficial to a potential customer, but being able to provide a concrete story will catch your reader’s attention. 
  2. When concluding this initial outreach note, be sure to include a call to action, which will provide your target with a clear sense of what they should do next. Something along the lines of “Can we connect to discuss this further?” or “Check out this white paper addressing X Topic” will layout the next step in your Interaction.

Once you’ve planned and crafted your initial messages, it’s time to expand. Rather than relying on a single message to catch your prospect’s attention, the best way to move forward with pulling in prospective customers is through a multi-touch sales campaign. The initial message we’ve discussed so far in this post is your first “touch,” but relying on only one or two touches in reaching a specific customer is unlikely to yield any real results.

According to PipeGen.ai, the magic number in multi-touch sales sequence is 8. While one-touch has a response rate from prospects of only 6%, and two touches 8%, prospects who’ve been exposed to your brand, message, and product eight times will have a response rate of 87%. This final, 8th “touch” should be a “break-up email,” which is a highly successful tactic meant to get a prospect’s response.

For more information on what this letter is and how to draft an effective one, check out our article here: The perfect sales breakup email

In today’s world, people are constantly bombarded by advertisements from countless companies who have identified them as a prospect, which means that not only do you need to expose a customer to your brand multiple times, you need to do it in a variety of ways. For example, since you want to reach a single prospect 8 different times, you’d think you could send along 8 emails advertising your brand, product, and that important call to action.

However, what happens if this particular prospect doesn’t check their email? Or, what happens if every company trying to reach them also sends 8 emails? Without utilizing a varied and dynamic approach, the likelihood of making an impact on that prospect decreases rapidly. Instead, aim to reach prospects in a variety of ways, including email, LinkedIn, phone calls, and handwritten letters. This helps ensure that the prospect is seeing your message.

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