Did you know that nearly 90% of B2B prospects don't respond to cold outreach?
If you want to get meetings and close deals, you've got to step up your sales game.
One of the best sales outreach ideas I've heard of came from the customer success team at Sailthru.
Ready to hear it?
A customer called in to complain about how the platform displayed on her phone. She was having trouble using the tool — which is obviously an issue they wanted to address.
But the problem wasn't with their site, it was the customer's old, outdated phone.
They could’ve told her to suck it up or use the desktop version.
But they didn't. Instead, the team sent the customer a brand new phone so she could make the most of their platform.
Now, a $700 phone isn't necessarily the best sales outreach idea for a brand new lead. But, for an enterprise customer, it may be worth it.
Ever since I heard that genius idea, I've been on a mission to find creative ways salespeople can break through the online clutter and build real relationships.
So, how do you stand out in a sea of mediocre salespeople?
Note: If you’re in the B2B biz, you’re likely always interested in new leads. Try Leadfeeder’s 14-day free trial to build your pipeline.
Sales outreach idea #1: Send a gift
Offering a gift is one of the most effective ways to kick start a relationship.
Braydan Young, Head of Growth at Sendoso, says,
“As email response rates have gotten worse and worse, sales and marketing are looking for new ways to connect with their prospects and customers. Sending someone a coffee, gift, or lunch helps you appear more human and not someone who is just trying to sell them another solution. You begin to build a relationship with them.”
They fill the gap in the market for making gifting and account-based marketing easy and trackable.
Sendoso helps you send out gifts and even adds a note in your CRM. Below are some cool examples of Sendoso’s work:
Most of these outreach gift ideas are small — an e-gift card for a cup of coffee, a handwritten note. They don't cost much but are thoughtful and unique.
Sales outreach idea #2: Stand out, literally
There are around 3 million salespeople in the US. If each of those salespeople makes just ten calls a day, that's 30 million cold calls a day.
How many of those calls do you think actually reach a decision-maker?
If you want to actually reach prospects, you have to stand out before you make the call.
Nathan Lippi, Revenue Engineer at PandaDoc, says:
“Standing out as a salesperson is all about breaking the pattern that people are used to, but 90% of salespeople are doing what everyone else is doing. Emails and phone calls are important and useful. You can break the pattern with these mediums as well, but if that’s all you’re doing, you might struggle to get noticed.”
Nathan provided some unique ways to stand out:
Dress differently at conferences. Below is an image I captured of Nathan at the Revenue Summit in San Francisco when he went around asking people to sign his jacket as part of a contest. Everyone ended up knowing who he was by the end of the conference!
Give out a unique business “card” that will never be thrown away. Jeffrey Gitomer gives people coins with his face and contact information on them.
Send an old-fashioned handwritten note. Letter Friend helps people send real handwritten notes automatically via your CRM.
Sales outreach idea #3: Get personal
Personalization is nothing new. We've been taught to use names in emails and include personal details in our cold calls.
If you want to land meetings, you've got to get a bit more creative.
Ryan O’Hara, VP of Growth and Marketing at LeadIQ, says
“When you do prospecting, you’re not just competing with other salespeople for your prospect’s time. You’re competing with the marketing machines out there. Try and beat the machines by being more thoughtful than they can. Beat them by making your work personalized, creative, and entertaining.”
So what does Ryan do?
He records himself playing the piano and singing personalized songs for his prospects through the video tool Vidyard GoVideo.
Sounds a bit silly, right? But this approach increased his cold outreach to meeting conversion rate by 40%!
And remember, if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. You can turn sales rejection and failure into an opportunity every time.
Sales outreach idea #4: Talk about your competition
This might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out.
Your prospects likely already know about your competitors. They might be comparing options or already leaning towards a competitor.
Rather than ignoring the other options in your industry, talk about your competitors. Don't trash them — that will make you look petty.
Instead, showcase why your product is different. Explain your features, benefits, and pricing differences. If there are areas where the competition beats you, don't shy away from it.
At Leadfeeder, we created several landing pages that compare our features to our top competitors.
The truth is, we aren't the perfect solution for everyone — by being honest about that, we build trust and make sure we reach the right people.
Sales outreach idea #5: Be valuable
Most salespeople come in strong with talk about how great their product is and how it can help their prospect.
Highlighting benefits is important — but it should come later in the funnel.
Building a meaningful connection is about give-and-take. Instead of diving into your pitch, take the time to deliver something meaningful. It'll open the door to a stronger connection.
Here are a few value-focused sales outreach ideas:
Connect people: Offer to introduce them to someone they would benefit from meeting, such as an industry expert or a potential client.
Offer something for free: Go beyond the standard white paper or ebook and offer something of real value, such as a free two-week trial, a suggestion on how to fix something on their site, or a book they might like.
Do a free analysis: Use your expertise to do research and offer advice. For example, a social media tool salesperson might provide prospects with a free audit of their social media channels and offer a few tips. (Just make sure you come across as helpful, not condescending.)
Sales outreach idea #6: Be nice to the gatekeepers
Most salespeople do whatever they can to bypass assistants and HR to get to the decision-makers.
After all, why would you want to waste time talking to someone who can't make a purchase?
Here's the thing — those executive assistants can make or break you. They field dozens of cold calls a week and are fiercely protective of their boss's time.
Instead of trying to sneak around them, include gatekeepers in your sales outreach. Check them out on social media to find out what they like or what challenges they are facing. Then offer a meaningful (but small) gift like a coffee brand they like or a discount for a tool they might want to try.
If they end up being helpful, don't forget to follow up and send a thank you note or gift.
Note: Cold-calling isn't dead, but you do have to get creative. Try a free 14-day trial of Leadfeeder to uncover leads that are visiting your site — and then use one of the strategies above to kick start a relationship.
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