The business world operates largely on the basis of the first impressions you make! This game of making a mark on your prospective clients/potential investors holds even more importance for startups. One cold email to the right target with a clear-cut, impressive communication can lead you to convert a groundbreaking prospect for your organization. However, the world of cold marketing is a tough one, as it generally leads to outright rejection, no responses, and consequent frustration for business owners and sales teams. In this piece, we’re going to look at ways in which you can make your outbound sales work since it is a time-consuming and intensive process.
Outbound Sales: Identifying the Need for it
Before you even begin ringing up people and start shooting out mass emails, it is important to know whether outbound marketing is even right for your business model or not. Mei Siauw, CEO at LeadIQ, suggests few startups who should definitely invest their efforts towards outbound marketing.
- Average deal size from ₹ 1,00,000 – ₹ 5,00,000.
- Startups who have done appropriate customer profiling
- Startups who have a product or service for businesses
- Startups who have outlined a definite value proposition
- Startups competing in Competitive Markets
The startup Zenefits is a great example of the usage of outbound marketing. In the span of just two years, this startup grew to up to $20 million dollars. A major contributor to this accelerated pace of growth for this startup can be attributed to an early commitment towards outbound marketing. The marketing team of Zenefits gives a huge share of the credit for their success to the fine-tuning of value proposition and customer targeting of outbound cold emails which yielded maximum impact. Up to three months were spent in making small tweaks to language and the value proposition communication.
In addition to the tweaking, a wide range of audiences were reached out to, from CEOs to HRs, finance and marketing professionals, and approaching with various concepts in order to zero in on what resonated with the audiences the most. These Zenefits proclamations furnished the ideal platform for scaling the organization. The main objective for outbound marketing via marketing emails is viewed as transactions, the experience of the industry indicates the best practice for startups is to obtain meetings and personalized interactions with prospective clients. These have also led to some interesting prospects to obtain startup funding.
Is there a commitment to the process?
Startups and early-stage businesses rely heavily on a few communication platforms in order to market themselves:
- Social Media
- Blogs and Emails
An ideal process for launching a website takes about 16-20 weeks, with content, design, development, refinement, and reviews taking up a lot of time. Social Media Calendars, Content and graphics are also prepared at least 2 months in advance. However, it was shocking to see that the average time spent in the curation, drafting, and delivery of email marketing was just 5 minutes! Only 5 minutes were spent by founders on their long-lasting first impressions. A cold email is a best-effort communication to reach out to a specific audience about your new product or service. Since they are pivotal for startups in the phases of their communication outreach, many people advocate reviewing the outbound mails within the organization as well. The reasoning behind this review is to escalate the outbound communication’s importance to other channels of communication, making their chances of success rise exponentially.
Doing your Homework
Profiling the prospects for sending out the outbound communication is vital and not just general demographics, but a specific list of people or extremely narrowed down prospects. In addition to this, you should try and figure out how your business can use different vehicles of communication i.e. emails and videos. Fast outbound prospecting is essentially how emails and other communication channels helped the people at LeadIQ, generate a staggering 18% response to their cold communications.
- Integrating music into the mails has proven to personalize communication and give it more impact.
- Going international helps! Since you would always want to scale beyond your country of origin of business, it helps to use the native language of your prospects, as it makes them feel well-catered to.
- A demo link goes a long way in helping put your services and messages for outreach in a consolidated and well-articulated fashion for your future clients.
- It is also important in today’s hyperconnected world to add tremendous value to your emails and follow-up communications. It also becomes pivotal to communicate effectively via other channels like social media. In addition, you have to measure what is working and what is not.
After you have zeroed in on how and what type of communication works, the next obvious step is to deploy these insights of outbound marketing on a larger scale. SDRs or Sales Development Representatives need to be hired, whether it is for creating a team of employees at your firm or reaching out to potential outsourcing options. There are different sides to both – Internal SDRs end up costing you less but also result in booking fewer appointments, External SDRs ramp up faster with scripts and book more appointments but generally end up costing a lot more than internal SDRs.
For founders considering the ratio of SDRs to account executives (AEs), the following general rule of thumb can be helpful:
- 1 SDR: 1 AE (not enough inbound opportunities)
- 1 SDR: 2 AE (decent inbound opportunities)
- 1 SDR : 3 AE (mostly inbound opportunities)
Startups can help get more results if they try to integrate a generic video which is addressing a very narrowed down and hyperfocused targets. For example, people living in Delhi, who are travelling from Rohini to Gurgaon in congested public transports every day. These then can be used to drive very specific call to actions and help create a very very personalized style of marketing driving high engagement and conversions.
Outbound sales are tough, it is important that you stay true to the process and keep chipping away till you hit the point where a set process starts yielding results matching your expectations. Execution is the name of the game, keep trying different things and be persistent, that’s the mantra for achieving success!