If you’re sitting at your desk clicking through LinkedIn for hours on end, scanning hoards of data and pasting it into spreadsheets, there are three probable truths: 1) Your sales prospecting isn’t paying the bills yet, 2) Your outbound strategy needs help, 3) You lost your motivation about fifty clicks ago.
While we can’t tell you which specific outbound strategy is best for your organisation, we can tell you the most common mistakes that are undoubtedly driving your business (and sanity) into the ground.
Here are four major outbound marketing mistakes you need to avoid, plus a few practical tips to help you keep your sales pipeline full and squeeze every last drop out of your outbound sales.
1. Targeting broad buyer personas
Fact: There is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’.
When searching for people you can build a working relationship with, avoid diluting your chances of closing a sale by casting too wide a net. The end result will likely be 3,000 leads where maybe 50 are sales-qualified. It’s a waste of time and money, and you’re already short on both.
Every successful marketing campaign is based on a well-defined buyer persona or customer profile. By understanding your individual customers, you can fine-tune your outreach and come off as the solution they never knew they needed. This is how you hunt with a spear, not a net.
Jon Simpson, owner of Criterion.B wrote in his article on Forbes, ‘Personas are a foundational, strategic tool in making decisions that will affect your business growth and bottom line.’
So if you haven’t already, whittle down your customer base into specific buyer personas. Here are a few tips on developing those personas to better target your prospects:
- Conduct interviews (online or offline) to capture specific demographic information, pain points, their metrics for success, and common interests that you can use to get your foot in the door later on.
- Look at the existing data in your CRM. You can identify trends like company size, job titles, and the content they engage the most with.
- Start with a broad persona and then drill down into specifics like location, age, job title, income, interests, etc.
- Update your buyer personas every few months. Your audience’s status and interests are always evolving, so your personas should do the same.
Check our post on the Smartest Ways To Create Your Ideal Customer Profile for more info on this very important topic.
2. Manually searching for sales prospects
According to 101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tips from ‘The B2B Lead’, up to 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting. Ouch.
Imagine all the deals you could have closed if you had an outbound sales platform instead of manually copying and pasting data to endless spreadsheets?
Automating your sales prospecting with a good platform can give you back some of that precious time by streamlining the process of finding and qualifying people who are more than ready to talk. Think about it. You could have an entire list of pre-qualified leads in the time it takes to make yourself a cuppa.
In today’s market, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to automated prospecting tools. We like Triggr for its affordable price and its ability to generate a list of targeted prospects with verified contact information at the click of a button. (Full disclosure: we like it because we made it, but you’ll like it because It’s the most cost effective tool on the market.
3. Using low-quality data
There’s a good chance you’re already using a prospecting tool but for some reason your outbound strategy is still failing. In this case, the problem may just be bad data.
Data has to be fresh, accurate and up-to-date to tap into the tremendous potential of automating your prospecting process. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up with these teeth-grinding setbacks:
- Obsolete email addresses that bounce your email campaigns straight back into your inbox.
- Having to re-send half your emails after finding their current addresses.
- Getting blacklisted by spam filters for sending so many bounced emails. Yes, that can happen.
Let’s avoid all that. When you’re out hunting for a solid prospecting tool, jump on the ones that offer a free trial so you can safely test how many bounced emails you get. If it’s more than 10% of the total list, move onto a different tool.
4. Skimping on outreach and follow-up emails
No-one likes salesy emails, but outreach and follow-up are essential in the sales process.
The key is to personalise your emails so receivers are more likely to open them. We don’t mean just, ‘Hi, [name]!’, we mean really tailoring your emails to each buyer persona so your message hits home for them.
Try incorporating these simple tactics in your next email campaigns:
- Set a personalised subject line in your email to increase its open rate by 26%.
- Send segmented email campaigns for up to 760% increase in revenue.
- Add a common interest/connection/pain point that is relevant to your business to kickstart the conversation. (E.g. ‘I loved your article on X and I agree Y can be a real bother’.)
- Integrate your email platform with your CRM. It’ll help you build out the profiles for personalised emails that can increase customer interaction by 50%.
- Include a personalised video in your campaign for up to 8x improvement on click-through rates.
It’s also a good idea to automate your campaigns and follow-ups with an email automation tool to triple your output (once you’ve pinpointed the most effective messaging, of course.)
So there you have it. By avoiding these four outbound blunders you can streamline your outbound marketing strategy and finally connect with the right people for your business.
By the way, if you’re looking to replace your expensive manual outbound with an automated solution that easily exports into your CRM and marketing systems, check out Triggr or send us a message to find out if we’re a good fit for your organisation.