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What is Targeted Outbound Prospecting?

What is Targeted Outbound Prospecting?

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Are you still relying on the outdated spray-and-pray outbound prospecting approach? It's time to rethink your strategy. 

And by a revamp, we’re talking about targeted prospecting – an excellent tactical maneuver. It's a holistic strategy that can significantly impact your success.

Now, let's talk numbers:

40% of salespeople struggle with lead quality issues due to a lack of focused approach.

And, sales teams that treat prospecting as a mere checkbox often find themselves spread thin – catering to prospects who aren't an ideal fit.

Now, the good news. There's a better way forward. 

  • Pinpoint and sieve out prospects that are relevant to your business.
  • Implement a process that seamlessly weaves targeted prospecting into every step of your sales strategy.

Consider this your wake-up call. Don't settle for outdated tactics. Embrace a strategic, data-driven approach to prospecting, and watch your conversion rates soar. 

What is Targeted Outbound Prospecting?

Targeted outbound prospecting is your ticket to a proactive sales outreach to potential customers who may or may not know your brand yet. Outbound prospecting involves the following activities: 

  • Sales reps diving into research
  • SDRs pinpointing ideal prospects
  • Sales teams making the first move to turn them into valued customers

You must focus on the heavyweights of cold emailing and cold calling for an effective outbound prospecting strategy. 

But don't stop there – reaching out via LinkedIn or any direct method also falls into this powerful approach.

What Are the Benefits of Targeted Outbound Prospecting?

Ever feel like sales prospecting is the Everest of challenges? You're not alone; over 40% of sales reps echo that sentiment. But why is it such a struggle?

In B2B companies, the mantra is often "more is better." The idea is – the more potential customers you engage with, the more conversions you'll score. Seems logical, right?

Well, here's the snag. Every moment spent on a not-so-promising prospect is a moment robbed of engaging with prospects that might actually close deals.

And this is where targeted prospecting makes its grand entry.

So, let’s explore the 4 best benefits of targeted outbound prospecting for B2B companies.

  1. Enhanced Prospect Experience: More time per promising candidate means a deeper understanding of their needs. It paves the way for a personalized and memorable experience.
  2. Rock-Solid Customer Retention: Outbound prospecting sets the tone for customer relationships. Value your future customers from the get-go; they're less likely to hit the churn button.
  3. Skyrocketing Close Rates: You dodge the drag of low-value leads by zeroing in on high-value prospects. As such, you boost your close rates.
  4. Upselling/Cross-selling Opportunities Galore: Targeted prospecting unveils each customer's unique needs, opening doors to offering solutions they genuinely need.

What Are the 5 Steps of a Targeted Prospecting Process?

Building a tailored prospecting strategy is about laying a solid foundation. It involves connecting with the right individuals at the opportune moment – through the most suitable channels – armed with precisely the right message. 

Let's break down our 5-step approach to craft an outbound prospecting process that puts your customers front and center.

Step 1: Understand Your Prospects

Ever faced the "Elf, who are you?" moment? Well, it happens particularly when reaching out to prospects for the first time.

Or 

Ever wondered why specific prospects make it to your list? Is it because they fit the annual revenue criteria, belong to the right industry, or hold a particular title?

Here's the catch – generic details don't reveal who they truly are or the challenges they grapple with.

To craft compelling messages, salespeople crave context about prospects' businesses and needs. Without it, your outreach becomes generic and, frankly, quite ineffective.

Here’s what you can do to understand your prospects better:

  • Consult Customer Support Teams: Dive into the qualities your best customers share. Insights from the front lines can be gold.
  • Leverage Sales Prospecting Tools: Unearth deeper insights about your prospects with the right tools – like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, and HubSpot Sales Hub. Knowledge is power.
  • Create Prospect Personas: Build one or more personas and tailor your targeting strategies based on what messages resonate with them.

End Note: The above process ensures your sales reps reach out only to those needing your solution. Say goodbye to the scattergun approach and embrace a tailored strategy. 

Step 2: Build a Prospect List

Ever heard the old-school sales wisdom that the more prospects you cast your net over, the more conversions you'll reel in?

Think again.

The "Serious-False-Face-Dwight-False" moment is real. A sprawling, less refined prospect list equals diluted messaging.

Sure, with 20,000 prospects, you might snag 200, but shrink that list to 500 promising leads, and you could reach half who are far likelier to convert.

So, let's flip the script. Don't waste time convincing misfit prospects; laser-focus on the best-fit ones.

Unlock the secret to more targeted prospecting lists with these moves:

  • Forge Alliances with Kindred Brands: Your prospect persona is a treasure map. Identify brands your prospects might align with, partner up, and swap prospect lists. Two birds, one stone.
  • Be a Conference Maestro: Conference attendees are halfway qualified already, and you know their industry and interests. Consider sponsoring conferences for a VIP pass to information and contacts. And in the era of virtual events, webinars, and virtual conference sponsorships are the new game.
  • Wield Sales Prospecting Tools: CRM systems unravel the mysteries of your prospects. Peek into which companies wander your virtual halls, with insights on size, revenue, and contact details. Track their online behavior – which pages get the love, how long they linger, and did a demo spark a company-wide visit?

Step 3: Implement Sales Cadences

Challenge the status quo. Welcome dynamic sales prospecting cadences that break away from the linear norm. 

Recognize that prospects are diverse, each with distinct needs, timelines, and responses. This approach offers the flexibility needed to adapt to each prospect's unique characteristics. Here’s how it works:

1. Initial Touchpoint

Begin with a strategic email introduction that unveils your product or service. 

Here, the primary objective is to initiate awareness and kindle interest. Craft this initial outreach meticulously to set the tone for the engagement.

Check out these two prospecting email examples:

Example 1:

Subject: Cut the Slack in Your Workflow with [Your Product/Service]

Hi [Prospect's Name],

Hope you're doing well! I'm introducing you to something exciting – [Your Product/Service]. It's designed to minimize the roadblocks in your workflows. Bring a fresh perspective to [specific challenge they might face]. Would you be open to a quick chat this week? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Best,
[Your Company’s Name]

Example 2:

Subject: Streamline [Prospect's Company] Efficiency with [Your Product/Service]

Hey [Prospect's Name],

I hope your day is going smoothly. I wanted to share something tailored for [Prospect's Company] – [Your Product/Service]. It's all about boosting efficiency in [mention a specific area]. Can we chat briefly about how it might fit your work?

Cheers,
[Your Company’s Name]

Next,

Follow Up: Design subsequent interactions to guide prospects further. Redirect them toward promising leads or gracefully acknowledge their preference for the "Do Not Contact" status.

Related Post: Step-By-Step Guide on Outbound Prospecting Email Automation

2. Parallel Touchpoints

Expand your outreach strategy by incorporating parallel touchpoints for a more holistic approach.

Phone Call or LinkedIn Connection Request:

Introduce a personal touch with a phone call or a connection request on LinkedIn. It adds a layer of human interaction to complement the digital outreach.

Voicemail + InMail:

Capitalize on the synergy of voicemail and LinkedIn InMail. These dual mediums enhance your chances of connecting, providing alternatives for engagement.

Next:

Guide Prospects Concurrently: As with the initial touchpoint, ensure the parallel touchpoints guide prospects effectively. Direct them toward leads that align with their interests or gracefully transition them to the "Do Not Contact" category if that's their preference.

Incorporate these dynamic strategies into your outbound prospecting cadences to help SDRs elevate their approach. Engage prospects with tailored touches, recognizing and adapting to their unique journey in the sales landscape.

Step 4: Go Beyond Outbound Prospecting

Congratulations on mastering dynamic sales cadences! Let's delve into what happens next and elevate your leads into golden opportunities.

1. Post-Cadence Assessment

Take a moment to assess the responses. Identify engagement levels, understand prospect interactions, and gauge the overall effectiveness of your outreach.

2. Understanding the Difference: Leads Vs. Opportunities

Know the distinction between leads and opportunities. Leads are potential prospects, but opportunities are those showing real promise. Not all leads are equal, so discern which ones align with your ideal customer profile and are ready for advancement.

3. Lead Qualification

Apply rigorous lead qualification processes. Utilize frameworks like BANT, CHAMP, or MEDDIC to sift through leads and pinpoint those ripe for advancement. Ensure your efforts are concentrated on opportunities with the highest potential.

4. Objection Handling

Anticipate objections that may arise post-cadences. Equip yourself with tailored responses to address concerns effectively. Turning obstacles into opportunities is key to maintaining momentum.

Here’s an illustration of how to skillfully navigate objections:

Objection: "We're currently satisfied with our existing provider."

Tailored Response: "I appreciate your loyalty to your current provider. Our solution, however, has proven to enhance [specific benefits]. Would you be open to exploring how it could complement your current setup and potentially provide additional value?"

5. Booking Meetings

With qualified leads and objection-handling strategies in place, focus on booking crucial face-to-face meetings. This step is pivotal in transitioning leads into tangible opportunities.

NOTE: Remember, not every lead will immediately qualify as an opportunity. Some may need nurturing. Redirect unqualified leads into your nurturing process to ensure continuous engagement and potential future opportunities.

Step 5: Hand Over to AES and Manage Meetings

It's time to seamlessly transition the baton to the Account Executive (AE) team. Ensure all pertinent information from your prospecting efforts is seamlessly transferred to your AEs. It includes:

  • Insights gathered during cadences
  • Lead qualification details
  • Any specific nuances about the prospect

As meetings roll in, be proactive in setting agendas, ensuring all key points are covered. Guide the conversation toward mutually beneficial outcomes.

Ghosting by prospects, unfortunately, is part of the sales journey. Proactively address it by employing gentle follow-ups. Sometimes, prospects need a gentle nudge or a strategically timed message to re-engage. Persistence with finesse is the key.

What Are the 5 Best Practices for Outbound Prospecting?

Now that you know how to proceed with selective prospecting, let’s go through some of its best practices:

1. Define Your Ideal Customers Using Data

Precision is key. Craft a perfectly defined customer persona using data. Buyer personas enhance email clickthrough rates by 500%, making users 48% more likely to consider personalized solutions.

Tips:

  • Leverage existing customer data for detailed personas. 
  • Utilize surveys and analytics to understand user behavior, refine your funnel, and continually reassess.

2. Leverage Referrals for Faster Closures

Referrals expedite deals by 69% and increase client loyalty by 18%. After all, nobody enjoys the sense of being sold to. Referrals eliminate this aspect by entrusting someone else with the most challenging part of the process – ushering your company through the door of introduction.

Tips:

  • Request introductions with clients casually after positive interactions. 
  • Treat referrals as VIPs to encourage further recommendations.

3. Segment Your Lead List for Personalization

Generic lead lists won’t cut it. Segment organize your lead lists based on demographics, job titles, and more. Proper segmentation leads to an 89% sales uplift and increased order values.

Tips:

  • Break down your leads using relevant variables. 
  • Craft personalized content for each segment, maximizing the impact of your outbound outreach strategy.

4. Establish Credibility with Social Proof

Credibility is crucial. Incorporate social proof in your outreach to build trust. Prospects trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Tips:

  • Include tailored social proof in your first message or on your landing page. 
  • Showcase how your solution has benefited similar companies.

5. Follow Up Strategically for Effective Closure

Closure takes time. The average sale requires five consecutive follow-ups. Personalize your follow-ups to show genuine interest and engagement.

Tips:

  • Focus on keeping communication channels open. 
  • Develop follow-up strategies, automate processes, and ensure error-free communication to leave a positive impression.

Closing Thoughts

While the inefficiency of generic sales prospecting is evident, navigating the space between traditional methods and a fully targeted strategy can be complex. If your current process resides in this gray area, leverage the above insights to construct a robust, precisely targeted sales approach. 

Shift your focus to a more refined, qualified lead list, and shape your sales prospecting process around customer behavior rather than mere sales rep metrics. The result? A happier you, and, undoubtedly, happier prospects.

Ready to elevate your sales prospecting game? Take the plunge with Revnew

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