A Strategy For Outbound Marketing In 2023
Outbound marketing no longer works.
Well, that's what some people would say (I don't believe this, BTW, I think it's evolved). Over the last six months, I've encountered the same struggles with hiring SDRs and getting them to "scale" outbound to drive the pipeline.
The old way doesn't work, that's for sure.
It's a result of changing B2B buying behaviours; LinkedIn is now becoming a daily tool like any social media (more usage = more awareness of being pitched and cold approaches), and buyers will reach out if they want to speak with a solution provider.
I did some thinking on a funnel that works now.
The example steps below are the marketing to sales process on a service I purchased and reflecting on how "cold outbound" worked on me.
The process was:
- STEP ONE:
Cold invite connect. But I could see what they did on his profile; it looked professional, the content seemed interesting (I'll review this before accepting a connection), and his profile spoke to a specific challenge. That particular challenge was top of mind for me. Generally, there is always 1-3+ on top of the mind. For example, a CMO always worries about pipeline growth, conversion and team capabilities (I was).
- STEP TWO:
Post connection message. The message was not sales focused and came across well. It was simple: Hey Ed, appreciate busy etc. Straight into problem-solving in a specific way without a pitch, closing with "Is this an area you're looking for help with?"
- I did not reply to this message. However, over the coming weeks, I had super thought-provoking content with a good POV hitting my feed each day. The content kept speaking to my problem that kept niggling at me. The content was valuable, specific and had a differentiated angle. It also helped me understand what the vendor did and the problems it solved. Remember, clear, not clever.
After a 2-4 week period (roughly). The AE sent a very friendly nudge LI note to me along the lines of, did you miss my note, "Did you get a chance to read the last message?"
Engagement started. This nudge and seeing more valuable and actionable content made me curious to reply. Content and reminding me made me feel as if I knew the individual and should answer; super simple. My response was: Please tell me more about what you do, how it works and tell me more about your angle.
Clear and concise response. A friendly answer that focused on agitating my challenge in a friendly manner and clearly stating how the problem is solved, in what came across as it will be simple. Ending with, "Is this an area you're looking for help with?"
Quick call. The suggestion was then a quick call (not a discovery call) to see if on the same page and take it from there. No pushy sales. It didn't feel like I would be in a "sales process", have to sit through a DEMO or get asked question after question.
The call itself. It focused on the core problem in a human way. It was not selling but an explanation to match the problem, a few valuable insights and a clear path to move forwards—no hard selling. At the same time, I was consuming more content each day in the feed, again scratching away at my brain as I knew I wanted to solve this problem.
Negotiation and close. Post two simple calls; I then shared more detailed proof aligned with my challenge and credibility, i.e. testimonials, data and FAQs. Pricing was transparent at the right price point (a little bit higher than expected, BUT I bought in now because it would solve my problem).
Total velocity is about six weeks in total. A lower ACV ARR for sure, but the principles of the approach would apply to the enterprise.
- Know the specific challenge(s) you solve
- Interesting Point-of-view angle
- Actionable, regular content
- Engaging comms (re; LI)
- Don't rush the process
- Be human
- Be useful
- Be clear
Super simple, if you digest it.