5 Tips For Successful Sales Outreach In 2021

It turns out that business during a pandemic is not quite business as usual. And while some businesses have been lucky enough to benefit from new sales opportunities (looking at you, 10to8 (eyes emoji), many have struggled to pivot and adapt their selling processes.

However, one fact remains true as ever – effective Sales outreach is an indispensable part of a Sales team’s lead generation strategy. That being said, driving new business in this new landscape does require a slightly different approach. It’s a lot more than just picking up a phone and dialing a number. I’d like to share with you some tips that might make help you stop those precious leads from drying up.

 

1. Spot new opportunities

Where there may be many avenues that have dried up since COVID-19 struck, there are likewise probably many new opportunities to be had, even within the same prospect’s organisations. For example, many projects have been brought to the top of the priority list – such as adopting new software or generally digitising and automating processes – bringing a renewed sense of urgency that perhaps just wasn’t there previously. Obviously, this depends on how hard your industry has been hit, but as Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” To prevail in this environment, you must remain optimistic wherever you possibly can.

 

2. Keep your ear to the ground

As times are changing, customers’ needs are evolving. Going in with the same old playbook won’t cut it anymore. Keep yourself informed about what your customers really need by, for example, jumping in on the Customer Support queue, getting regular updates from your Account Executives, and sharing insights internally to compare intuitions and spot trends (or even new opportunities), as we just explored in tip number one. If you don’t feel you have the space to do this in your company, perhaps as you’re crushed by unrealistic targets, I’d suggest being quite bullish in ‘selling’ this internally and insisting on the value of spending a small amount of time thinking outside of the box. Understanding prospects’ needs is paramount to successfully chiming in with the right message at the right time, which is ultimately what successful sales outreach is all about! 

 

3. Refine your value proposition

If you speak to the average SDR these days, they’ll most likely tell you times are tough. Prospects have less bandwidth to respond to cold sales outreach. 

Where our team has had the most success is where they’ve gotten their message content just right, and also timed the delivery of that message just right. In my opinion this means it’s more important than ever to collaborate with Marketing (and all client-facing teams) to hone that value proposition to perfection.

 

4. Be empathetic

We all know by now that consumers are wiser than they used to be. Email response rates continue to plummet, and people no longer respond well to the cold, hard sell. This general trend seems to have been somewhat boosted in recent months due to a variety of factors, not least the fact that people are, understandably, extra sensitive right now.

In most cases, this calls for a more carefully thought-out, softer sales approach. In practice, this could mean doing that extra research to pre-empt a particularly hard-hit prospect, or simply providing value upfront without pushing that call-to-action so hard. As there’s a lot of human touch in this one, it leaves a lot of room for creativity and figuring out what works for you.

I’m not sure about you, but I find this quite a welcome trend – one of the more desirable effects of the pandemic, and one that I can see lasting into the foreseeable future

 

5. Bonus tip – (try to) Think longer term

At the best of times, the fast-paced world of sales outreach and lead generation demands quick results and a looming monthly/quarterly target which essentially defines your success in almost any commercial role. In 2021, all this added uncertainty brings with it a tendency for even more short-term thinking – some of it absolutely necessary of course.

There has been a growing consensus for the concept of generating demand by improving brand awareness and perception over the longer term. Almost like building good karma for your brand, if you will.

So, how to apply this in practice? 

Well, this is one tip you can start putting to the test straight away. When reaching out to prospects, make sure you’re providing that value up front. Knowing that you may not be able to precisely attribute that lead to a particular outreach effort, for example, but being confident that your brand perception is far more important in the long term (by the way, this is just one more reason to work closely with your Marketing team).

It’s my feeling that embodying this attitude will maximise your chances of striking the right chord with your prospects and will pay dividends in the long run.

Let me know if you agree!

Good luck out there.

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Dawud is a Sales Representative at 10to8, and is arguably the team member with the most obscure name. With experience in co-founding a company in the wellness industry, his Entrepreneurial approach fits in perfectly with the team's ambitious spirit. He thrives in the fast-growing Cambridge Tech scene, providing intelligent solutions for global clients and helping 10to8 grow exponentially

Dawud Allinson

Sales Representative, 10to8 Appointment Scheduling Software

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