The Pitfalls of Old-School Outbound
Outbound isn't dead, it just needs to evolve with the shifting buying landscape.
Outbound sequencing tools have made it that easy to carpet bomb your market with spam.
When used irresponsibly, you turn off prospects, burn through domains (I've done this personally), and waste resources that could've been used for greater return.
A Shifting Paradigm
- Buyers now spend a significant amount of time on self-education before speaking to a sales rep
- Buyers are expecting B2C like experiences in B2B interactions - timely, personalized engagement.
You can learn more on how Tourial adapts their outbound to today's buyers.
Rethinking The Outbound Sales Email for Today's Market
Ensure that outreach is tailored towards the stage of the buyer's journey.
Give (a lot of value) only outbound emails
"Give only" emails for people who are not at the decision/purchase stage of the journey.
We publish the "Warm Sales Insights" weekly newsletter where we present companies in buy-mode for SaaS products similar to yours (e.g., your competitors).
We're giving away free warm leads exhibiting buying intent in the form of a weekly newsletter. It gives the rep an entry point to start a conversation.
People write in for more or sign up for our actual product to get more warm leads.
The best part is that this newsletter is a cold outbound evergreen email campaign targeted to salespeople. The "newsletter" base grows weekly as we auto-subscribe more salespeople to it from our email database.
We can reach a wide audience who then become familiar with our brand over time.
Helps to bridge the mental shortcut of associating Warmly with warm leads, especially when they come to the site.
Social proof notification outbound emails
For our Zoom nametags product, we created something we lovingly termed "intra-company adoption" emails, alerting other company people that the Warmly nametags have been approved in their organizations.
We contextualized the email with each send by updating the "number of people in your organization" using Warmly's nametags.
This doesn't feel like spam, has high click-through rates and low unsubscribes, and leads to an increasing density of folks signing up for our nametags product within an organization.
We did this to solve what Andrew Chen, a16z General Partner, refers to as the "The Cold Start" problem, which is the challenge new platforms or services face when starting from scratch and attracting an initial user base.
The email is so natural and doesn't feel like an outbound campaign, yet it attracts more users onto our platform.
Once the number of users within a company meets a threshold, our product-led sales team steps in and we begin to upsell.
Outbound emails that amplify the partner tool ecosystem
We use our intent data to discover whether prospects are using partner tools in our ecosystem like Hubspot, Salesforce, ZoomInfo, Apollo, Outreach, etc.
Then we send a contextual email that specifies how Warmly can help the prospects' team amplify the power of their existing techstack.
You'll notice that we have a fair number of links as well that route back to our website.
When a prospect lands on our website from an outbound email, we're able to automatically ID them using Warmly. The rep is alerted via slack, then has the opportunity to start a conversation with the prospect right on our site via the Warmly chat widget.
Again, we've automated this sequence to fire so reps don't have to manually send anything.
Hands free prospecting!
Bottom-of-funnel outbound sales emails
Once we find that an account is surging 🔥 or in buy mode (thanks to the intent data we've collected on our paltform), we shift from "give only" emails to more sales-focused ones.
We love to use tools like sendspark to embed personalized videos that add a human touch to the outreach. The dynamic thumbnail of a real human invites you in.
Notice in the email below we use "competitor intent," referring to when the prospect is researching a competitor. You can trigger an alert for the sales team to reach out when this happens (but in our we do it automatically).
We use 6sense third party data to understand when competitors are being researched by our target accounts.
Often times we'll multi-thread the conversation, which means targeting people not just in the buying committee, but champions, users and other internal stakeholders as well.
In the case below we trigger the outbound email to the junior sales reps because everyone has the potential to influence the buying decision and we want as many internal champions as we can get!
They could bring it up with their manager if they like how we've outreached them (yes this happens a lot).
Right, we don't just use email. We take an omnichannel approach to outbound and diversify across email, LinkedIn, chat, phone, sms, and others.
For LinkedIn especially we like to combine our intent data with LinkedIn automation tools like Salesflow, which allows us to trigger a LinkedIn sequence based on intent.
Below is a connection request campaign to buying committee members for high intent accounts that have expressed interest in our product.
We know people are busy so we try to convey as much relevant information in as few words as possible. In addition to personalized videos we like to use product tours/demo environments using tools like Tourial or TestBox.
We've found that buyers don't love the traditional sales process of a string of meetings before seeing how the product works.
Sophisticated buyers typically have a solution in mind from speaking with friends/colleagues and want one more confirmation that it works the way they expected.
If you're slow to show them, they might just go with a competitor who was able to move faster.
So we try to give them the product experience right when they're ready.
As of November 2023, we've grown MRR at 30% MoM this past year. It gets harder every month because the way the math works but at the same time easier because these incremental improvements we've made to our outbound have built us long-term brand equity that compounds over time.