In our last post we talked about why you shouldn’t take one size fits all outbound sales advice from “expert” articles and opinions that you see on social media.
And we promised that we’d be going over the five-step process that you could focus on instead that will help you customize and optimize the right outbound sales program for your business. Let’s jump right into the first step in the process:
1. Segment Your Customers
Remember how your customers aren’t the same as anyone else’s? Well, they’re not even all the same as each other within your customer base.
You might sell a few different products. Or a product that can be used in very different ways. Take a look at the software world—there are plenty of products that can be used by small startups and multinational enterprises alike.
And you can bet those companies approach selling to those clients differently.
Here are just a few ways you can consider segmenting your prospects:
- Buyer persona
- Company size / age
- Potential revenue
- Geographic location
- Product fit
- Previous interactions
- Social media activity
- Specified interest in specific values
All of these are viable segmentation strategies.
When you’re getting started, stick to a few basic segments, like buyer persona or company size. Once you’ve started improving your outbound sales process, you can incorporate more (and more personalized) segments.
Make sure your CRM is set up to effectively segment your prospects, and move on to the next step:
2. Develop Messaging Specific to Your Segments
This is where segmented selling starts to get really effective.
Each segment should have specific messaging that your salespeople use in their interactions. This might be email templates, call scripts, marketing collateral like one-sheets and sales decks, and anything else that might come up in these interactions.
Let’s say you’re selling CRM software and you’ve decided to segment your prospect list by company size.
Your messaging for smaller companies might focus on scalability and saving time. When talking to larger companies you could focus on eliminating errors and improving sales–marketing alignment.
With this specific messaging, you can highlight the value proposition that’s most relevant for your prospect. And that goes a long way toward making a sale.
Pro tip: develop three different sets of messages for each segment and use your CRM to track the success of each. You’ll have more data to use when we get to the performance measurement stage below. And more data means better decisions.
3. Utilize Outreach.io for Automation & Analytics
Okay, so you have a few different sets of messaging for each segment. Now it’s time to deploy them at scale.
To get these messages out, you’ll want to use an automation tool. You could do it manually, but that’s going to take . . . well, somewhere around forever. Especially if you have a large customer base with a lot of segments.
We like Outreach.io for this purpose. It’s a sales engagement platform that makes outreach easy by automating and personalizing your communications. Once you get it set up, it’ll save you a ton of time.
And, maybe most importantly, it collects a lot of information on the success of your campaigns. We’ll talk a bit more about that in a bit. Just remember for now that the more data you can collect on your messaging, the better.
4. Run Your Segmented Outbound for 3–4 Months
You’ve segmented your customers, figured out the best messaging for each group, and found a way to automate as much of it as possible.
Now it’s time to let it run.
This is a step that’s easy to get wrong, though. Many companies don’t see a performance improvement right away, or even get a performance dip compared to their previous outbound strategies.
Don’t bail on this process because it looks like it’s headed in the wrong direction. Give it some time. It takes a while for your reps, customers, and systems to adjust to this new way of doing things.
That’s why we recommend 3–4 months of this new selling method before you make any decisions.
5. Measure Performance and Repeat
Once you’ve let your new outbound program run for a while, it’s time to dig into the data you’ve been collecting. You’ve probably been keeping an eye on it throughout the process, but now it’s decision time, so it’s worth looking for deeper insights.
How well is your new system performing? Have your outbound sales improved since the change? Are any segments or messages underperforming?
Answering questions like these will help you plan the next round of tests. Maybe one segment wasn’t responding to a particular set of messaging. Try a new message for the next quarter to see if it helps.
Or you might see that a couple segments are much more interested in one product than another. You can use that information to your advantage in your marketing and sales. You might find any number of insights when you look at the data after the first round of testing.
But your goal is straightforward: find what works. Figure out which types of messaging are the most effective for each segment. Then iterate on those to improve them over time. This creates a process of continual improvement in your outbound sales. And that’s where you’ll find big success.
Resist the Call of “Experts”
Using one of the 10 Best Calling Scripts of All Time is much easier than the process outlined above. But it also won’t drive the same level of results.
You’ll be much more successful when you tailor your outbound sales to your customers, products, value propositions, and price points.
Yes, it takes a lot more work.
But in the long run, it’s more effective and more scalable. Stop listening to the sales “experts” that peddle the same advice to everyone on their social feeds. Build something that works for your company, and you’ll never go wrong.
Want to see how we can help you build the right outbound sales process? Click here to learn more about our data-backed lead generation services.