Every business wants to maximize sales and growth, but figuring out the best sales enablement strategies can be overwhelming. We’ve gathered a list of the 24 best tips to boost your sales for business growth, from creating a solid outreach campaign that includes the right channels to using sales process automation to scale up your efforts.
Before getting into the tips for growing your business, let’s be sure we’re on the same page regarding what sales outreach is. It is an outbound sales method that involves actively reaching out to prospective buyers to generate new business. Sales outreach includes everything from prospecting early on in the process to the sales process later on. Everything that your sales engagement platform can do is included in sales outreach.
A crucial part of planning your sales outreach strategy to maximize sales is understanding the most popular channels. Gone are the days of door-to-door salesmen and being overly reliant on cold calling. While cold calling still has a place in some industries, it is largely replaced with automated LinkedIn messaging, email, and other channels.
If you want to reach all your prospective clients, you will want to use all the channels they are on. Remember that marketing across multiple channels:
Simply put, multichannel marketing is essential for filling the sales pipeline with prospects. With the advantages of multichannel marketing in mind, here are some of the most important channels to include in your B2B outreach.
Email was the gold standard for sales outreach for several years, and while it’s no longer the most important, it is still crucial to include it. Emails are less intrusive than cold calls. They also let you take your time and let your recipient take their time in responding. Added bonus, they provide a written record of communication.
Emails can be an especially useful tool if you want to follow up with something or just have a quick question. Emails are also great if you want to send multiple people the same message. They are ripe for automation, especially with cold email templates. Once you figure out how to write a cold email, your sales automation platform will let you easily scale it up.
While phone calls used to be one of the most important outreach channels, including early in the process, that is no longer the case. Now, you should reserve phone calls for later in the business relationship instead of making cold calls.
Why have phone calls fallen out of favor? Part of it is because people are busy and don’t like the pressure of having to respond right away. A lot of people also simply don’t like talking on the phone or answering calls from numbers they don’t recognize.
That said, phone calls can still be incredibly effective and can be part of your sales strategy and operations. After all, they offer a human connection that is great for furthering your business relationship and trust.
Phone calls are ideal if you need a quick turnaround, want to build a relationship, want to close the deal, and for qualifying prospects. Phone calls are also good for explaining complicated things, delivering bad news, or apologizing.
Today, you can also frequently replace phone calls with video calls, thanks to modern tech.
Social selling has quickly grown, and social media platforms are now among the most important channels in multichannel marketing automation. LinkedIn campaigns, in particular, are great for professional connections. But Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms are also crucial. The best sales automation software will include tools for multiple platforms.
Think of social media as yet another way to connect with your customers and make that connection feel authentic. You also get important insights from social media, especially with groups and LinkedIn group management.
When using social media for your outreach, it will typically be used earlier in the funnel. That said, you can easily use personalized LinkedIn messages to further the connection and push prospects along the sales funnel as part of your sales pipeline management best practices.
Live chat gives you yet another way to interact with your prospects. You can easily incorporate it into your website or social media pages. Even messages on LinkedIn can turn into a live chat if you have a short enough pause between responses.
Text messages are growing in popularity as an alternative to live chat and phone calls. They have high open rates and feel more personal than emails. But they severely restrict the length of your message compared to what you could include in a sales automation email.
While it’s not necessarily a channel, personalized video plays an important role in modern sales outreach. More people prefer video than ever before, and it is a great way to share information in an easy-to-understand and engaging way. Best of all, you can easily incorporate it into other strategies, from LinkedIn videos to including videos in emails. It is one of the creative sales outreach ideas that will set you apart from the competition.
Speaking of video, video calls have dramatically reduced the need for in-person meetings. This is a growing channel, even if you and the lead are in the same city. After all, video calls are easier to fit into the day than in-person meetings, as they entail no travel time.
Direct mail is far less important than it used to be. Now, you are much more likely to only use it in specific situations instead of everyday interactions. But the fact that direct mail communications are less common makes them stand out more. Sending a handwritten note can have a bigger impact now than it used to. Only, you don’t want to send too much direct mail, as it can easily become a waste of time and resources, and can slow down communications. After all, this is one of the very few areas where a good understanding of how to automate sales is tricky, especially given the value of handwritten notes.
While other communication methods and channels have mostly taken over, in-person meetings can still have a role in multichannel marketing. Of course, this depends on whether your prospects or clients are in the same city as you. With technology like video chat, this has become much less necessary than it was in the past.
For most sales teams, in-person meetings are reserved for the most important interactions. For example, it can be useful for a large deal or a deal with great potential. It is also useful for deals that are in trouble.
Of course, in-person meetings are also popular if the opportunity arises. Even if you typically interact with a prospect or client remotely, you may want to schedule a meeting if you happen to attend the same networking event or be in the same city.
With a better idea of the major channels for sales outreach, how do you know which one to use? The simple answer is to focus on the channel where your prospects are—this is a crucial part of sales prospecting best practices. But you will want to include more than one channel in your approach because of the benefits mentioned earlier.
While you will use multiple channels, each will likely be used in slightly different situations. For example, closing the deal will require a more personal touch, such as video calls, phone calls, or in-person meetings. But tools like automated LinkedIn lead generation can easily handle other goals. You may also want to adjust the channel based on the time of day or time of the year. A strong sales automation solution will let you easily adjust these settings. Moreover, the urgency of the situation will also influence it. For example, you can automate LinkedIn messages or use email if you don’t need an immediate response. But if it is urgent, consider calling.
With all of this background in mind, it’s time to take a look at the new rules for B2B sales outreach. They include various tips and best practices that will lead you to success.
Before you even start planning your LinkedIn outreach automation or any other type of outreach, make sure you fully understand your customers. You should know their pain points and how to address those in your messages. You should also know who is likely to convert and who would likely result in wasted effort. Ideally, you will want to create full customer personas.
Remember that taking the time to identify your customers will also help you figure out which channels to prioritize.
Once you’ve identified the pain points of your prospects, work to address them. You want to show how your product or service helps overcome those pain points. This is a great way to show the benefits and value of your product whilst showing customers you understand them, so include it when building a sales pipeline.
While some tasks fit into either sales or marketing, sales outreach spans both. Things like understanding customers and creating personas, for example, will be collaborative efforts. So will making sure that your sales push lines up with the buyers’ journeys.
Every successful sales outreach plan will have a sales cadence. This is a series of scheduled touchpoints to help you create a connection with customers. This lets you know what you need to complete for each prospect.
It also opens up the door to automation. After all, you can’t automate LinkedIn outreach if you don’t know how often you want to send messages. Remember to adjust the cadence of your outreach sales automation for the typical sales pipeline stages.
This sales cadence should involve multiple steps. Remember that most prospects need five to 15 touchpoints to make contact and convert. So, keep trying to reach out to your prospect and do so in new and creative ways.
This cadence will span various channels, which Alfred can help you automate. Use Alfred to set up multichannel campaign sequences. Start with a LinkedIn connection message, and then follow it up with an email or Twitter DM. Then, go back to another channel. Repeat as many times as you want, as Alfred doesn’t set a limit to how long these multichannel sequences can be. Don’t worry; with reply detection, Alfred will stop the sequence when your prospect responds. This way, they won’t feel bombarded with messages.
Part of mastering sales outreach is understanding when to give up. Not every prospect will convert, but you have to know when to recognize that they are unlikely to convert. You don’t want to waste time and effort - even automated efforts - on people who aren’t going to convert. So, if someone gives you a hard “no,” accept it. And get in the habit of looking for signs that a lead won’t convert. After all, part of how to convert leads into sales is knowing when not to waste your effort.
One of the biggest challenges for a salesperson is trying to figure out if a prospect would be a good lead. This will usually involve doing a bit of research and potentially starting the conversation. You want to do enough research to confirm a prospect is worth the effort but, again, you don’t want to waste time.
Part of researching your prospects is looking for relevant information in places you may not have thought of. Out-of-office emails are a great example of this. Most out-of-office automated responses will include a direct phone number. Note it down to have a direct line to reach your prospect.
Or look for contact information on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn email scraper can easily automate this for you.
The research that you complete on prospects will do more than just let you know whether to send a connection request or LinkedIn InMail. It will also give you information that you can use to personalize automated messages. This is crucial, as personalized LinkedIn connection requests get higher response rates. The same is true of any other type of communication, especially emails.
One obvious way to personalize emails is to insert the person’s name or job title. But you can also use your research to segment your audience and then send them emails that are geared toward them.
Alfred takes personalization to the next level with hyper-personalization. Alfred can easily insert company names, people’s names, job titles, and more into your LinkedIn message templates. You can further add to the personalization by importing a .csv file. Alfred will turn the additional columns into additional categories for personalization.
Personalization in emails, LinkedIn messages, and other channels goes beyond inserting the person’s name or company. It also comes through in what you include in your messages.
Mention a commonality that you have with the prospect to help build a connection. For example, maybe you attended the same LinkedIn networking event or are part of the same group.
With Alfred, you can target people you have something in common with on LinkedIn. Use Alfred to automate messages to people in a given LinkedIn event or group. Or learn how to automate your sales process with messages to people who commented on a given post. This is a great way to find new prospects.
You can also personalize your interactions by suggesting groups, content, and more. This is a great way to show that you understand the industry, and you can further highlight one of your groups.
You’ll notice that the previous point mentioned offering recommendations to prospects. This is important, as it encourages them to continue the conversation. It also helps to show that you will continue to provide value for them, encouraging them to keep working with you.
Instead of saying, “just following up” or “just checking in,” offer something. Share a link to an important or useful article in your industry or maybe a whitepaper. You can also introduce prospects to someone else who can assist them in some way.
Another great option is to find insights from others in the industry or highlight some notable statistics. Include this regardless of whether you are looking at how to write a good prospecting email or just sending a quick LinkedIn message.
One of the benefits of offering resources and adding value to your prospects is that you establish credibility. Your leads will view you as someone who always has the latest industry news. This translates into viewing you as an industry authority, furthering the business connection.
You can also establish credibility in other ways. For example, mention case studies or customer stories when highlighting the benefits of your product.
Throughout your interactions with the prospect, aim to be authentic. This is the best way to generate sales leads, as it will do wonders for building trust in you and your company. Part of this means taking a human approach to communication. So, choose a LinkedIn message template that sounds authentic and furthers the human touch with personalization.
Another part of being authentic is being honest about your company and products. Don’t act like your small business is an enterprise. Don’t lie about what your product can do or about your experience.
As mentioned in the previous point, being authentic helps create that human connection with your prospects. Further this connection by including the occasional message that isn’t strictly work-related.
Early on in the 5 stages of sales, you can automate LinkedIn messages and stick to inserting personalization. But as the business relationship progresses and the prospect moves along the sales funnel, start discussing other things occasionally. For example, maybe you noticed an interest outside of work when using a LinkedIn profile scraper. Mention that in a message.
One way to help with that human connection, even if you want to keep everything work-related is to inject some humor. Maybe insert an industry-relevant meme or gif. Or just include a funny picture you came across that you think the prospect will enjoy.
No matter how you reach out to prospects, your subject line is your chance to grab their attention. So you want to ensure that it does that, regardless of if your prospect is warm or cold.
This is another good place for personalization, so consider adding the prospect’s name. Or just make it unique with something like an emoji. Get creative with this tip on how to write outreach emails.
When you write the message, keep it short. This applies when you automate LinkedIn connections, send text messages, send emails, or reach out in any other way. Your messages should be free from fluff but still interesting. A good rule of thumb is to read your message out loud. If it takes more than a minute to read, cut it down.
And if you aren’t sure what an appropriate length for a message is, you can look at LinkedIn messaging templates for guidance.
All of your messages should include a CTA of some sort. Offering your prospect the next step gives them a clear path forward if they want to continue the business relationship. It doesn’t have to be a sales goal. For example, if you gave them a link to an article, the next step could be reading it, then reaching out to discuss it.
One of the best ways to find and convert prospects is to ask your happy clients or mutual connections for referrals. Referrals tend to be easier to convert than leads from other sources, such as email campaigns. Think of it as the modern equivalent of word of mouth.
We’ve touched on sales automation throughout this entire guide, but it is worth another mention. Look for every opportunity for automation in your sales outreach that you can find. This will free up your time to focus on the interactions that require a human touch. Remember that the best sales lead software will allow personalization, as this prevents your messages from seeming too impersonal.
A bonus of using automation is that the best tools will also track engagement and provide other analytics for you. Look at factors such as activity, clicks, replies, and time between replies depending on the channel you choose. Examine your sales pipeline report, which should be included in your sales prospecting tools.
Alfred has LinkedIn analytics built in, so you don’t need a separate LinkedIn analytics tool. See data such as the number of invites sent, the number and percent accepted, the messages sent, replies to messages, and more. You can see the leads generated and more on the LinkedIn analytics dashboard.
Of course, once you have data on engagement, you want to use it to adjust your campaigns as necessary. See if there is room for improvement or focus on methods that work better than others.
One excellent use for your analytics is to compare different timing. For example, try emailing or messaging your prospects on Monday instead of Friday and note the difference. Or try emailing on the weekend.
Remember that with some help from automation, trying different timings for interactions doesn’t mean you have to adjust your work hours. The top sales prospecting tools let you set up your systems to send messages on the weekend or schedule social media posts any day you want.
Alfred has a free social media post scheduler. Use it to plan all your posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the coming weeks at once, and set them up. This way, you can also schedule them while you are on vacation.
Trying different timings for your messages and posts is just one example of A/B testing. But you should use A/B testing for everything you can. From which channels work best, to which types of personalizations to use, to which LinkedIn email templates work best, there are many things you can A/B-test. Don’t forget to test subject lines, images, and cadences.
Remember that the best B2B sales outreach will have a multichannel approach. If you are confident in the channels that you are already using, consider testing another one. This will increase the benefits of multichannel marketing by offering even more touchpoints and options for lead prospecting.
Of course, when testing new channels, look at analytics to see how they do and use A/B testing.
While these rules to maximize sales are important, it’s more important to remember that every business and individual is different. You need to be willing to adjust our advice to fit your needs and those of your customers.
That is why analytics are so important—they let you know when you need a change. But remember that you can also reach out to prospects for feedback if you think you need a change.
The best way to grow your business will be a combination of these outreach tips. Understand multiple channel sales strategies and choose the right channels. Take advantage of the best sales management software for automation and analytics. Combine the above tips for building a sales strategy and you will be on your way to success. And don’t forget to include automation, such as to create an automated sales funnel or send automated cold emails that get responses.
Let Alfred help you automate outreach efforts. Reach out to schedule a demo, and then take advantage of our free 7-day trial without any need for a credit card.