Quora: What’s the Most Effective Method For “Outbound” Sales of SaaS Products?

Q: What’s the most effective method for “outbound” sales of SaaS products?

A: Brandon Redlinger, Growth at PersistIQ

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Aaron’s book is a great place to start for people getting into sales, but there’s a lot more to it. Also, since this book is so popular, the proliferation of this method has desensitized many execs to it, which kills its effectiveness.

It’s also worth mentioning that there’s no single best method; there’s never a silver bullet. But there are however, processes and strategies that will increase your chances of closing deals.

A good outbound sales approach and process includes:

  1. Personalization
  2. Research
  3. Channel diversity
  4. The right tool/technology
  5. Persistence

Personalization

If you look at the most successful sales reps, the one thing they all have in common is their ability to connect with someone on a human level. … Please don’t use MailChimp for sending cold sales email (it’s an email marketing solution, not a sales email solution). You can send an email to many people at once, but it’s a dead giveaway that you’re using an automated solution, which kills trust and rapport, and the deal right along with it. There are other technologies and platforms for this (which I’ll get to in a minute).

The more personal you can craft your outbound efforts, the better chance you have at getting someone’s attention.

So how do you create more personal outbound? Research!

Research

There’s so much information out there about anyone, so do a little digging.

The downside of personalization and research is that it takes more time. So before you spend too much time researching and personalizing, figure out what makes the most sense for you. If you’re not selling to execs, but rather entry-level employees, then the return on your time may not be worth it. There’s always a point of diminishing returns, and you have to know when that is.

My friend and colleague wrote a good post on doing research on prospects called Rethinking the R in SDR. Some resources she wrote about in her post are:

Channel Diversity

Email is not enough. Yes, email has long ago become another channel full of noise (though it’s by no means a dead channel). However, if you supplement your email efforts with other channels (calling, social, physical mail, micro-targeted ads, etc.), your chances of getting replies and closing deals drastically increases.

Repeated exposure from multiple channels leads to familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust.

Calling along with email is a given in sales. Social selling is becoming that way too. I wrote about some social selling examples (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) in a different Quora post, so here, I want to talk about some more advanced tactics that will help you warm up your leads using channel diversity.

If you know your prospect’s email address (or can find it using LinkedIn sales navigator, Anymail finder, email breaker, etc.), you can do some sales enablement via marketing. Start with their email address, then use a 3rd party cookie matching company (such as LiveRamp), then using cookies run what is essentially re-targeting ads against those prospects. They’ll see an ad for your company, and even if they don’t click on them (which they probably won’t), when your email lands in their inbox, they’ll subconsciously think “I know them, I’ve seen them before.” Check out this video about the power of the subconscious in advertising.

Or the better scenario is they click the add, download your whitepaper (which better be relevant and valuable to that specific prospect) and now they think they found you. You’re no longer hunting them, thus your email or call becomes welcomed.

Along the same lines, you can use micro-targeted ads on social. If you know the company, geographic location, job title, age, etc., ad platforms like Facebook will allow you to take out ads that are so narrowly defined that the only person that matches the criteria is your target prospect. This works the same way.

The Right Tools/Technology

The beauty of selling and the sales space comes in it’s intersection with technology. I already mentioned some tools for research and channel diversity, but this all should be built around an outbound sales platform and a CRM where you can track all of your efforts. You can’t just leave it to memory that you’ll follow up with a prospect 7 times in 30 days.

When you start to use platforms like PersistIQ, it let’s you easily building out what is essentially complex mailmerge campaigns on steroids. You can scale personalized outbound campaigns, launching highly relevant communication to multiple people at the same time.

Persistence wins!

If there’s one thing that I know is that persistence wins.  You may think following up with someone 10+ times means you’re becoming a nuisance, but you’d be surprised. On multiple occasions, I’ve had people thank me for being persistence because they didn’t previously have the time, missed the first few emails, didn’t need what I was selling before but now they do, or whatever reason. People stop before they should.

However, if you feel like you’re being a nuisance, you could be doing it wrong. Yes, sending 10 emails that all say the same thing is being a nuisance. Going off of what Scott said, approach a prospect with an idea for their business. But on other touches, go further than only offering new insights – you can and should also emphasizing business value in a different way, share relevant news, educate them on something they didn’t know before, etc.

With good channel diversity, multiple reasons for following up and the right tools all paired with persistence, you can be a welcomed guest instead of an annoying pest.

Always love geeking about about this stuff, so reach out any time. And please let me know if I can be helpful to you in any capacity!

Thank you Brandon for such a detailed answer. Follow him on twitter for non-stop top sales content. Happy closing!

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This question was originally answered on Quora Dec 12, 2015.

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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan

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