Outbound marketing is there to bring leads into your pipeline. Moving leads through your pipeline and turning them into customers is the next stage. These two disciplines are different and require different skills. However, they have more in common than you might think. Get the fundamentals right and you will find success, a pipeline that is always full and moving smoothly. The keys are planning, strategy and focus. Here’s how you can apply similar principles to these two different areas of the sales and marketing process.
1 – Target the right people
Knowing who to target is a key element of successful outbound campaigns and a fast-flowing pipeline. If you do not put effort into your outbound targeting, you will waste time emailing or calling prospects who are not suitable buyers for your product. In your sales pipeline, it’s essential that you concentrate on the right prospects, the ones which are more likely to move at a faster pace towards a deal.
Make sure you target the right people wherever you are on the pipeline:
- Know who your ideal customer is. Analyse your current customer base to look for commonalities.
- Build detailed ideal buyer personas
- Segment your total market into a list containing only leads who match your persona. Make sure your data is as up-to-date as possible.
- Use information from your data to personalise content for outbound, or your make your sales message super-relevant.
2 – Use automation
Automation is there to take manual tasks away from marketing and sales teams, making them quicker and more reliable. They help you manage your time more efficiently and concentrate on the functions only humans can do.
For outbound marketing, use automated email software. This tech can will send your perfectly-crafted emails to your list of targets at the times when they’re most likely to open them. The software will log all interactions with your email and collect info you can use to augment your campaign.
For pipeline management, use specialist software that helps you prioritise your leads, visualise your pipeline and bring consistency to your follow-ups.
3 – Track everything
In marketing and sales, you can only improve on the numbers you track. Track as much as you can and you’ll find points where you can take action. Information is power.
Make sure your software can:
- Track every interaction with your emails
- Every interaction with a prospect on the phone
- Score each interaction so you can easily pinpoint where a lead is in your pipeline. This is called ‘lead scoring’.
Check every number with your teams regularly. For outbound marketing, use A/B testing to find out what works and what doesn’t. Test email layouts, wording, calls to action and more.
For pipeline management, conduct regular pipeline review meetings with your team to focus on what you need to do to close more deals. Clean your pipeline regularly to make sure you’re not wasting time on prospects that will never buy. Be strict with your lead scoring criteria and flush out those who do not measure up.
4 – Strike at the right time
Whether it’s sending an email at a time when a prospect is most likely to open, or calling a prospect at a time when they’re ready to buy, timing is everything.
This is a concept that many organisations don’t understand. According to research by Forrester, 53% of leads funnel to nurture because the prospect will not be ready to buy in the next 6 months.
The key to striking at the right time is good data. While it’s great to have accurate information about a prospect, their name, title, email address, it’s even better to know when they could be ready to buy. Organisations go through events where they could be in a position to make purchases. For example, they might have:
- Received a new round of funding
- Hired a new CEO
- Reviewed their Preferred Suppliers List (PSL)
If you could strike with an outbound campaign aimed only at companies who are reviewing their PSL, it would give you a great chance of success. Likewise, if you fill your pipeline with leads who have received funding in the last 3 months, they are likely to move towards a close quickly. Budget won’t be a problem!
If you would like to get your hands on data that tells you when a client is ready to buy, it’s time to talk to Cognism. Click here or call us on +44 203 858 0822.