Direct outreach is one of the most effective marketing strategies for B2B businesses… if executed correctly. It’s not enough to just cast a wide net toward possible “leads” and hope for the best; no, you need a strategy, a plan, and a system to ensure the best results.
Building an effective B2B outreach strategy requires upfront work to identify the right types of leads, craft the right message, and capitalize on the right channels (for your particular audience). After that, you can implement a range of tactics and techniques to nurture viable prospects into new clients, and then optimize your outreach engine for better results over time.
Follow this guide to build your B2B outreach strategy (and discover some bonus tips along the way).
Step 1: Define your target audience
If you’ve been reading our blog for some time, you’ve probably seen us hammer the point that audience research (and segmentation) is a critical step in building a B2B outreach system. You simply won’t see the results you want without doing this first!
That’s why we have a complete guide on how to develop buyer personas. But, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll summarize the steps here.
First, you’ll want to establish categories for potential buyers according to industry, company size, geographical location, or specific needs. For example, if you are a legal tech firm, you might have two segments; one for medium-sized law firms looking to optimize their case management systems and one for small law firms that are new to implementing a case management system.
Next, create detailed profiles of your ideal clients, including their pain points, challenges, and objectives. Using the same example as above, your “medium-sized” law firm profile might include characteristics like “Desire to scale”, “Has client management system in place”, and “Mid-sized budget”. Your “small” firm profile might include characteristics like “No existing client management software in place”, “Small team”, and “Limited budget”. This information will help you tailor your outreach messages and solutions to each segment.
Lastly, you should set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for the results you wish to achieve with your outreach (and for each segment). For example, perhaps you aim to increase your “medium-sized” law firm sales leads by 30% within the next six months; this may include engaging with at least 100 potential clients through targeted outreach campaigns.
Do the leg work now to identify your target audience(s) and segment them accordingly so you can craft campaigns specific to their interests, improving the potential for conversion.
Step 2: Craft compelling outreach messages
Once you have defined your target audience(s), you can use a variety of methods to identify their pain points and challenges to incorporate this logic into your outreach methods. For example, surveys or interviews can be used to gather insights into audience preferences and expectations regarding B2B solutions.
Over time, you’ll have a wealth of information (and, ideally, quantitative data) to inform your outreach scripts. Once here, you can customize all emails to address the recipient’s specific pain points or industry challenges. Further, you should articulate how your product or service addresses the client’s needs or solves their problems.
For instance, maybe you are a software company that works with digital marketing agencies. Your script can emphasize how your product streamlines operations and improves efficiency for marketing services agencies.
It can also be helpful to share industry insights, whitepapers, or case studies showcasing your expertise and your solution’s application to prospective clients. This will help you establish credibility and attract businesses seeking similar solutions.
Here’s an example of a well-crafted outreach message:
I hope this message finds you well! My name is [Your Name] from [Your Company], a software development firm specializing in creating tailored solutions for the healthcare sector.
I recently came across [Prospect’s Company] and was impressed by your commitment to innovative patient care. With our extensive expertise in developing intuitive and scalable software applications, we’ve helped healthcare providers like [Similar Client] streamline operations and improve patient outcomes.
One of our recent successes involved collaborating with [Relevant Hospital/Institution] to design a HIPAA-compliant mobile application that optimized patient scheduling and significantly reduced administrative burden, resulting in enhanced efficiency and patient satisfaction.
Would you be open to a brief call next week to discuss this further? I’m confident we can offer valuable insights and potentially chart a path towards optimizing your operations and elevating patient care at [Prospect’s Company].
Thank you for your time! I look forward to connecting.”
Step 3: Identify your best outreach channels
We wish there was one, clear answer to the question “What channel is best for B2B outreach?”. The answer really does vary depending on your particular business — your industry, your offer, your audience, and the platforms your audience engages with.
With this in mind, the best approach is always to leverage the platforms that appear to work best for your business. This might require some experimentation and testing. Keep a close eye on your performance data, such as Clicks, Impressions, Likes, Follows, Conversion Rate, etc., to see which channels are truly “best” for you.
That said, here are a few tactics to consider…
LinkedIn: Many B2B businesses choose to engage with potential B2B clients on platforms like LinkedIn. They do this by sharing valuable content, participating in relevant groups, and initiating conversations through comments or direct messages.
Networking: Others utilize networking events and webinars. They might host or participate in industry-specific events where potential clients congregate. These channels allow for direct interaction with users and the chance to showcase expertise directly to an audience.
Email: Many B2B companies use email to conduct cold outreach. Some might use website marketing software to capture website visitors and follow-up via email. Others might purchase prospecting lists, or use an email outreach service provider, to generate fresh leads.
Step 4: Nurture your leads (it’s all in the follow-up!)
Another important step to building a B2B outreach strategy is to nurture the leads after they come in. Many B2B businesses make the mistake of building the list, attempting to schedule a first call, but then letting the lead run cold if there is no interaction. Don’t let that happen!
Timely and persistent follow-up is key! You should always send follow-up emails and/or make phone calls after initial contact. Maintain a consistent (but not intrusive) approach; it might require multiple touchpoints. Don’t hesitate to offer additional information, case studies, or solutions based on their needs.
For the best results, have your sales team personalize their engagements. This starts by acknowledging their specific challenges, and stating so in the follow-up messages. Additional follow-up messages might propose customized solutions, or an updated proposal that more closely aligns with their objectives.
Consider utilizing lead nurturing software to automate follow-up, monitor performance, and optimize for improved results. Lead distribution software can also be helpful when it comes to assigning leads to the most appropriate sales team member.
Step 5: Build your B2B outreach engine
Chances are, your audience’s pain points and interests won’t remain stagnant. Business owners face new challenges, experiment with new technologies, and encounter various shifts depending on the level of their business. Your B2B outreach strategy must be able to evolve and adapt to these changes.
A B2B outreach “engine”, as we call it, is a system that’s built to scale, made to adapt, and optimized to perform. It is not “set it and forget it”, but dynamic, and adjusts based on the data that informs you as to what messages, channels, segments, and campaigns are performing best.
The first step here is to utilize tracking and analytics. You can use tools like Google Analytics, CRM software, or email marketing platforms to track outreach metrics, monitor website traffic, monitor open rates, monitor click-through rates, and monitor conversions, allowing you to evaluate campaign effectiveness.
Your engine must include cycles of regular review and optimization. Incorporate feedback from successful (and unsuccessful interactions) — and direct feedback from your sales team — to refine messaging and approach.
Finally, consider scale. How will you maximize your efforts without blowing your budget? How do you increase profitability while avoiding team burnout? These should be recurring questions, to be discussed with your team.
One potential solution is to outsource your B2B outreach. Cold calling services, appointment setting services, and lead generation agencies can be used to economize outreach and scale your efforts. It can be more cost-effective to outsource outreach versus managing this in-house.
Step 6: Get a Head Start on Your B2B Outreach
We’d love to tell you that there’s a single “best” B2B outreach strategy that guarantees results. That’s just not true. The fact is, the success of your B2B outreach depends on your ability to build a system — one that spans audience research to messaging to channel management to lead nurturance to scalability.
Many B2B businesses structure to build an effective outreach engine from the ground up. They have all the pieces, but it can be difficult to achieve the bigger picture. Working with a B2B lead generation agency that has done this successfully, and has a proven track record doing this for many businesses, might be your best bet for achieving the results you want.
Ready to build your B2B outreach system and generate better quality leads for your business? Book a call with Superhuman Prospecting to discuss your needs today!