Traditional, untargeted marketing strategies lead to around a three percent conversion rate. Not only is this scattergun method incredibly wasteful, but there are more effective approaches out there. In this article, we’ll look at some of them.
Targeted outreach methodologies connect businesses with the right kind of contacts. This means you’ll be reaching customers who boost ROI and drive conversions across various sales channel strategies.
Here, we look at where to find them and how you can use this targeted approach to drive sales for your company.
Step 1: Create an ideal customer profile (ICP)
An ICP is a framework of the kind of company or consumer you'd like to work with. This includes factors like size and location. Let’s say you’re a B2B business that’s in search of leads. When creating an ICP, ask yourself questions such as what industry your ideal client works in and how they spend most of their time. You should also consider the tools they use and the websites or newsletters they read.
You also need to define the reasons your ideal customer needs your products. Maybe they’re growing or expanding their business and need your products to help them do so. You now have a model of your perfect purchaser.
This model will help you define which companies or consumers to target, improving conversion rates and increasing sales. You can still approach companies who fit your ICP less well, but be wary of investing too much time and money in pursuing them.
ICPs can also help you refine your products and tailor your marketing to promote repeat business.
Step 2: Identify promising prospects
Now that you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to actually find them. You can make a list of ideal customers using your profile. Sticking with our B2B example, you would need to conduct some online research and make a list. This could be anything from 10 to 50 organizations suited to you and your products.
Choosing who to contact
B2B companies need to target individuals rather than demographics. You may have a list of ideal companies to be your customers, but who do you contact within the organization? Here are some approaches you can try:
A direct approach
There will likely be a key contact who will make decisions about buying your products. This is often the quickest and simplest option.
Don't worry if you contact the wrong person - they can refer you to the right one. The disadvantage is you might have to guess your prospect's preferred method of communication.
High entry point
If you don't know who to contact, approach a CEO or regional manager. The advantage is that the referral has more credibility. If a CEO tells your prospect to talk to you, they’ll listen. The disadvantage is that CEOs have limited time, so your window of opportunity may be narrow. That means this is quite a quick process, reducing acquisition costs. This method is more effective when targeting small-to-medium businesses.
Low entry point
Another strategy is to start low. Someone beneath your prospect can refer you. They can also provide useful information about the preferred method of communication and tone of voice.
From here, go directly to your prospect or ascend the management structure, sourcing information and gaining credibility along the way. This is more time-consuming but can be effective for larger organizations.
Step 3: Make contact
You’ve found who you’re looking for and now it’s time to reach out. There's a reason dad jokes make us groan: they aren't targeted. They have to appeal to people of different ages and backgrounds with contrasting values. This means dad jokes aren't always funny (but if a prospect tells one – laugh!).
Whoever you're contacting, do your research. This will make your communications more tailored and ensure they hit the mark. Read their social media output and LinkedIn feed. What kind of things do they post and share, and what tone do they use? What does their lead generation funnel look like? Do you have common interests or skills? You want to make sure you get positive responses, not dad-joke groans.
Approaching your prospect
Now you've found a path to your key contact, research their output. Tailor your initial contact to their preferences. Do they like making their own videos? Then use an online video editor to produce great content that’s sure to appeal.
Don’t forget to record all communications in your CRM system. Someone in your organization may previously have made contact. This could be irritating for your prospect and embarrassing for you. You want your prospect to be delighted to hear from you in a personalized manner - not annoyed.
Step 4: Structure your campaign
Emails are effective, but video conferencing represents deeper engagement. Face-to-face contact is the most valuable of all. You might be attending the same event or conference. If so, suggest meeting for coffee to exchange ideas. Show interest in your prospect’s schedule, and tell them your big diary dates.
You should aim to make around 10 communications in a campaign. With each step, you will gain information that enriches future contact and guides the customer further through your sales funnel. It’s a great idea to record key details and takeaways in your CRM system for future use!
Your prospect may convert after communication four. That's a great outcome. Conversely, they may reach stage 10 without converting. Don’t look at this as a loss because you’ve successfully engaged with them.
They could take several weeks or even months to convert. Though patience is a virtue, don’t be afraid to give them an occasional reminder via their preferred channel.
A note on sales vs engagement
Chances are you have a great product that you're confident about and you want to give it the hard sell. To do this, begin with engagement. Sign people up to your social media app. Onboard to your Zoom phone alternative. Open those lines of contact.
While engagement may be the priority to start with, it’s also the first step on the road to securing a sale and more importantly, sustainable customer loyalty. After initial contact, you're ready to talk to your prospect - and this time you want to get down to business. There are two overarching goals:
1. Explain what's in it for you. Tell the prospect why you want to work with them.
2. Highlight what's in it for them. Tell them what you have to offer that would benefit them.
How to get it right
Your subject lines are your keys to converting. Based on their effectiveness, your email will get trashed, skim-read, or studied with genuine curiosity. Based on your brand, there are several ways you can go about standing out in your customer’s inbox. You can go for a quirky, out-of-the-box CTA or bring them in with a memorable statistic to pique their interest. In either case, remember that it all comes back to your ICP and your customer’s preferred communication style.
Campaigns are often unsuccessful due to poor deliverability. Make yours clear, to the point, and be sure to include meaningful CTA. Think about what type of engagement is most effective too. Your options include:
Identifying customer pain points can be a positive for you. Anger is a high-arousal emotion. It grabs attention and spreads fast. Ensure that when you point out a problem, you offer a solution.
The only emotion more engaging than anger is awe. Inspire your contacts with human stories, achievements, and possibilities for the future. Show them what you could do together. Make them want it as badly as you do.
Put yourself in your prospect's shoes. What would interest them? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, you could share your tips for managing remote teams, noting how everyone is struggling. Provide useful information and prospects will welcome your contact.
Step 5: Refine your voice
In a sea of banal chatter, your voice needs to stand out. Start by selecting the right targets. Research your prospects so your initial contact is meaningful. Listen to them so each step of your campaign is warmer than the last.
Form mutually beneficial relationships, and you’ll be able to celebrate the rewards together. This way, you can develop a targeted outreach campaign that drives sales and delivers profits in the long term.
This is a guest post from Grace Lau, Director of Growth Content at Dialpad.