09th Dec, 2021
, , Designation
- Understanding why customer outreach strategies matter in 2022
- Discussing ways in which small and new businesses can acquire clients easily
- How to get started with outreach campaigns: planning, implementation, and best practices
If there is one golden rule for businesses to succeed and thrive in 2022, it is that they must keep changing and adapting. As business processes and consumer patterns go digital, enterprises must also find ways to change how they interact with prospects, leads, and customers. A strategic and well-defined outreach process helps enterprises in enabling end-to-end sales journeys and manage B2B customer expectations.
In this context, let us find out how new-age outreach campaigns are designed and implemented. And how can small businesses obtain new customers using smart outreach campaigns.
Why do outreach strategies matter?
All businesses, whether B2B or B2C, now need a robust outreach strategy to win new customers and increase brand awareness. Particularly in the B2B industries, customer acquisition is a time and resource-intensive process. According to estimates, 63% of prospects are ‘somewhat’ or ‘not at all’ knowledgeable about the services they seek. What’s more, every four in five B2B sales require five or more follow-up calls after the initial meeting to close the deal.
In other words, a continuous process to reach new and existing customers is vital for businesses to grow. Additionally, designing and implementing a customer outreach strategy forces businesses to recognize the challenges and pain points of the customer and offer relevant solutions as well.
Customer outreach strategies have assumed a new meaning in the post-pandemic world, where all businesses have been forced to adapt in some way or the other. As the world slowly recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19, organizations must deploy aggressive customer outreach campaigns to attract new business and retain existing clients. In this context, it becomes pertinent to review some important aspects of customer outreach campaigns and understand how small businesses can use these tactics.
The foundations of an effective outreach strategy
Modern day outreach strategies are almost entirely dependent on comprehensive and hyper-personalized data. Thus, spending time and resources to research prospective buyers, the market conditions, and industry trends is essential. The data must be collected from reliable and accurate sources or must be outsourced from reputable lead generation agencies. Creating detailed buyer personas, prioritizing and segregating the prospects from the collected data for suitable outreach channels and messaging is equally vital.
Selecting the best channel
The chosen mode, medium, and channel of customer outreach depends on the industry and nature of the business. Traditionally, B2B outreach has relied heavily on offline, emails, and cold calling. However, today social media, video, content, and other digital marketing resources are used extensively to attract and engage customers. Building a multi-channel approach that includes some form of all these elements can be a great starting point for businesses. It will help experiment and prevent relying on a single medium for business leads.
Even in today’s age of mass marketing and social media promotions that can potentially reach millions of eyes, personalization is the one non-negotiable key to success. Something as simple as starting an email with ‘Dear ABC’ instead of ‘Dear Customer’ can significantly increase the chances of click-through and engagement. More complex forms of personalization include targeted marketing, remarketing, social media marketing, and geo-marketing. Together, these efforts make the outreach campaigns more genuine and thoughtful and instantly establish a sense of connection and trust.
The right CRM and sales force automation tools
An entire industry of marketing-tech tools and solutions has evolved over the past decade to boost customer outreach campaigns. These tools optimize the outreach strategy by automating processes, scoring leads, providing data-driven insights, and database management. Using the right CRM tool and lead management platform solution can improve productivity and simplify the execution of the campaigns. AI-powered cloud-based tools perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks involved in customer outreach campaigns accurately.
Synergy between teams
The key to a successful customer outreach campaign is an alignment between the sales, marketing, and other business functions. Different functions operating in their own bubbles, or worse, with competing goals, can cut into each other’s efforts. From the inbound sales funnel to the buyer’s journey, all teams must be on the same page regarding the content, database, and approach.
Outreach strategies that work in securing the first few clients for small businesses
Cultivating respectful and dependable business relationships is the bedrock of all modern-day outreach programs. From the very first day, dedicate time and resources to engage prospects, leads, and clients. An authentic ownership in helping solve the problems of potential and existing clients is the first step to building a long-term relationship with them. This must be followed by timely responses, support, and knowledge sharing. In other words, aim to work as a partner with clients to ensure their success and not simply provide them a service.
When starting out, most businesses tend to gravitate towards making tall claims or focusing on their USP whereas the focus should be on demonstrating tangible value and returns. They should craft the content and messaging to reflect the stated benefits instead of perceived exclusivity. Better yet, show how other businesses and clients have benefitted using case studies, success stories, and authentic testimonials.
Consistency in content
A sense of consistency and familiarity in the content and outreach campaign offers several unique advantages. In addition to increasing the brand recall value and promoting trust, a consistent brand identity makes it easier to scale up or down outreach campaigns. Thus, ensure that the tone, visual language, and content remain consistent across social media, blogs, videos, and other forms of outreach. Remember, consistency in the content and messaging is the by-product of authenticity in the outreach activities.
Leveraging customer networks
The best way to win more customers and clients is to leverage a combination of the success achieved so far and the network of existing customers. Whether it is through official introductions, a referral program, or even an informal conversation – remember existing customers tend to be the best brand ambassadors for businesses. This is a particularly useful tip for small and upcoming businesses that are trying to scale up and grow beyond projects and clients in single digits.
Five things to keep in mind with your outreach campaigns
A prerequisite to a successful outreach campaign is a relevant and information-rich database. However, many businesses fail to spend time and resources in managing and updating this database regularly. Having inaccurate customer data negatively impacts the performance of the sales and marketing team and the brand value. Thus, data decay, or the degradation of data with time, must be arrested with timely data cleansing and data hygiene practices.
Learn more about database management, its role and importance.
One often-ignored aspect of customer outreach campaigns is their timing. Depending on the intended audience, choose the right time slot of the day. For instance, working professionals tend to respond early in the morning before starting their workday whereas business owners might use the lunch hour to respond to emails. These aspects also depend on the local culture and location, so learn how the audience behaves to be able to engage them.
There is a thin line of difference that divides the art of persistently following up from being outright annoying. Do not set up several automated email or cold call campaigns to the same set of prospects or customers in a short time frame. Remember that, on average, people receive 121 emails every day, and they do not want another one. If the audience preferences for engagement are ignored, it might result in fatigue, a negative brand association, and impact loyalty.
It is easy to use unscrupulous means to attract customer attention, especially when starting out. However, to make a favorable first impression, this must be avoided at all costs. That means no misleading headlines or email subjects, no vague statements of proof or success, and strictly no to claims like the ‘largest’ or ‘fastest’ tags.
This doesn’t mean that creativity and innovation needs to be stifled, but false advertisement should be avoided. All outreach content should creatively and uniquely address specific pain points, establish credibility and authority using strong proofs of success.
Keep it real
Lastly, be true to the organization’s mission and values while reaching out to prospects and customers. Do not make unsubstantiated or inflated claims about past successes and never commit to unrealistic goals, thinking that the customer wouldn’t know better. If the customer is to feel valued and trusting, all communication and engagement must be driven with authenticity and genuine support.
Customer outreach campaigns are the basis of all organizations to grow and flourish. They must be strategized and designed carefully to ensure maximum impact and engagement. The use of digital tools, personalization, and data-driven insights is vital for outreach campaigns to succeed. Small businesses that are starting their entrepreneurial journeys must spend extra time and effort to demonstrate their value offering and learn from their customers. An authentic and focused customer outreach program can help small businesses expedite expansion and success.
Work with experts from Denave to design and execute winning customer outreach campaigns! Get in touch with us today.