How Sales Teams Can Gain Better Insights From Cold Outreach
Cold outreach is a cost-effective outbound sales prospecting approach used to generate leads. With this technique, you can initiate contact with a potential customer with whom you’ve had no previous communication.
The idea is that once you’ve kickstarted a relationship via a particular communication channel, you're poised to warm up those prospects who respond, using the latest in call center phone systems for example, and eventually convert them into customers.
This post will focus on cold email, cold call outreach, and how teams can gain better insights from these campaigns.
Importance of Measuring and Analyzing Your Data
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Only by measuring and analyzing your data from your cold outreach campaign can you refine the effectiveness of your efforts for future campaigns.
For example, if you want to improve response rates in your cold outreach or drive sales, that begins with having a thoughtful, data-driven strategy.
What to Analyze and How to Use That Info
Let’s consider what you should analyze to level up your cold outreach strategy.
Pick the Best Time
There is no perfect time or universal rule, so experiment with different times to see what works best. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are indicated as the best days for cold calling, from 8 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 5 pm.
Research shows that Monday and Wednesday have the highest open rates for cold outreach emails between 8 am and 3 pm.
In addition to working out the best times for outreach, leave no stone unturned when identifying quality leads.
Your absolute first move in cold calling is researching these ideal prospects and finding out the information that enables you to provide value on the call and demonstrate your investment.
Before calling, scour your prospect’s company website and LinkedIn page to spot any mutual acquaintances you can refer to in order to capitalize on the power of social proof. The careers page is an excellent place to research the software your prospect’s company is already using and any customer pain points they’re looking to address with new hires.
Tell success stories about how you’ve solved similar issues. Any news is a useful source of trigger events that can be conversation starters and leads that tie up your products or services with the company’s requirements.
Types of Questions
Remember that your first call is about communicating your reason for calling and the value of your offering, as well as gathering information so you can craft a winning sales pitch when you ideally book a meeting with your prospect and company.
A great tip here is to ask open-ended questions. It demonstrates that you’re striving to learn about your prospect. To cut through the natural defensiveness of speaking to fresh cold call prospects, it also helps to find a commonality.
The way you do that is by bonding over a genuine compliment or a specific pain point that surfaced from your research and using this as a connecting statement for your cold call. Learn something about your prospect and communicate it memorably.
Focus on developing the profile of your ideal target audience and participate in active listening to discover the roots of their pain points. For example, they might be looking to make their contact center more efficient and invest in video calling software. Being tuned in to their needs will reliably generate more leads, and you can tweak your messaging over time.
What Specific Metrics to Track
There are a few key benchmarks to have in place that will improve your cold calling strategy and yield the most value.
First, we’ll explore cold calling.
Track potential buying signals on social media so that you can collect the details of quality leads - the kind of prospects who are an ideal fit for whatever you’re offering. You can use a customer experience management software tool to identify key insights and data for your outreach campaign. And you can use others to compile accurate email addresses and verify them to bolster your email deliverability.
Create a concise cold call script that will guide you and ensure you cover all your intended points. Aim for a pitch lasting 30 seconds or less and focus on making your call conversational and personable. Moreover, remember to keep it short and sweet and avoid overloading the potential client with too much industry-specific jargon.
Your SDR (Sales Development Representative) performs an undervalued role when it comes to pipeline generation. The more meaningful information gleaned from your calls, the more you can define your results. You’ll get answers to key questions that you need to gather further insights to help you polish your cold outreach.
Calls Per Rep
Another metric worth tracking to define your cold calling outreach is the number of dials you make per hour, the same number you’d use if you were a company looking to calculate its contact center shrinkage. Sure, quality matters more than quantity, but it’s still valuable data to track, along with the time spent on each call.
Finally, monitor your conversion and number of appointments set metrics. These will help you uncover invaluable insight into the quality of your leads or your script.
It pays to invest in the best CRM you can use to monitor your cold outreach campaign metrics.
Next, let’s delve into how you can mature your cold-outreach email campaign.
Email is one of the best channels for driving engagement and conversions. However, if you rely on measuring your success with conversion rates, you’re missing out on an array of actionable insights that could propel you forward.
What Other Metrics Can You Track to Identify Areas for Improvement?
This metric tracks whether or not your cold email was successfully delivered. There are two reasons why your email might go undelivered. Either your recipient’s inbox is too full to receive your email (a soft bounce) or you’re sending to an email address that doesn’t exist (a hard bounce). This indicates how accurate and reliable your email list data is.
Another related factor is your email deliverability. While you must make sure your prospects can get your email, you don’t want to affect your email deliverability to your current customers. Businesses may decide to purchase multiple domains to send emails from for this reason.
Open rate — measuring the percentage of recipients who opened your email — can be a productive indicator of how your subject lines or the timing of your emails are faring.
A much more reliable indicator of intent than the open rate, it refers to the number of recipients who opened your email and replied.
Here are a few final tips on how to improve these metrics and craft an optimal outbound strategy:
Unique, compelling, and personalized cold email copy is an absolute must for sparking curiosity and ensuring your message hits the spot.
While there are several effective cold email templates you can choose from, an outstanding general rule of thumb is to make it crystal clear, to the point, non-spammy, and hyper-personalized. Include an introduction, a reason for getting in touch, your value proposition, the offer, and a precise call to action that crystalizes what you want your prospect to do.
Create a killer subject line. Keep it between 1-5 words that summarize your intention and short enough to be read on your prospect’s phone. According to research, the strength of email subject lines determines almost 50% of the time whether the email will be opened or marked as spam.
The best subject lines evoke a strong sense of urgency by using active language and hooking the reader with creative, informative content.
A/B Test Emails
Figuring out what’s working and what’s not means tracking these metrics and testing different variations to see what leads to higher open, reply, and conversion rates.
Test all of your email variables like subject lines, body copy, CTAs, personalization, and timing with A/B testing. This will help you develop valuable insights on how each affects your results before settling on a winning formula that generates you most leads.
While the last thing you want is to come across as too salesy during your first contact, a common mistake is giving up and overlooking the need to send follow-up emails. Given that it takes a minimum of five follow-ups on average after the first contact before a prospect converts, schedule a follow-up email as soon as you hit send.
The Bottom Line
When executed properly, cold outreach can be an effective strategy for reaching out to prospective customers and turning prospects into sales. The metrics you track will allow you to measure the performance of your business in greater detail and thus improve it, driving revenue, savings, and ROI.
Sales teams should follow the tips outlined here and use the research tools at their fingertips to transform their outreach with firmly grounded data insights. Hope these tips help your team succeed at cold outreach!
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system with cloud PBX solutions that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.
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