If COVID-19 has impacted the effectiveness of your outbound sales campaigns, you’re not alone.
A lot of TechCEOs are in similar situation. Most have gone into a shell ‘protection’ mode and are being conservative. Very few are taking chances and doubling down on marketing, revamping messaging and staying connected to clients and market in general.
A 2020 HubSpot analysis of 70,000 software customers found that response rates to sales emails (and campaigns) declined by 27% from February to March this year, so the decline is affecting all of us!
But there is hope. The same HubSpot study found that marketing open rates actually increased by 21% overall over the two months.
These numbers paint a compelling story. Clients are willing to engage with your company but in certain contexts above others, and the study suggests that people are more interested in educational or informative resources, like your blog or educational assets.
What does that mean for TechCEOs and sales leaders? As business are recovering and tweaking their H2 plays, you can continue to position yourself as a trusted advisor to prospects and look to create a long-term relationship when the buyer–and budget–are more ready.
Even if you don’t have a relationship with a prospect yet, you can build credibility and trust by incorporating inbound learnings into your outbound approach. Here’s how:
Work with Marketing to learn what your prospects care about right now
Add value, not asks in your sales messaging
Revisit your prospect tiering/scoring accordingly
Figure Out What Your Prospects Need Now…not Tomorrow.
Most of us are working from home right now, looking at news cast and government lockdown rules for the umpteenth time. Your prospects are spending much more time researching companies (and their competitors) online before starting sales conversations. Average website traffic jumped 13% from February to March 2020 for HubSpot customers.
Since your prospects’ priorities have likely changed significantly since COVID-19, your value proposition may not resonate as deeply as it once did – and what they’re searching for may be different too.
Ask your Marketing team to see what content is resonating with your audience. Key questions to ask include:
What are prospects clicking on across your website/emails/blog/social media?
Are they interested in specific topics?
Has there an increase to consume specific type of asset, such as case studies, videos, etc.?
What downloadable content has driven the most leads since we’ve been sheltering in place?
What are your customers and prospects interested in learning more about?
Once you have an idea of what your audience is digesting, you can adjust the content you highlight, as well as update your value propositions and overall sales strategy during COVID-19–here are Outreach’s top recommendations.
Add Value to Your Prospects
With data showing your prospects are more interested in resources and information, lead with messaging that informs, rather than has a hard “ask” (“Can i grab 15 minutes with you this week?”).
Example: It’s been a challenging time for tech industry. How are things with your business? Many of our TechCEOs found “New Rules for engaging clients in Retail Tech” especially useful. Let me know if you want to brainstorm strategies and what others are doing to stay ahead. Here to help.
Your reps can even incorporate such type of context sensitive content in follow-up conversations or post-demos.
Your content and message should act as a value driver, offers support and help for the prospect today, and allows you to be a resource in a time of questions.
Re-Evaluate Your Lead Scoring
You and your team may have already altered your messaging for COVID-19, but what about your lead scoring?
Your customers’ priorities have changed drastically over the last few months, so someone who was once a targeted prospect might now be less certain and able to do business. Conversely, other prospects or accounts that were less of a priority might now be a hot opportunity.
Maximise your selling time by pursuing prospects that are the best fit for your company right now. Look at your current lead scoring model through the lens of your COVID-19-adjusted value proposition.
We also recommend working with marketing to drill down on your inbound leads.
Have specific geographic areas been impacted heavily due to COVID-19?
Are certain buyer personas (ex. CIO, CTO, industries) engaging with your content more or less frequently than usual?
Is there an audience that is behaving differently than usual during this time, maybe verticals getting hit harder than others?
Answering these questions can help you prioritise who you are contacting and with what message. For example, if blog posts for CFOs haven’t been performing as well as usual, you might score them lower than you would pre-COVID-19. Similarly, if your website traffic from Singapore is down, but other areas are higher, you may rethink how you score by location and at what point in the day you’re giving them a call.
How have your sales and marketing teams been coordinating differently these days? Are you seeing more of a connection between inbound and outbound efforts?
P.S.Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you grow your tech business:
1. Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.
2. Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.
We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.
3. Join our TechCelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study
I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at TechCelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.