With the global economy weighing heavily on the tech sector, many companies are slashing their workforce.
And this belt tightening doesn’t discriminate – marketing and sales budgets have also been victims of cutbacks. A recent survey from Salesforce showed that 85% of sales leaders are struggling under budgetary constraints, forcing sales teams to do more with less.
What’s more, inbound opportunities that were once far more plentiful for B2B sales teams are drying up, a trend that will no doubt reverberate into 2023. In order to survive this volatility, B2B businesses may choose to pivot from inbound opportunities – which rely on spreading brand awareness to draw in interested prospects – to outbound sales strategies – which involve direct, tailored messaging and outreach as a means of interesting potential customers, finalizing sales, and generating steady revenue.
At a time when economic concerns are high, waiting on a prospect to contact you may be unpropitious. Now may just be the time for sales teams to take more control of the situation by reaching out to relevant prospects themselves.
But to do so successfully, sales teams will need to adopt new strategies other than impersonal cold calling and instead engage in intelligent, data-driven outbound opportunities wherever they can.
Data, Tech, Sales
In this digital day and age, data is worth its weight in gold – and for that reason, technological solutions that best leverage data will probably be the best avenue towards bolstering B2B sales through 2023 and beyond.
Not only can well-analyzed data provide B2B sales teams with more timely, accurate information to develop Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs), it can also be leveraged to enhance targeted outbound tactics and simplify client outreach.
Tech solutions can also be just as invaluable after a sale as they are at facilitating them. Following a successful outbound sale, teams can leverage tech solutions and sales data further to analyze their performance and make adjustments accordingly.
Combining data with technology can create a sales team that is more effective in reaching its targets – this is key because it can even offset the impacts of layoffs by tempering burnout among remaining employees.
Quality AND Quantity
B2B consumer behavior is changing rapidly – buyers want to research products and services themselves and avoid as much friction with a sales rep as they can (e.g., annoying cold calls). Sales teams need to be aware of these trends when fashioning smart outbound strategies in order to engage as many high-quality buyers as they can. This means staying away from spray-and-pray tactics that target irrelevant prospects which can ultimately be a waste of valuable time and even tarnish your brand’s reputation.
Quality B2B outbound outreach therefore means diligently researching and finding the right target organizations that actually have a need for your product and who you can truly provide value to. It also means ensuring that you are reaching out to the right person within the organization – the relevant decision makers – and not wasting time (yours and theirs) by pitching irrelevant people who aren’t capable of signing off on your sale or wouldn’t be using your service themselves. Finally, a quality outbound strategy requires correct timing. Be cognizant of when (and where) you are contacting the relevant prospects. There’s nothing more annoying than getting a sales call, no matter how relevant, when you are about to head out the door at the end of the day, or when you have already finalized and signed off your budget for the quarter.
Fortunately, the tech stacks used to extrapolate data regarding the most appropriate target audiences, the channels and platforms they use most, the best times for outreach, and other key sales metrics give sales teams the insight they need to reach out to the right customers who are in the market for certain products. Sales teams that establish connections in this way are more likely to build trust and credibility and maintain long-term relationships with prospective clients – the key ingredients to locking down sales and keeping customers coming back.
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Fortune Favors the Bold
In many cases, B2Bs have been slower than other businesses at embracing digital transformation, but fortune tends to favor the bold – according to McKinsey, companies that leverage data-driven B2B sales-growth engines report above-market growth and 15-25% increases in EBITDA.
As ripples from the pandemic economy and the volatile labor market continue to shake inbound opportunities, taking an intelligent, tech-and-human-savvy approach to B2B outbound sales can be the industry’s lifeline. Companies that go all-in on a smart outbound strategy in 2023 will have the most to gain.