Ultimate Guide to Sales Outreach: What It Is, How to Do It & Automation Hacks for 10X More Sales Opportunities

Today I’m going to show you how to automate sales outreach so you can find your ideal customers, identify unicorn leads, and deliver high-intent prospects at a fraction of the cost of relying on human sales reps.

Customers.ai sales outreach automation saved our customer over $6,000 a month on the cost of a sales development representative to find, qualify and book calls with leads for the sales team.

With an automated outreach workflow, your team can avoid the typical donkey approach: tackling the entire sales process manually and seriously limiting the number of leads you can qualify and convert.

But when you streamline key steps of the outreach process, you can open the magic portal to Unicorn Land. With Customers.ai, you can automate tedious manual tasks so your sales team can focus on discovering and converting high-intent leads.

Ready to start connecting with your unicorn leads? In your guide to Unicorn Land sales outreach we’ll cover:

What is sales outreach?

What is sales outreach? Simply put, sales outreach is the process of interacting with target prospects in order to guide them through a business’s sales funnel with goal of converting them into customers. Sales outreach includes sales prospecting (finding possible customers), sales outreach (email, phone, text and other messaging, in order to connect with potential customers that match the business’s customer profile), lead qualification (understanding if the potential customer is likely to purchase), and ultimately connecting qualified prospects with a sales rep to close the deal.

Creating a successful sales outreach strategy certainly can be straightforward. But you need the right sales tools and the right sales channels.

After all, there are countless ways to connect with potential customers—from making phone calls to sending SMS messages to creating email campaigns. In the tutorial section of this article, I’ll show you how to skip time-consuming cold calls and simplify outreach with SMS.

B2B vs. B2C sales outreach: What’s the difference?

You can tailor outreach to business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. B2B sales teams generally prioritize finding decision makers, building trust, and nurturing leads over a longer period of time before closing big deals.

For B2C sales, sales cycles tend to be much shorter, and the deals may be a bit smaller. Yet it’s still critical for B2C sales teams to build lead generation, qualification, and nurturing into the outreach process—especially for coaches and creators.

You can use the tutorial to create automated outreach campaigns for B2B or B2C sales. Make sure to modify the tone and the number of follow-ups to fit your sales cycle.

How do you automate sales outreach?

To automate sales outreach, you need an automation tool like Customers.ai. I’ll show you how to create an automation process using Customers.ai and your customer relationship management (CRM) tool of choice.

Sales Outreach Step #1: Find your target prospects

First, you need to know how to reach potential customers at scale. Customers.ai’s proprietary customer database—which has over 100 million prospects and 10,000 signals—can help.

Using our database, we can help you find prospects who fit your ideal customer profile, even in hard-to-target influencer and B2C segments.

b2c sales prospecting database

For maximum lead generation, marketers and businesses should also connect a lead qualification automation (see step #3) to Instagram, Facebook, website chat, and website visitor contact detection.

Sales Outreach Step #2: Sync your prospect list with an outreach automation tool

Once you’ve got a prospect list, it’s time to sync it with Customers.ai. You might be integrating Customers.ai with Google Sheets or a CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce. For this example, we’ll upload a prospect list directly.

Go to the Automations tab and click to create a new Free E-book / Whitepaper Download Offer.

Choose Text Messages for the messaging channel, and click Let’s Go when you see the Unicorn Map.

Then click the Add Trigger button and select Manually upload contact list. Make sure your list uses the format in the this format link so names, email addresses, and phone numbers map correctly.

You can repeat this process when you have another list of leads to contact. Click the Add Trigger button and upload your new list.

Sales Outreach Step #3: Create a lead qualifying automation

Now it’s time to create your sales automation. You can use the Free E-book / Whitepaper Download Offer template to set up a sequence of automated text messages and emails.

First, you need to qualify the prospects on your list. You can do that by adding a short series of SMS messages at the top of the automation.

Kick things off by greeting prospects and offering a short intro to your product or service. Then ask if they’d like to learn more, using the Options widget to create prompts.

Once prospects have expressed interest in your offer, ask some qualifying questions. For example, you can ask for company details, budget, or purchase time frame.

In this example, we’re going to ask about company size and deal size. Each response gets saved to an attribute in Customers.ai so we can easily filter or segment by the data later.

We’re also going to ask prospects when they’re planning to buy since timing is a major qualifying factor. Again, we’ll save their response to an attribute.

Then set up your Unicorn Detector to identify unicorn leads—or qualify leads. Here’s where all those attributes come in handy.

Click the Add Filter button and select Attributes. Then use the dropdown menu to find the attributes you want to use for qualifying leads. For this example, we’ll add people who responded that they’re ready to buy now.

The Unicorn Detector will automatically separate the donkeys from the unicorns. You can create separate re-engagement sequences for both, with the goal of converting unicorn leads now and following up with donkey leads later.

Send a quick follow-up text to your unicorn leads right away. In your SMS message, include a link to the offer or lead magnet you mentioned in your original message. In this case, we’ll text a link to a demo we’re offering to unicorn leads.

If you have unicorn leads on your hands, it’s a good idea to keep reaching out. You can add more texts to the sequence or automate email messages to connect via multiple channels.

Don’t forget to loop your sales team in and get them involved in the sales process.

You can add a notification with conditional logic, alerting your sales team when you get a unicorn lead—so they can step in and close deals.

Start Automating Sales Outreach and Finding Unicorn Leads

With an automated system in place, your team can handle sales outreach much more efficiently. That means you can connect with target prospects at scale while saving your sales team time and hassle—only bringing them in when it’s time for them to work their magic.

Want to start finding your own unicorn leads? Get a free trial of Customers.ai and check out our sales outreach automation for yourself.

FAQs About Sales Outreach

What are examples of outreach?

Outreach is all about connecting with your ideal prospects. You can reach out to potential customers on channels like:

Mastering outreach on a single channel is an accomplishment. But using multiple channels simultaneously can be even more effective.

Whenever possible, ask prospects for more contact information. That way you can connect with them on a wider range of channels and create even more touchpoints.

Why is sales outreach important?

Sales outreach is critical for building relationships, establishing trust, and qualifying leads. With a successful outreach strategy, your sales team can keep your company’s pipeline full and close more deals.

And with automated outreach, you can manage a ton of manual tasks without getting your sales team involved. That way your sales reps can use their skills to negotiate awesome deals—rather than wasting time on prospecting and lead gen.

What does outreach mean in marketing?

In marketing, outreach refers to building relationships with your target customer. That means sharing high-value resources and helping prospects address their biggest challenges.

A great way to use marketing channels for outreach is to send automated DMs or comments when prospects send you certain keywords on Instagram or Facebook. With Customers.ai, you can easily set up these workflows so you can reach prospects automatically.

What is the difference between outreach and marketing?

Rather than separating outreach and marketing, it’s helpful to think about how they can work together. Using a series of automated workflows, sales and marketing teams can collaborate to connect with target prospects.

Once you add potential clients to your funnel, you can use marketing channels to nurture and qualify them. Then you can deliver qualified leads—or unicorns as we like to call them—to your sales team.

Important Next Steps

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