Outreach sales

One of the biggest challenges for start-ups or entrepreneurs will probably always be the initial, outreach sales. Reaching out and making contact with a potential customer. Here are 3 tips on how to do it best.


What is outreach?

In short, prospecting means reaching out to potential new customers in the hope of landing a sale. In some cases, this may also be former customers who have become "cold", i.e. with whom you have not done business for a long time and with whom you want to re-establish contact. Initial engagement is most often done by email, phone, social media or in person.

When people talk about what is outreach, they also often talk about outreach B2B sales. It's inherently the same thing, only where one company reaches out to another company with the desire to sell. Although the process behind B2B sales is slightly different from B2C sales, B2B outreach is essentially the same, so we will not distinguish between the two in the following.

3 tips for outreach

The first contact can be crucial in an outreach sale. That's why it's important to have some basic principles in place and to follow a sensible strategy before you start prospecting. Here we give 3 tips on how to do it.

1. Start with the right leads

A distinction is usually made between cold and hot leads (also called Sales Qualified Leads). A cold lead is a potential customer or buyer who has not shown interest in your product or service. A warm lead is a potential customer or buyer who has expressed interest in your product or service in some way. This does not have to be in a direct or literal sense, but can also be indirect. Warm leads can be people who have signed up for your newsletter, visited your website, put a product in the basket on your webshop and sent an email to ask about something. One interaction is typically not enough to qualify a lead as a warm lead.

Warm leads come in many forms, and interest can be shown in a myriad of ways, whether digitally, in person, directly or through the back door. Regardless of how you acquire your warm leads, your outreach sales will have a much higher success rate - that is, better conversion - than if you try to sell to cold leads.

However, there is no reason to completely exclude cold leads. As long as you make sure they have some sort of relevance. For example, it would make sense to try outreach to a company that is confusingly similar to another company you've sold to before. It will technically be a cold lead, as the company hasn't shown any interest, but you still have an educated guess that they could be an outreach sale.

2. Be active in your outreach sales

Persistence is often the key. Set aside time specifically dedicated to outreach. Follow up on your contacts and make sure you keep the most potential ones by the fire. Your hot leads shouldn't forget about you, even though they may not be in a position to make the decision to make the purchase right now. This can be especially true with B2B outreach, as the decision-making process here is often much longer than with B2C.

3. Use the right tools for outreach

Much of the process behind outreach can be automated. That means setting up systems that keep in touch with your leads without your active effort. The classic example is a newsletter.

For example, if your leads have downloaded a free lead magnet (e-book or similar) that you are offering in exchange for their email address, it is important that you follow up on this lead immediately and don't let too much time pass and the lead goes cold. Therefore, set up an automatic welcome email to be sent immediately after signing up. The right tools will also help you to comply with the applicable rules for outreach, also known as best practice, so that you do not, for example, infringe on users' privacy.


Martino Mike d'Apuzzo

Partner & Senior Digital Advisor

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