Cold Outreach alone drove over $1M ARR in SaaS sales for our organization over the last 3 years. Here is the system that got us there (and how you can build it too). I personally love cold outreach because it’s a really fast way to get results. You send someone an email/Linkedin/FB message, they respond, and you get them on a sales call. Simple.
For that reason, as much as I love building funnels, creating content, or building partnership strategies, I’ll always have a big part of my growth strategy based on cold reachout. In fact, every time I start a new venture (be it in SaaS, or consulting as I do now), I generally prefer leaning on outbound for the first handful of clients to stay capital efficient. However, from speaking with a ton of founders, the general sentiment is that folks are using cold outreach more as an ad-hoc method (ie. “I’ll do it when I have time”), or they just haven’t cracked the code to making cold outreach convert for them.For that reason, I wanted to quickly share how you can build a system to predictably win a certain # of customers every month using cold outreach.
Apologies in advance, this write-up is a bit long. I wanted to make sure I gave you all the details so you could start implementing right away. First off, before we even send a single message, it’s important to understand your high-level goals, and what your daily activity will need to be. What’s important to understand about outbound sales is that it is a numbers game, meaning if you understand your input, conversion rates, and output, then you know exactly how much time and energy you need to put in to win 1 client.
So the first thing we want to do is look at what your overall goal is. From there, you reverse-engineer that to find out the amount of activity you need to hit your goal. Let’s say your goal is to make $250,000 in 2020 strictly from doing cold outbound (for simplicity sake, obviously you’ll have other methods of getting clients so you can get your overall revenue to 2x, 5x, 10x).
If your average customer value is $5000, than simple math shows that we’ll need to win 50 clients next year to get to that goal.
From there, what you want to figure out is how many qualified sales leads (or SQLs) you’d need to get those 50 clients. From my experience, a 25% deal win rate is typical on leads from cold outreach (ie. out of 10 net new sales conversations, you’ll win 2.5 of them). This means you’d need to generate 200 SQLs next year to close 50 deals. So, here’s where you have to be a bit more assumptive. We need to figure out how many total people we need to cold outreach to get to those 200 sales appointments (SQLs). A good conservative guess is 2.5% for a positive reply rate (if you have your own data, use that instead).
So 200 divided by 2.5% is 8000 reach outs. That’s a pretty gaudy number, but actually quite manageable. Because let’s say you work 22 days a month (264 days a year), you’d only have to do 30 reachout PER DAY to make your 8000.
This makes it WAY more achievable, because now you know EVERY SINGLE DAY that you have to do 30 reach outs. It’s no longer this colossal unobtainable goal.
The key to outbound success is CONSISTENCY
A big reason why most people fail using outbound is because they treat like a necessary evil. You might find yourself making excuses to avoid doing it since it’s painful and tedious.
But the challenge is, outbound ONLY works if you are consistently doing it everyday.
Now, I’m not going to try to make you love outbound, because I KNOW doing it sucks. Your motivation is fleeting and unreliable. It’ll never be enough to get you to do outbound every day. Instead, what is more effective is to build habits and systems which make the act of doing outbound simple. If you have processes in place which make doing outbound mindless and part of your daily ritual (think brushing your teeth, making your bed, etc), then it’s easy.
So here are my 3 core pillars of making outbound a HABIT and a SYSTEM:
- Cold outreach is a dedicated task that I put in my calendar EVERYDAY from 8am to 11am. It is closed off, no meetings can be booked in that time frame, that is what I do. When you do outbound only “when you feel like it”, you won’t do it. However, if it’s in your calendar and you do it everyday, it eventually becomes habitual. This is how you make sure you get 30 reach outs done per day, and 8000 done over a full year.
- Use technology to help you understand WHAT you need to do everyday.
- Tools like Outreach, Salesloft, Mixmax, and many others are super powerful because it’ll just feed you a to-do list of exactly who to email and exactly who to message on Linkedin, every day. People struggle doing outbound because they don’t know who to email, when to email, what to email, etc. All the guesswork is removed since these softwares automate much of that off your plate.
Track your results using a CRM. Things will get confusing if you have 10 prospects you’re trying to win at any given time. It’s far too much for you to remember in your own head, or even in a janky spreadsheet. Invest in a cheap CRM like Hubspot or Close.io so you can keep all your prospects and their notes. Staying organized helps you make more money. Not to mention, it’s super motivating when you can log in and see all the deals you’re about to win.
So hopefully this has helped. Without these systems in place keeping me accountable and organized, I would’ve NEVER been successful winning business using outbound. Now, I’m aware that I didn’t really share anything about how to find leads, build lists, write good outreach copy. I didn’t want to spend time writing an essay.