Updated: Mar 16
What Is Multichannel Prospecting?
Multichannel prospecting quite simply refers to using multiple different mediums of communication at the same time to reach out to your target audience.
At its best, multi-channel prospecting is a synergetic combo between sales and marketing strategies that go beyond just cold calls and emails. A good multi-channel approach should include any channels that your targets live on, including social media and even direct mail in some cases. It all comes down to personalizing your approach, and exploring what types of touchpoints your audience prefers to engage with.
Considering the current sales paradigm, multi-channel prospecting is crucial to success as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). Sure, it’s still possible to convert using one channel, but you’re seriously limiting your reach, and possibly your quota if you’re not using multiple channels when prospecting for quality leads.
Think about it. The same way you use all kinds of different technologies and platforms to interact with the world, so does your target audience. So, SDR’s have a much better chance of reaching prospects if they use a multi-channel approach. Sales is a game of numbers and using a multi-channel prospecting strategy will always give you better odds than a single-channel approach. It’s pure mathematics.
It makes sense that casting a wider net would generate more qualified leads, but what exactly is multi channel prospecting? And what are the best practices of a multichannel approach? Stay tuned dear reader, and start 2022 with a killer prospecting strategy!
Why Should You Use Multi-Channel Prospecting?
Simply put, IT WORKS! It works because people (believe it or not, your potential customers are people) don’t live on just one channel anymore. They use different tools to accomplish different goals.
Distributing your outreach across different channels of communication gives you the best possible exposure, which means it will also increase your response rate. We’re not talking about spamming. We're talking about being clever when it comes to approaching a prospect!
Are you still with us? In the hope that you are, we bring you the 5 most important channels to add to your competitive approach.
The 5 Most Important Mediums in Multi-Channel Prospecting
Email is still to this day, an integral part of any good prospecting strategy. Sending an email to the right person is fast, relatively easy, and potentially very effective. It can be the perfect, low-friction tool to introduce yourself and your company to potential clients since it allows you to quickly send out personalized messages that will land directly in your prospects' inbox. Did you know that sending emails to prospects between two telephone call attempts increases the chances of reaching them by 16%?
It’s also one of the most simple channels to automate through consistent campaigns with a tailored strategy.
When done correctly, a strong cold email strategy will capture a prospect’s attention and open a line of communication throughout the sales process. We kid you not, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
2. Cold Calls
Cold calling is the mother of all prospecting.
No matter how many new channels come around, actually speaking to a prospect on the phone will always be the most effective way to move the sales process forward. Even if it can be more difficult to get a prospect on the phone, cold calling is still a must-use approach for any sales team.
Despite being the most effective way to get the ‘sales train’ going, cold calls can be considered a bit intrusive by some prospects, which is why they should be combined with other channels such as email to increase effectiveness.
LinkedIn is a social outreach channel in a league of its own.
Although LinkedIn could technically be considered part of your social media strategy, the value and effectiveness of this channel is much bigger than any other social media platform SDRs might use.
LinkedIn is a great tool for researching potential customers, their organizations, and the decision-makers that might be interested in hearing what you have to say. Plus, the content on LinkedIn is generally business focused so it’s the social platform most suited for B2B prospecting.
Going beyond the messaging function, you can like and comment on prospects’ posts or share content of your own. This can increase your visibility and maybe catch your audience’s attention. Just viewing a prospect’s profile can help put you and your company on their radar, generating awareness and warming up your leads.
We know, sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s actually more intricate than you might think, which is why we also have a few tips on social selling through LinkedIn or read our cold messaging on LinkedIn post for more information on the topic.
4. Social Media
While LinkedIn is the star of the social prospecting platforms, other social media channels still have a place in any well-rounded multi channel approach. 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice-president level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions!
Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok have billions of active users. Chances are that your prospects are using at least one (probably more) of those platforms to do business. For some buyers, social may even be their preferred method of interaction, it’s up to you to find out!
Posts, likes, follows, comments, and DMs are all simple and effective ways to get in front of your target audience. All of this can be combined with other channels to increase your chances of catching a prospect's attention, just make sure it’s a suitable approach.
Video is the new player in the prospecting game but it’s already proving to be a heavy-hitting channel. A massive 80% of consumers say a video showing how a product or service works is important when learning about the company!
Video can capture attention faster than an email, giving it one of the highest response rates. It’s also the perfect way to explain complex topics in just a few seconds. Plus, videos can be personalized and give you a chance to express character in a way that other channels can’t. With the available technology, it’s easy to record and send videos, which is why we think it could be part of your sales cadence! This interactive prospecting channel should be an ace up your sleeve, just saying…
Bonus Tips for your Multichannel Outreach Strategy
Hungry for more? Don’t worry, from other interesting channels to a few ultimate strategy tips, we are here to feed you! All of this will help you build a truly energetic and creative multi-channel sales approach, setting you heads and shoulders above the competition!
Using personalized (!) text messages to reach prospects, has been proven to be a super-effective sales method, with high open and read rates. Everyone has a smartphone these days and we all use it. If you have a prospect’s mobile number, you’re much more likely to be able to get their attention with a text rather than with a call.
But be careful with texts. If the prospect hasn’t opted in to text messaging, don’t spam them on their personal phone. In some cases, it can be a violation of compliance rules/regulations, and it’s counterproductive.
Direct Mail and Gifting
Yes, you read it right! Snail mail and gifting might seem like ancient prospecting practices, but that’s what makes them so exciting! They are unexpected, they add a great element of surprise. This will also help you to differentiate from other SDRs, allowing you to shine. The old is officially new!
A personalized, handwritten note can make a great impression and show that you’re not just another salesperson ripping through cold calls. It actually has a longer lifespan than email, it engages with multiple senses and helps create true human connections!
The same goes for gifting. Conferences and in-person meetings are on hold, and they’ll continue to be so in the foreseeable future. Connecting with potential customers is a real challenge these days, which is why personalized gifting might be a great sales tactic. In fact, according to Forbes, 94% of top executives believe gifts facilitate a deeper personal connection and are important to business success.
What kind of gift is the right one, you may ask? Something palpable. Tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain so something like coffee or lunch delivery before a meeting or a book that relates to your customers’ situation and your value proposition, might be good options.
What can you expect in return? More brand awareness and top of funnel conversions as well as higher customer retention. A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25-95%, so gifting is something to keep in mind!
Let’s Be Strategic
Here are some fundamental tips on how to make a multi-channel prospecting work:
Develop a relationship with your target audience
Talk to your target regularly, build a two-way relationship based on trust and on what your audience needs. In sum: sell by dropping the sales aspect! Create an actual human connection. Automation has its perks, but this isn’t the time for it, this is the time for personalization.
Be a content Guru
Irrelevant content is the #1 reason for lost engagement between brands and buyers. Do your research and post valuable content on your platforms (LinkedIn, social media, blogs…). This will have a great impact on your results. The stats confirm it, in fact, more than 50% of B2B prospects will view at least eight content pieces during the buying process, with 82% of those buyers taking in at least five pieces of content before deciding to speak to a sales associate. Try different types of content, from LinkedIn posts to Spotify podcasts, see what works best for you, the options are infinite.
Engage, engage, engage…
Creating your own content is pivotal, but reading through what your targets post and engaging with it, it’s just as important. Provide valuable and genuine feedback to what your audience creates, it can lead to productive conversations and maybe a few bookings! According to Forrester, companies that take the time to properly engage and nurture leads improve their sales outreach at a rate of 50% while spending 33% less!
Combine your efforts
Every single one of the channels listed here are valuable on their own, but they become exponentially more effective when used together. The real benefit of a multi-channel approach to prospecting comes when you can incorporate all of these touchpoints into a consistent, unified sequence, for example:
LinkedIn profile visit - LinkedIn invite - Cold email - LinkedIn profile visit - Follow-up email - LinkedIn profile visit - LinkedIn message
While you’re at it, don’t forget to pay attention to what works and track your success rates. If you can learn exactly which methods work best for you, you can double down on those and boost your success rates even higher.
Would you like to know about prospecting sequences in a multi-channel approach? Let us know!
Multichannel prospecting is key …
Multichannel prospecting is a great outreach strategy. With it, you’ll be able to generate quality leads, book more meetings and create great relationships with your target audience.
It’s all about knowing the several available mediums of communication and how they adapt to your prospects! Be the go-getter you can be, utilize your LinkedIn profile, create some great content, get those personalized LinkedIn messages and emails going, and prepare to be the queen/king of cold calling!