When it comes to sales outreach tactics, everybody wants to stick their two cents in. Seriously, there’s so many words in so many articles. Try it; give ‘sales outreach tactics’ a Google and you’ll find as many as 7.5 million related articles pop up. But still, neither sales representatives nor sales directors can brag about how overcrowded their pipelines are, or that they’re hitting an 80% reply rate on their pitches. The hard truth is, B2B sales outreach is tough.

Firstly, B2B sales involves products and services that are generally very expensive and very time-consuming to sell. Secondly, inboxes of key decision makers are overloaded with tonnes of offers; to the point where they have to cut through the noise. Finally, implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policies are essential, and they bring restrictions to the ways in which we can reach out to our target audience.

Buyer behaviour is constantly changing, and salespeople need to recognise this and adapt to it, go beyond traditional outreach channels, and apply more creative approaches to win attention. I repeat, B2B sales outreach is not easy. It’s important not to rush into reaching out to every prospect you have in mind. You’ll find much better results by crafting a buyer persona, getting to grips with individual pain points, and address them directly. Less is often more.

There’s nothing like a dose of knowledge from real sales voices who reach out and close deals every day. You can learn a lot from just a few of their words, by following the example they set, and turning their advice into success.

B2B sales experts from Mixpanel, Similarweb, Amplemarket, Reply, and beyond have shared their secrets for reaching out to leads and winning them over. Here’s what they had to say.

Célia Bordes-Pagès

With 7+ years of experience in Business Development and Sales for SaaS companies such as Salesforce, Celia is currently a Senior Account Executive at Mixpanel, Product Analytics company in Singapore. SaaS companies such as Salesforce, Celia is currently a Senior Account Executive at Mixpanel, Product Analytics company in Singapore.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one sales outreach tip that you didn’t know then, what would it be and which mistakes would it help you avoid?

Make sure that your CRM data (whether you are looking at leads for New Business or contacts for existing clients) is clean and up to date. Use tools such as Linkedin Sales Navigator and Email finder to make sure that:

1) the person you are reaching out to is still in the company and in a role that would be relevant

2) that your emails get delivered and do not bounce. CRM data quality will help you save a lot of time.

What's the secret sauce to a successful outreach email? Well, have you ever received an email that you could not help but answer?

Always bring value to your prospects. There is little chance that you reach out at the perfect timing, when the prospect has a project, a budget and a timeline, so it's important to build a relationship on the long term, so you're the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to start an evaluation. The best way to do that is by bringing value to your outreach, by sharing resources that the prospect will learn from: blog articles, white papers, webinars. etc. Not only this will help you be seen as an advisor, and not just a salesperson, but also build trust.

Do you have any advice for cold emailing in the era of GDPR?

Social selling is the first thing that comes to my mind. Using social media (such as LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook) to find, connect with and nurture prospects is the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers, and is compliant with GDPR. Most of the content published there is public, and a great opportunity to comment/engage with. This technique has proven to generate more sales opportunities and to help more sales people to hit their quota.

Emmanuel Heymann

Emmanuel Heymann works at SimilarWeb - a Market Intelligence company that delivers digital insights for any website, app, industry and market in over 190 countries. During his 7 years in the company, he led various Sales and Account Management teams (SMB & Enterprise), and established the Enablement department of the company.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one sales outreach tip that you didn’t know then, what would it be and which mistakes would it help you avoid?

Contact prospects with insights that make a difference! When it comes to outreach, everybody talks about the importance of personalization. I get dozens of personalized emails a day but they usually lack context and examples. Only through short and relevant insights of what your platform can do to solve a pain, will you get an answer from your prospects. It doesn't matter how good your solution is, in today's busy world, you have limited time to articulate your value proposition. So start sharing insights of your product that will relate to your prospects and that will make a real difference to their business.

What's the secret sauce to a successful outreach email? Well, have you ever received an email that you could not help but answer?

Make your prospect look good! It's fair to assume that in our profession, we sell solutions that solve a particular pain or need of our clients. Because we're being taught in Sales to focus on the pain and needs of our prospects, we tend to focus on where they fall short and where they'd need our product the most. My biggest takeaway is that if you make your prospect look good in an email (by showcasing examples or insights of where they're doing well as opposed to where they're underperforming), your email will be shared internally and will climb the internal ladders. If you're only focusing on the shortcomings of your prospect and on the reasons why they're underperforming without your solution, your email will be deleted right away. It makes sense, nobody likes the feeling of failure. On the opposite, if there is a way you can praise the work of your prospect with an actual example and showcase where there are additional opportunities with your solution - you will get an answer right away.

Filipe Brigas

Sales Operations & Manager for the Lisbon Office of Amplemarket, a one-stop shop for B2B sales teams. Innovating in the field of automating the sales process from lead generation to outbound sales and streamlining the Sales Pipeline for teams of all sizes. Consulting & finance & control background for 5 years. Love sports leveraging remote to learn how to surf.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one sales outreach tip that you didn’t know then, what would it be and which mistakes would it help you avoid?

There are no silver bullets, make sure you test a lot. What I've seen is that beliefs and ways of working are kept for too long, even when you, the team or the company are seeing diminishing returns. If you test a lot, instead of just optimizing one single flow that is working you can be looking 4-5x returns, instead of optimizations of 10-20%.

Had I started with this mentality from the beginning I would have saved myself a lot of time, because even if you fail a lot, which you will, one success compensates the extra 10-20% of dedicating your entire time to a single recipe.

What's the secret sauce to a successful outreach email? Well, have you ever received an email that you could not help but answer?

I believe that there are 3 keys to a successful outreach email:

1. Relevance

2. Personalization

3. Timing

Relevance and personalization are easy to solve for, all you need to do is dedicate time and resources and you'll find who your solution is relevant to, find a very tailored narrow Ideal Customer Profile (where your product would fit like a glove). Whilst personalization is even easier, everyone has a public profile, the company is likely very public as well do your research and you'll be able to connect.

The most difficult to solve is timing since that level of transparency of who is buying or renewing a contract is hard if not impossible to find. But if you solve the other 2 and you target enough people then odds are you'll find people in the right timing and if they are not they'll point to the right timing to connect.

If you've nailed all 3 I've answered your outreach.

Do you have any advice for cold emailing in the era of GDPR?

Try to answer the following questions when sending outreach. Is this person the decision-maker for my product? Is this organization likely facing this problem? Did I research both the individual and the company? If my CEO asks me about this outreach, both the copy and the persona targeted make sense. Then go for that email outreach.

Try to solve for relevance and personalization more than you had in the past. It is not the fact that there are new laws in place that organizations no longer have problems. If your outreach is considerate, well written, relevant and personalized, then you should not receive any problems from GDPR.

William Oleksiienko

William is a Head of Sales Development at Reply.io .
Sales development pro with 5+ years of experience. Building creative sales engagement strategies for personal outreach at scale. An avid non-fiction reader, Tolkien fan, and coding enthusiast.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one sales outreach tip that you didn’t know then, what would it be and which mistakes would it help you avoid?

Back in the day, I used to rely mostly on my gut feeling when coming up with new outreach tactics. And that wasn’t really a bad thing, but it definitely took me longer to figure out where I am now.

So if there was one thing I would want to tell myself it would be this: learn from the best. Follow the top sales and sales development influencers and industry thought leaders - read their books, articles, and LinkedIn posts, watch their webinars and videos, listen to their podcasts. Those guys have come a long way in their careers and know what they are talking about.


What's the secret sauce to a successful outreach email? Well, have you ever received an email that you could not help but answer?

The secret sauce? There is no secret sauce! You can’t simply add one variable or use a specific subject line and have it work every time. For me, a successful outreach email is always about the details. The more details (even the ones that might seem insignificant to you) you take into account, the more likely you are to succeed.

Talking about the email that is guaranteed to get a response, everyone has their own triggers. For me, it’s humor. If someone sent me a relevant email including a funny GIF or video, I’d definitely respond :)


Do you have any advice for cold emailing in the era of GDPR?

There are several rules to comply with the GDPR:

  • Do not send too many emails to one person (5 is a sweet spot).
  • Slow down and add 3-4 day delays between each step in your sequence.
  • Include opt-out links instead of plain text.
  • Hand-pick your prospects to target only those who match your ICP.
  • Make sure your product or service is 100% relevant to them and fits their business model.

Karina Paramonov

Karina is a passionate sales leader determined to bring value based solutions to customers. Having started her career as a product manager, she quickly realised how crucial it is to communicate the right product value to the final customer in order to increase deal size and prevent potential churn and decided to dedicate herself into closing this gap by bringing an innovative approach to sales techniques, prospect evaluation and SAAS product lifecycle communication between product & sales team. Having worked in Europe, Asia and the US, she is now based in Tel Aviv and helps SAAS startups define their sales strategy and optimise sales operations.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one sales outreach tip that you didn’t know then, what would it be and which mistakes would it help you avoid?

Be straight to the point. Don't use long, sophisticated sentences and giant intro messages. Be simple and focus on the value that you can bring to the prospect. The easier for hi, to underst this value, the higher are chances that you will end up having a fruitful conversation. Most of the people that you are trying to reach don't have time or are not familiar with the problem that might exist in their business or aware of the problem but previous solution research came out ineffective/costly/any other objection. Once you present your value points in a clear and effective manner - they are ready to open the conversation with you.

What's the secret sauce to a successful outreach email? Well, have you ever received an email that you could not help but answer?

Yes. And this was not a super creative email, there was no witty and flashy headline, and it wasn't an intro from a person that i knew. It was pretty much the same email with similar content to what I receive every day. What made it absolutely impossible not to answer it? Relevancy. It was a solution to a problem that I was currently trying to fix. Everything was perfect to me in this email - it addressed the pain points, listed the solutions, it was concise and it was sent at the right time. There is no secret sorcery or art to this, you don't have to be a Nobel winning writer or email marketing guru - just put a lot of effort in research of the company that you are trying to land as a customer and its structure and make sure that the content is relevant for me at this specific moment.

Do you have any advice for cold emailing in the era of GDPR?

Yes. Reach out via business platforms where people are specifically registered to receive business messages, like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or communities in FB, Twitter, Github and any other social networks. There is so much online space dedicated to business communities at the moment, especially with the COVID-19 situation, so use it to get meaningful connections and build a strong network of people who are willing to share their email address with you because you are speaking the same language and building similar things. Make sure that you have a huge and visible UNSUBSCRIBE button at the end of your email - believe me - no subscriber has ever converted into a paying customer or even a hot lead when the content that you were sending was not relevant for her/him.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the experts who devoted their time, tips, and tactics to help the sales community win more leads and close more deals.

As a community, it’s important that we develop a culture of shared knowledge to shorten the marathon that is trial-and-error approaches and to develop original outreach tactics, beyond boring emails, and establish meaningful connections with our customers. If you want more marketing automation ideas, you may also look for some business mentors who can help you get through and achieve the best results.

At NetHunt, we advocate taking a customer-centric approach to prospect management, by aligning empathies, values, and offers with buyer personas. This, we believe, is the only way to get suitable leads in and down the pipeline and increase win rate. Modern technology helps, too. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems help aggregate, store, and segment customer data, send personalised outreach, and get ahead of the competition.

Accelerate your sales today, sign up for a free 14 day NetHunt CRM trial!

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