Guest post by Joe Vaiana, Outreach Account Manager, Smokejumper
If you stop using Outreach once you make significant contact with a prospect, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. After all, communication is still essential to managing customers even after you’ve gotten a meeting — or landed a deal. Build solid, scalable habits, and you’ll be able to maintain relationships well past the moment when customers sign on, giving you the ability to keep customers happy long-term, grow accounts, and avoid churn.
Here’s how Outreach’s tools can help you well past the moment of initial contact with a customer.
That’s why Outreach lives where you are: Directly in your inbox, whether it’s Gmail or Outlook. No need to toggle from program to program, screen to screen. From right inside your email inbox, you can:
Add prospects to sequences
Insert snippets of pre-written copy
Use variables to personalize subject lines and email copy
Customize email templates so you can send them out now or schedule them for later
Monitor metrics, like open rates and clicks
Add meeting invites
Faster, smoother communications means you can easily maintain contact with prospects and customers.
Plus, take advantage of one of Outreach’s newest products — Meetings — to eliminate the tedious back-and-forth required to find a meeting time.
Here’s how it works: When someone is ready to set up a meeting, instead of toggling between your calendar and email, use the “calendar” button from within your inbox. Then, select a few convenient times, and the calendar function will add them to your email response as options. You can also include a link to your public calendar, so if none of those times work, your contact can select another option. Once a meeting time has been selected, the meeting invite will go out, pre-filled with a description, meeting type, and a Zoom link or other contact details. This process puts an end to the copious number of emails that can easily follow when two busy people try to find a common block of time for a meeting or phone call.
Follow-up sequences help you move to the next stage with prospects, going from discovery to demo to negotiations. You can even use sequences to handle situations where a prospect says “I’m busy this week, can you please follow up in two weeks?” But even after you’ve closed the deal, they help ensure that existing customers don’t fall through the cracks — follow-up sequences aid you in cross-selling products and renewing contracts.
And, you can use follow-up sequences from right inside your inbox.
Here’s how to create them: From your sequence page, click “Add a sequence.” Once there, you’ll discover that Outreach has already built out sequences based on best practices. Or, opt for the manual version, which you can customize yourself. Turn them on, and then you can add prospects and customers directly to sequences from within your inbox.
There are two main types of follow-up sequences that can help maintain relationships with existing customers:
1. Product Sequences: With these sequences, a CSM or seller can reach out to existing customers directly to promote products or events—that’s a far more powerful form of contact than when marketing managers send the communications. Drop prospects into these farming sequences, and it’ll allow you to maintain contact with your current customers, while still devoting time to hunting new ones.
2. Renewal Sequences: Here’s a nightmare scenario for any account manager: You check in with a customer just before contract renewal date only to find out they’re going with a competitor. Renewal sequences can help you avoid churn—and without any manual effort required.
Set up triggers based on customers’ date of purchase so that emails go out at set intervals. For instance, three months after purchase, you might send a check-in email, asking customers about their experience and if they’ve experienced any successes because of your product. Six months after purchase, another automated email can go out asking if customers are happy with the product. Then ideally when your nine-month email is sent, customers will respond to ask for more seats or licenses.
Taking advantage of these triggers within Outreach requires zero effort on the part of your reps, because it’s based completely on time of purchase.
Smart Views can help you organize both prospects and customers so you always know who to contact — and when they were last contacted.
You can, for instance, create a Smart View of all your marketing leader contacts when you want to inform them of a brand-new product. Just select all your prospects, click on “sort and filter,” select the persona, and save it as a Smart View. Give it a simple name. Now you can easily see all your marketing leaders — and best of all, you can sort them by when they were last contacted, so you can prioritize how you reach out.
In the prospect and account view, filters allow you to see various forms of engagement, from emails to meetings to calls. These filters can be revealing, removing the need to guess about when to communicate with prospects or accounts.
The best way to take advantage of these Outreach features is to put them to work right away. The payoff for putting in a small amount of setup can be tremendous. Here are some small steps to get started:
Create some follow-up sequences: Make it easy, and turn on the pre-built ones in Outreach, which require no customization. You can edit the content if you’d like, but these sequences and copy are generic enough to fit nearly any circumstance.
Create a few Smart Views: Keep it simple, and consider what views will be helpful. Your Smart Views can show “all marketing leaders” or “customers you communicated within the last six months.” Save that, and then those people will be in a Smart View.
Do some prospect research: In the prospect page, customize what you want to your reps to be able to see. Think about triggers, too.
With these habits in place, you can maintain existing customer relationships with ease — giving you more time to find and develop relationships with prospects.