4 steps to fixing a customer’s outbound strategy

I just wrapped a 3 sessions consulting workshop with one of my customers.

They run a tech startup, and they are looking to find their product-market fit. They are already prospecting, but they are having difficulties speaking to the right type of prospects.

Here’s how their outbound motion is structured:

  • Step 1: Build key account list for one month

  • Step 2: Get account list approved by founder

  • Step 3: Distribute approved account list to team members

  • Step 4: Identify 1 decision-maker per account

  • Step 5: Find data on the prospect (email, LinkedIn profile)

  • Step 6: Enrol prospect into sequence

  • Step 7: Send 3 to 4 LinkedIn messages and Emails before stopping the sequence

After running with this process for a few months, they asked me to run an assessment of their outbound process, and 3 major challenges emerged.

Here are the challenges, and how we worked on fixing them together:

Challenge 1: Their Ideal Customer Profile wasn’t clear

Like many other early-stage startups, my customers were trying to find their product-market fit. They knew what type of customers they would like to serve, but they didn’t have a clear idea of the type of companies, and job titles they should be approaching.

Each person in the organization had a different understanding of the type of prospect they had to go after.

Solution 1: Build an ICP Matrix

We sat down with the founders and started working on an Ideal Customer Profile matrix. It’s a simple document where we defined 3 types of Ideal Customer Companies, and 3 types of Ideal Customer Titles.

I won’t show you their ICP matrix, but here’s an example of what it looks like:

ICP matrix

Challenge 2: Their messaging was too product-centric

After reviewing the sequences sent by my customer, I noticed they were focused on their solution, and not on the problems of the prospects.

I reviewed their prospecting emails and LinkedIn messages and I found out that the SDRs were trying to convince prospects to book a meeting so they could find out about my customer’s offering.

Solution 2: Build a Problem Canva

After finishing the ICP Matrix, we started working on the problems my customers were solving for their own customers. It was a long process, and getting the team to change their mindset from convincing prospects to finding problems was tough.

As a result, we managed to complete a Problem Canva, which is another matrix looking like that:

Challenge 3: Targets weren’t broken down into outbound activities

Now that I knew who to go after, and what kind of problem to lead with, I focused on understanding the activity level of my customer.

They knew how many deals they wanted to close, but they had no clue how to get there. They were contacting a random number of prospects every week, without a clear quota to achieve.

Solution 3: Define a cruising altitude

Defining a cruising altitude means finding out the exact number of prospects to add to your sequence in order to reach your target, when your pipeline is empty.

We used a simple tool to convert the targets of my customers into daily prospecting activities, using their reply rates, meeting rates, and opportunity rates. It was a good exercise to understand what needed to be improved for my customer to reach their goals.

Challenge 4: The team was prospecting irregularly

Finally, I turned my attention to the outbound efforts of the SDR team. I noticed that some weeks were heavy on prospecting, while others barely included any prospecting activities.

As a result, the output of the SDR team was extremely inconsistent, and the management team didn’t feel like they could rely on them to produce pipeline in a predictable way.

Solution 4: Build a prospecting routine

This last challenge was the easiest to fix. We worked with the team on blocking slots every day at the same time so they could protect their schedule and prospect every day.

We also worked on creating a structure for these prospecting blocks, with the following order:

  • Start with follow-ups

  • Find x new prospects to contact daily and find triggers

  • Add x new prospects to the sequence

At the conclusion of our 3 consulting sessions, my customers had a clear Ideal Customer Profile, a good understanding of their problems, a clear activity target, and a healthy prospecting routine.

I hope this helps you as much as it helped them.



P.S. When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you.
  1. Build your outbound prospecting system from scratch here (230+ students)
  2. Write cold messages that get a 38% reply rate and 27% meeting rate here (40+)
  3. Book me 1:1 or for your team here
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