Beat Your Competitors With This Sales Outreach Strategy

By: Jack Reamer |
 April 3, 2023 |
How do you win over deals from your competitors? And if you would like to go after competitors, should you even be competing for these big deals in the first place? If you’re ready to take on big firms, this article will share some tricks that will help you build a winning sales outreach strategy. This article is especially relevant to sales teams because it’s easy to build a list of your top competitors using certain technologies, which we will discuss below.  (And if your b2b company lacks the time or expertise to turn cold hard prospects into warm leads, reach out to us for a free 15-minute consultation call. We will generate 1 qualified sales lead per day, for your company,  Monday to Friday.)

First, consider… Should you be targeting competitor companies?

Before we jump into outreach tactics, you need to consider if going after companies that either use a service or a tool of your competitor is a good idea.  The answer is yes…  IF, there is a very good reason why that company should be switching to you.  For example:
  • Does your company offer a better service?
  • Better support?
  • Better pricing?
  • Does your tool/service save your clients more time than competitors?
You need to have something that is significantly better than your competitors. If it’s a “Coke vs Pepsi” situation. Then don’t bother.  Why? Because It’s going to be hard to win someone over; there is such a thing as switching costs. 

How to figure out who to go after? Look for trends when building a list of potential customers

1. Which users are switching over to your service (from a competitor) and why?

Ask your salespeople if there are users switching over all the time from specific competitors.  What are the reasons for the switch? For example, if many of your clients were using the same CRM tool previously, and are switching over to yours instead, you should ask why.  You could get your sales team to ask these questions when onboarding new clients.
  • Were they using a CRM tool previously? 
  • Which tool were they using?
  • Why did they choose to switch over to yours?
  • What do they prefer about your tool compared to the previous one?
When your company has a clear advantage over your competitor, then it’s an easy win, guaranteed to bring in more moolah.  Don’t go after every competitor or every user. If you want the best results,  figure out which inbound leads, or what your sales team’s saying, that’s going to inspire easy wins.  If you know you’re going to win the deal, just go after them.  These decisions need to be based on data and trends that are already happening at your company. 

2. Look for certain signals

You can also look at other signals besides the easy wins that will help you figure out which competitors to target.  This has happened occasionally at SalesBread, where we have been part of campaigns where clients tell us: “We just found out that our competitor got acquired… (or they closed down;) Quickly find all the companies using this technology, because, in the next 3 months, they are going to have to find another alternative.” And if a competitor is around long enough, you will see them rise and fall. If you are getting this kind of data, then by all means, use this to form a competitor campaign.  Example: If you know that a competitor is going out of business, you can send a cold email, or reach out to all their current users on LinkedIn In this type of email/ mention the user’s pain points and set up a meeting with a CTA.   Mention a benefit of using your service/tool in comparison to a competitor. 

3. Does your company solve a gap in the market?

If your company solves a specific gap in the market, then go after competitors who don’t have the solution to this problem.  Grab their audience for the best results.  This might not work every time, for example, if it’s a minor feature, then don’t waste your time.  It really depends on how painful that problem is to your target audience

3. Go after the “untapped users”

Basically, use competitor data to figure out the ideal customer profile of the company that is most likely not to have your solution/competitor solution.  You then find all the players in that market, analyze each one and find those that don’t have a solution yet.  If someone is still using spreadsheets for example, you could find out if they are going without a solution yet, and they tick all the other data points of being a right fit; then this should be an easy opportunity for effective sales outreach.

4. Have a different approach from your competitors

If all your competitors offer a tech solution for individuals, and your tool offers a solution for individuals and teams, you could use this advantage to get users who prefer a “team” solution to use your service.  If you can manage to have a different positioning in your market that will actually resonate more, then that’s also a good strategy to explore.  Just make it more obvious to users that you offer this unique angle compared to competitors. 

Once you have a list, think about what to say in your outreach campaign

Because you have already built a list of prospects who need your tool/service, it makes it easy to send a personalized message like the one below. Your list should be 90% accurate at this point so that when you begin your outreach efforts, most of your prospects will say yes.  SIDE NOTE:  Always use the CCQ method for writing a customized intro. This stands for:
  • Compliment
  • Commonalities
  • Questions
So you would need to find something on social media, or Google about the prospect to either compliment them on, mention a shared commonality, or ask them a question.  You will have to research each prospect on the list in order to write something specifically for them.  This method applies to email outreach and  Linkedin

We use this template, and it works really well if you’re addressing pain points

(So if your company solves an unmet need in the marketplace, use this template.) “How are you dealing with X? PS: I’m asking because.. (give your explanation.)”
That’s it… And it works.  Our best advice is – DON’T BE SALESY.  You just want to hit on, “how’s the challenge?” PS: I’ll fix the problem.” The less salesy the better, because if your buyer personas are feeling the pain, then that kind of pitch is going to prick their ears.  Whenever you can, apply strength to weaknesses.

Follow up and use a clear call to action

Next, follow up with your potential clients between 3 and 5 times every 3 days. (So 5 – 6 touchpoints in total.) We suggest mentioning one positive at a time of your product in each follow-up. For example, if your tech is faster, more affordable, and has a better dashboard, mention each positive point in a follow-up message.  Here’s an example: {first_name}, good to connect. By the way, happy to give you a referral to anyone in my network now that we’re connected. I’ve been doing some research on (XYZ) (We provide (what your company does.)Since we’re newly connected, I’d like to share this post with you: (Share a link that’s helpful from your website.) P.S. It explains (XYZ) Notice the CTA? You need to be very clear about what you want the prospect to do when it comes to lead generation If you’re vague, they will ignore you.  So if you would like the decision maker to check out your website, add the link. Or if you would like to hop on a quick sales call, say that in your outreach messages Use low commitment cta’s because the harder the ask, the less likely they will reply to your message.  Instead of asking them to join a 3-hour webinar, ask for a quick 10-minute call at a time convenient to them.  Here are some examples:
  1. Are you available for a chat?
  2. How is your availability for a 10 min call this week?
  3. I’d love to share more on why you may need [PRODUCT] and how it can help [BENEFIT]. 
  4. How’s {{=day}} next week look for a 15-minute call?
  5. Are you free for a call this Friday to discuss [MAIN BENEFIT]?
  6. Are you available for a quick call in the next few days to see if [MY PRODUCT] aligns with your goals?
  7. When are you free to connect this week? You can use this link to book directly on my calendar.

Does this strategy work?

Yes, it does.  If your b2b sales team follows the above cold outreach sales process, you will close deals faster than your competitors.  Remember many companies out there are obsessed with automation, and use a “spray and pray” sales outreach plan Meaning, they don’t build in-depth lists, or personalize every single message that’s sent. This is just too risky.  We would rather obsess about list building and find the exact right people to reach out to for our clients AND use expert personalization than randomly send thousands of the same messages to everyone on a list.  Our metrics below show that this strategy works for generating new business In the past 24 months, SalesBread has generated close to 7000 new prospects for our clients.  On average we are seeing:
It’s also important to note that we don’t just use one outreach channel Our sales reps use the following:
  • Cold email campaigns
  • Linkedin outreach
  • SMS
Because we have a variety of channels, it ensures that if we don’t get sales engagement on one channel, we can try a different one.  So if a prospect isn’t active on Linkedin, we will reach out to them via email. This is one reason why our response rates are high. A combination of all the above = customer outreach success.  If your company is going after competitors, try the above outbound sales outreach method.  You might just be pleasantly surprised.  (If you lack the time, or are unsure of how to execute the above strategy, remember that we offer free 15-minute strategy calls. Reach out to us anytime. We would love to help you land more deals.)

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