As the team progressed with their mission of creating a better fundraising experience for non-profit organizations, their rapid growth was obstructed by two key challenges:
- Lack of outbound strategy. The donation management platform used to rely on inbound marketing to nurture and convert clients. While inbound marketing can be a powerful tool for closing deals and increasing appointment rate, it alone won’t be enough to build momentum and fulfill the product’s potential. Knowing this, the client required experts with an experience of building outbound email marketing campaigns from scratch and knew the infrastructure behind cold email outreach.
- Need for more precise targeting. Before meeting Belkins, the platform had difficulties with finding organizations that met the their ideal customer profile. To attract more companies of the right size and ensure they would be the perfect fit, the representatives of this US-based technology company looked for the team of professionals who would help with making the most out of the company’s qualifiers and build the perfect customer’s journey.
The main challenge here is an absence of a working outbound strategy, i.e. 99% of their clients came from inbound. Our goal was to scale an email outreach and make it an independent channel that generates a decent % of the whole company's sales and revenue. As of now, we've successfully built a cold email outreach channel and generate 50+ appointments monthly. Our current challenge is to increase our call-to-deal conversion.
Nowadays, we're actively communicating with the client about new possible ways to improve conversion. To give you a better idea of how successful our partnership is, we've started working with the non-profit company when they had only one person responsible for marketing and one sales guy, after a year they have a full-time head of sales + few sales folks who are handling our calls, i.e. we are growing fast together.
What We Did
During this vital stage, we explored the non-profit market inside out. Every detail, from payment schemes, competitors to specific qualities of certain non-profit organizations like churches and shabads was taken into account and used to embed more accuracy into the client’s Ideal Customer Profile as well as reveal new lucrative opportunities.
To start our outbound campaigns at the right pace, we had to restart the client’s ICP. We went through the existing ICP together with the company team to see what qualifiers it needs to become more accurate and relevant to the company’s goals.
We were very proactive in suggesting new targeting options and researching industries. The more directions we discover, the more nurturing opportunities reveal themselves to the client. As the result of our collective brainstorm, we decided to target companies, based on their revenue, the software they were using for raising funds and their priority language.
After mapping the most profitable industries as well as creating a list of no-target industries, we started an extensive testing phase. Our goal was to find the template and the cadence capable of driving at least 25 qualified calls each month.
We also aimed to achieve the golden middle between the quantity of calls and their quality. Some industries delivered a lot of calls, but the conversion rate remained low. Meanwhile, other industries required a lot more nurturing before we were able to book a call, but delivered the largest number of new clients.
This stage saw a lot of experimenting. We sent various email campaigns to various industries, while documenting the results and focusing on numbers.
Such an approach lets us crystallize a set of crucial metrics and analyze each industry through its prism. From that point, it became a lot easier to determine which industry was successful or not.
Throughout all the stages of our campaign, we never ceased our monitoring. Having built a sophisticated reporting system, we kept a close eye on the feedback and results of every call to see if there were any areas of improvement in our targeting or messaging.
1) Increased appointment rate. In the beginning of our work, we managed to secure around 15 appointments per month. Currently, we generate around 50 appointments each month, with 16% call-to-deal conversion rate. In total, we scheduled around 600 high-value calls for the non-profit company.
2) High open rates. Our campaigns and monitoring increased the open rate to 70%, which is an outstanding result that signifies great visibility, smooth email delivery and high domain reputation. The increased visibility also led to an increased reply rate (around 20-30%).
3) Accelerated company growth. Such an increase in appointments pushed the non-profit company to go from a one-person marketing department and one sales representative to a full-time sales team (complete with the Head of Sales) to process all the appointments generated by Belkins.
- Leave no stone unturned. Whether you research a new niche or revisit the one you currently sell to, be thorough. For example, in non-profit marketing, emotional motivation, ideological goals and philosophy matters as much as the technological and financial data. Gather all the information you can get, segment it, process it and see how many doors it can open for you and your company.
- Don’t chase after big numbers. Booking thousands of calls without being able to close one deal isn’t a sign of good sales momentum. It means wasting your sales reps’ time and missing out on real opportunities. Raise your bar gradually - you may start out with closing only 5-10 valuable appointments each month and the ROI from those appointments will let your company grow and advance to the point when generating around 50 appointments per month becomes an achievable task.
- Adjust your targeting as you go. Cold outbound marketing is a flexible process. You send templates to your prospects, you analyze their response, you decide whether it’s satisfying or not, you make corrections. It’s a normal part of cold outreach, so you’re required to stay attentive and focused on your performance throughout the entire campaign. Even if you didn’t manage to connect with a certain target audience segment as you expected, you still learned something new and can polish your Ideal Customer Profile. Every little bit counts.
- Be open about your expectations. We had the perfect synergy with the non-profit company's team, exchanging opinions and suggestions, being proactive with new ideas and discussing the pace of the campaign. Maintaining a dialogue between all team members removes a lot of bumps from your roadmap and lets you advance smoothly. Treat your SDR teams as partners, make the effort to work together towards your common goal. It may take some time before you find the right approach, but it will reward you in the long run.