Build an Outreach Plan

This guide will serve as a resource to help direct your conversation about building an outreach plan for the client. This guide is in place to provide structure and guidance only. There is no expectation for you to review everything on this list at any set time; please use at your convenience.

Conversation Topics

  • Who is ​the​ decision maker for this vendor?
  • For each of the major decision makers:
    • Where are their organizations located?
    • How technically adept or engaged are they?
    • How did they rise to the seniority they’re at now?
    • Where did they come from before {{Target_Company}}?
    • Who are their counterparts in other orgs?
    • Who do they work with regularly? Who do they like working with? Who do they not like working with?
    • How are new ideas brought into the organization? How did the last big vendor get brought in?
  • Which employees do the decision makers speak with regularly? Who has influence over the decision makers?
  • How are responsibilities delegated among their direct reports?
  • Is there someone that they trust more than others in their organization?
  • Who do they report into? What is that relationship like?
  • For each of the people the client is speaking to at the target account:
    • What is their credibility in the organization? How was this credibility generated?
    • Are they seen as an innovator?
    • How risk-averse are they with vendors?
    • What was the last big project they delivered?
    • What was the last vendor that they brought into the organization?
    • How responsive are they to email?
    • What’s the best way to be in touch?
    • How can I manage them to get the answers and information that I need to make a sale?
    • Do they prefer phone calls over emails?
    • What will make them comfortable with a decision?
    • How much do they need to be pushed and managed? How much will they want to control the situation?
  • For each of the relevant initiatives:
    • What is the the timeline?
      • When did it start?
      • When is it scheduled to be completed?
      • Is it delayed at all? If so, why?
    • What was the motivation at the beginning of the project? What drove the organization to make this effort?
    • Who is the executive sponsor? Who is leading the charge at a strategy level? At an execution level?
    • How is success defined?
    • What are the main KPIs that are used to measure success?
    • How is it being viewed by the rank and file?
    • Is there a lot of enthusiasm across the company?
    • What percentage of the company is the initiative likely to touch?
    • What have been the unexpected obstacles or roadblocks encountered?
    • How have plans changed?
    • Has the leadership of the initiative changed since the inception?
    • What vendors have been brought in to help drive this change?
    • What vendors are under review because of this initiative?
  • Who is the set of people that the client should be reaching out to?
    • How should the client reach out (email, phone, text, direct mail)
    • How often should the client follow up?
    • What messaging will catch the attention of the person?
    • How likely is it that each person will respond?
    • Should the client reach out through admins?
    • Are there any hot button topics that will cut through the noise?
    • Are there any hot button topics that will result in negative reaction?
  • What timeline should the outreach have?
  • How can the client demonstrate that they are interested in the target company and can be a helpful problem solver?
  • Are there any “hacks” to getting the attention of certain people?
  • Are there any upcoming events that would be useful to connect with?
  • What is plan B for if those people don’t respond?
  • Are there any weeks or days of the week that are definite “no send” times?
  • Are there any times or days of the week that will increase likelihood of a response?
  • Review draft of outreach text / messaging and edit
    • Check that tone of language matches that of intended recipient
    • Check that length will be read by intended recipient
    • Check that problem or case study is relevant and will grab attention
  • Review talking points for a phone call
    • Confirm ROI numbers are sufficient for interest
  • Are there any gift or event policies at the target company?
  • How do you think the decision-makers would react to a gift from a potential vendor?
  • Are there any events that would be particularly appealing to the decision makers?
  • Are there any creative ways that vendors have gotten their foot in the door that have worked in the past?
  • Are there any creative ways for the client to get their product in front of the target company?
  • Are there any topics that the intended recipients are looking to learn about that the client could enlighten them about?
  • Are there any upcoming events that will be attended by decision makers?
  • Why do the decision makers go to these events?
  • How can the client get the attention or interest of the decision makers at this event?
  • Which current customer should the client point to as an example?
  • What kind of ROI would be most attractive to the target company?
  • What kind of stories make the most impact in pitches or approaches at the target company?
  • How do the following factors affect the impact of a case study: brand, size, innovativeness of program, industry, or size of customer?
  • Are there any companies that should definitely NOT be included in a case study?
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