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8 B2B sales trends that show how outbound will evolve in 2022

January 17, 2022

It’s the year of The Purge. 

At least it is according to the eponymous 2013 film starring Lena Headey and Ethan Hawke. 

And you know what: 

In a way, the wafer-thin plot was right; at least in the sense that it’s high time you rid yourself of something.

Not a psychopathic bloodthirst. Obviously. 

But rather of the outbound sales tactics weighing down your sales organisation. 

In this blog, Cognism Brand Ambassador, Ryan Reisert, is here tell you exactly which ones are here to stay, and which ones your reps should steer clear of in 2022. And just to let you in on a little secret:

Some of the oldest B2B sales trends are very much alive and well…

Scroll, or use the menu below to flick through Ryan's insights 👇

Trends to sack | Trends to back | Closing thoughts

B2B sales trends to sack ❌

First up, let’s cover the outbound sales tactics that’ll do more harm than good to your pipeline. 

Spray and pray

Having high-activity SDRs is good. In principle.

With the right prospecting tools and sales enablement strategy in place, reps will thrive and provide a ton of pipeline to close. 

That said, a high-activity SDR who makes hundreds of calls to dead numbers or ill-fitting prospects won’t get the results you need.

Especially if they use the exact same approach and follow up with every contact they reach. 

Quality over quantity is the name of the game this year.

That means it’s time to ditch the spray-and-pray approach once and for all. 

Quantitative data

On that theme, the criteria companies use to assess and select data vendors needs to change. 

Historically, this has been a numbers game. The more records a data provider offers, the better chance your SDRs will have of connecting. 

But in reality, that makes no sense. 

If the contacts they provide aren’t in your vertical or location, reps will be rubbing plastic straws together trying to make fire.

Instead, you need a provider that gets your sales team in front of the right people at the right time. 

Phone-verified data is one way around this, giving reps 5x better reach and 7x better connect rates. 

Territory-specific SDRs

A sure-fire way to make your SDRs unaccountable is to make them territory specific. 

For example, with 5 reps focusing on 5 different regions, it’s impossible to benchmark their metrics or to highlight and address improvement points. 

As a result, your sales strategy will never get out of second gear. 

On the other hand, with tight, uniform messaging and access to the same lead pool, you create a level playing field for your SDRs. 

This makes your sales engine more predictable and issues easier to diagnose and remedy. 

Double tap

If your prospect doesn’t answer the first time, it’s either because they’re busy or that they just don’t want to chat. 

So calling them again immediately after isn’t likely to find them in the best frame of mind to chat. 

In any productive or meaningful sense, anyway. 

Instead, leave a message if your prospect doesn’t pick up or try calling them at another time. This means you’ll avoid them blocking your number or ghosting you forevermore. 

B2B sales trends to back ✅

Now for the good stuff. Let’s review every trend that’ll help you get more high-intent ICPs in front of your AEs, and deliver more revenue.

Hyper-targeting

COVID is no excuse. 

With up to 95% accurate, phone-verified contacts, intent data, and sales triggers at their fingertips, SDRs have a huge opportunity.  

That is to prospect with greater precision and success than ever before.

Combined with mobile data and data-on-demand, which allow reps to reach prospects wherever they are and overcome contact data gaps, you should expect to see reps get more results in less time this year.

This will leave volume-based spray-and-pray approaches in the mud, with SDRs regularly finding the right prospect, at the right company, when they’re ready to buy.

All of this, though, is dependent on having the right data provider for reps’ verticals and territories.  

Learn how to choose your sales data provider - watch this explainer video by Cognism's Senior Video Marketer!


Cold calling scripts

One thing the new sales order can’t do without is a trusty old friend.

Cold calling scripts, like they always have, will ensure messaging is aligned across sales and marketing organisations.

After all, without a defined conversation flow, reps will rely on ad-libbed BS that contradicts other touchpoints and decreases prospect trust. 

The best way to get more ear time across the board and alignment across sales and marketing is to:

  • Outline key information/value props prospects need to hear
  • Create questions that make prospects situationally aware
  • Have words/phrases/sentences/sequences prepared for different stages of the conversation

This will give you your best chance of taking prospects from A to Z in their journeys. 

Sales influencer Ryan Reisert shares his ultimate B2B cold calling script - press ▶️ to watch.


The SDR

After 3,285 mentions of “SDRs” and “reps” in this blog so far, you can probably tell which side of the fence I fall on when it comes to the importance of the role. 

But some would have it that the pandemic destroyed the SDR position once and for all. 

Sure, things have changed, as I noted above in the hyper-targeting section. But key tasks cold calling, outbound email, LinkedIn voice notes, and Vidyards remain critical to revenue teams the world over. 

How do I know this? Because they’re arguably the most important part of the Cognism sales function.

This year, we’re even likely to see career SDRs come into play, who treat the role as an end goal rather than a stepping stone. 

Inbound and outbound specific reps will also ease the transition to hyper-targeted sales approaches, satisfying the whole funnel. 

How has the SDR role evolved? We posed this question - and others - to David Dulany, Founder and CEO. Listen to the podcast below.


Compliance

Compliance has made appearances in every sales and marketing trends piece since 2018, thanks to GDPR. 

So what’s changed?

The short answer is nothing for a lot of data vendors. That means your sales team is - and has been - at risk of eye-watering ICO fines

After all, when reps call DNC-protected phone numbers or ping messages to B2C emails, they could be in breach of GDPR and/or CCPA. 

The more calls they make, the more the situation snowballs, meaning you’ll have to hand over a decent wedge of your revenue over to the authorities. 

But there is some good news: 

If you onboard a data provider that scrubs against DNC lists, you can avoid compliance headaches, and filter out non-compliant data from your contact database.

Everything you need to know about B2B compliance - explained! Watch this video from Cognism's Head of Legal, Aksa Kalam.


Closing thoughts 🧠

Every sales org finds its own flow when it comes to the outbound tactics that work best for them. 

But continuing with some will actively do harm to your business in 2022, as competitors move away from high-volume, low-conversion models to well-drilled, hyper-targeted ones

And one thing’s for sure: 

Both traditional and innovative tactics will help facilitate this shift. 

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outbound sales trends