By Austin Hahn
It may feel a bit awkward during this time to be conducting outreach, however it’s important during this time of uncertainty to maintain your efforts and, more importantly, plan for the future.
As a person in sponsorship marketing, it’s up to each of us to keep facing forward, because this current situation is only TEMPORARY. Now is your opportunity to clean-up, shore-up, and reach-out.
Be smart about your outreach efforts, while some people welcome the opportunity to connect and talk about the future, others do not. Be respectful, sensitive and do your homework. Maintain momentum in your outreach efforts by staying focused on tackling action items every day. Check out our list of other areas in the sales process that could use some tender, loving care.
- Update your sales decks
How you tell your story visually and literally are important when making first impressions. Take this time to work with your design team to give your materials a fresh new look. Not sure how to start or what it should look like, give us a shout and we can help.
- Prepare to catch the unicorns
We all have them – brands you have the perfect idea for but can’t connect with. Update your research and contacts for the people you wish to meet most once this is all over. The reality of the situation is that most of us have a lot of extra time on our hands, which means those brands you’ve been so eager to reach may actually be more willing to have a conversation with you now that their time has also freed up.
- Update your CRM
Take this time to establish a CRM tool or update your existing sales tool. Sponsorship is a relationship game, and it’s important to keep track of everyone you’re reaching out to. It’s difficult to onboard a CRM in the middle of a season, so now is the perfect time to get your contacts organized. If you haven’t implemented a CRM tool, now is a great time to find the right fit for your needs. Below are a few of our favorite tools:
- Hubspot (our personal favorite)
The basic package is free, you can track phone calls, emails, and will show you when a prospect has opened your email.
Extremely user friendly, uses a storyboard layout, someone described it good for businesses with a “super flexible workflow.”
Laid out like an excel spreadsheet, has ready-made templates to work from, and great for larger teams.
- Fresh Sales
One of the highest rated tools, you can create reports, pretty much does everything you can imagine, $12 per month for small businesses, you can track activity on your own website as well.
Covers everything from marketing analytics to point of sale, free for up to 10 users, easy navigation.
- Hubspot (our personal favorite)
- Update your email templates
Dedicate some extra time to playing with your outreach and follow up templates. It’s difficult to work these out in a crunch, so the extra time can be valuable when crafting a new message that’s in your authentic voice.
- Connect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
Connect with friends and leaders in the industry and even competitors. We can learn a lot from others, and sometimes opportunities come up even when we aren’t looking for them. Most of all, now is the time to connect with that old industry colleague. I’m sure they would love hearing from you. Now more than ever.
About the Author: Austin Hahn is the Director of Partnerships at Caravel Marketing. Austin is a sponsorship marketing outsider with over seven years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry. Austin solves business problems by bringing brands and properties together around sustainable sponsorship solutions. He isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo of conservative sponsorship thinking.