How to get started with B2B personalized prospecting using interactive outreach journeys

February 9, 2024

Rahul Ghosh

B2B prospecting personalized hero image

B2B personalized prospecting is going through a major shift, where the trend is moving towards empowering the prospect rather than the sales team maintaining full control of the process.

I am not going to bore you with statistics to prove this point… if you are a B2B marketer, you already know that this is happening based on numerous posts from thought leaders sharing a wide array of data in your LinkedIn feed. 

What I will do, however, is share our take on this emerging trend towards relevant and personalized empowerment of the prospect. We will also share some of the strategies that are incredibly effective at converting prospects using interactive outreach journeys that leverage the power of storytelling. 

In fact, these are the exact same strategies that the Studeo’s sales and marketing teams use to generate sales-qualified leads that convert into customers at a high rate. 

The State Of Prospecting in B2B Buyer Journeys

Before jumping into the current state of B2B buyer journeys and some of the common pain points that marketers face, let’s get some context on how we got here in the first place.

The typical B2B buyer journey involves a few key ingredients:

  1. The B2B product itself
  2. A landing page showcasing the various pain points and how the product solves them
  3. Traffic from paid and organic sources
  4. A demo of the B2B product with a sales rep
  5. Prospects (target customers)

I will divide the history of B2B prospecting into 3 key eras: past, present and future.

Era 1: The “Prospecting is so easy era” – Early Days of B2B

Before the inbound movement really took off between 2007 and 2009, prospecting for B2B SaaS was less complicated. You simply had to reach out to your list of leads that you gathered using various tools, and a simple introductory email did the trick.

Some companies still used one-pagers to explain what they had to offer, but it was pretty straightforward to get the prospect to book a platform demo. 

Competition was nothing like it is today and there were really not all that many choices, especially in more niche B2B segments. 

Era 2: The Middle Of The Funnel (MOFU) aka The Inbound + SDR Combo Era

HubSpot Flywheel

We have all been a part of this era and I believe that this set of tactics will continue to co-exist with the next era for some time, as we transition into more personalized prospecting.

If you have been in the B2B sales and marketing industry for a few years already, you know how important it is to create content that drives leads from the top to the middles of your company’s funnel.

Have you ever wondered how the inbound revolution in B2B was born? It was purely out of necessity. By late 2006, every industry had multiple competitors all going after the same cohort of potential prospects for their solution.

The sudden explosion of B2B tools meant that buyers suddenly could pick and choose between multiple vendors for a solution, even in more niche markets.

Every competitor needed a way to stand out, and the predominant tactic became giving prospects tons of value even before attempting to get them on a demo. 

B2B companies quickly adapted by creating inbound marketing content such as:

  • Blog Posts
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers

They gated this content to get the prospect’s info into their database. This was followed by a SDR attempting to get ahold of them to learn more about their pain points and find out if they were even qualified to buy. 

Most B2B companies still use this strategy to maintain a full pipeline of sales prospects.

Era 3: Scalable Relevant & Personalized Prospecting

In the last few years, competition in the B2B space in almost every niche has reached the point of saturation. Meanwhile, prospects are bombarded with B2B offers in their email, on their phones, and over LinkedIn from a multitude of vendors.

Inbound content that showcased a company as an authority suddenly became a common practice. Once everyone and their mother was doing it, the natural question became “what’s next?”

Sales and marketing teams have to adapt in order to get the attention of their prospects now. With the commoditization of artificial intelligence (AI) being the biggest current trend in B2B prospecting, personalization across the buyer journey is now considered table stakes, and it’s therefore essential to also provide content that is relevant to how a product or solution solves a pain point that is specific to the individual prospect. 

According to research from Salesforce, 86% of business buyers are more likely to buy if a company understands their goals. 

In this guide, I will be diving deep into how you can craft a B2B outreach strategy using the power of storytelling to drive higher-quality engagement. By engagement, I mean a better response rate for your outreach campaign leading to more qualified appointments for your sales team. This is crucial to improving your close rate and ultimately generating more revenue going forward.

Top 3 Trends In Personalized B2B Prospecting

Now that you have a clear understanding of how B2B prospecting has evolved over the years to get to where we are today, I’ve done the hard work of surveying various industry leaders and executives in order to highlight 3 trends that are catching on when it comes to B2B prospecting.

In the next section, I will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how you can apply these 3 trends to your own B2B prospecting playbook.

Trend 1: Interactive Calculators & Tools That Showcase Your Authority In Your B2B Niche

B2B businesses are getting creative when it comes to using interactive tools for effective lead generation.

Take a look at this example where QuotaPath (a vendor we work with at Studeo) uses an interactive sales compensation builder to attract RevOps and SalesOps leaders to their website.

The tool also allows you to create a sales compensation plan that you can download as a PDF. 

Alternatively, take a look at HubSpot’s website grader which is used by many agencies as part of a website audit to show potential prospects how their site can be improved.

I’ll admit, tools like these are not always cheap to build, however the ROI is quite justified because you will get a steady source of organic leads by using the tool as an entry point for your prospects to learn more about your B2B business. 

Bonus: How to create an interactive newsletter for your prospects

Trend 2: Using Intent & Personality Data To Create Relevant Personalized Content

Not everyone is aware that prospect enrichment platforms like ZoomInfo and Apollo also have user intent data. These third party data tools can be used as a starting point to reach out to prospects that are more likely to engage with you. 

Using intent data means that your SDR team will engage with prospects who are more likely to convert into booked qualified appointments. 

Trend 3: First Party Behavioral Data Inside Your CRM Connected to Personalized SDR Outreach Cadences

When B2B companies spend time building up their own databases using middle of the funnel assets, they start generating tons of first party data (which is much better than third party data).

First party data linked to your CRM allows you to build custom prospecting outreach campaigns that are hyper-personalized and can be sent at just the right moment, when it matters most, for the best chance of converting the prospect.

Interactive Outreach Strategy #1: Use Company & Prospect Data To Execute AI-Powered Hyper-Personalized Outreach (Using Clay)

Pre-requisites:, Tavus (if you don’t have these two tools, you are simply missing out on the advantages that early adopters are enjoying from AI-powered prospecting)

Step 1: Create an account on is a crucial tool for executing personalized prospecting. It allows you to connect to 50+ data providers and run GPT commands to create fully personalized email openers at scale. 

Step 2: Identify company names and descriptions

Upload your existing lead list on Clay. If you don’t have a lead list yet you can use Clay, Apollo or ZoomInfo first to get some contacts.

Enrich the following fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Company Name
  • Company Description

Step 3: Run ChatGPT power commands In Clay to hyper-personalize your B2B outreach

An example video of Clay personalized data enrichment and outreach powered by ChatGPT

Now you are going to run ChatGPT commands using this data on Clay. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do it:

ChatGPT Command #1 In Clay

“Use the {{LinkedIN Company Description}} and come up with 3 ways {{your solution niche}} can benefit them.”

For example, if you are SEMRush (SEO Company) use the prompt: 

“Use the {{LinkedIN Company Description}} and come up with 3 ways more organic traffic can benefit them.

Test it by running the first 10 rows and manually checking the results, then adjust your prompt if needed or proceed to run the rest of the column.

ChatGPT Command #2 In Clay – Summary of Latest LinkedIn Post

First, create a new row that gets the latest LinkedIn Post for the user.

Create another row and use this ChatGPT command – “Summarize the post in 1 line”

Step 4: Use the following email syntax below

Subject Line: Prospect Name <> {{Your Company}}

Hi {{First Name}},

I recently saw your post on LinkedIn about {{ChatGPT Command 2}}.

As the/a {{job title}} at {{Company name}}, I’m sure you are aware of how {{your B2B benefit point}}.

We at {{Your Company}} help {{job title}}s in the {{industry}} industry just like you by {{what you do}}.

Take a look at these 3 quick tips on how {{your benefit point}} can help {{company}}:

{{ChatGPT Command #1 In Clay}}

Let me know if you are interested in learning how {{your company}} can help you execute these strategies.


Using the above Syntax in an example email:

  • First Name: Robert
  • Last Name: Jones
  • Job Title: Marketing Director 
  • Company Name: Fiction Travel
  • Description: We make destination weddings more memorable
  • Our Company: Studeo 
  • Prospect’s Latest LinkedIn Post: How upselling Is key to generating more revenue from travel clients

Hi Robert, I recently saw your post on LinkedIn about how upselling is key to generating more revenue from travel clients.

As the Marketing Director at Fiction Travel, I’m sure you are aware of how powerful visual storytelling can have a lasting impact on your customers. 

We at Studeo help marketing directors in the travel industry just like you by creating powerful storybooks using AI.

Take a look at these 3 quick tips on how you can use visual storytelling to upsell your clients and generate more business:

1. Charge extra for a trip Storybook hosted online
2. Create a powerful visual Storybook of other couples sharing their experience and promote it online to generate more leads
3. Collaborate with hotels and present their venue in our unique Storybook format to book more weddings with your affiliated venues 

Let me know if you are interested in learning how Studeo can help you execute these strategies.

Again, this is just an example; feel free to tweak the syntax so it works for your B2B prospecting. The important thing is, you need to get their attention within the first 2-5 seconds of the prospect scanning the email. 

Using this strategy with Clay allows you to send hyper-personalized emails at scale. 

Interactive Outreach Strategy #2 – Hyper Personalized Studeo Storybooks (Using Studeo + Tavus)

Pre-Requisites: Studeo, Tavus

This outreach strategy involves using the power of editorial storytelling to deliver a personalized outreach experience for prospects. 

In fact, in a previous post we mentioned that we actually use this strategy here at Studeo to reach out to our own prospects and the results have been consistently 40-70% better compared to our older tactics.

Users spend an average of 30-40% more time engaging with our Storybook format. This allows SDR teams to get their B2B personalized prospecting message across more effectively when using our platform.

Tavus allows us to record one single video and create personalized videos for all prospects from it using the power of AI. 

You can go to their website where they have a video showing how the entire process works. Creating the videos is fairly straightforward, and they are improving their tech all the time.

Once you have your Tavus video URLs, add them to the main prospect CSV list and upload it to Studeo.

We will create a personalized Storybook using that video and other useful content you provide, for you to use in your funnel. You can build Storybooks for multiple points in the funnel, to move your prospects from the top through to the bottom.

Studeo also generates a personalized GIF for each of the Storybooks that we create.

These personalized Storybook GIFs have given us a CTR of 20% on our email outreach campaign. Yes, you read that right… 20% CTR, compared to the average 2-3% CTR.

Things To Include In Your Studeo Outreach Storybooks For B2B Personalized Prospecting

Here are a few things you should definitely include when reaching out to prospects for the first time:

  1. Opening Page Title – How {{Company Name}} Can Use {{Your Company Name}} to {{benefit}} (feel free to experiment with the first page title)
  2. Opening Page Video – The personalized Tavus video for that prospect.
  3. Page 2 – What Other Clients Are Saying (add 1 or 2 relevant testimonials from other clients and some data on what they achieved using your software)
  4. Page 3 – Add a direct calendar link to book a time. Alternatively, you can embed an asset like an interactive tool/calculator that prospects can play with right inside the Storybook experience.
  5. Page 4 (last page) – A video of you clearly outlining the next steps.

Check out this custom landing page that we share with prospects as part of our outreach sequence at Studeo. For each user we create a personalized narration video for and display a Studeo Storybook in the background for added context. Once we achieve the conversions we’re looking for, we start generating Storybooks for the background that actually include images related to the prospect’s specific business, to further optimize conversions with personalized context at a 1-1 level. Each prospect gets to view a unique video, which we manage by inserting the video ID into the URL.

Email template for Storybook-Based Outreach

Note: Use the same ChatGPT commands from strategy #1

Hi {{First Name}},

I recently saw your post on LinkedIn about {{ChatGPT Command 2}}.

I created a quick video just for you explaining how {{ your company name}} can help {{company name}} with {{benefit}}:

[Add Personalized GIF image of our storybook]

Let me know what you think.


Interactive B2B Personalized Prospecting Strategy 3 – First Party Data Playbooks For SDR Teams

We all have (or should have) a database of potential prospects consuming content from our middle of the funnel assets.

When you sell a product with a longer sales cycle, you need to implement an outreach strategy for prospects that have gone silent but are still consuming content. 

A lot of companies deploy what we call an endpoint reactivation strategy, and it’s resulting in conversion leakage.

This is how it works:

1. Prospects keep getting some emails and content 

2. SDR puts all of them into a bucket and goes through a general call cadence

3. When a demo is booked from either an e-blast or a call from an SDR, it’s passed over to the sales rep.

We have all done this in the past, and maybe still do it… but there is a better way.

This is where the first party data becomes so important. When you launch a nurture campaign, or the prospect visits certain pages that indicate active buying signals, you need to have a playbook for the SDR to reach out right away. 

The first step of this playbook can easily be automated if you use a marketing automation and sales CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce Pardot. 

custom events first party data.

5 Common Triggers to look out for in your re-activation outreach:

1. Visiting pricing pages after a period of inactivity 

2. Visiting a content asset for more than X minutes 

3. Attending a webinar that they registered for through a marketing blast 

4. Registering for a webinar but not attending

5. Downloading another middle of the funnel asset since becoming a member of your database

Audit all of your first party engagement data and try to bucket them (for example, contacts that have visited your website more than 10 times but have not yet booked a demo). Once you have done that, build playbooks that involve creating a task for the SDR, or an automated sequence to re-activate the lead. 

1st party data examples
Some first party data we track ourselves for our own leads to create outreach sequences.

A personalized prospecting journey based on a prospect’s recent event behaviour is not only relevant, but it’s an objectively better way of connecting with any prospect compared to a generic, bucketed SDR cadence.

In Conclusion

Cold prospecting is still one of the best channels when it comes to generating sales qualified leads for your company. Going forward, you can use these personalized prospecting journeys to tailor the message and craft unique messages that will help generate more conversations with prospects that fit your ICP. Of course, by now you must have realized that in order to execute these strategies you may need to access some additional tools such as the ones mentioned in this guide. However, when you scale your campaigns the ROI is easily justified when compared to spending money to generate leads from paid channels.