Nowadays, many companies have shifted from outbound sales strategies to an inbound sales model. However, this doesn’t mean that outbound sales is no longer an effective strategy for growing a companies market share and revenue.
When your business has a well-planned outbound strategy, you are still able to effectively attract new customers to fuel your company’s growth. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to leverage outbound sales in today’s market, with a focus on the various types and strategies for successful outbound sales.
What Is Outbound Sales?
The meaning of outbound sales revolves around the procedure where sales representatives make outbound calls for sales or resort to other sales channels for approaching prospects. Outbound sales is the procedure where the seller, who is usually a sales rep, starts off engagement with a potential customer. However, in inbound sales, potential customers initiate the conversation.
An outbound sales organization ensures cold calling leads on a list, and reps call leads that have shown demands by connecting with a brand’s content, emailing a business, filling out a form, or making a past call to a business. In every way, the strategies mostly drive successful results.
What Are The Types Of Outbound Sales?
There are two types of outbound sales – outbound sales for B2B companies and outbound sales for B2C companies.
Outbound Sales For B2B Companies
In B2B or business-to-business sales, sales reps sell products or services to other businesses. In the B2B sales process, the sales cycle often gets extended for a prolonged period and closing a deal includes multiple touches. A B2B outbound sales rep plays the key role of following up the way to reach prospects. They usually call leads that their organization’s other rep has dialled before. This is why B2B sales reps must stay updated by logging activities in their CRM tools such as Salesforce. This helps the outbound sales organization’s members to stay updated on the lead’s status in real-time.
Outbound Sales For B2C Companies
The sales reps working on a B2C or business-to-customer company generally sell lower ticket items. Moreover, the sales made are mostly transactional. A few examples of B2C companies are stocks, timeshares, insurance selling companies, etc. Compared to B2B companies, the sales reps at B2C companies have to dial more leads. This is because B2B prospecting ensures to be less emotional and more strategic.
Now that you have acquired a basic insight on the topic – outbound sales let’s glance at the steps it consists of. These steps include:
1. Lead Generation Or Outbound Prospecting
Lead generation, also termed outbound prospecting, is a process of assembling contact data of potential clients. However, a clear view and perspective of the target audience is vital before diving into it. Leads can be generated through ways, such as on web directories, LinkedIn, social media platforms like Twitter, and via prospecting tools used directly on the company’s website. Collection of any additional data, specifically for outbound prospecting from the LinkedIn platform, is utilized to filter the leads and personalize emails and offers.
2. Cold Outreach Method
The process of outbound sales calls is one of the finest examples of cold outreach methods. However, nowadays, outbound sales organizations have shifted to cold emails as they are a more famous outbound sales strategy. These cold emails are usually short in letters, personalized, consistent, and related to the needs and pain points of the leads. The outbound sales reps must include a clear call to action or CTA in each personalized letter. Moreover, power words are an effective way to enhance the open rate and reply rate for cold emails.
3. Lead, Demos, And Qualification
4. Closing The Deal
This step of outbound sales means a final stage action that follows up when the deal comes close. This is exactly when the sales rep is about to convert a lead into a new client. This final action depends from business to business and may include preparation of the price quote, discussing the offer, etc. In this stage, the sales reps alleviate any choice difficulties. They indulge the leads into special offers and ensure to make it easy for the leads to sign up for a new contract or upgrade their subscription.
5. Approaching Customer Success
By now, the outbound sales reps must have succeeded in getting a new customer. Now, they have to ensure the fulfillment of promises made to the new clients. The sales reps have to give the best user experience and support to every client. After making the clients pleased, the sales reps ask them for any known individual who may be interested in your same products or services. The clients will refer new leads to the sales reps, ensuring new business opportunities for you.
Inbound Vs. Outbound Sales, Which Is Better?
Difference Between Inbound & Outbound Sales Strategy
Inbound sales strategy is one of the effective lead generation strategies that attract customers via multiple forms of communication instead of enabling unrequested contact with potential customers. Inbound marketing strategy involves the creation of content for any company’s website, blog channels, and social media platforms that ignite interest in your services or products among clients who already visit these channels customarily. Moreover, inbound sales strategies are always considered cost-effective to boost sales as the business can focus on establishing relationships with potential clients.
Outbound sales strategies are among the best marketing strategies that aim to reach potential customers via contacts like email and phone calls. Outbound marketing strategy is the procedure of utilizing advertising platforms, such as billboards, TV commercials, and radio ads to get your services or products recognized by a larger audience. This type of strategic promotion can be most effective when you wish to outreach a massive audience all at once. However, the process can be expensive and comparatively less targeted than the inbound sales strategies.
Decide Which One Is Better For Your Business
Now that you have proper insight into the difference between the inbound and outbound sales process, let’s evaluate the better one for your business. Below are a few situations when inbound and outbound strategies are right for you.
Inbound Sales Strategy – When Is It Right For Your Business?
1. If Your Business Is A Start-Up Without Sufficient Capital Investment
An inbound strategy can bring fruitful results to your company if you are a start-up without a sufficient capital amount. Your business has to establish trust among the audience and then proceed to sell your product or service when they recognize your business as a trusted brand. This will benefit your company by saving marketing costs, which is one of the several advantages of an inbound sales strategy at the beginning stage of your business growth.
2. If Your Target Product Or Service Is Searched Excessively Online
If your target product or service is searched over the internet a lot, then the ultimate way to reach potential buyers is via inbound sales. While more and more people are looking for your target products on social media platforms like Facebook or on search engines like Google, the chances to grab their attention increases with informative videos and attractive blog posts about your company and how it can help the potential buyers to resolve their issues.
Outbound Sales Strategy – When Is It Right For Your Business?
If your company is selling any expensive product or service, then adopting an outbound sales strategy is the best choice. You can use this strategy to outreach a massive audience than you would have reached via inbound strategy alone. This sales strategy costs more than inbound but gives more successful results for your business. For instance, if you have a real estate business and need to sell a house worth $400,000, or more, you can outreach to a huge audience via a local newspaper ad.
2. If Your Business Product Or Service Has An Extended Sales Cycle
Your business may have products or services that require an extended period for the sales cycle prior to getting the actual conversions of sales. This type of situation demands the business as well as the sales reps to be persistent and patient with their prospect. As there’s no direct communication, you and your outbound sales organization have to work extra hard on the marketing campaign. Also, you have to do additional research on these prospects until they convert into clients.
3. When You Have To Pay Heavy Commission To The Sales Reps
If your business becomes eligible to afford to pay a hefty commission to sales reps, it may be a good decision to consider outbound sales. When the time to market becomes a crucial factor for your services or products, approaching an outbound sales strategy may work better even if it’s expensive.
How to Improve Your Outbound Sales Process
What Is The Outbound Sales Process?
If you’re a salesperson who wants to know how to generate a scalable and repeatable sales process, you have to understand what’s outbound sales process is first. It is a sales process where the sales representatives source or channel contacts and close a deal with prospects that may have never heard of the product or service the sales reps are selling. This process is an explicit, concrete set of actions that your business must follow in order to close new customers.
You can boost up your outbound sales process by:
- Targeting the right leads
- Using in-depth market knowledge and insight to extract high converting leads
- Surrounding yourself with the best set of professionals
- Knowing your product and service value and then promoting it
- Using easy-to-access data for improving lead generation and personalizing outreach
- Outrunning the competitors with a unique selling proposition
- Closing a deal with solid benefits instead of any fuzzy feature
- Integrating the best-advanced technology, and more.
What Are The Steps Involved In Outbound Sales?
The several steps involved in an outbound sales procedure are as follows:
1. Lead Generation/ Prospecting
Prospecting or lead generation defines the procedure of channeling or sourcing contact details of the potential buyers. It’s crucial to have a precise and clear understanding of the target audience profile before prospecting. You must know the types of companies you are planning to target, the decision-maker at these companies, and more.
Prospecting involves in-depth online research on platforms like LinkedIn or surfing the internet in search of customer details. Typically, you will need precise customer details such as job title, location, email ID, LinkedIn profile, etc. These details can be later used to filter the leads and personalize the email campaigns.
2. Cold Emailing
Cold emailing is one of the most traditional, popular, and effective outbound sales strategies. It is the process of emailing prospects that your outbound sales organization’s reps have never contacted before. Cold emails are customarily short in letters, personalized and more relevant to the prospects. However, it’s crucial to add one clear call to action in each personalized email.
3. Sales Call, Lead Qualification, Demo
You can convert a cold prospect into a buyer when they accept your sales call after knowing all details about the product or service. This common stage consists of several sales processes where the sales rep conducts a product demo and qualifies the lead. The first sales call is mostly the first live conversation with the prospect, making it crucial to be prepared and consisting of the perfect demo for the lead personnel. With the progression in the sales process, knowing more about the prospect and their company can help sales representatives to ensure a more tailored user experience and boost the chances of closing a deal.
4. Closing The Deal And Signing The Contract
This is the final stage that includes final activities taking place on the verge of a closing deal and when you are close to converting an opportunity into a new client. This stage of the sales process ranges from one business to another and may consist of things like negotiating a proposal, delivering a price quote, upgrading, etc. Persistently, enable a clear proposal to make it easier for the prospects to sign a new agreement or upgrade the subscription account.
5. Delivering, Supporting, And Getting Customer Success
If you have managed to close a customer, then you have to work on delivering your promises and ensure the best possible user experience to stunt them. Once you impress the clients, ask them if they can refer any known individual who may be interested in doing business with you too.
What Is An Outbound Sales Strategy?What Is An Outbound Sales Strategy?
Outbound sales strategy is a laser-precise strategy prepared from extracting actual data on the sales channel or floor. This type of strategy includes every aspect of the outbound sales process, starting from human intelligence that drives it, sophisticated marketing tools that elevate their capabilities to customer behavioural changes.
An outbound sales strategy utilizes multiple sales techniques, with the primary objective of closing deals with new customers. In an outbound sales strategy, the following activities are crucial to achieving that objective:
- Outbound prospecting: Reaching out to new prospects through email, social media, or phone.
- B2B lead generation: Generating or developing the interest of customers in your product or service
- Outreaching the decision-makers: Using company hierarchies and organization mapping to find, reach, and persuade the decision-makers.
- Organizing product demo: Performing a live demo to help the prospects to understand the impact and value of their business.
- Closing the deals: Negotiating the terms and conditions with the prospect to make a sale.
When creating an outbound sales strategy, you must also be aware of the challenges faced by sales reps, such as cold call and email blocking, challenges in tracking and analyzing results, and high cost vs. low yield.
Commonly Used Techniques In Sales Outbound
Some of the commonly used techniques in sales outbound are:
- Speaking with prospects via live chat
- Cold calling
- Social selling
- Cold emailing
- Cold massaging
- Contacting existing customers and asking for referrals
- Guest star on a podcast
- Organizing webinars to generate high-quality leads
- Understanding the website visitors to reach them out
- Building an outreach plan
- Reaching out to influencers and establishing relationships with them
- Email marketing and automation process
- Ensuring the salespeople to be helpful to prospects
- Setting explicit targeting criteria
- Taking advantage of referral sales
- Making connections via social media
- Using omnichannel and multi-touch strategies
- Automating outbound sales as much as possible
Building An Efficient Outbound Sales System – How To Do It?
Tips For Building An Effective Outbound Sales Strategy
A lot of upfront work is needed to build and implement an effective outbound sales strategy. You will require a solid plan, precise information about the prospects, and the right tools to support any targeted goals.
Here are some points to consider for ensuring your next outbound sales strategy yield a higher return:
1. Make buyer profiles – Gather as much information as possible on your targeted audience. Talk and communicate to the contacts, current clients, and support teams. Recognize the common features that attract people to buy vs. choose a competitor.
2. Attach your value proposition – You can create a message by using the buyer profiles to resonate and connect with the right people. Utilize the concept of storytelling to develop authentic connections, share your success story to establish trust, and outline the benefit of your product or service for them.
3. Plan your outbound sales strategy efficiently – Start by contacting the best outbound sales organization and listen to their plan. Add a timeline to your marketing campaign and time between the follow-ups. Also, define the specific metrics for outbound sales to measure your campaign success. In addition, monitor the campaigns consistently and make the necessary small adjustments like changing the personalized email’s subject or main offer, enhancing the scalability of acquiring new clients, etc.
What Are The Steps Involved In Building An Outbound Sales System?
The key to the scalability of an outbound sales process that results in expansive growth is tailored messaging and market segmentation. Such a system starts or builds by precisely identifying the ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and outreaching customers that fit into the profiles using personalized and highly targeted messaging.
There is six-step involved to build an outbound sales system:
- Using market segmentation to identify the most attractive markets
- Establishing a precise, value-based hypothesis that guides the segmentation.
- Generating customer insight and data.
- Analyzing group customers and other data into ICPs.
- Evaluating every segment’s attractiveness.
- Finding leads into every micro-segment.
You will need more sales development representatives or SDRs to boost revenue once your business achieves a scalable outbound process. So, if you want to build an efficient SDR team, you have to remember a few key points while hiring, onboarding, or to train them. For instance:
- Understanding the successful SDR characteristics
- Developing a scoreboard on the basis of your ideal SDR profile
- Begin with personal training rather than product training
- Connecting the solution to customers’ pain points and more.
What Are The Most Crucial Outbound Sales Metrics?
What Are The Outbound Metrics?
The outbound metrics track the total number of calls and whether the connection was made successfully or not. You can remove an account from the program if there’s a high number of calls per account that yields no success. There are KPIs, which require to be viewed and checked throughout the day, averaged over time, and in terms of the number of transfers/conversions/sales and number of calls.
Importance Of Metrics
Outbound sales metrics are crucial to unveil the behavior and needs of the target audience. Having a communicative session with your target audience can help in uncovering insights into things that may not have been gained otherwise. These valuable insights can be utilized for improving sales and marketing messaging apart from informing product or service development.
What Are The Important Metrics Used To Calculate The ROI Of Outbound Sales?
The important metrics used to track KPIs by the Sales Development Representative (SDR) team includes:
- Phone calls
- Success metrics’
- Productivity metrics
- LinkedIn activity
- Number of bookings and attendance for a meeting by prospects
- Number of sales qualified opportunities created by the SDR team
The crucial metrics used by the business development management team to track KPIs include:
- MRR or monthly recurring revenue metrics
- Personal metrics
- Pipeline metrics
- Demo metrics
The crucial metrics used by the lead response representative team to track KPIs include:
- Attending a webinar
- Filling out a form
- Reading a blog
- Downloading a video
The account executives track KPIs, including:
- Funnel metrics
- Email engagement metrics
- Number of contacted prospects
- Number of prospects who engage and replies to your content
- The number of qualified and closed prospects.
How To Hire Outbound Sales Reps
Introduction About Outbound Sales Reps & Job Role
Every outbound sales rep is involved in establishing relationships with cold prospects. However, the outbound sales reps can be classified into various categories depending on the company, market, or the structure of the outbound sales organization.
Outbound sellers can be employed for both B2B and B2C sales. The main difference customarily lies on the target client: outbound B2C sellers connect individual end customers while the B2B counterparts connect with corporate buyers, each comprising several decision-makers.
Hiring Outbound Sales Reps
Now that you know who an outbound sales rep is, get a brief idea of what you should look for in an outbound sales rep while hiring them.
- An outbound sales rep must be a natural spokesperson and a great communicator.
- The individual must be excited about working in a start-up environment.
- They must be passionate and result-driven to the growth of your business.
- The outbound sales rep must be customer-focused and empathetic.
- The most efficient outbound sales rep must have the ability to deal with rejection and endless amounts of ‘no’ from prospects.
- The sales rep must be coachable and open to suggestions.
- They must be a good fit for your company’s culture and tradition.
Types Of Outbound Sales Reps
The two types of outbound sales reps are – sales development reps and lead response reps.
1. Sales Development Reps
Sales development reps are those representatives who are involved in the task of outbound prospecting. They consistently work on a list of leads by calling them. At times, they use the cold approach method for these leads, but customarily they reach out via social media platforms or email at first for enabling a connection. Instead of closing deals, they create opportunities for account executives, also known as a Closer.
2. Lead Response Reps
If any lead demonstrates demand by attending a webinar, filling a form, downloading a video, or reading blog content, then the task of making outbound calls to them is done by lead response reps. Similar to sales development reps, they also make opportunities for account executives.
Apart from these two, you must know about two other types of outbound sales reps, too – Business Development Reps (BDRs) and Account Executives (AEs). Their role is as crucial as the role of the above-mentioned two types of reps.
We hope this guide has given all the necessary insight that you need on outbound sales. In today’s rapidly progressing world, you can always decide to hire the best outbound sales organization and proceed to drive successful results.