You’ve probably heard the term outbound sales before, but what does outbound sales really mean? Nowadays, several companies have shifted from outbound strategies to an inbound model. But it doesn’t mean that this strategy is ineffective.
Outbound Sales is a process of marketing your company and products to potential clients outside of your current customer base. This can be done through many different channels, such as telephone, email, or social media.
The outbound sales approach is arguably one of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads and appointments for your business, if used appropriately.
With that being said, the outbound sales process has many steps, and it’s important that you know what they are if you want to be successful.
It can seem like an intimidating task at first but it’s actually not as difficult as you think.
In this comprehensive guide, we will share valuable insights on outbound sales, how it works, its types, and when to use it in the best way.
What Is Outbound Sales?
Outbound sales is the process of proactively selling to potential customers. It’s a way to outsource your sales so you can focus on other aspects of your business, like marketing and customer service.
Essentially, the outbound sales process is a strategy in which you make contact with potential clients outside of your current customer base. This can be used to generate qualified leads and appointments for your business if done correctly. Usually, outbound efforts are made using one or more channels, such as the telephone, email, social media, etc.
In the case of inbound sales, it is the customer who initiates the conversation. Outbound sales is the opposite because it requires you to take control of your sales activities. You find out where your potential customers are and reach out to them instead of waiting for them to come knocking at your door.
ue to this proactive nature, outbound selling is also known as “cold calling” or “telemarketing”. The latter focuses on phone calls, while outbound emails can be called that too (although they would fall under direct mail). There’s no universally agreed-upon name for outbound sales overall. However, since these strategies require an active effort from businesses themselves, they’re usually referred to as outbound efforts.
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
Outbound sales for B2B companies is the process of outreaching to potential business clients. This can be done using phone calls, emails, or social media (like LinkedIn) to name a few.
Business-to-Business companies are those that sell their products or services to other businesses. B-to-B outbound efforts are made with the goal of generating interest in your product, increasing brand awareness, and establishing yourself as a thought leader. Thus, in the B2B sales process, the cycle often gets extended for a prolonged period and closing a deal includes multiple touches.
Therefore, outbound sales experts emphasize automating much of the process so they don’t have to do it manually. You will want to take advantage of automation whenever possible because it makes outreaching more efficient by removing repetitive tasks from your daily schedule, allowing you to spend time on higher-value activities like prospecting new leads, nurturing current ones, etc., in real-time.
Outbound Sales For B2C Companies
Outbound sales for B2C companies is a process of outreaching to consumers. So, the approach tends to be hitting on the emotional aspect. It focuses on what the customers want to hear out of genuine interest rather than out of an obligation or necessity.
This approach requires you to think about your audience and how they see themselves using your product/service, which is why it’s also known as market-based marketing. Since B2C companies sell their products directly to consumers, outbound efforts need not extend over an extended period so they usually depend on lead scores and close within one touch.
Business-to-Consumer companies are those that sell their products and services directly from business to individual customers with no involvement from another business in between them. In most cases, automation becomes less relevant when compared to B2B outbound efforts because it’s mostly used by marketers who want more control over each outreach effort made via different channels like email marketing or social media campaigns, etc.
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:
Lead Generation Or Outbound Prospecting
Lead generation or outbound prospecting is a process of assembling contact data of potential clients. However, it is imperative to have a clear view and perspective of the target audience before understanding the nuances of lead generation.
Leads can be generated through various ways, such as through web directories, LinkedIn, social media platforms like Twitter, and via prospecting tools used directly on the company’s website. Additional data can also be collected from the LinkedIn platform, specifically for outbound prospecting. The information received is utilized to filter the leads and personalize emails and offers.
Cold Outreach Method
Cold outreach is one of the most effective strategies that can generate outbound sales successfully. As a business owner, if you contact a prospect who doesn’t have a particular connection with your company, services, or products, that’s known as cold outreach. 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 more effective compared to cold calls.
These cold emails are usually short, 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 email. Moreover, power words have to be added in these mails, as they are the most effective way to increase the importance of the emails. Receivers will open these mails, as well as send in replies in some cases.
Lead, Demos, And Qualification
When a lead receives a message about your product or service, takes an interest in the email, and gets read for the sales call, you can turn them into prospects. This is the central point of several sales funnels where the outbound sales reps conduct a product or service presentation.
The first live conversation with the potential buyer or lead is the first sales call. So, it’s vital to acquire relevant and helpful details about them to ensure a perfect demo for the prospect.
Closing The Deal
This is the final step where the deal closes. 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 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.
Approaching Customer Success
By now, the outbound sales reps must have succeeded in getting a new customer. Now, they have to fulfill the promises made to the new clients. The sales reps have to give the best user experience and support to every client.
After ensuring that the clients are happy and pleased with their services, the sales reps ask them for any known individual who may be interested in the same products or services. The clients will refer new leads to the sales reps, ensuring new business opportunities for the company.
Inbound Vs. Outbound Sales, Which Is Better?
Difference Between Inbound & Outbound Sales Strategy
Inbound sales strategy is one of the most effective lead generation strategies that attract customers via multiple forms of communication.
Inbound marketing strategy involves the creation of content for any company’s website, blog channels, and social media platforms that ignite interest about their services or products amongst potential clients.
Moreover, inbound sales strategies are always considered cost-effective as the business can focus on establishing relationships with potential clients.
Now, that you have some idea of inbound sales strategies, we move on to the concept of outbound sales strategies. They are among the best marketing strategies that aim to reach potential customers via contacts like email and phone calls. Outbound marketing strategy is the process of utilizing advertising platforms, like 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 reach out to 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 insights into the difference between the inbound and outbound sales process, let’s evaluate which one is better for your business. Here are a few situations when inbound and outbound strategies are right for you.
Inbound Sales Strategy – When Is It Right For Your Business?
- 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 you can proceed to sell your product or service. This will benefit your company by saving marketing costs, at the preliminary stages of your business growth. This is one of the several advantages of an inbound sales strategy.
- 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 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 that particular product or service can help the potential buyers to resolve their issues.
Outbound Sales Strategy – When Is It Right For Your Business?
- When You’re Selling An Expensive Product Or ServiceIf 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 reach a massive audience than you would have reached via inbound strategy alone. This sales strategy costs more than the inbound channels and gives more successful results for your business as well. For instance, if you have a real estate business and need to sell a house worth $400,000, or more, you can reach out to a huge audience via a local newspaper ad.
- 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 will have to work hard on the marketing campaigns. Also, you have to do additional research on these prospects until they convert into clients.
- When You Have To Pay Heavy Commission To The Sales RepsIf your business becomes empowered enough 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 workable sales process, you have to understand the outbound sales process first. It is a process where the sales representatives source or channel contacts and close a deal with prospects who may have never heard of the product or service the sales reps are selling. This process includes 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 insights 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
- Integrating the most-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 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, 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 activities that take place while 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.
5. Ensure Great Customer Experience
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?
Outbound sales strategy is a 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 to sophisticated marketing tools that elevate their capabilities to adapt to customers’ behavioral 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 an 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
- Reaching out to 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 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 Outbound Sales
Some of the commonly used techniques in outbound sales are:
- Speaking with prospects via live chat
- Cold calling
- Social selling
- Cold emailing
- Cold messaging
- Contacting existing customers and asking for referrals
- Calling guests 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 that the salespeople are helpful to prospects
- Taking advantage of referral sales
- Making connections via social media
- Using omni-channel 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 to ensure that your next outbound sales strategy generates high ROIs.
- Make buyer profiles – Gather as much information as possible on your targeted audience. Talk and communicate with the contacts, current clients, and support teams. Recognize the common features that attract people to make purchases.
- 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.
- 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 campaigns and also ensure proper follow-ups. Also, define the specific metrics for outbound sales to measure your campaign’s success. In addition, monitor the campaigns consistently and make the necessary adjustments like changing the personalized email’s subject or main offer, enhancing the scalability, plan for acquiring new clients, etc.
What Are The Steps Involved In Building An Outbound Sales System?
The key to create an outbound sales process that results in expansive growth and is also scalable is through tailored messaging and market segmentation. Such a system starts or builds by precisely identifying the ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and reaching out to customers that fit into the profiles using personalized and highly targeted messaging. There are six steps involved in building 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 insights and data.
- Analyzing group customers and other data into ICPs.
- Evaluating every segment’s highlights and USP.
- 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 training 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?
Knowing about the outbound metrics is a crucial thing in this regard. 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 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 apart from gaining information about 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 rep 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 reply 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 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 and capable of generating growth for the 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 open to criticism and 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 mainly 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 closers.
2. Lead Response Reps
If any lead attends a webinar, fills out a form, downloads a video, or reads a 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 that of the SDRs and LDRs.
We hope this article has given all the necessary insights that you need on outbound sales. In today’s rapidly progressing world, you can always decide to hire the best outbound sales professionals and drive successful results for your business or enterprise. So, we hope you make the best use of this guide and skyrocket your business to the top.