Not long ago, there was a belief that outbound sales are old news. Many experts claimed that inbound sales are the dominant sales line, and having a strong brand that can draw customers on its own was the future.
While it’s important that you build a brand identity that is attractive and captivating, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get through to the right audience that may become your customers.
Your business depends on you connecting with the relevant audience. You can’t always wait for the ideal customers to come to you—you can approach them yourself. That’s why outbound sales have a small chance of retiring.
To be successful in outbound prospecting, you need to have a calculated approach. You should know who to propose to, with what tools, when to follow up and how to understand which methods are effective.
In this article, we’ll run through steps you need to take in order to have a favorable outcome!
Build buyer persona profiles
The most important part of any outbound sales strategy is to know who you’re selling to.
Figure out what your average buyer is like, so you can know which leads are suitable for your business. You can generate a bundle of leads but you’ll be wasting time unless you narrow it down to a smaller group.
To do that, you need to determine which leads need your product the most. Analyze your current customers, and note which ones benefit the most from your solution.
These businesses have certain characteristics that make them successful with the help of your product. Understand what similarities they have, and you’ll also be able to notice these characteristics in the leads you generated.
You can identify these attributes by answering questions like:
- What is the size of the company?
- In which industry are they?
- How beneficial is your product to them?
- Which department uses the product?
- What are your customers looking to accomplish?
There are plenty of other questions you can ask yourself, but it depends on factors like the industry and the nature of your product.
This will help you and your sales team perform well. They can notice a pattern between your customers, and the best ways to approach them. But first, you should write down a list of your customers’ attributes so that your sales team can know which leads might become conversions.
Be sure to spend time defining these personas correctly, as it can prove to be crucial for the success of an outbound sales strategy!
Create a sales cadence
According to IRC Sales Solutions, only 2% of sales are successful after the first contact. That means that your strategy should have different methods for getting in touch with your leads. The first try may likely be unsuccessful, so following up is a must.
You know the advantages of your sales team, so if they’re great with cold calling, let them warm up the lead with an email or a LinkedIn connection request, before bringing out the big guns.
To increase your chances of converting, we suggest making a detailed plan of which day you use which method. So if you send a LinkedIn request on the first day (with a short introduction in the message), wait a couple of days before sending an email. If you don’t get a response, don’t give up, wait a day and send another email providing a different value.
After a couple of days you should follow up with a call, and if you get no response, you can leave a voicemail. The next day, send another email, etc.
The point is to be persistent but doesn’t spam with 20 messages and call in just three days.
Remember, your customer is probably bombarded with propositions from other businesses and salespersons. So if you want to be ahead of them, try to stand out. Try adding personalized videos in your email outbound prospecting strategy. It might stand out from the bunch of robotic emails that are filling their inboxes!
Choose the right tools
If you are not using tools for your outbound sales, you are behind your competition. We can’t emphasize enough how beneficial some tools can be. Start using them today!
CRM or customer relationship management is the foundation and the baseline of tools for any successful sales team. In fact, a study by Innoppl Technologies claims that 78% of sales teams who didn’t use CRM did not achieve their targets.
CRM tools are great — they help your team be efficient and organized, assist them in following a predefined sales cadence, and cut short losing valuable time intended for making sales.
They can send scheduled emails, track all the communication, remind SDRs of certain tasks and provide everyone with all the information, allowing every member to easily jump in and help their team. It’s great for your outbound sales strategy. Here are some of the best CRM tools out there.
Besides CRM tools, email automation tools can be a great aid in your outbound prospecting. Mailchimp is one of the most famous tools on the market.
Note: Some CRM tools also include email automation.
Social media tools are also a great help for your sales team. There are tools, such as LinkedIn automation tools that can generate leads from LinkedIn groups, or that can send many automated but personalized messages on LinkedIn.
Prepare your sales department representatives
Your sales team might know the basics of sales but you need to make sure they know how to adapt to the needs of your business. That’s why you should give them proper training and prepare them on how to execute your outbound sales strategy.
Don’t back down from providing them with additional education on new tools, the latest trends, or a different industry you’re aiming to plunge into. This process is also called sales enablement.
Simply put, it’s the process in which you provide your sales team with all the needed information, tools, content or facilitate communication with the marketing team. Basically, do everything that can help SDRs sell your product or service.
You need a plan on how to implement this process, so spend some time making sure you can provide all this information to your sales team.
Set targets and measure outbound sales strategy success
Setting quotas and targets is an inseparable part of any sales strategy. Whether it’s how many calls they make in a month, or email responses they receive, setting these goals is important so you can understand if your team is doing well. You might set a goal of reaching a certain value in conversions.
It’s also good for the sales team to have something to strive towards. Setting targets allows them to know in which direction they’re going, and achieving a certain quota can contribute to a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
Most likely, the end goal is to successfully convert goals into leads. Based on that, you can decide which key metrics you’ll want to track. Let’s run through some examples:
- Leads to opportunities conversion rate — this metric is good for understanding how well you created the buyer persona for your outbound strategy.
- Calls to conversions rate — tracking the number of calls that turned into conversions or appointments can help you recognize how efficient your sales department is. You can analyze which salespersons have met the quota of calls, but don’t seem to have a good close-out game. Listening to the call recordings can help you understand what might be a block on the road.
- Email click rate — this metric is quite important. Most outbound strategies begin with an email campaign, and a successful business has a high open and click-through rate. Tracking this metric allows you to improve your initial contact with leads, which can benefit you in converting later.
- Sales velocity — we’ve mentioned how important forging a buyer persona is. If done properly, it can help your lead run quickly through the sales funnel. You can track how fast they are moving through steps, and you’ll quickly know if you’ve done the first step correctly.
Outbound sales are still a powerful weapon
In the right hands, outbound sales can still bring in a lot of revenue. Those who prepare an effective strategy are bound to have success.
It’s not about having a lot of calls and sending a bunch of emails — it never was. A well-thought-out strategy, in which the right leads are clearly defined, will make the job easier for the whole team.
When that crucial part is taken care of, it will be easier to follow other steps in the strategy. With the right tools and planned sales cadence, your sales team can have their chances increased drastically.
Be sure to follow the metrics to know which parts are squeaking and what still needs to be worked on. Executing your strategy might take time, but it can also do wonders for your business.
Oliver Bridge. Oli is the CMO at Bonjoro, an app for sending personalized videos to convert and support your customers. He joined Bonjoro in 2016, and has helped build Bonjoro into one of Australia’s fastest-growing startups, with over 50,000 customers using the tool today.