September 2, 2021

Outbound Prospecting: 5 Secret Tips To Increase Your Sales Success

Outbound prospecting is one of the most effective ways to generate new business, but it can also be difficult. 5 secret tips shared in this blog would help you increase your sales success when outbound prospecting.

Contents

Outbound prospecting is a sales strategy in which a company or salesperson contacts potential customers with the goal of making a sale. It encompasses multiple channels such as email, phone, and social media. There are various approaches to this prospecting. They include building lists of prospects by gathering existing customer information and purchasing third-party data, cold calling, sending emails and direct mailers, and generating referrals from within the company's network (such as employees). 


What is the definition of Outbound Prospecting? 

The definition of it is a sales strategy in which a company or salesperson contacts potential customers with the goal of making a sale. Outbound prospecting encompasses multiple channels such as email, phone, and social media. There are various approaches to it; they include building lists of prospects by gathering existing customer information and purchasing third-party data, cold calling, sending emails and direct mailers, and generating referrals from within the company's network (such as employees). 

So, it is the process of reaching out to potential customers through multiple touchpoints. These include phone calls, social networks, email, and surveying. The goal of this strategy is to generate sales opportunities that lead to a conversion into a customer. 


What's the difference between outbound and inbound prospecting?

Inbound prospecting is much less time-consuming because you have content to provide for those who seek it without having to do all the legwork yourself. In other words, if someone looks for your product or service on their own rather than hearing about it from you, they are interested enough to go look for more information instead of blindly calling companies one by one asking for a demo. This process is called inbound prospecting.

In contrast, outbound prospecting means reaching out to people who are not actively seeking or looking for your product or service. There's a lack of interest on the other side because they haven't heard about you yet. Outbound salespeople, therefore, have to take more initiative and cold call potential customers to generate that interest in buying their product. Here are some differences listed down:

1. Inbound prospecting is much less time-consuming than outbound because you have content to provide for those who seek it without having to do all the legwork yourself.

2. Inbound sales requires an understanding of the customer's pain points and prospecting into that need. Whereas outbound sales require prospecting into unknown pain points.

3. Prospecting outbound is good for one-off sales, but inbound prospecting is more effective for long-term engagements and relationships.

4. Customers who are already sold on your product or service through inbound marketing are much easier to convert to customers. Thus they save you money because the cost per sale goes down when customers are ready to buy when they hear about you instead of having to cold call them.

5. Outbound sales are more suitable for B2C interactions, but inbound sales work well for both B2B and B2C.

6. Outbound sales is better used as a follow-up step after initial engagement through content marketing or SEO. Whereas inbound sales can be used on their own for cold traffic.


Who does outbound prospecting?

Many companies still engage in a traditional form of cold calling for their lead generation campaigns because it is a tried and tested method to generate new business opportunities. These companies may be small, medium, or large organizations – from local businesses to large corporations – but one thing they have in common is their reliance on the services of outside agencies for their lead generation campaigns. There are also many individual consultants and self-employed entrepreneurs who specialize in these prospecting strategies due to their benefits in terms of scalability. 

Many sales reps start as cold-calling salespeople before moving on to other roles within sales. Cold calling involves making unsolicited phone calls with the goal of finding prospects interested in spending money on something new (typically your products or services). You identify these people through lists of contacts you've built up over time, online databases, and more.


Why is outbound sales still an important sales strategy in 2021?

The reason why companies and organizations put so much emphasis on this prospecting as it works! Cold-calling reachable prospects provide a better chance of making the sale than leaving the task to chance by choosing not to contact them at all. While there are many challenges to overcome such as finding the right list of prospects and targeting these prospects with personalized messages that resonate with their pain points, there's no doubt that this strategy will continue into the next year and beyond. 

This method of prospecting [outbound] will not go away anytime soon because it's an effective way of generating new business for many different types of companies, especially when they are starting up or need extra income. It is also more cost-effective than hiring an additional team member on salary, and can be outsourced easily. 

What do you need to do before you start to research or outreach?

Before any outreach campaign starts, make sure that your data is up-to-date and accurate because it directly affects the success rate. The more complete your database is, the better your potential reach will be which means higher chances of conversions!

  1. Do your research & personalize your outreach.

Doing extensive customer research before you start outreach is necessary to personalize the messages in the follow-up stages. This process can take up a lot of time so it's best to get started early, even if it means researching only 1 or 2 prospects for now. Remember that data doesn't have to be complete to do some deep-dive research into your potential leads.

Have an idea of what they do, their pain points, and then use this information when reaching out. Also, keep in mind that different business sectors require different approaches, but at this stage, you should be able to zero in on certain commonalities among all prospects which will make your message much easier.

  1. Invest in high-quality, dynamic data.

Your research will be useless unless you have a solid list of prospects to reach out to! Make sure that the company you're working with provides quality and up-to-date contacts for your outreach campaign. Sometimes well-known businesses and companies do not wish to part with their inner circle so they'll put restrictions on who can view them, which means you'll need to find another way of getting in touch with them.

  1. Explore new mediums & channels

Many companies still rely on this type of prospecting campaign even though the internet now plays an enormous role in prospect research and outreach. If you're not familiar with digital marketing then now is the time to start learning because it's quickly becoming the go-to tool for sales teams.

Depending on whether you're working with a team or as an individual, tracking and measuring results will be different. If you're working as a team then make sure that everyone is on board with clear guidelines and company objectives. As for individual outbound prospectors, make sure to log your daily progress using notes or spreadsheets so you can measure your efforts and results at the end of each month.

Even though there's a lot that has to be done before you can start outreach, it's much easier now than before! You no longer have to rely on cold calling since there are a number of tools available which means less time wasted, more potential prospects reached, and higher chances of conversions.

Many B2B companies are now using online services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Ripen, etc., which are more effective for reaching senior management or decision-makers vs cold calling where junior employees handle inquiries. While some people actually prefer to deal with other people, it's easier to convey messages through these channels because they're more targeted and personalized.

  1. Create a schedule & stick to it

We all know that sales reps are busy people (which is why SalesCall exists to free up their time!), so make sure there's enough time allocated for prospecting campaigns in your schedule.

Don't give yourself too much on your plate or you'll end up not doing any of them! Also, make sure you stick to the schedule once you've decided on which prospects to reach out to first. Last but not least, here are some tips on how you can make outbound prospecting more efficient:

  • Always use high-quality data lists 
  • Personalize outreach messages 
  • Be persistent, and don't give up ever! 
  • Dedicate a certain period of time for prospecting

  1. Measure results and constantly improve your outreach strategy

It's important to measure your results and see how many leads you've generated every month. This way it will be easier for you to make improvements or modifications in order to become more effective. Don't forget that this type of prospecting is an activity with a purpose; it should never be done without one!

Stay tuned for our next blog where we will talk about inbound prospecting vs outbound one, outline the differences between them and discuss why inbound is becoming such an important channel in B2B lead generation. This way you'll get insight into what makes each channel attractive and how it can fit into your overall sales strategy. 


How much are the B2B sales depending on prospecting outbound?  

One more question for you - how many prospects do you think you'll need to reach out to? If I told you that according to one study, companies looking to grow more than 10% increase sales by prospecting at least once a week. You can't depend on your sales team to generate leads for your organization because they might lack certain skills, be too busy or simply not care about making calls which is why outsourcing the process of research and outreach is so useful.

But if selling becomes more reliant on doing it outbound then how can we find qualified leads? Make sure that you're always up-to-date with what's going on in the world of B2B lead generation!


4 Misconceptions about Outbound Prospecting? 

There are a lot of misconceptions about this very prospecting, so let's take a look at some of the most common ones: "The cold calling is dead - people don't respond to it"  - that's true to some extent but just remember that if you target the right people then these tactics will work. Also, cold emails are much more effective than they were before because of high-quality prospect lists. "Companies want personalized messages" - this is mostly true so make sure to take time preparing outreach messages and personalizing them! The last one is about following up on outreach - it's really important to do it because there are so many tools that remind you when the set deadline expires. Let's list down 4 common misunderstandings that happen for this type of prospecting. 

  1. One more thing - some people think that this type of prospecting and cold calling are the same things but they're actually different: 

Outbound prospect is a wide term that includes creating and maintaining lists of prospects, researching about these prospects to ensure you're talking to the right person at the company, reaching out to them via email or phone, and following up on your outreach efforts. 

Cold calling is one of the tactics involved in this wide prospecting outbound which deals with contacting new leads by making phone calls. This approach requires sales reps to make calls during business hours (which isn't always convenient). Cold calling is often criticized because not many people like talking on the phone; however, it can still be useful if sales reps know how to approach prospects. 


  1. Outbound Prospecting is reserved for B2B marketers -

This one isn't true either! You see, any person who wants to build relationships with new people (especially those they don't know ) can use these tactics. This way you can either improve your current skills or just explore new ones which will be useful for your career in the future. 

  1. This type of prospecting is time-consuming -

Again, not true! You see, there are a lot of tools like ConnectAndSell, LoopFuse, and InsideView which automate research and outreach so you'll only need to set up these prospects lists once; after that, they'll do everything on their own (at least most of the process). The thing about it, as that these tools aren't free but if you're interested then check out our recommendations before making your final decision. 

  1.  It's easy to lose touch with leads -

Yes, that can happen if you're not careful. For example, it's really important to follow up with your targeted leads because otherwise, they'll never come back. Also, don't forget to personalize these messages - even if the prospect list is very large make sure to send different emails or calls instead of copying-pasting the same thing over and over again.


What are the benefits of outbound prospecting? 

  1.  It can be used for lead generation. 

  1. It can help you discover pain points. 

  1.  It can help with lead nurturing. 


What are the drawbacks of it? 

  1. It is pretty expensive in comparison with other digital marketing tactics because these tools & data cost money; however, there's no way you can avoid investing if you want bigger sales numbers. 

  1. The ROI is still pretty low, but sales teams can easily improve it by working smarter and setting goals for every campaign (e.g: getting at least 10 new qualified leads per month).


To conclude,  it's pretty clear that outbound prospecting is still a powerful strategy and we can expect it to be used more often as marketers improve their skills and explore new avenues.


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Aryan Vaksh

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