You can run a sales process in two ways – have customers come to you or reach out to customers yourself. Outbound sales is the latter, and it’s one of the most powerful strategies for any business looking to acquire new customers.
All kinds of businesses and industries apply outbound sales techniques. When properly executed, they offer many advantages.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about outbound sales. This includes outbound sales prospecting tactics, how to measure your sales success, tips for your sales strategy, and more.
What are Outbound Sales?
Outbound sales is the process of reaching out to potential customers to engage them, build relationships with them, and ultimately sell to them. This differs from sales tactics where customers discover your business organically and approach you.
Outbound sales is a more proactive approach where you’re consistently trying to find customers, communicate with them, and keep them engaged with your business.
There are many different tactics that you can use in your outbound sales strategy. Most successful businesses take a multi-channel sales outreach approach to help them engage and target potential customers more effectively.
Outbound Sales vs. Inbound Sales
To fully understand outbound sales, you need to know the difference between outbound and inbound sales strategies.
Inbound sales refers to tactics you use to attract customers to your business. Basically, inbound is any event where a customer finds your business organically through their own research.
Common inbound tactics include things like SEO-friendly content or social media, where consumers discover you. The customer makes the first move, and then your business starts engaging with them.
With outbound sales, though, you make the first move.
Unlike inbound, where customers discover your business themselves, outbound is focused on getting your business in front of potential customers. This could be done via tactics like cold calling and cold emailing, running paid ads, or anything else that includes outreach to your target audience.
When comparing inbound vs outbound methodologies, you can think of them as push and pull tactics. Inbound pulls customers toward your business, while outbound is a more active approach to pushing people to become customers.
When done correctly, businesses can achieve great deals of success with both inbound and outbound sales strategies in place.
Benefits of Outbound Sales
There are many great reasons to use outbound sales tactics to grow your business.
Here are some of the main advantages.
Outboundt Sales are Highly Targeted
One of the main advantages of using outbound sales tactics is that it lets you connect with highly targeted prospective customers. This is because you’re in charge of who you reach out to, so you’ve got a far better chance of getting more qualified leads onto sales calls.
This can help you shorten the sales cycle and waste less effort dealing with uninterested sales prospects. Using outbound sales tactics also ensures you always reach out to the decision-makers in charge of making a purchase.
Outbound Sales are More Predictable
Outbound sales methods are more predictable than inbound. Instead of relying on luck when people approach your business, you’re more in control over how many people you reach.
Outbound sales is a numbers game that results in a more predictable sales environment. The more prospects you reach out to, the more your chances of selling increase.
Outbound Sales Puts You in Control
With outbound sales, companies can choose who they want to reach out to. This gives you more control over the sales cycle and lets you design a sales pitch that matches your prospects.
If you want to focus on a specific niche or target customer profile, then using outbound sales processes is a great way to target these exact people.
Outbound Sales are Faster
Outbound sales is an almost instant way of connecting your business to sales prospects. This takes much less preparation and can help sales teams see results faster.
Plus, because you’re targeting specific, more relevant prospects, you’ll probably need to spend less time nurturing them and engaging with them. This can make sales cycles significantly faster.
Outbound Sales Can Be Automated
One of the best things about running outbound sales campaigns is that you can automate a large chunk of the work.
By using the right outbound sales software, you can send automated communications to reach the right people at the right time. These tools can also help you find the right leads and get in touch with them without any effort.
This saves you time and effort and ensures your sales pipeline is always looking healthy.
Prospecting Techniques for Outbound Sales
Using the right outbound sales marketing techniques involves reaching the right prospects who will be interested in your business.
This starts with prospecting, the first step in the sales process. Prospecting is all about identifying potential customers (prospects), adding them to a database, and communicating with them in a strategic way to turn them into customers.
Here are some of the best prospecting techniques that companies use in their outbound sales process.
Implement Live Chats
Live chats on websites can be a great way to enhance your outbound sales efforts. By using live chats, you can provide fast and efficient support to prospective buyers on your website.
This can help speed up the sales process, improve the buyer experience, and speed up the way you qualify leads. Automated live chat bits are also a great way to save your business time and money.
Ask for Referrals
Sales is about building relationships with new customers as well as maintaining relationships with your existing ones. One of the most effective ways of utilizing your existing customers is to gain word-of-mouth referrals from them.
Referrals are incredibly valuable. In fact, people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. This means focusing on maintaining customer relationships and generating referrals can add much value to your outbound sales process.
Cold emails remain one of the most effective outbound sales strategies.
To run cold email campaigns, you’ll need to use the right outbound sales email software. This software should let you find new customers, start conversations with them, and personalize your sales outreach to achieve better results.
Email automation ensures you send the right messages to the right prospects at the right time without manually managing each email sent. This makes your outbound sales process a lot more efficient.
Create an Outreach Campaign With Your CRM Database
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools let you track and monitor the development of customer interactions. These are essential tools to help guide your outbound sales strategy.
You can use your CRM to identify your different types of customers and the relationships they have with your business. Use these insights to create an actionable outbound sales plan.
Your CRM data also offers valuable insights to help you maximize customer retention.
Like them or not, cold calls remain a highly effective outbound sales prospecting tactic.
Businesses can use cold calls to instantly and directly talk to their prospects. This is generally done after other prospecting tactics – like emailing.
Of course, successful cold calling involves a lot of skill, but this is made a lot easier by using cold call sales scripts. Ideally, your outbound sales platform should include a built-in phone dialler with script personalization.
This helps you hold more relevant, personalized, and effective sales calls with each prospect.
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for outbound sales prospecting – especially in B2B. This is because it’s basically just a giant database of potential customers, complete with all of their business data.
You can use LinkedIn’s native sales prospecting tools to help you find leads and connect with them. You can also use outbound sales software with LinkedIn extensions to make using LinkedIn for outbound lead generation a far more efficient process.
Best Practices for Building an Outbound Sales Strategy
There’s a lot that can go into building an outbound sales strategy. To make sure your outbound sales engine works as effectively as possible, here are some of the best practices and tactics to keep in mind.
Create an Ideal Buyer Persona
One of the first things you need to do when setting up an outbound sales strategy is to create your ideal buyer personas.
This will help you understand who you want to target, which is necessary for an efficient outbound sales process.
When doing this, make sure you include information on your target buyer’s interests, pain points, and role. This will help you reach the decision-makers who will buy your product.
Segment Your Target Audience
Use segmentation to break your broader target audience down into smaller, more relevant segments. This will help you better understand your ideal buyer personas to more efficiently target them with outbound sales messages.
Basically, this means you can deliver a better pitch to each sales prospect.
Use the Right Outbound Sales Prospect Software
Luckily, tools make it a lot easier to perform outbound sales prospecting these days.
With the right outbound sales tools, you’ll be able to prospect more efficiently, automate a lot of your communications, reach the right people, and gain clearer insights into the effectiveness of your outbound sales efforts.
This will generally include tools like a CRM to manage your leads, as well as database management and email software.
With a comprehensive solution like PersistIQ, you get all the tools you need to cover your strategy for outbound sales.
Use Sales Scripts
A sales script is one of the most useful documents you can provide to sales teams to help them win deals. These scripts outline the process your team should follow during the sales cycle and provide examples of the kind of sales messages you use at the different stages of the buying journey.
This helps sales teams to produce a consistent and effective sales process.
Nail Your Value Proposition
Outbound sales will only be successful if your sales pitches really resonate with your buyer personas. You’ll need to ensure you have an appealing value proposition to do this.
Speak to your sales prospects’ interests and pain points, and ensure you always focus on the benefits and value of your product or service. The right value proposition will engage your prospects and set your business apart from the competition.
Tips for Closing Outbound Sales Deals
Once you’ve been successful in prospecting, you want to make sure you turn those prospects into paying customers. To do this, you’ll need to know how to close deals.
Here are three top tips for crafting better outbound sales messaging and closing more deals.
Speak to the Decision-Maker
It’s important that you focus your outbound sales efforts on the decision-maker. This is the person who decides whether to buy your product or not.
Finding the decision-maker is especially important in B2B sales, where multiple people could be involved in making new purchases.
Ensure you speak directly to this person, and try to gear all of your sales pitches toward them.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Don’t give prospects too much time to make up their minds. Always have the next step in place with your sales pitch, and focus on getting prospects to make the next step.
A great way to do this is to incentivize prospects to commit sooner rather than later. Provide discounts, freebies, or anything else to sweeten the deal. If the prospect has doubts, provide alternative solutions or reasons why your product is a good idea.
Of course, you don’t want to be too pushy here. It’s important that you do always add actual value to your prospects.
Establish a list of common customer objections and difficult questions, and be prepared with comebacks to them.
For example, prospects might have objections along the lines of:
- I don’t have the time
- I don’t have the money
- Your product is too expensive
- Please just email me more information
Make sure that you’re prepared for these objections and have an answer ready to turn the prospect around. An essential rule of sales is to always be prepared.
Measuring Outbound Sales Success
In order to run a successful outbound sales strategy, you need to know how to measure the success of this strategy. Otherwise, you won’t know whether your outbound sales approach is really working.
Start by setting goals and benchmarks for your sales team. Then, establish a few of the most important outbound sales metrics and KPIs to follow.
Monitor these over time to help you find areas of your outbound sales strategy that need improving. The more you measure your outbound sales success, the more you can optimize your sales process.
Some of the key metrics for measuring your outbound sales success could be:
- The total number of outbound calls made
- Number of calls resulting in a conversation with a decision-maker
- Number of appointments or demos scheduled as a result of outbound efforts
- Conversion rate from initial contact to appointment/demo
- Number of closed deals from outbound efforts
- Revenue generated from outbound sales
- Average deal size from outbound sales
- Sales cycle length for outbound deals
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC) for outbound sales
- Return on investment (ROI) for outbound sales efforts
There’s a lot that goes into running an effective outbound sales strategy. Understanding the different elements involved, and using the right software, is one of the best ways to reach and acquire new customers.
If you’re looking for a single platform to manage and automate your outbound sales efforts, consider PersistIQ. PersistIQ includes tools for finding new customers, automating engagement with them, generating leads across multiple channels, and automating outbound campaigns across multiple channels. Start today to see how the platform can help you grow your business.