Outbound sales is the most commonly used sales strategy used across various industries. Indeed! It provides great success in less time. It’s not just us, 55% of sales professionals agreed on using outbound sales as their primary sales technique.
Outbound sales is the evergreen sales technique that is being followed and improvised every now and then.
In 2020, outbound sales is not just restricted to selling your product, rather it’s also about designing a robust sales process and predicting the revenue for your organization.
Today in this article, we will be discussing various sales strategies, best practices, and tools to boost sales productivity.
What is outbound sales?
Outbound sales is the sales methodology where the primary communication with the client is initiated from the organization’s side, followed by nurturing and closing the deal. The sales team is delegated to perform this task and to bring in revenue.
The outbound sales methodology is a way of pushing a message or pitching solutions towards a targeted segment without waiting for the leads to search for you.
The outbound sales methodology is not applicable for those who reach out to you searching for a particular solution. Converting these leads is explained as the inbound sales methodology, which is quite different from outbound sales.
How is outbound sales different from inbound sales?
Outbound and Inbound sales are two different roads towards the same destination. Both methods follow the process of lead generation, prospecting and closure, but in differing techniques.
Inbound sales is focussed on pull selling whereas outbound sales is more of a push selling.
Inbound sales is a sales methodology, where the prospect searches for a particular solution you are providing and reaches out to you. These are done through mediums like Landing pages, blog posts, or social media engagements. The major difference in inbound sales is that the prospect initiates the communication with the organization.
Types of outbound sales reps
A sales team comprises 4 types of sales representatives who act like four pillars to build a remarkable team.
1. Business Development Representatives (BDR)
BDRs are the key salesforce of any sales team. They are responsible for creating strategic alliances with other organizations. BDRs also takes initiatives to build new strategies, prospecting, nurturing, and closing the deal. They can handle both inside sales and field sales activities. BDRs focus more on building relationships and generating revenue.
2. Lead Development Representatives (LDR)
LDRs are the members of the sales team who dedicatedly work on getting leads. They follow guidelines designed by the team to gather important leads from various sources. They continuously research different companies and their employee database. Moreover, they try to compile the leads and their contact info in a spreadsheet used by SDRs.
3. Sales Development Representatives (SDR)
SDRs are similar to the BDRs as they work on nurturing the leads and qualifying them. The SDRs make the first pitch with cold calls or cold emails and help the prospects by providing them the solutions. They are less likely to build relationships with the prospect but focus on qualifying them as potential prospects. Once they interact with leads and qualify them, they forward them to the account executives for further nurturing.
4. Sales Account Executives (SAE)
SAEs deal with qualified prospects. They provide product demonstration, free trial, or nurture prospects with extra discount coupons. The SAEs are also responsible for closing the deals with the prospects and bringing revenue to the company. Their entire focus is on building relationships with their prospects for retaining them and influencing their repurchase behavior.
Importance of Outbound Sales
1. Control over the communication
The outbound sales technique provides the sales team to control over the ongoing communication with the prospect. The sales team also designs the process road map to follow. For example, start with cold email, then cold call, a social media approach, and so on. If required, they can change the process more effectively at any time.
The outbound sales team also gains the benefit of testing multiple communication variations that make the team more productive.
2. Efficient qualified leads
In the outbound sales technique, the leads are qualified after doing various tests. The SDR asks multiple questions personally and also scores the lead according to his activities. This makes the lead qualified enough, making it easier to nurture and close by account executives.
Along with that, qualified lead makes the sales pipeline smooth and is time effective.
3. Easy targeting
Outbound sales system makes the targeting job easier for the sales team. While inbound sales focuses on targeting a particular mass or segment, the outbound sales technique targets at more niche levels. While targeting manually and having conversations with the prospect, the chances of conversions also increase.
Targeting processes in inbound sales take months to provide appropriate results, whereas outbound sales techniques help you in instant targeting and processing.
4. Analytics to check your performance
Outbound sales methods can be easily analyzed and improved with time. Outbound sales activities like cold calls, cold emails or social media approaches can be measured through various tools.
Continuous analysis helps you find snags in the process. Fixing that will improve your sales process, making you super effective.
5. Quick feedback
Feedback is the key to continuous growth and development. The outbound sales process usually involves human to human interaction that makes the feedback system smoother. An AE can directly ask his customer or prospect to provide genuine feedback.
On the other hand, through inbound sales, the feedback phase becomes lengthier and challenging to receive.
6. Simplified revenue prediction
The outbound sales method moves through a sales pipeline, where you can view each lead and prospect’s position. You also analyze the activities of each prospect and predict their intent towards your product or service. You can also predict if he is going to convert or not.
This process can help you predict the mass revenue for your organization and set up genuine targets for your sales team.
Various types of businesses can use outbound sales methodologies. There are two types of outbound sales processes that can be adopted by the sales team.
Types of Outbound sales
There are 2 types of outbound sales practices: B2B and B2C. Although they follow the same goal, they need to move through different approaches.
1. B2B outbound sales
Business-to-Business outbound sales are followed by proper prospecting, researching and nurturing phases. The sales cycle tenure is usually longer and has a higher ticket value.
Sending outreach emails and follow-ups are the key practices of B2B outbound sales.
B2B sales is handled by LDR, SDR and SAEs for lead generation, prospecting and nurturing respectively.
Most B2B companies use Sales Engagement software to manage their sales workflows and execute accordingly. They also use email automation tools like SalesHandy to automate their emailing and follow-up activities.
2. B2C outbound sales
Business-to-consumer outbound sales are mostly followed by cold calls and direct selling practices. These deals have small-ticket value and the sales cycle is shorter.
B2C sales processes are handled by Telecallers (inside sales team) or BDEs. The inside sales team uses various strategies, processes and follows actionable tips to perform cold calls and tries selling on the phone, while BDEs handle both cold calls and field sales.
B2C companies focus on cold calling tools to simplify their calling activities and become more productive in it.
Although the outbound sales techniques differ in B2B and B2C, the basic ideology of the sales process remains the same.
Now, let’s look for different outbound sales phases that affect customer buying behavior.
What is the outbound sales process?
It is the combination of steps taken by the sales team in converting a lead to a customer. Different frameworks can be followed to design an outbound sales process. The AIDAR framework is one of the most useful in creating productive sales processes.
We will discuss a generic sales outbound process generated from the above framework that is proven to add great results to your sales team.
1. Know your ideal customer profile (ICP)
The outbound sales process starts with creating an ICP for your organization. You should know the solution you are selling and who can be your ideal customer. Through intense research into the use case of your product, you will acquire knowledge about your ICP.
2. Proper lead prospecting
Not everyone is going to buy your product. So spending time on every lead will be a waste of time. You need to create a list of prospects according to the designed ICP.
The list of leads can be built by hunting profiles from social networks or from your subscriber’s list. These lists are designed by the LDRs and forwarded to the SDRs.
3. Qualify the leads
You need to qualify the leads and segment them between deal leads and prospects.
Lead Qualification can be done in certain methods like lead scoring or researching on each lead individually.
SDRs send a primary email or cold call to have first interaction with the leads. One-on-one human interaction helps them in prioritizing the prospects and getting insights about their situation. If the SDR finds that the lead is suitable, they will qualify them as prospects and pass them to the AE’s.
This will help them to focus on the right prospect properly.
4. Sales Call
The account executives start nurturing the prospects individually and provide personal assistance to their problems. The SAEs help them with guides, Infos, statistics, case studies and other resources that will help them build relationships.
After proper nurturing, the account executives provide them with product demo or discount coupons to pull the prospect to the closure phase.
5. Close the deal
When a prospect is satisfied with your solutions and decides to go ahead with you, he makes a purchasing decision. The SAE helps the prospect in closing the deal and completing all the formalities.
The SAE also takes care of the new customer’s onboarding procedures and makes sure he doesn’t face any issues.
6. Ask for reviews and feedbacks
Once a prospect becomes a customer, the customer success team should take care of his smooth journey. The customer should get all his problems solved and stay delighted throughout the journey. This behavior will help the sales team in making a repurchase and have a long term relationship.
Customer retention is equally important for the growth of the company and scaling up the business.
For example, the importance of customer care is seen during after-sale communication where your customers will decide whether to stay with you for the next part of their buyer journey.
Organizations need to follow various sales techniques to proceed with any sales strategies. Next, we will be discussing the outbound sales techniques, followed by getting better results.
Outbound sales techniques
1. Cold call
Cold call is a widely used sales technique to reach targeted leads and initiate the sales cycle. Here, an SDR calls a prospect and tries to influence him regarding the solution they are offering. The SDR is a stranger to the prospect and has some basic knowledge about the prospect’s problem.
This method is ideal for B2C sales, with a small ticket value and a shorter sales cycle. However, it works wonders for B2B sales too.
2. Cold email
Cold email techniques are used by the SDRs where they send emails to prospects providing a solution Cold emailing is considered as one of the most productive techniques as it provides a minimum of 50% conversion rate from qualified prospects. It is similar to cold calling, except here the targeted prospects are much sorted, and the SDRs do a lot of research on them.
The SDRs search for all the details and recent activities of prospects to add personalization in the cold email. These email personalizations can boost up your ROI by 59%.
Prospect research also helps the sales team in qualifying the hot leads effectively and removing the weak leads.
Cold emailing is ideal for B2B sales, with a comparatively higher ticket value and a longer sales cycle.
3. Social selling
Social selling is the process of outreaching prospects on various social networking websites (e.g., LinkedIn, Angel.co). The SDRs consistently work on prospecting different leads from social media channels and start pitching their product/service. Further, they nurture them to win the deal.
Social selling can be ideal for both B2B and B2C sales. In B2C sales, major communication is made on social media and soon transferred to phone calls or email. Whereas, in B2B sales, communication initiates through social media and moves forward to emails. 84% of B2B executives use social media as a source for making purchase decisions.
What is sales cadence and why is it important for outbound sales?
Sales cadence is the sequence of actions designed by combining sales techniques to move a lead to the closing stage. This includes all the actions taken by the sales team to reach out to the prospect, including calls, emails, social media activities and voicemails in a particular sequence.
Example of a sales cadence:
1. Day 1: Send a cold email
2. Day 4: Make a phone call
3. Day 5: Send a social media connection with a personalized message
4. Day 7: Send a follow-up email
In B2B outbound sales, a single technique is not sufficient for making a lead move swiftly in a sales pipeline. It is essential to build a sales cadence to make sure your pipeline turns into a revenue-generating machine. Along with that, a sales cadence helps the sales team by providing a particular framework to approach the prospect. Also, an efficient sales cadence helps you in proper revenue prediction and knowing the most productive communication channel.
Best practices for outbound sales
1. Define conventional goals and sub goals
The sales team should design conventional goals and targets for generating revenue with continuous growth. The goals should have certain sub goals assigned to dedicated team members, which collectively moves you towards the final goal. This best practice helps the team members to stay on the same page and work collaboratively for team success.
2. Recheck your process after each stage
The outbound sales method follows the pipeline approach, i.e. one step after another. In this method, if there is a leakage in any step, it will affect the productivity of every consequent step. Rechecking the process before moving ahead will help you get an assurance of effectiveness in the further steps.
3. Reach out to the right person
Every sales team wishes to keep its sales cycle shorter. While prospecting, if the SDRs reach the right decision-maker, the sales cycle speeds up, avoiding the middle persons.
Reaching out the decision-maker also helps you in influencing the right person in the prospect’s organization and ultimately leads to a faster win.
4. Segment your prospect list for efficiency
You must be outreaching to various categories of prospects. You must be creating different strategies for different prospects. In the same way, you also need to segment your prospect list according to your ease. It can be either sorted as cold, warm and hot leads or according to the type of ideas.
Making a different prospect list helps you in approaching the right prospects in the right manner.
5. Stick to time and appointments
While scheduling appointments, meetings or any other engagement, make sure you stick to proper time. Making calls, scheduling emails and other engagements should be pre planned and done effectively.
While taking appointments from prospects, make sure not to exceed the maximum time as promised. This is considered as a bad practice of the unprofessional. Also, telephone calls and other activities should also be in limit considering the prospect’s time value.
6. Don’t hussle, process it slowly
We understand that a faster sales cycle provides more growth, but rushing in the sales process decreases your effectiveness. It would be best if you did sufficient nurturing to make your prospect a long-lasting customer. Also, you need to provide continuous support and solutions to solve their queries and build trust.
This process will take time, but the relationship you build will provide a long term success.
7. Use outbound sales tools
Tools always make our tasks easier. While coming to outbound sales, there are N number of tools for each task. These tools simplify, automate or analyze our daily works, which can become more productive day by day.
Outbound sales tools are designed for sales teams to automate their tedious tasks and focus on more productive work for being super productive.
Now we will be listing some of the outbound sales tools to make your sales process swift.
Best Outbound Sales Tools
We need multiple tools for different outbound sales activities. We have curated the list of best tools in each category that can skyrocket your sales activities.
1. Sales Engagement Tool- SalesHandy
SalesHandy is one of the best outbound sales tools that helps the sales team to automate their email activities. With SalesHandy, you can schedule personalized email campaigns, schedule auto follow-ups, and analyze the campaign’s performance to boost productivity. Sales professionals use SalesHandy for sending cold emails and follow-ups automatically, making their email activities swifter than ever before.
1.1. Personalized email campaigns: Send mass email campaigns upto 5000 recipients in a day with SalesHandy email campaign features. Also add mail merge tags to provide personalization in every email you send to your recipient list.
1.2. Automated follow-up messages: A sales email is incomplete without follow-up stages. SalesHandy allows you to add up to 9 email follow-up stages which will improve your email productivity. You can add these stages according to different conditions like not opened, not replied and been sent.
1.3. Advanced email analytics: Evaluate your performance and improve accordingly. With the email analytics feature, you can get the report of email campaigns. You can also generate reports of each stage which will help you in finding your mistakes and improve your email deliverability with time.
1.4. Add to CRM: Every sales team maintains their customer journey in a CRM. Adding the details of each communication in the CRM is a tedious task. With SalesHandy, you can add the CRM ID in the BCC section and get all your email data added in your CRM automatically.
2. Sales Analytics Tool- Clari
Clari is a power-packed sales analytics tool that helps the team in predicting revenue, increasing win ratio, and managing pipeline health. The tool is well equipped with artificial intelligence to provide real-time insights for improved forecasting. Clari can also be integrated with CRMs to spot deal risks and maintain funnel accountability.
3. Customer Relationship Management Tool- Aritic Sales CRM
Aritic Sales CRM is a relationship management tool that helps you in workflow designing, sales funnel simplification, and managing the record in a centralized platform. Sales teams can automate their workflow and analyze the performance at each stage. Also, this single team is efficient enough for collaborating and increasing the productivity of the whole team.
4. Sales Prospecting Tool- Clearbit
Clearbit is a sales prospecting platform that helps you in finding the right prospect you need to outreach. Just add the company name and find your prospects in a single click. You can get access to Clearbit Reveal to increase your organic traffic and conversions in the premium plans. Clearbit has integrations with major platforms like Salesforce, Marketo and Segment.
A productive sales strategy can’t be developed in a day. It requires continuous research, improvements and frequent testing to make it better. We have tried our best to provide you with all the information on outbound sales, still we recommend you to check our guides on sales prospecting and lead qualification for expert guidance.
Also, we request you to add your queries and suggestions in the comment section below to have a qualitative discussion. Meanwhile, if you liked the article, please share it among your connections to help them out.