How to Perform Outbound Sales Effectively

Tips and tricks to succeed in outbound sales.
outbound sales cover photo
Let's get one thing clear: inbound sales is great, but to truly tap into those big deals, you need to have a solid outbound sales strategy.

It's easy to get consumed by the success of inbound in the digital world, not to mention all the associated tasks that come with responding to all those potential customers. It also means a lot more work for both your marketing and sales teams that can take away time spent on outbound.

As we've seen before, however, inbound and outbound work best when used together.

Let's go over what a solid outbound strategy is so that you have a two-pronged approach!

What Is Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales refers to sales that are going out from your company as opposed to coming in.

What does this mean?

It means that as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) you are going out and finding your prospects. They're not waiting to receive a lead list from marketing to then contact as they do when they manage inbound sales, they're finding those prospects and initiating contact themselves.

It's the door-to-door salesman of the digital age.

And it is not obsolete.

While inbound sales are well and good, and can sometimes be a big ticket, they are usually folks looking for the specific service or product that you are offering. It's great to have and it means your inbound marketing is working.

But there is a lot more that can be gained by also having an outbound sales strategy.

Advantages of Outbound Sales

These are but a few of the advantages of outbound sales:
outbound sales infographic
You get to set the pace

The first thing to know is that you as an SDR get to set the pace.

You are not limited to the number of leads you receive in a day, instead, you are creating them.

This means you can contact as many people as you feel is feasible per day. It means the potential to set a meeting, demo, or even make a sale is slightly larger. Outbound sales are also a lot quicker because you have so many more people you get in touch with.

And the more people that see your outbound content, or you connect with, the more people become aware of you and your company and its product or service.

You make the first impression

You have control of that first impression your prospects get of your company.

It is you who is working as the face of the company and establishing brand awareness. The conversation gets started by you.

This means you have more control over how you want to be perceived, your messaging, and how you move your prospects along the sales pipeline.

You've pre-researched your leads, so less time is spent qualifying

The tasks associated with outbound prospecting and sales are a lot different from those that are tied to inbound.

In outbound, you are reaching out to prospects that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

You are not given a list of leads that may have contacted you for a variety of reasons, or that may have poor data.

Instead of spending time qualifying your leads, you can focus on reaching out with the best possible messaging to the largest amount of prospects.

And you also know where you can find them, so you know which strategy works best!

You know exactly why they need your product or service

Tied to the previous point, you already know why they need your product or service. You've researched them and have made it part of your messaging and approach.

You do not need to spend time figuring out why they might have gotten in contact with you, or have calls with prospects that end up being a confirmation that you are not what they are looking for.

By knowing what value you can offer them, you can sell a lot faster and more effectively to more people with a variety of sales strategies. You are not limited to only the information they provided, after all.

Outbound Sales Strategies

There are three key outbound sales strategies you can use as an SDR:
outbound sales email infographic
Cold calling

Cold calling involves calling prospects to establish rapport.

You should never be disingenuous with this approach. The idea is to represent your company with a friendly voice and lend your prospect your ear.

It is best to be upfront about it being a cold call, ask if they have time, and, based on your research, ask them about the current pain points.

Only once you have received further information and confirmation that they are indeed facing issues, should you try out your pitch.

But remember to be sensitive to your prospect's time and to actually listen when they respond – you should never steamroll over the conversation to get to your pitch.

That just leaves a negative impression and is a lost customer.

Cold emailing

One of our favorite approaches here at SalesPipe, and one of the most creatively engaging exercises, is drafting a good cold sales email.

You need to be succinct, have just enough personalization and awareness of their pain point, sprinkle some humor to stand out, and have a clear call to action.

And it is a lot harder than it looks.

We've provided insight on how to structure your cold emails in the past, but the key takeaway is always focusing on one thing at a time.

Remember, you've got follow-up emails and actions you can take to expand on the reasons why you should have a call. You should not send everything at once. And even if that first initial outreach sequence of emails fails to produce a response, you can always try again later on.

With email, you need to be constantly re-inventing and trying new things in your messaging, adjusting for industry events or seasons.

Social selling

A more recent but incredibly popular outbound B2B sales strategy is social selling.

Taking place mostly on LinkedIn, social selling works twofold:

First, it helps bring awareness to your company through posts you write or share.

Second, it helps you connect more intimately and a lot quicker with prospects that fit your ICP.

You can organically establish a relationship with prospects, or draw their interest via your own posts. Follow along with what they are doing and care about as well before reaching out to them with a clear goal in mind.

And you can make use of GIFs, videos, and memes – all things which help add personality to your outbound strategy that you cannot do via email or phone!

While these all can be used independently of each other, and, indeed, some may work better in some industries than others, the best way to work as an SDR is to use all three. Or try out all three.

Add steps to your sales cadence so that it includes all of the above, and receive feedback to see what works best for you!

How to Perform an Efficient Sales Process

Performing good outbound sales is not simply throwing darts into the dark and hoping one hits the jackpot. There is a method to the madness to make it efficient and meaningful.

Some key ingredients for your outbound sales process to be successful are:
outbound sales saas infographic
The right toolkit

Outbound sales requires the use of technology and automation.

Whether it's email, social media, or phone dials, keeping track of numbers such as open rates, response rates, bounce rates, call logs, and more is incredibly important.

You need to know if your email deliverability is good if you want your emails to get to your prospect's inbox, so you'll want to look into an email warm up tool.

Your team is probably dispersed, so having a dialing tool where you can register call logs and add notes is essential.

A CRM everyone can contribute to so that the team can help each other build pipeline. A prospecting tool such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator to build prospect lists for outbound. An email automation tool to send multiple email sequences per day.

All of these are absolutely indispensable for an efficient outbound sales process.

A pre-determined ICP

Your company should have a clear, pre-determined ICP they want you to target.

You use this information to research prospects, find their pain points and how you can offer a solution, and craft your messaging and posts.

It is with the ICP that you can build prospect lists to target.

Even if your company is thinking about diversifying, they should still have a clear idea of the type of persona they need you to target for you to succeed at your job.

Clear Call to action

Similar to the above, your company should provide you with a clear call to action.

Anything from scheduling a demo to joining a community or a newsletter could be used, but it can only be one thing.

In outbound, your prospect is receiving brand new information about you, your company, and the product or service you are offering. They have to digest this information.

You should never overdo the time you are taking from them by having multiple asks in one email, call, or social media message.

Limit yourself to one very specific ask, and make it the same throughout the cadence.

Specific, quantifiable goals

Numbers are important in sales, and the more numbers you have to aim for, the better. This is why Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) exist.

Having specific goals you need to reach will provide you with a good idea of how your company expects your process to work and how you organize yourself as well.

Without quantifiable goals, whether that's demos or meetings booked or prospects contacted, it is difficult to have an idea of what you are working towards and come up with strategies to obtain it.

Flexibility for A/B testing and multi-channel strategies

As an SDR, you are the face of the company.

It also means you are receiving immediate feedback. Feedback on your approach and on the strategies you are using.

You can rectify your messaging immediately to take into account seasonal or world events, the fact that it does not work with your ICP or industry, or if it is not producing the response you want. Trying different approaches and adjusting them as needed is part of your job and one that is constant.

Similarly, you need to be trying out different, multi-channel strategies.

Different industries or ICPs may be more responsive to social selling than others. As an SDR, it is your job to adjust your outbound sales strategy as needed based on the feedback you receive.

It is through this A/B testing process that the sales process becomes more efficient, as you find out what works best.

Rock-star SDRs

Finally, your company needs you to be the best SDR in the game.

Apply all of the above:

  • Interact with your ICP or fellow salespeople on LinkedIn
  • Try different messaging and strategies
  • Keep up with your KPIs
  • Use and find the right toolkit
  • Make sure your company supports you with a clear ICP and CTA
This recipe makes for an all-star SDR team and sales process.

Conclusion

While it may seem as if inbound sales runs the world these days, outbound sales should never be ignored.

The best sales teams perform both to great success. You simply can't have one without the other.

If you need more tips to hit your outbound sales targets, make sure to join our Community of like-minded SDRs!
Post by Flor Fustinoni.
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